Governor Hope Uzodimma should be told that his political foot-soldiers have become babies weaned of breast milk. He seems not to know majority of them are not too happy.This is because there is a disconnect between him and them. They are poles apart.They are far from him. No synergy.
The visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to Imo State had exposed a yawning gap between the governor and his men.One of them, fed up and frustrated was captured in a viral video during the President’s visit complaining bitterly. He is one of the noisy wailers.There are many of them in Uzodimma’s government. They murmur a lot. Some do theirs in hushed tones.
There is another category. When they complain and when you tend to listen to their complaints, they change topic or shut their mouths. Those are the expectant wailers. They complain with their mouths but have hope in their minds. They hope better days are ahead. They believe the governor when he says he needs time to work for the people before he looks at anybody’s face. Another set of wailers are those who shout hoarse on the social media, defending the polices of government on WhatsApp only to cry wolf in their private moments.
The visit of President Muhammadu Buhari on September 9 to Imo State was an eye opener to any discerning observer of how this government is been run. Its like a tiny few are in charge, leaving a greater majority out of the circle. One had expected an impressive crowd if the governor’s footsoldiers were properly carried along in the planning of the event.The way the visit went, raised eyebrows if there was a Committee which even superintended the presidential visit. One or two persons close to the governor took charge of the entire show leaving others to wonder and watch in awe.
Even if IPOB sit at home order had scared people away from seeing the President, where were the one million APC members captured during the membership and Revalidation exercise. The crowd which received the President was tiny, a departure from the sea of heads, which usually trail such presidential visits to the State.
Governor Uzodimma has run the State from a high horse, failing to create a connect with his footsoldiers, especially those who rode to power with him. Those who stood with him in the rain and in the sun when he declared his ambition to run for the governorship of the State. Only a few of the multitude are enjoying the showpiece. Majority cry and wail. Some wail in silence, some wail aloud and noisily.Because if there is a connect between the governor and his men, the level of complains would not even arise.
These wailing can be traced to Uzodimma’s inability to thus far, raise political “generals” “brigadiers” or “colonels” since he became governor.He has not upgraded those who came to government with him. If they were at recruit level when he came to power, they have not been promoted. And no one will tell him how disenchanted they are.They smile when they see him, or engage in eye service.
Most of his band of loyalists complain like school children flogged by a class teacher. It is so with majority of them, including some of those whom he sacked as his appointees five months ago.The bitter truth, is 80 percent of those he had appointed and sacked a year after, are groaning. They murmur. And till date, they rue their sack from office. To stay relevant, some of them defend the government in public and say otherwise in private.
And sincerely they are not be blamed. No political foot-soldier can spread political gospel of his political general when he or she has not gained political stamina. This is the case between Uzodimma and his political footsoldiers. It is even strange how some appointees of government sacked from office parade themselves as Special Advisers or Senior Special Assistants. Some sacked appointees do attend official government events. And in some cases, claim to represent the governor. This makes nonsense of governance, moreso when they are no longer paid and there is no official announcement reconstituting the cabinet.
Reconstituting the cabinet should be paramount. It should be a priority for the governor. The wheels of government in the State is moving so slow. Key sectors such as health, education are in limbo. Some roads may have been upgraded, but those in bad condition take away the gains of those repaired. Five months without Commissioners, SAs, SSAs, is really leaving Uzodimma’s footsoldiers in the dark. They have become targets of scorn and ridicule in the eyes of the opposition. And the opposition in the State makes mockery of them as evidence of how unattractive the government and the APC in Imo State are.
When school children begin to get afraid of their school teacher and run to the headmaster for succour, it implies a loss of faith on the teacher. It’s either the teacher is a bully or is cantankerous.This is gradually becoming the case between the governor and those who follow him.
Ikedi Ohakim had suffered defeat in the 2007 governorship election because he only dispensed “goodwill” to his footsoldiers, when elections were around the corner. He was operating a “few men” government, with the likes of his brother, Emma Ohakim, Kezie Ogaziechi, and few others, being the full time benefactors of the goodies of his government. And what was the end result- failure at the polls, as his so called key men choose to enrich their pockets, at the detriment of his re election.
When silent wailers wail, it portends danger signs. It’s better when they wail openly and the wailing is noisy, rather than silent wailing which can be counter productive.
“These wailing can be traced to Uzodimma’s inability to thus far, raise political “generals” “brigadiers” or “colonels” since he became governor.He has not upgraded those who came to government with him. If they were at recruit level when he came to power, they have not been promoted. And no one will tell him how disenchanted they are.They smile when they see him, or engage in eye service”