The long awaited Imo state gubernatorial supplementary election is at the verge of conclusion with Owelle Rochas Okorocha expected to be re-elected governor. While most of us who have ardently supported Rochas Okorocha on the basis of the strides he has made as governor, I acknowledge the tenacity of Emeka Ihedioha and his supporters, even in the face of his loss. This is what democracy is all about – having a philosophy and believing in that cause.
Victory for Owelle Rochas Okorocha is victory for all Imolites. We may not agree on a particular way of delivering public service, but as democrats, we all believe that “vox populi, vox dei” (the voice of people is the voice of God).
While I and many Imo progressives have a heightened sense of relief that Okorocha will be re-elected governor, all of us, no matter our political persuasions, have great expectations from the governor. We have expectations that he will consolidate his efforts in state security, education, infrastructure and job creation. We have expectations that a child born in Imo state, no matter the social or economic status of his or her parents, will have the potential to strive and achieve his or her greatest human potentials. We have expectations that the governor will not use his renewed powers to truncate the will of the masses and thwart efforts to grow our democracy within and outside the borders of our state. The progressives also have the expectation that he will not exclude any locality in his developmental agenda because of party politics.
Party loyalty is as important as loyalty to the electorate whose interest the governor represents. The governor’s priorities should include addressing the concerns raised by the opposition during the campaign trail, including allegations of sidelining localities considered opposition strongholds in his developmental agenda. Most of us who have been insulted for supporting GMB and ORO would want to look back four years from now with a sense of relief and a feeling of “mission accomplished” on the strength of the governors strides in the state and GMB’s national leadership.
For the opposition, failure is the other side of success, and while it is understandably disappointing to assume the mantle of opposition, it is only poised to strengthen our democracy. Being in opposition in advanced democracies provides an alternative government for the electorate should the government of the day falters. The opposition, both federally and in the state, needs to reinvent itself, re-organise its internal resources and re-strategize to hold the government of the day accountable on its promises. Jumping ship and decamping to the ruling party will not grow our democracy. Democracy is about ideals and philosophies that transcend failures and challenges. It is about having faith in your beliefs and propagating that faith religiously.
Finally, as Imolites, no matter our political persuasions, and in spite of the outcome of today’s election, we need to embrace each other as one people, bound by a common destiny with the ultimate collective aspiration of seeing a better, more prosperous Imo state.
God bless our dear governor
God bless the crusaders of free speech and democracy
God bless our great state, Imo
Dr. Pedus C Eweama (Co-ordinator, Imo Progressives Alliance)
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