By Kennedy Eweama (08035529265)
According to Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (7th Edition, page 1138), the word pragmatism means “thinking about solving problems in a practical and sensible way rather than by having fixed ideas, and theories.” on the other hand,being pragmatic is equally explained by the same oracle of knowledge as “solving problems in a practical and sensible way rather than by having fixed ideas, and theories,” while a pragmatist is “somebody who is pragmatic.”
I have meticulously taken this route to underscore the pedigree of Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State, and how he attends to issues surrounding his style of governance. From evidences on ground, no rational mind can argue the fact that the Governor is more of a pragmatic leader, who prefers to work, and has in fact, also achieved a lot working with reticence rather than being unnecessarily garrulous and distracted as a result.
When he initially came on board as the duly elected Governor of Imo State, some bitter critics led by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) feasted on him like vampires. They didn’t even allow him to settle down, before unleashing their ill motivated angst on him. They manufactured funny titles for the 3R government such as “push and start government”, Supreme Court Governor, “enemy of Imo workers and pensioners,” and other similar balderdash.
But the People’s Governor remained undaunted, and undistracted. He knows where he is going and what his lofty agenda for the good people of Imo State are. His reticence to the avalanche of opprobrium coming mainly from the disgruntled PDP and few ignorant critics was their albatross. They didn’t understand him, and still couldn’t till date. The Governor’s reticent but pragmatic approach and solutions to the socioeconomic, cultural, infrastructural, and political needs of Imo people discomfited PDP, and their sponsored critics. He left them befuddled.
Let me state this unequivocally. I was born, and bred at Oparanozie and Amaigbo streets behind former NEPA headquarters at Ama Jk by Royce road, Owerri. My family has a massive landed property there till date. Anyone conversant with the deplorable nature of such places so many years back, will appreciate my point. The places were reminiscents of a ghetto, a slum, and a sort of den of outlaws. But we lived on.
No government since the creation of Imo State in February, 1976, had ever bothered to ask how we fared or what can be done to ameliorate the terrible roads and general deplorable situation of these areas. But visit the areas today, you will marvel at the transformation Governor Uzodinma has done in there. Seeing is believing.
Oparanozie and Amaigbo roads are now tarred beautifully with dual drainages on both sides of the roads. The solar powered street lights mounted on the roads give the areas their serenity, and splendour at night. The scenario is awesome. The crime rate in those areas have also drastically reduced to 8.05 %according to available statistics.
This feat is also being replicated by the Governor in so many areas. Mohammed Buhari way, Chukwuma Nwoha road, 2nd phase of Naze /Ihiagwa /FUTO /Obinze road, Umuguma road, MCC by Chukwuma Nwoha road, Ikenegbu Layout Extention internal roads and so many others too numerous to be contained here, not forgetting the aggressive road revolution the Governor has just started in our rural communities. Please, consult Google for these facts if in doubt. Facts are sacred.
Today, the issue of non payment of pensions and salary is technically solved. My parents in-law are both pensioners. Their hitherto complaints of non payment of pensions have ceased. Same applies to payment of workers salaries. Imolites are indeed happy.
In the area of populist executive bills sponsored by the 3R government , a total of 18 Executive bills were signed into law in 2020 by the Governor. They include Imo State Revenue Administration (Amendment) Law No. 1 of 2020, Imo State Environmental Transformation Commission (Amendment) Law No. 3 of 2020, Covid-19 and other Dangerous Infectious Diseases Prevention and Eradication Law No. 4 of 2020,and Imo State Waste Management Agency Law No. 6 of 2020.
Others include Imo State Land Use Charge Law No. 6 of 2020, Imo State University of Agriculture and Environmental Studies Aboh /Okpala (Establishment) Law No. 7 of 2020, Imo State Governors Pension and Privileges (Repeal) Law No. 8 of 2020, Oil (Licensing and control) Law No. 9 of 2020, Imo State of Nigeria Traditional Rulers and Autonomous Communities and Allied Matters (Amendment) Law No. 10 of 2020, Imo State Polytechnic (Amendment) Law No. 11 of 2020, and 2020 Imo State Appropriation (Review) Law No. 12 of 2020.
Still on the list of executive bills signed into law by the Governor are, Imo State Bureau for the Coordination of Donor Assisted Projects (Establishment) Law No. 13 of 2020, Imo State Micro, Small and Medium Scale Industries Development Agency (Establishment) Law No. 14 of 2020, 2021 Imo State of Nigeria Appropriation Law No. 15 of 2020, Imo State Administration of Criminal Justice (Amendment) Law No. 16 of 2020, Imo State Waste Management Agency (Amendment) Law No. 17 of 2020, Imo State Bureau for the Coordination of Donor Assisted Projects(Establishment) (Amendment ) Law No. 18 of 2020, and Imo State Micro, Small and Medium Scale Industries Development Agency (Establishment) (Amendment) Law No. 19 of 2020.
Similarly, in 2021, a total of 10 executive bills were equally signed into law by the Governor,which included the Kingsley Ozumba Mbadiwe University (Establishment) Law No. 1 of 2021, which reverted the ownership of the university hitherto known as Eastern Palm University to the government, and people of Imo State. Before now, the erstwhile emperor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha had arrogated, and appropriated the ownership of the university to himself after building it with Imo State funds.
Apart from these remarkable achievements, the governor has recently directed the construction and rehabilitation of a total of 135 kilometres of rural roads in the 27 local government areas of Imo State. All these are to be carried out simultaneously. To ensure transparency, and close monitoring by the benefitting communities, these roads have been made public through series of publications in both the print, and social media outlets.
Other sectors like tourism, agriculture, sports and culture are all witnessing massive boost. A visit to the newly rehabilitated Umezurike hospital /Emmanuel College road will shock you. The beautification of the area confirms the Governor’s resolve to make the Nworie river axis, the tourism hub of the State. Any doubting Thomas is implored to please his sight by visiting the area in question.
In a nutshell, Governor Hope Uzodinma can be rightly described as an axiomatic affirmation of the saying that “action speaks louder than voice.” He is a vivid epitome of a silent achiever.
Today, and because of his spectacular performance within just two years in office, the opposition has gone dumb, and dysfunctional. This was clearly manifested in the victory of the APC in the just concluded Ngor Okpala bye-election. It is a known fact that Ngor Okpala people had for years been in political bondage, and were fed with falsehood and hogwash political promises courtesy of one man. But God finally heard their cries on February 26, 2022, and sent the Governor to liberate them. Since then, their joy knows no bounds.
It is imperative to also point out that the Governor has solidly placed Imo on the path of socioeconomic, infrastructural, political, cultural and tourism prosperity through his pragmatic style of governance. Those hitherto throwing pebbles at the governor has suddenly gone underground out of shame. Indeed, “the hood does not make the monk.”
In all these, Imo people are the winners because they have an altruistic and pragmatic Governor, who is serving with clean heart, and who is not propelled by avarice or quest for acquiring filthy lucre at the expense of delivery quality, and populist socioeconomic, infrastructural and political development to the good people of Imo State.