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When I served this nation as Minister of Interior, I had the opportunity to give jobs to many Imo youths in the parastatals under my command then. However, the irony was that the more I gave thousands of our youths jobs, the more hundreds of thousands of unemployed ones (who were even more qualified) were presenting themselves to me for jobs. It was then I came to fully appreciate the major problem our dear state Imo is facing.

Be that as it may, I dream of a state where our young people will one day have hope, a state in which our people can look forward to a life full of opportunities and challenges, an enclave where the imperishable legacies of the Mbakwe Administration would be truly reactivated. This is the Imo of my vision and dreams.

Unfortunately, this is yet to be realized because of leadership problem in the state.
Therefore, it is an attempt to proffer a solution to this leadership problem in the state that I decided to answer the clarion call by the good people of Imo to save our darling state from imminent collapse.

Our State is richly endowed with human and material resources, yet there is intractable problem of underdevelopment, social decay, unemployment and poverty. This is so partly due to prevalence of “emergency” and “accidental” leaders that have ruled the state since 1999.

Unfortunately, we have had leaders who were ill-prepared and bereft of ideas on how to provide meaningful development. We have had leaders without the true concepts of what development is all about and how to make it happen. Some of the leaders found themselves in politics as the next best vocation having failed in other endeavours.

As we prepare for the 2015 general elections, we need to elect a governor who has a thorough grasp of development logic; who understands what is takes to achieve real and sustained economic growth; a governor who is people-centered; who recognizes people as assets and involves them in changing their own lot. We need a governor who will put the people first.

However, it takes clarity of vision, a deep understanding of development dynamics, fervent desire to create change, a human centered consciousness to spew forth the profound ideas that will accelerate development.

Imo State needs a leadership that will meet the yearnings and aspirations of the people. It must be someone who understands the enormity of the problems facing the state. The Governor Imo deserves in 2015 must be one with sound knowledge and ideas of what it takes to galvanize the state into a modern prosperous state in all ramifications. The next Governor of the state must be knowledgeable in the art and science of management and organization of resources, materials; particularly someone who can face the challenges of managing a huge and endowed state like ours.

Like the children of Israel in Egypt, Imo State needs liberation, and needs to begin the journey to the Promised Land. For the sake of our children and future generations, Imo State must sing a new song. Whether I will be the Moses or Joshua is immaterial to me. The important thing is that we must begin the journey, and someone must sacrifice to lead the way.

As in all cases, however, leadership imposes certain obligations on the leader and it comes with the added responsibility to act responsibly as a role model for others. The actions of a leader must not be seen to contradict the advertized principles which an organization holds dear to itself and to which its membership voluntarily subscribes. A leader must lead by concrete examples in appropriate cases and not by mere precepts and properly held accountable to the same standards he had set for himself and others whenever he falls short. There is no doubt that I have the necessary leadership attributes to chart a new beginning for our dear State.

The question is, must there always be a reward for service? Every kind of service is a contract where responsibility has been entrusted to the performer. In commercial contract, there are rules guiding the performance of the parties concerned. In social contracts, service is not completely unrewarding; whether there is an agreed benefit or not. However, the real benefit comes from the pleasure of having served well; of having contributed towards the elimination of a particular social need and seeing the gains that accrue to the overall beneficiaries of the initiative in question.

In seeking to serve, I am propelled by the basic need to make a positive difference in any given task. I believe that only the best is good enough for Imo State.

Incidentally, politics remains the major platform for changing a society. There can be no sustainable wealth creation without sustained interest in politics. Given our state of underdevelopment, I believe that elite indifference to politics is a crime against humanity. Politics and governance are too serious and too important to be left to street urchins. That is why I have come out to serve.

Enough of despair and despondency! The issues confronting partisan politics in our great country today are glaring.. Our political parties are no longer people-oriented or issue-driven. Today leadership in the state is seen as an instrument of exploitation and not as an avenue to serve the people as was the case during the Mbakwe era. Therefore, the governorship election in 2015 must be the time for Imo People to make that desired change. This must be our period of renewal and confidence. I want to deliver our dear state from morass of poverty and underdevelopment. I want to change leadership perception.

Clearly, not everybody has the leadership acumen to lead an organization, not to talk of ruling a state like Imo. Clearly, no society should expect to have an endless succession of great and extraordinary leaders like Roosevelt of the United States, Churchill of Britain, or De-Gaulle of France. At the same time, no society can function well with fools, rascals, or non-leaders in leadership positions. Unfortunately, we live in an era of crass materialism; an era where charlatans have taken over all purposeful human endeavour; an environment where values have been totally devalued and eroded; where there is no justice and equity. Yes, we live in a society where ill-equipped leaders are strutting along without any human conscience. But it is at times like this that men of courage take up the leadership mantle to bring this charade to an end.

I want to rekindle hope and confidence in our democratic governance. Confidence in the Almighty God who orders the affairs of people and nations; confidence in the good people of Imo state who have shown such extraordinary resilience and courage in the face of great deprivations; confidence in their astounding resourcefulness and drive; confidence in our party to bring progress to the state and the confidence that has enabled me, through God's Special Grace, to engage in entrepreneurship and champion worthy causes in all aspects of human endeavours.

I am passionate about service. I really want to be the number one servant of this great state. What is required is to elect a dynamic and purposeful leader who is out to serve and not to be served. I have the capacity to transform the state from its decadent state to a modern state comparable with other states in the world. The pivotal task my team will be is to lift our state to the summit of greatness. No one serves effectively without passion. I want to lift the bar of democratic governance in our state by ensuring that that we deliver not only democracy dividends to the good people of Imo State but also to make it good in accordance with the best principles of democracy. Accordingly, emphasis will be placed on consultation and dialogue, due process and procedure, clear and people oriented projects conception, open and competitive procurement process and equitable distribution of social amenities. Others will include diligent planning and execution strategies, checks and balances, rule of law and respect for human rights.
We need a visionary and exemplary leader who is truly inspired to translate potentials to the realms of meaningful reality by harnessing and managing resources towards the desired end.

After fifteen years into Nigeria's third attempt at democracy, our state and people deserve a change from the old order. APGA represents the new order. The fundamental guiding principles which led to the formation of the Party and the concept of the Party must be understood in its entirety. Also, its laudable aims and objectives are to be harnessed.

However, we will not emerge from poverty into prosperity by mere wishful thinking, theorizing or by sheer pretension. Compassion, commitment, pro-activeness, selflessness, visionary zeal; the consuming passion to put our people first, and a large capacity to give are the ingredients that will take us there.

Worst of it is that the signature of the APC-Led government in power is simply that of wasteful management, plunder and abuse of public resources. Therefore, the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) offers me a platform to redeem Imo people from the problem of maladministration which is manifestly seen in the state since the present democratic dispensation. APGA really needs to change this state of hopelessness in the 2015 governorship election. My “Getting Imo back to Work” blueprint is people–oriented and serves as roadmap for the 'Imo rebirth'.

Captain Ihenacho is the immediate past Minister of Interior is and APGA Governorship Candidate in Imo State.