Ihedioha : From Cluelessness To Globetrotting

By Kenneth Uwadi
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Conscience nurtured by truth is one of the cardinal philosophies of the late Ahmadu Bello Sardauna . Gaskiya (truth), they say, is tafi kobo. The bible mentioned a servant girl of Naaman's wife. However, the girl was brave enough to tell her mistress of a prophet in the country of Samaria, which is in the Kingdom of Israel, who was able to heal Naaman of his leprosy. Naaman was the captain of the Syrian Army around 850 B.C. In the account of the war between Syria and Israel, as recorded in I Kings 15, God gave Captain Naaman the victory over Israel. In II Kings 5, it is written that Naaman was a mighty man of valor, but was a leper. The unknown servant girl showed Naaman were he got his healing.

There are people today that are bold like the servant girl of Naaman . They point out the wrong things going on and call for change. They shout at those adding poisons as medicine for chronic ailment, to stop it. They call for things to be done right for the overall good of the majority. They are the civil servants of the society, the unknown servants.

I am like an unknown servant and I will never stop calling on leaders of my state to do the right thing for the good of the majority. When I speak against bad leadership, I am called unprintable names by self-appointed do-gooders . These self-appointed do-gooders do not and cannot comprehend the harm they do to themselves.. These are leeches who don’t enjoy the truth slime down their faces and who believe that you have to always kiss up to the aggressor to get a lunch box . They are generally afraid. Some of them want government appointments so they need to live in denial and praise singing to justify their fealty to filth. Often and conveniently, without the slightest compunction, they align themselves with whoever has the trump card at any given point in time.

I certainly do not wish for Governor Emeka Ihedioha’s failure. Wishing him failure is akin to wishing your pilot to sleep while piloting a craft you are inside. Imo is my state and I want the best from the governor of my state. But It is said that the odor that oozes out from the male goat is not from the skin, otherwise, water could have washed it away. Recently, the governor announced in the media the approval of the employment of 4000 teachers in the state. This if it turns out to be true, is commendable. Unfortunately, Ihedioha’s government has a ministry of disinformation, where they share lies like akara and bread. The governor’s idea is that if someone tells the big lie, people will believe it even if they don’t believe the little ones. That is what Hitler did and its one of the common practices of a tyrannical government.

For more than five months, apart from the rebuild Imo mantra and the due process sing song, Ihedioha has been playing to the gallery. He reduced governance to one big sycophantic industry were governance is on the pages of newspapers and were singing his praises has become one rewarding venture. Loyalty and allegiance is determined by how well you chorus the ‘ Ihediohamma’ sing-song, which thrills the governor and his vanity to no ends. He will find a pothole on a road, moves his cabinet there. They will come with , TV men , microphone and cameras. They take pictures and make speeches shake their heads and curse Rochas Okorocha. Voom vaam, off they go and nothing is done. He will award road contract, call a village meeting. Masquerades are made to attend. It's the commissioning of the beginning of the building of a road project. Balloons are hoisted. He climbs into an old tractor brought by the contractor. He drives around. The women in asoebi dance . Men drum for them. He tells them he is rebuilding Imo. Voom Vaam, off they go, nothing is done.

Visit Imo, all the roads are bad and they keep blaming the rains . I guess its “the more things change in Imo, the more they remain the same.” My friend Samuelson once said ‘ sincerity of deceit is when you consciously manipulate the people of Imo State by telling them lies that the reason you have not started constructing , maintaining, grading and patching roads is because of the rains while at the same time constructing and widening the road that leads to your country home in Mbutu, Aboh Mbaise under heavy rains’. Road construction in Imo is another exaggerated display of showmanship.

In less than six months of being in office, the state is said to be broke. Bankrupt. Available data shows that the state is neck-deep in debt. But one disturbing issue is the rate at which Ihedioha globe-trot without minding how bad his expensive travels affect the state’s treasury. He enjoys spending time abroad and by the time he is back to the state, the excuse is always that he traveled abroad to woo foreign investors. He eats and lives flattery and jesting to high heavens . Either he is in the United Kingdom today or Germany or USA or Saudi Arabia, China or the United Arab Emirates. He is being panned for trotting the globe, traveling the world and cartoonists will soon start having a field day as he is saddled with the unflattering name of Vasco da Gama.. He is failing to attend to pressing issues in Imo State because he is always traveling out of the state and country. Additionally to funding the overseas trips with the state funds, the governor receives huge out-of-pocket allowance for each trip, which he does not have to account for .A hard look at Ihedioha reveals a personality that has this crass craving for coveted power but pitiably lacks the requisite to exploit and explore it judiciously. He is affected with the paranoia of egocentrism, bellicosity, with a high handedness of compelling and with a crushing fist nay unforgiving penchant spirit when his path is crossed. He relished criticizing but loathes criticism. The question I keep asking remains; has Imo entered one chance? Only time shall tell .

Kenneth Uwadi lives in Mmahu-Egbema, Ohaji/Egbema, Imo State, Nigeria and can be reached via [email protected]

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