“I believe it is necessary that we seek the views of our patriotic citizens. We will always give them the platform to come and make inputs and bring professional ideas, because I understand the precision of which engineers deal with problems.
We have noticed collapse of bridges as a result of no reinforcements. We are having critical challenges on our roads. We are in a society where those who have failed want to drag us down. It makes sense for us to have you as a team to deal with this matter and come up with solutions. Kindly look at these issues and give us ideas on how best to proffer solutions to our challenges.”
Those were the words of His Excellency, Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha, when Imo State Society of Engineers and allied Professionals paid a visit to Government House to find lasting solution to the issues of flooding in the State.
The Governors meeting with Professional bodies is a reaffirmation of His resolve to administer participatory and people oriented governance to Imo people. A government that is inclusive irrespective of where you come from, who you are and what you do. For the man Ihedioha, it’s about what you can do to benefit the State and not just what the State can do for you.
A more imposing leader, like the one Imo had in the past would either play down on the professionalism of these egg heads or assume a posture of an engineer with over 30 years experience. But Gov Ihedioha words radiated a man who believes in engaging professionals for maximum impact and positive results.
As the Chairman Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Owerri, Engr. Dr. L.O Uzoigwe, stated during the meeting, the Governors action was the first time in a long while in the State where a serving Governor would interface with professional bodies to look for solutions to a state issue. He recounted that the massive flooding witnessed recently in the city of owerri could have been avoided if the former governor, Rochas Okorocha, heeded to professional advice from relevant bodies.
According to Dr Uzoigwe, the urban renewal program of Okorocha’s administration which was needless led to the blocking of drainage systems and distorted the city’s master plan. The Chairman equally said that the body raised alarmed on the standard of infrastructure built by the former administration, notably the Amakohia and Orji flyovers, as they didn’t meet the least quality of a flyover.
Going forward, Governor Ihedioha has identified the roles of professional bodies in rebuilding the state and has charged the umbrella body of Engineers and other allied professionals with the issue of finding a lasting solution to the incessant flooding menace which if not handled will lead to a colossal damage.
The engineers know the typography of Owerri and the water channels, hence tackling the problems from the foundation wouldn’t be an impossible task for them. Essentially, the body is parading many Imolites with multiple experiences. It’s is believable that in the cause of their investigations and suggestions, the interest of the state will be put first before any other thing.
One thing to note also from the Governors action is that being a Governor does not make one a “know it all”. Being a Governor does not make one an Engineer over night or a mechanic, tailor, shoemaker, electrician and a carpenter. He acknowledges that despite being the number one citizen, the knowledge and contributions of others are not only significant but are very important.
Indeed, a governor should not be lacking in basic knowledge of every field of human endeavor, but any governor that wants to achieve landmark success should not underscore professionalism.
No doubt, the state is in for a new look in every facet. Engaging experts to investigate problems, proffer solutions and be actively involved in the implementation of the solutions proffered, can only be done by a government that is sincere, purposeful and committed to making Imo better.
Imo is indeed moving forward.
Aic Akwarandu writes from Owerri.