For over two decades, Imo, just like many of her counterparts in Nigeria, has continually allowed unqualified career politicians to run the affairs of their state. Sadly, the state of the economy has reflected this. Everything has gone terribly wrong, as these politicians have not only succeeded in ruining the states, but they have also destroyed the very core on which leadership is built in a social contract: trust.
The good news, however, is that this ugly story can change for the better in Imo State. All that is needed is a switch in trajectory, in our mindset and in our resolve. Imolites are a resilient group. We are known to develop other parts of the world, and we can do the same in Imo. Imo can be rescued and positioned on the path of sustainable development and growth. All we need is to collectively decide to snatch the baton of leadership away from those who have no business being there in the first place—gluttonous politicians who mismanage, embezzle and turn state funds into a personal wealth building machine.
Looking at the dynamics of past political parties to ascertain the seat of governance in our state and also having overseen the helm of affairs and the furtherance of the ‘Igbo Cause’ till this very day, it is safe to say that the only credible, viable, prudent and undivided party to accomplish its fleet of decorum, peace, Unity, and Fair Justice for Imo as a State and Imolites has been none other than the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). Not only is it devoid of issues, but its candidate, Mr. Tony Ejiogu, presents an automotive/reassured drive with which Imo State can be rescued.
Having obtained a private copy of his manifesto, we can confirm that he provides the most viable solutions to the myriad existential challenges confronting Imo State.
He has not just promised to tackle insecurity headlong, he has itemised in the simplest of terms how he will do it. He has explained how he would engage the criminal elements using non-kinetic means to bring them to the table with the aim of ultimately turning their heads away from crime to rehabilitate them. Ejiogu has hinted to Imolites about how he is going to unleash the tools that have been made available by technology to fight unemployment. Ejiogu has promised to train, nurture, and empower Imo youths with the right skillsets to enable them to navigate the tech ecosystem and attain financial independence.
For nearly every problem Imo State is facing today, Ejiogu has, through research and extensive consultation, developed a smart, unique, and actionable solution. Under his leadership, every sector in the state—education, health, agriculture, rural development, infrastructural development, security, etc.—will be experiencing drastic positive changes.
Therefore, ahead of the gubernatorial elections on November 11, it is imperative that Imolites not forget what they have suffered. We must not forget the track record of these politicians who have ruled us. We must not forget how these ruthless men have raped Imo’s resources and made poverty an insatiable landlord in our land. We must not forget how much blood has been shed during their tenure. If we want something different, something different must happen.
What Imolites should be looking for is not a candidate who has the most money to throw around, for we will not mortgage our future by selling ourselves to the devil. We will no longer be tricked by any of these 419ers who tell the most beautiful stories or who make the most enchanting promises. We must not even be deceived by candidates who understand the nitty-gritty of the problems bedeviling the state, even if they eloquently present practical solutions to the problems. Rather, we will first ask the source of their wealth—if a candidate’s wealth was built on the back of government funds, we must reject that candidate. No one who participated in our downfall will suddenly become our savior.
In contrast, the APGA candidate Tony Ejiogu is not one who has embezzled government funds or caused numerous families to soak their pillows in tears. He has lived a quiet and humble life, yet he is accomplished. His family background, antecedents, intellect, experience, integrity, compassion, preparedness, dedication and humility clearly tell a story of the kind of governor Imo State desperately needs.
As Ndi Imo head to their polling units on the 11th of November, they must remind themselves that the choice to change their fortunes by first changing the trajectory of leadership lies at their fingertips. It will be in their collective interest to give Mr. Ejiogu their mandate to fix Imo for our children and future generations. This is a duty we owe posterity. All hands must be on deck for this mission.
On November 11, we must resurrect our state and further ascend it to greater heights.
By Michael Nwabufo Obinna
(President of Youths in Politics Organization, YIP New Generation Association)