Imo state

I have watched keenly to discover that ever since the attentive world rose to its feet to applaud the social empowerment of Deputy Governor of Imo State, Prince Eze Madumere and his numerous virtuoso performances within the period he has remained in office, the dogs of war seem to have been let loose and they are baying for his innocent blood.

Prince Madumere, his vision, position as the most vibrant, performing and silent achieving Deputy Governor in the sub-Sahara Africa have become the punching bag of miscreants on social media whose mercantile instincts mark out as cannon fodder in the hands of aggrieved and out-of-favour politicians.

Day in day out, they concoct lies and tasteless falsehoods to nibble away at his soaring popularity among the long-suffering people of Imo State, who are beginning to finally see that indeed, the humble Prince is better and energetic to knock them out whenever the game starts in earnest.

From all indications, the mission of the people who are sponsoring the endless calumny campaign against Prince Madumere, his believe and members of his household on social media is quite simple-to distract him from actualizing his dream of a new and better Imo State and whittle down his rising profile as a promising humble leader of Owerri zone. They figured that with his squeaky clean technocratic background and soar-away performance in over four years in office as Deputy Governor, he would dwarf so many wanna-be leaders if no muck was cast on him sooner than later. But what in concrete terms has Prince Eze Madumere done to earn their fear hence, his rumoured impeachment?

Close observers of Governor Okorocha and Madumere’s over six year’s administration can attest to the fact that for the first time in a long while, Imo State is witnessing a structured approach to governance. Governor Okorocha and Madumere’s joint philosophy of governance is an inclusive and open one which attracts everybody, but little wonder why some Internally Displaced Politicians (IDPs) are hell-bent on bringing the reputation of the number two citizen in the state to the mud, God forbid, their game plan failed on arrival!

Bringing his years in the commanding heights of the private sector to bear on governance, Prince Madumere had outlined his vision and mission from his days as Chief of Staff in the Government House to the present position he occupies. Right from the election campaign days, years back I may say, this humble Prince of Mbieri Dynastic extraction had told his people that his vision was to assist the Governor achieve the vision of the Rescue Mission mantra for the State to become the first Choice Investment Destination and a hub for industrialization and commercial activities.

However, their mission as well is to create a socially stable, business friendly environment that will attract both indigenes and foreigners to seek wealth creating opportunities in the State. So, Governor Okorocha and Prince Madumere know where they are going and how to get there. Again, it may not be certain to you, the reader but it would seem that Prince Madumere is probably the first Deputy Governor of Imo State to articulate a vision and mission statement that would guide him in office prior to his assumption of office. At the moment, Eze Madumere has done a good job of keeping his eyes on the prize. And that is why they are talking, kicking, fabricating, writing and fighting to “injure” his reputation, but they forgot that a portion in the Bible says, “touch not my anointed and do my messenger no harm”.

Again, in full appreciation of the security nightmare that had bedeviled some areas in the State before now through the years, Governor Okorocha and Prince Madumere jointly resolved that their leadership goals would have no chance in hell if they failed to tackle the security challenges in the State. So, they went after the kidnappers, armed robbers, public/street harlots, social miscreants and secret cultists who had made the State inhabitable with a figurative sharp knife. And what exactly did they do? Quite simple; they spent the Security Votes on providing security for the State; and ensured that Pensioners were paid, something that some past leaders either kept for themselves or shared with their godfathers. And that is why they are talking, kicking, fighting, fabricating and writing.

As a corollary to the success recorded in fighting criminals in the State, Okorocha and Madumere’s vision/mission Statements are being realized in less than six years of their administration. Imo State has become the new investment destination in West Africa. And once more, what exactly did they do? Again, quite simple – they set up an investment guru at the vibrant Agency/Ministry known as Internally Generated Revenue/Pension Matters and appointed some of Nigeria’s most brilliant hands to run it including the clergy.

The idea quickly knocked down the bureaucratic bottlenecks that prevented Pensioners from been paid their arrears long before the inception of the rescue mission administration. Immediately this was done,the state moved into new a territories and opened the state up for a candid assessment, it worked like magic. From inception, Imo State never had it so good in such a short time, numerous number of Pensioners got their package in full unlike what was obtainable before the coming into office in 2011. And that is why they are talking, kicking, fighting, fabricating and writing.

Again, learning heavily on their technocratic backgrounds, both Governor Okorocha and his Deputy, Madumere realized that for them to have enough money to find what they call the enablers that support the cardinal programmes of the rescue mission government’s strategy, they could not continue to depend on the hand-downs from the federal government; that something had to be done in the area of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). So, from an inherited IGR, they multiplied the state Internally Generated Revenue in some months, bringing it to the threshold of billions. And what, in fact did they do? Imo State is home to some of Africa’s largest markets with numerous investments that generate instant revenue.

It hosts quite a sizable chunk of Nigeria’s manufacturing firms. Governor Okorocha and his Deputy, Madumere simply opened bids for the investors and handed them over to competent hands, re-organized the various markets and opened an enlightenment campaign on the importance of tax compliance. They liased with neighbouring states to realise that people working in their areas and reside in Imo State should remit their tax into the state coffers, to which the residents of the areas and the government agreed.

Then, the people began to see the use of the taxes they pay in building roads, infrastructure, and keeping Okigwe, Orlu and Owerri zones clean; the sudden return of sanity to every nook and cranny of the state is something a sane person should appreciate and respond in kind. And that is why they are talking, kicking, fighting, fabricating and writing.

Again, before the coming of rescue mission government, Imo State had been polarized by the utter lack of cohesion at the centre to bring positive change to the state. The state needed a “bridge-builder” with deft social skills; someone who would climb down the moral high-horse to share a meal and a laugh with anybody. They found that in Okorocha and Madumere’s natural gregariousness. Before long, all the hitherto disparate forces from the maverick billionaire/politicians and even opposition figures have all found one reason or another to believe in the present government’s approach to governance. And that is why they are talking, kicking, fighting, fabricating and writing.

The final reason why they won’t stop talking of Governor Okorocha and his Deputy, Eze Madumere is because they had told people that Owerri, Okigwe, Orlu and Imo state at large were beyond redemption; that Owerri indigenes were anti-progress and had always stood in the way of plans to turn the town into a befitting capital of Nigeria’s most distinctive state.

But now that flyovers, including overhead bridges are springing up at the same time and changing the landscape of Nigeria’s most rustic state capital, they have come out talking, kicking and punching. With the security votes that they could not spend to secure Imo State, they have armed a band of youths that they could not employ and turned them loose on the social media to spread falsehoodswith a view to creating disaffection between Governor Okorocha and his annointed son, Prince Eze Madumere in whom he is well pleased, in order to hit up the polity.

These men have made it a habit to incite the people against the rescue mission administration with brazen lies and photo-shopped images. Their solitary mission is to derail Governor Okorocha and his deputy from the path of progress by keeping them busy fighting real and imagined enemies. And just in case you still don’t get it, their vision is to ensure that Imo State remains at the rungs of underdevelopment; perpetually aspirating for greatness and never attaining it.

By Esogibe Ikenna
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Esogibe Ikenna is an Opinion Moulder and Social Crusader

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