The EndSARS protest across Nigeria which was supposedly against police brutality turned out to be an encapsulation of all that bad leadership or governance has brought about in Nigeria. Of a truth, there is a disconnect between the country’s leaders and the people they are supposed to lead. The so-called leaders have no basic or rudimentary idea of what leadership is all about. Imo state has been a victim of all that bad leadership can unleash in a society. Our leaders have always struggled to occupy public offices, just for the material things that go with them and not for the service or responsibility associated with such offices. The result is that accountability to the people is relegated; transparency in handling public business is slaughtered on the altar of hideous corruption in all facets of government dealings; people are not allowed to participate in the business of their government as their views are never sought and there is no place for rule of law. All these have brought about the poor results of the leadership we have today. But the leaders seem not to have learnt any lessons therefrom.
Following the end of the protests, Governor Hope Uzodimma has been reported to have earmarked N6billion naira as palliatives to Imo youths. This money is said to be shared among 500,000 youths of the state and each youth is expected to receive N12 thousand only.
This obviously smacks of poor leadership from Gov. Hope Uzodimma, as this is an obvious display of a deep disconnection with and alienation of the people by his administration. In the first place, there is no data of Imo youths available. How will the 5000 youths be chosen? What is each youth expected to do with his own share of N12,000? And what can one do with the N12,000 in improving his life and possibly those of his dependants? Who will share this money to the youths?
Edge express newspaper is of the view that if the state government goes ahead with the disbursement of this N6billion to Imo youths, it would be a colossal waste of our commonwealth. A typical Imo youth is not in need of N12,000. He is in need of good governance where the principles of accountability, transparency, participation, responsibility, rule of law, etc, guide the day-to-day business of government. An Imo youth is also in need of employment opportunities, standard infrastructure like good roads, good running water, the security of lives and property, government initiatives towards industrialization and incentives in modern agriculture.
We urge the government to initiate actions towards quality and internationally competitive education and to address the real needs of our people. The N6 billion naira could be channelled towards building or creating an environment that would be investment-friendly and also partner with local and foreign industrialists, as well as experts/consultants in industrialization. Good governance is not about sharing money. It is about responding to people’s needs.