By Ogu Bundu Nwadike, M.A
The cover page of an Imo-based tabloid of Wednesday, April 10, 2019 had a conspicuous headline: “Imo has no money to fund transition”. The out-going governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, was stated as the person that made the remark. The comment has expectedly generated some arguments among rightists and leftists in the political divide in the State.
The simplest interpretations being given to the statement by the out-going governor is that Imo State is broke; that the out-going governor is not willing to fund the inuaguration programmes as is statutorily recommended; or that the governor-elect had applied to the out-going governor for a vote to fund the inuaguration programmes.
However, the whole truth is that the out-going governor, Rochas Okorocha, is not funding the inauguaration programmes of Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha in any way. Period!
To set the records further straight, however, let it be known that the Imo State governor-elect, His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, CON, KSC has not applied to the out-going governor for any money to fund the ongoing transition and inauguration progammes. As to whether Imo State is insolvent or whether the out-going governor is unwilling to fund the inauguration programmes, those are distractions that the governor-elect does not have time and space for.
The successful transition and inauguration of the incoming administration is uppermost in the priorities of the governor-elect at this moment. That’s why he inaugurated the Transition Technical Committee (TTC) and the Inauguration Planning Committee (IPC) to ensure that the new government is ushered in the best way and manner possible.
And talking about funding, the governor-elect can afford not to rely on the out-going governor for funding because it is evident that numerous well-meaning Imolites are very much committed to enthroning the new administration that they have elected into office.
Almost everybody in the little over 400-member twin committees are volunteers, who are willing to continue to make sacrifice for the liberation of Imo people and rebuilding of Imo State. That is why, as the governor-elect stated publicly during the inauguration, there is little or no remuneration for the service the committee members will render.
The governor-elect is committed to carrying everybody along. He is a strong advocate of true democracy, which is founded on the people. The large number of the committee members attests to that. It is obviously to enhance the process of decision-making by the people themselves.
It is on record that over 1000 (one thousand) Imolites with sound pedigree, antecedents and panache indicated interest to be in the committees. But exigency prescribed fewer number be admitted. It is such that while the governor-elect provides the funding, the expertise to deploy the funds are sourced locally within the committee. That is at no extra cost to the governor-elect.
Therefore, let nobody be confused by the self-denigrating confessions by the out-going governor. He is on his own. All focus should be on the very impressive strides the governor-elect has been making since after his victory to assure and reassure Imo people that he is willing and ready to deliver good Government and good governance.
The swift setting up and inauguration of the Transition Technical Committee and Inauguration Planning and Handover Committee within one month of his declaration as governor-elect, is an ample testimony that he means business. He deserves to be praised and supported.
*Nwadike is a member of the Media and Publicity Sub-committee of the Inauguration Planning Committee of the Governor-elect.