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Thursday, June 20, 2019

DISSOLUTION OF COUNCIL CHAIRMEN, BOARDS AND PARASTATALS, A BOLD STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION — AIC AKWARANDU



"I had no second thought when news of the demolition of “Akachi” - a mysterious symbol of no economic or social value to Imo State - broke just a day after the inauguration of Governor Emeka Ihedioha.

I noted that the man Imolites elected will not play hide and seek.

And I explained to those who were not clear on the issue that the Ihedioha I have known over the years is a courageous and deliberate former lawmaker whose thinking does not exist in a vacuum.

I told them that if the governor wants to bring down the evil statue, he does not need to send a representative to do it, rather he will go himself in the full glare of the public to take the action.

I came to that position knowing that Ihedioha always stands out when it is time for decision making.

He does not rely on your position but must make his clear even if it’s in line with yours. A rare show of sagacity and most importantly courage.

Looking at what former Governor Rochas Okorocha did on his first day in office, some school of thought who listened to Ihedioha’s inaugural speech identified some missing items they considered necessary and immediate.

One is the dissolution of illegally appointed local government chairmen, vice chairmen and councillors. Another is the dissolution of all illegally constituted boards, agencies and parastatals.

Topmost in the expectation of Ndi Imo is the dissolution, and if possible, banning of the entire membership of ISEAC which oversaw the kangaroo process that produced the illegal council officials under Okorocha.

At the end of every tunnel is light.

When news came on June 17 that Ihedioha had approved the dissolution of the above mentioned bodies, the people received it with a great sigh of relief, thanking him for taking a bold step towards the Rebuilding of Imo State, considering the importance of the local government system.

Some commentators said the governor took so much time in arriving at the decision, but it’s important to note he is always deliberate in his actions because he is a man of due process and order.

If Ihedioha had found credible the process that created these bodies, he would have worked with them considering his belief in ONE IMO despite party affiliation, religion or clan.

However, just as the Bible says, any structure built on a weak foundation can never stand. The structures that brought these individuals into office are not only weak but also illegal.

While Okorocha took such actions to create problems for the incoming administration, he was setting a bad precedent not just in Imo but across the nation.

Everyone is aware that the process that brought the council officials into office was both illegal and marred with irregularities.

An electoral process should be a contest between political parties rather than what was witnessed in Imo then where the government selected its cronies into elective positions without considering the opinion of voters.

Similarly, the kangaroo approach of setting up boards, agencies and parastatals, and even backdating their appointments, clearly showed that Okorocha was only playing god and not ready for handover.

Ihedioha’s dissolution of the illegally constituted bodies is a major achievement considering the roles the local governments will play in the rebuilding process.

He acted in line with the recommendations of the state Assembly under the past government.

The Assembly, led by Chinedu Offo, recommended for immediate dissolution of all boards, agencies and appointments made by Okorocha.

It also recommended the sack of the electrical body that conducted the council election held under Okorocha and indeed their waste products, the chairmen, vice chairmen, and councilors.

This indeed a step in the right direction.

As Ihedioha moves in this direction of due process and order, I urge Ndi Imo to continue to support him and the entire Rebuild Imo Team.

Imo is now on the path of greatness. And it is moving forward in our own time."

Akwarandu writes from Owerri, Imo State.

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