The Imo State 2019 inauguration lecture was held at the Ahiajoku Convention Center on Tuesday. The Master of Ceremony led by popular Nollywood Artist, Okey Bakassi started by ushering in the Chairman of the occasion, Mr Pascal Dozie who later introduced the kola nut in a traditional way.
In his opening remarks, titled ‘Paradox of Democracy’, he stated that politician now win elections by playing on people’s sentiment and in that way make promises which they later do not keep. He wandered why people who are good in campaigning, do not do well when voted into power.
Mr. Dozie later introduced a documentary detailing the rot in Imo State under the outgoing administration of Owelle Rochas Okorocha and thereafter vowed, “never again will our elected officials take us for a ride”.
The National Chairman of the People Democratic Party, Uche Secondus was the next to address the audience. He started by saying, “Today will be regarded as the day God has given liberty to Imo State”. Speaking further, he said, “Ihedioha is going to tell you the truth and nothing but the truth”.
As Secondus was leaving the podium after his speech, Chief Nnia Nwodo, the Chairman of Ohaneze Ndi Igbo came on. He was the first lecturer of the day to speak, he spoke on the topic ‘The problems of governance in today’s Nigeria: The Imo challenge’. His initial speech centered on the problems bedeviling the economy of Nigeria, disclosing that Anambra State has the least loan portfolio, due to prudent management, which was initiated by Former Governor Mr Peter Obi.
According to him, only 9 States in Nigeria can survive with their internal generated revenue without depending on Federal Government allocation. He went further to declare that recent research had indicated that by February next year, if nothing tangible is done to the economy, Nigeria will overtake India as the country living with the poorest people on earth.
Nwodo made it clear that the era of oil wealth has gone, as the world is currently moving towards the direction of IT. To Ihedioha, he said, “to make a difference, you have to be different”. He finally advised political jobbers to give the Governor-Elect, the chance to work for the State.
Chief Leo Stan Eke, was the next lecturer and he talked on the topic: ‘Creating a model Imo economy: A new dawn’. At the beginning of his lecture, he said, “the beginning of wisdom is peace in the State”, He disclosed that due to bad governance he had not slept in his house at Mbaitoli in Imo State for the past six years.
Eke advised Ihedioha to ensure that teachers are well trained in Imo, because according to him, “one cannot teach what he does not know”. He equally asked the governor elect to try to make the State inventor friendly, as that would encourage him and others to come and establish in Imo.
The last lecturer of the day was Dr. Ernest Ebi who acted as the Chairman of Ihedioha transition committee and a Former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria. He spoke on the topic: “Transition from poverty to wealth: Infrastructure as the linchpin”.
In his speech, he expressed worry concerning the poor state of infrastructure in Imo, blaming past administrating of not abiding in the culture of continuity. He disclosed that visionary leadership is key to success.
Dr Ebi presented the nation of Rewanda as a place where good leadership was put into practice in order to return the country to the part of prosperity, in spite of the genocidal war that almost consumed it.
The Former Anambra State governor Mr Peter Obi, while speaking during the occasion asked the Governor-Elect to always listen to those who criticize him. “Always listen to those who tell you that you are not doing well”, Mr. Obi said.
In his reaction to the concern of many of the speakers and other citizens of the state, Hon. Ihedioha promised to make Imo far better than it is today.
According to him, “Leveraging on the abundant human capital and natural resources the state is endowed with, we are capable of building an economy anchored on good governance, wealth creation, rule of law and sound management of the state resource.
“My mission is to rebuild, reposition and transform Imo State into a modern ecosystem for education, agriculture, industry, tourism, culture, sports, human capital development, entertainment, science and technology, thereby creating an enabling environment for sustainable economic growth and quality life for our people.”