By Dirisu Yakubu
Family members, friends and associates of former Imo state governor, Emeka Ihedioha, yesterday, threw up a surprise party to celebrate him on the occasion of his 56th birthday anniversary in Abuja.
Made up largely of members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP; the associates described Ihedioha as a leader who demonstrated sufficient capacity for governance in the short spell he held sway as governor of Imo state.
Uche Onyeagocha who was Secretary to the State Government, SSG, in the administration of Ihedioha told journalists that the event, which was attended by members of the National Assembly, business and political associates among others, was put together to celebrate his (Ihedioha) legacies and governance style.
He said, “We want to celebrate the opportunity God gave him to serve the people of Imo state even for a short period of time. We also want to celebrate how he was able to inspire the people of Imo state to look forward to the right way of doing things within the short period he was in office. We give God all the glory.”
Asked to elaborate on what distinguishes the stewardship of the former federal lawmaker from others, the former SSG said: “First and foremost, we succeeded an administration that ran down the entire system. We inherited a civil service where people lost confidence in themselves, because the procedure for promotion was gone.
“We inherited a government where workers and pensioners were owed their dues and entitlements in a very reckless manner. That was resolved and pensioners and workers were able to go home, not thinking whether their salaries and pensions will come or not. They just simply got alert.
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“He left a legacy of clean, very incorrupt administration, where contractors got their award letters, without having to know anybody in government. He birthed a system where you could plan the state and people would know what is to come in the future, where people had confidence and began to move to the state to invest in it. We were sure definitely the state was on the right track to developing in a manner that’s sustainable.”
Taking a swipe at the Governor Hope Uzodinma-led administration, Onyeagocha continued: “The person, who is there now as governor has continued to openly admit that a lot of what is he is riding on are things we put in place. He admits that the panel of enquiry, through commissions that he is working on are from things we set up. The only difference is that in regards to roads, they are not following the standards (we set).”
At the event were prominent members of the PDP including Col. Austin Akobundu, national organizing secretary of the party, ex-members of his cabinet amongst others.