By Ogu Bundu Nwadike, M.A
In the Holy Bible, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, taught about how to differentiate a heir and a hireling. He said the heir leads the flock from the front and is willing to protect them against external interference and aggression. But the hireling sheepishly leads his sheep from behind and easily runs away at the face of rustlers.
Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd. And he told his disciples that they will do greater things than He did, because he goes to the Father in Heaven! No doubt, playing the good shepherd is among what today’s leaders that believe in Christ can do just like the Messiah! In the parlance of government and politics, such acts of the good shepherd can be realised as sacrificial leadership nationalism and patriotism. Incidentally, the harvest is ripe but the labourers are few. Many are called but few are chosen!
For his tested and proven capacity to charismatically lead people and redefine their lives for the best, His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Ogbuagu Emeka Ihedioha CON KSC FNIFST fits perfectly as a good shepherd and a sacrificial leadership nationalist and patriot. Long before his election by the people of Imo State to be their governor via the instrumentality of casting the highest number of valid votes on March 9, 2019, Gov. Ihedioha has been burdened by what can be done to transform the standard and condition of living of Ndimo.
This he began doing by ensuring that no matter how much or how little, his constituency projects reached each and every one of the 27 local governments in the State. The records are there to confirm that claim. It got to a point where each and every one of the 305 wards provided beneficiaries of the programmes and projects of the then Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, 2011-2015.
Since winning the election in 2019, he has continued with his character and conduct of providing people-oriented programmes and projects. There’s nothing he plans that’s not tied to the direct benefit of the people of Imo State. It’s not news that since his victory in the election was announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Gov. Ihedioha has had to contend and contain at the courts the same people that Ndimo rejected at the polls.
Since April 2019 till date, Gov. Ihedioha has remained the good shepherd and sacrificial leadership patriot, defending the mandate of Imo people that they willingly handed to him on election day. The enemies of Imo State, the fraudsters, the looters of Imo treasury, the criminals posing as leaders, the pretentious hirelings, have been dragging Gov. Ihedioha from Tribunal to Court of Appeal to Supreme Court.
Yet, as it will please the God Almighty, the God of Imo people, Gov. Ihedioha has remained unshaking and unwaveringly strong in his defence of the Imo governorship mandate. No governor in the 44 year history of Imo State has received the kind of attacks on Gov. Ihedioha by strange political pirates and power rustlers that invaded the State and people since 2011 and were personalizing and privatizing Imo State.
After eight years of Ndimo living in their bondage and enslavement, after eight years of suffering the sadist and masochist impoverishment of Imo people, Ndimo collectively said enough is enough. The 2019 governorship election was seen as an opportunity by Imo people to put into action their resolute resolve to end the neo-colonialism by the same divide and loot people.
With the finger of God evidently in it, Imo people on March 9, 2019 voted out of office the very evil and wicked cabal that scrambled for Imo State. God liberated Imo people through Gov. Ihedioha, His choice for Imo at this time. As at this March 3, 2020, it’s about one full calendar year of that election that produced Gov. Ihedioha as the governor of Imo State. It’s also about eleven months since the tribunal and court petitions and appeals began. Yet, Gov. Ihedioha remains at the front, leading Imo people to the Promised Land of Canaan.
Many have gone! But Gov. Ihedioha remains the last man standing. All governorship election petitions and appeals from the 2019 election have been concluded. But that of Imo State remains yet to be concluded. In principle, it means that Gov. Ihedioha remains the duly elected governor of Imo State. The judgement that produced Senator Hope Uzodimma as Imo governor has been punctured by a lot of evidence of its being invalid and a nullity. That means that he’s not yet the governor of Imo State. At best Uzodimma is a Made-in-Supreme Court governor!
Within his first seven months in office as at December 2019, Gov. Ihedioha had already set the solid foundation for the genuine rebuilding of Imo State in all ramifications. No sector was leaking, lacking or lagging. Finance. Budget and Planning. Internal Revenue. Commerce and Industry. Security. Local Government. State Civil Service. State Pensions. Education. Health. Environment. Technology. Public Utilities. Tourism, Arts and Culture. Gender. Youths and Sports. All are in the position for direct genuine rebuilding!
And for all his achievements and accomplishments within seven months, one way to articulate them and describe Gov. Ihedioha is that he has most ebulliently, boldly and courageously stood firm frontally in defence of the mandate given to him by faith, in trust and confidence by the good people of Imo State!
That provides enough impetus and reason for the display of love and support by Imo people for Gov. Ihedioha. Jesus said: “I know my sheep and my sheep know me”! In that same vein, Gov. Ihedioha can say: “I know my Imo people and my Imo people know me.” Yesterday, today, tomorrow and for a very long time, Imo people will remember that in 2019 they made a very good choice of a great charismatic leader in Gov. Emeka Ihedioha. To God be the glory!
*Bundu Nwadike is a political analyst