In less than two months now the newly elected Governors across the nation will be sworn into office to preside over the affairs of their various states for the next four years.
Imo State is one of the states in Nigeria that will have a brand new Governor sworn into office precisely on May 29, 2019. On that day the Chief Judge of Imo state will handover the reigns of power to the Governor- elect, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha at an elaborate Swearing-In Ceremony in Owerri the state capital.
In the same vein, the 8-year rule of Gov. Rochas Okorocha of the All Progressives Congress (APC) will end on May 29, 2019 and the Rescue Mission Government will be history and a big relief to Imolites who have been in bondage under the outgoing regime.
For this reason, all eyes will be on Gov. Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to hit the ground running. He cannot afford to waste precious time constituting his Cabinet.
He should by the end of this April have a Full List of his Cabinet Members and his Aides-ie Special Advisers, Senior Special Assistants and Personal Assistants.
While the Governor-elect will rely on the benevolence of the members of Imo State House of Assembly (IMHA) to clear his appointees for the post of Commissioners, he is Constitutionally Empowered to pick anybody he likes to be his aide.
This is where the former Deputy Speaker of Federal House of Representatives will have to be very careful not to make the mistakes his predecessors made by appointing persons whose actions and inactions will make or mar his electoral future.
Examples abound of political appointees whose negative vibes are perceived by the Imo citizens as the policy thrust of the seating Governor.
In the past regimes, Ndi Imo especially the opposition had latched on one misdemeanor of a government appointee to run the government down and create huge electoral loss for the Chief Executive.
To guide against such a situation, the Imo State Governor-elect must avoid the temptations of appointing persons who are known to be “professional sycophants”. He must also not select from individuals who are called Any Government In Power (AGIP).
This category of persons have served every government in Imo State since 1999. It means that these folks benefited from the government of Governors Achike Udenwa, Ikedi Ohakim and Okorocha.
They have consistently changed camps and are ready to dump the “Rescue Mission Government” even before May 29 in their desperate desires to join the new Governor and his new government.
Ndi Imo are in a hurry to forget the hard times they are going through under Okorocha’s “Rescue Mission Government” hence the urgent need for Gov. Ihedioha to look out for tested and trusted persons without excess baggage for appointments. He must do background checks on would-be Cabinet members and aides.
The Governor- elect should also try to be a listening governor, friendly and accessible. He has to beware of the activities of “Influence Peddlers” who will seize the opportunity of his inaccessibility to the public to perpetuate evil and put the blame on him.
Interestingly Imo State is blessed with people who can hold their own in all fields of human endeavours if given the opportunity and they are plenty. The state can boast of a large army of educated populace doing well in academics, local and international businesses, sports, industries, aviation, transport, culture, medicine, arts, media, agriculture and many others.
Gov. Ihedioha as an experienced public figure, politician and seasoned administrator will have no problem to navigate through the process of putting together a crack team of Cabinet Members and Aides which will be made up of credible Imolites and will also be seen as Round Pegs in Round Holes.
The Governor-elect should remember the wise saying that, ” You do not have the Second Chance to Make Frist Impression”.
Harry Awurumibe, is a public affairs commentator.