Nigeria is in dire need of quality leadership. The populace is earnestly looking for opinion leaders, men and women of integrity with unquestionable means of income. The teeming Nigerian youths are searching for noble men and women with pedigree and wisdom to draw inspiration from.
Chief Sir Anokam is one of such Nigerians that are being sought after. He is among the elites in the Nigerian society that have lived up to the expectations of both the young and the old. He is an elder statesman, a practicing Estate Surveyor with over 20 years of experience, an opinion molder cum leader who is known for his outspokenness and fearlessness especially when it comes to topical national issues.
He is the Attorney of host communities of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, FUTO. He is an employer of labour and a devout Christian. In this interview that bothers on his state lmo, he calls on the governor, Sen. Hope Uzodimma to extend yet again an olive branch to some perceived political bigwigs in the state on the other divide for lasting peace in the state.
He also x-rays the political vis-a-vis the security situation in lmo State and the way forward.
Your take on the uncomplimentary remarks against the Imo State governor and the prevalent crisis in the state?
There have been uncomplimentary remarks cum serious media attacks against the governor of lmo State and his administration. l will attribute it to a group of people that are not happy over his emergence as the substantive Governor of lmo State.
It will not be an overstatement to say that the former governor, Sen. Rochas Okorocha, and his team are not happy owing to the plans he had to succeed himself via his son-in-law which did not see the light of the day. On the other side too, Rt. Hon Emeka Ihedioha and his co-travelers are not happy, especially looking at the way they were thrown out of the Government House unceremoniously after seven months of occupying the seat of leadership in the state.
You and l know that lmo politics is based on leadership and followership. Each of these leaders that l mentioned above has his own followers who do his hatchet jobs and also depend solely on the crumbs that fall from their leader’s tables to feed on.
So, both the leaders and the followers are not happy because Governor Hope Uzodimma whom they least expected to be the governor emerged as the governor of the state.
How do you think the governor should handle the situation?
A governor is a good man, all he needs to do is to give lmo people good governance; invest in human capital development and capacity-building, ensure that workers’ salaries and that of pensioners are promptly paid, create enabling environment for business to thrive in lmo, create employment opportunities for teeming lmo youths which l know he had already started by creating a new Ministry of Entrepreneurship to cater for the youths (the ministry has lined up of programmes/investment opportunities meant solely for them).
The governor should also ensure that the infrastructural development of the state that he started is in top gear. l will advise the governor to pay little or no attention to those who are being political about his emergence because they have taken their stance and there is nothing that he does that will please them.
l will encourage the governor as the father of the state and the number one citizen to stretch his hand of love to all strata of the population. He should work with the intelligentsia and the professional groups. With that, you will see that over time we will begin to separate the wheat from the chaff: those who have not much to contribute to the wellbeing of the state.
You see what readily comes to mind is this eye-opening question of what are the perceived political foes and detractors struggling for. Your guess is as good as mine, they are struggling for the state treasury!
The essence of governance is not just to partake from the treasury but for one to ensure that the government does well. People should come up with concrete advice on the way forward for the state, if it is criticism, it should be constructive not name-calling and looking for ways to put clog in the wheel of progress of the state.
For example, there was a time the governor was being referred to as a Supreme Court governor just because he reclaimed his mandate through the apex court. It became the in-thing, there were accusations and counter-accusations. The question is; is he the first and only governor who emerged through the Supreme Court proclamation? The answer is no. The likes of the former governor of Rivers State and the current Minister of Transport, Rt. Hon Chibuike Amaechi and his Edo State counterpart, Comrade Adams Oshomole, and many others all reclaimed their mandates through the Supreme Court.
So, why the stiff opposition? We all know that it is a subtle way of trying to tarnish his image and reduce his reputation in the state and the nation in general. Our people should know that a governor is a governor whether he emerged through the declaration of electoral results or through the declaration of the Supreme Court.
What is your stand on the recent crisis in the state?
Those fanning the embers of crisis may not be far from us. If a proper investigation is carried out, you will find out that the remote cause of the crisis may be political. Have we had situations in this state before where crisis gave rise to killing and maiming of lmolites? Such an ugly situation can only be orchestrated by his political enemies or those who are against the government at the center or a particular tribe.
There is a lot of misinformation amongst the populace, so the governor should engage the services of seasoned media gurus to disabuse the minds of lmo people and at the same time update lmo people on the goings-on in the state. I am not talking about the governor surrounding himself with praise singers but with those whose duty would be to furnish the masses with the governor’s programmes, policies, and developmental giant strides.
Further, the governor should as a matter of necessity engage people with experience and integrity in his new cabinet. He should shun servants and people of questionable characters who amount to nothing politically in their various communities. He needs those who are great mobilizers and whose records speak for themselves.
What is the way forward with the opposition?
As it stands now, there is internal and external opposition. For the internal opposition, the governor knows their leaders and their various camps, he should extend an olive branch to them seizing the opportunity of the constituted APC National Reconciliation Committee to reach out to them. He is the governor to every impolite and by virtue of his position, the leader of the party in the state.
He cannot isolate them, if there are divisions, factions, and internal rancor, it may be difficult for us to win the forthcoming elections in the state. Whether he wants to re-contest or not, that is not the issue. He is a true party man, so he must ensure his party wins the election, being in enmity with those big friends of his who in fact joined the party before he is not the best. He should try and have an understanding with them.
The bigwigs, on the other hand, should come to terms with the fact that Senator Hope Uzodimma (Onwa Oyoko) is the governor of lmo State at least for the next four years. Bearing this in mind, they will all work together for the good of the state and the APC.
As for the external opposition, they should know that they are first lmolites before being in the opposition. Truth, fair play, and honesty should be their guiding principles knowing that lmo belongs to us all. We have no other state. In all they are doing, they should tread with caution, avoid propaganda and embrace positive/constructive criticism.