IMUEKEMHE: TECHNOCRAT IN A REVOLUTION
THE public jubilation that greeted the appointment of Dr. Simon Imuekemhe as Secretary to the Edo State Government re-enforces the high fidelity and depth of the Oshiomhole vision in a revolutionary process never before witnessed in the annals of the heartbeat state.
Imuekemhe, an undisputed credit to good governance and accomplished administrator, is no stranger to potholes and smooth paths in the interplay of forces underpinning social engineering. Untirelessly vigorous in his approach to issues and scrupulous in the performance of duties assigned to him, he has actually come a long way to prove that hard work and loyalty can never go unearned.
The singular revelation that runs through the many tributes that had been paid to him since his appointment is clear: robust and inspiring manifestation of the high esteem he is held in the state.
There is no doubt that Edo State, today, is passing through a revolutionary process. It is not a bloody revolution. The revolutionary ferment in Edo today is multi-dimensional. It is a revolution in the art of governance; a revolution in development initiatives, a revolution in ideas articulation, revolution in projects execution, a revolution in public attitudes and a revolution in the choice and selection of hands and brains manning departments of governments.
The articulator and champion of this new ideological wave and social order is the highly energetic Comrade Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, who, despite constraints has injected vibrancy and life into a state that got paralysed for close to two decades.
The Comrade Governor knows that for him to succeed in his redemptive mission, he would need to surround himself with 'men that are fat'. When I say men that are fat, I actually mean men who understand Oshiomhole's vision and are ready and have the verve to be part of it. Men, whose loyalty and commitment to his vision cannot be doubted. And of course, they must be men of courage, boldness, intellectual depth, honesty, managerial capability and experience.
Against this backdrop, history stands to applaud Governor Oshiomole for appointing Imuekemhe as the new SSG. The man he has appointed is a man who has promptly and wholeheartedly answered every call made upon him for service.
lmuekemhe's years in service have heartened him with edifying and enriching experiences.
They have brought him many wonderful acquaintances and deep understanding of power scenarios, which are now among his cherished possessions.
Having served the state in various capacities where he left behind indelible footprints, there is no doubt that his present appointment to a higher phase of service will be effectively deployed in the overriding interest of public good. A University of Ibadan trained medical doctor, Imuekemhe practised medicine for a good number of years before moving into the core civil service.
One of the remarkable things about his practice in both UBTH, Benin and Central Hospital was that he ensured that doctors training under him either as medical officers or House Officers imbibed the culture of discipline, punctuality, must respond to calls and attend to patients. Any doctor who has a call and refused to honour it would have an extension. His years in medical practice were exciting, fulfilling and glorious.
When he was appointed Director, Hospital Services/Chief Executive, Hospital Management Board in June 1994, he vowed to rescue the hospital from the suffocating armpit of distressing service delivery. By the time he was leaving in 1999, the story of the hospital had changed for good as service delivery had improved tremendously even as revenue profile had equally been bolstered,
From the Health Management Board, he moved over to Edo State Civil Service in June 1999 as Permanent Secretary and was deployed to the office of the Deputy Governor. He was later posted to the Board of Internal Revenue as Permanent Secretary/Chairman.
During his tenure at the Board the internally generated revenue of the state shot up to the most remarkable level in the history of Edo State . He became Head of Service of Edo Civil Service in May 2005 and voluntarily retired in February 2011. He had hardly settled down to a life in retirement when he was again called to serve, this time as Chairman, Edo State Task Force on Revenue Generation. It was from this position he got appointed SSG.
Under him, Edo State Public Service was built up to a high point of productivity, efficiency and integrity. Effective service delivery became its hallmark.
Against what backdrop do we justly situate the Merit Award conferred on him by Joint Negotiating Council of Edo State ? First, it is imperative to examine the political swirls and other variables underlying relationship in democratic settings. In every sphere of life, opposition exists to act as checks and balances from which we might behold the beauty of history.
Opposition might be deliberately destructive or constructive, but which ever way the heat goes, what is important is how opposing views are handled by those placed in positions to do so.
Mr. GABRIEL ENOGHOLASE is a staff of Vanguard