By Ogu Bundu Nwadike
Any careful fan of mine may remember that, once upon a time during the days of electioneering verbal hostilities for primary elections and the general elections proper, I wrote that the 2019 gubernatorial election will be a cup final between Imo United FC and Agburu Rochas FC.
It is now part of our history that at the end of the 2019 general elections, Imo United won and Agburu Rochas lost. That, to me, is the practical evidence of democracy at work. Government of the people, for the people, by the people. What could be a better evidence of democracy than the victorious Imo United FC led by their team Captain and governor-elect, His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, CON, KSC?
Nobody that experienced the whole hog of the 2019 general elections will be oblivious of the fact that it was war of attrition of a sort. Incidentally, the elections have come and gone, but the political war is still raging. However, considering the truth in the axiom, “united we stand”, there is a great assurance that Imo United will, by the grace of God, always overcome. The liberating victory is for the entire Imo State and Imo people and not for Imo PDP or Ihedioha.
However, as is the case with every protractedly fought wars, the process of reconciliation, rehabilitation and reconstruction, the parabolic 3rs, follows after every final truce must have been achieved ti declare an official end to the war. In the case of Imo State, now that the State has been painstakingly liberated, the 3rs have already been activated. Reconciliation is going on, with most of the gubernatorial candidates of other political parties and their members forming part of the Transition Technical Committee (TTC) and the Inauguration Planning and Handover Committee set up by the governor-elect.
All aggrieved persons are getting reconciled. That magnanimous decision to embrace the opponents conforms with the much commended and applauded inclusive-government policy of Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha’s RebuildImo administration. Often, reconciliation goes with rehabilitation simultaneously. Hence, I can say that rehabilitation process is also in motion and movement. Some hitherto internally displaced politicians have been accepted and accommodated in the incoming ruling party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with full rights and privileges. That’s rehabilitation par excellence! And that’s what politics is all about. The ultimate aim is to engender a better society for the overall benefit of all the people.
Now, the crucial and critical stage is the reconstruction. That, incidentally, happens to be the primary agenda of the RebuildImo administration. Thesarus lists “rebuid” and “reconstruct” as comfortable synonyms. That means, in a way, that the third of the 3rs stands for “rebuild” which is same as “reconstruct”.
It brings us to the central theme of this short essay. I received it as the caption explained. Indeed, the reconstruction or rather rebuiding of Imo State will not be a 100-metre dash of the parabolic Mary Onyeali, Chidi Imo, Carl Lewis, Ben Johnson. No! Rather, it will be a million-man march in the spirit of democracy and the victorious Imo United FC. First, it is a universal phenomenon that it is easier to vandalize, devastate, demolish and destroy as Rochas Okorocha did that to rebuild as Ihedioha plans to do. In fact, age and experience have also enabled me to learn that it is a bigger stress to rebuild than to build. The difference in both words is more imirimious than the “re-” prefixed to the root word “build”.
The RebuildImo project, therefore, will be a task that demands carefulness, patience, and steady processes, lest the condition of Imo gets worse than the better-forgotten dark period of 2011 to 2019. We’re thinking and talking of how to restore sanity and normalcy in the totally disorganized civil service, state assembly, public schools at levels, hospitals at all levels, agriculture, city and rural roads, public water supply, public electricity supply, transport sector, culture, tourism, security and other ingredients of modern, civilized society that have degenerated from little to near nothing from 2011 to 2019.
Of course, as the English say, “more haste, less speed”. There is a sense in that as far as the incoming RebuildImo administration is concerned. Expectedly, there are great expectations by Imo people from the governor-elect and the incoming administration. After a protractedly endured period of deprivation and depravation by the out-going, inclement regime, any and indeed every Imolite nursing great expectations will be right. However, like most clinical dislocations and fractures require time to properly heal, Imo State that is so comprehensively fractured will require some patience while she regains her rightful structure.
The modalities will certainly unfold with each passing day of the incoming administration. And there are such big deal of modalities that a short essay as this must not be overwhelmed with copious explications. The governor-elect has promised before his election and since thereafter that he an apostle of due process and respect for rule of law will abide by those essential ingredients of good governance in the delivery of government during his tenure. That means he will work and deliver but with due time for guaranteed quality projects. Nothing should be hurried if standard, durable quality projects will be achieved.
As stated earlier, the modalities cannot be detailed here about how so many imbalances in the State will be balanced for a better Imo State to emerge. It is simply a very long story for another day. We must suffice, however, with the confidence and confirmation that the governor-elect is a man of proven all-round capacity and capability, who will fulfill all his promises about rebuiding the Imo State that God liberated through him.
All that every true Imo person should do is to remain patient for a little more time while the incoming administration sets its bearings and compass. Then, Imolites must stand with the incoming government and accord it due support and encouragement. That way, the long process that it should take to rebuild the State may become shorter. As the handover draws nearer each passing day, let all Imo people prepare to patiently and purposefully join in the task of rebuilding our dear State. It will require more of a thoroughly calculated and collective million-man march than a 100 metre race. Thank you.
…Nwadike is a journalist, author and public affairs analyst.