Imo State, formerly known with the sobriquet the *”LAND OF HOPE”*, later renamed the *”EASTERN HEARTLAND”* is blessed with plenty human and material resources.

This notwithstanding, since the return of democratic rule in 1999, Imo State has not optimised these potentials as it has suffered a lot of setbacks chiefly because of lack of continuity in its government policies and programmes.

Simply explained, the last twenty years has seen Imo State cascade through three elected Governors all of whom came into office with their different individual mantras and policy thrusts some of which irreconciliably antagonized themselves instead of consolidating on recorded gains.

In these last two decades, Imo State had moved from Governor Udenwa’s *”Redemption”* of eight years to Governor Ohakim’s *”New Face”* of four years and to Governor Okorocha’s *Rescue Mission* of eight years.

Puttting it mildly, these different epochs under four different political parties witnessed little or no continuity.

For the records, these political parties are-
(a) PDP under Governor Udenwa (1999-2007).

(b) PPA and later PDP under Governor Ohakim (2007-2011).

(c) APGA and later APC under Governor Okorocha (2011-2019).

As though these policy disconnects were not enough, the shortlived *”Rebuild Agenda”* under Rt. Hon Ihedioha of PDP set out from day one to reverse all policies and programmes of the *”Rescue Mission”* Government it succeeded by default.

Even before being sworn into office on 29 May 2019, that *defacto* PDP regime of Hon Ihedioha did not pretend for one second that, because of political differences, policy reversals and abandonment of ongoing programmes and policies of the previous APC Rescue Mission administration will be its cardinal objective.

This comical attitudinal dissonance in high public office resulted in Imo State being set back in all aspects of governance even as critical infrastructure built with taxpayers money by the past Rescue Mission regime were either deliberately destroyed, dismantled, abandoned or allowed to go to waste.

The recent emergence of Senator Hope Uzodinma as the dejure Governor of Imo State and his open declaration that he will continue with policies and programmes of his predecessors in office has made the visible difference and opened a new and exciting vista.

Truly, this stands him out as a *New Sheriff in Town* with the message of Prosperity.

Going by recent happenings in Imo State since Governor Uzodinma’s assumption of office as Governor, one can confidently say that the good old days are gradually returning in Imo governance space.

Government decisions are now taken for overriding public interest and not for vendetta or mischief or “political pull him down” purposes.

For those who may not know, government is a *continuum* or a continuity.

This means among other things that at all material times, government is and remains one although different people will at different times be at the helm of affairs.

The hallowed principle of continuity confers certainty and credibility to government business and ignites or restores investor’s/contractor’s and other stakeholder’s confidence when dealing with government.

With continuity in mind, no one is afraid to deal or transact with or work for government because of fear that successive governments may unilaterally discountenance legally binding obligations entered into by the previous government(s).

By the cherished principle of continuity, good policies and projects including obligations, assets and liabilities of previous administrations are to be inherited and continued by successive governments while unconscionable ones will be discarded or discontinued in overriding public interest.

Any progressive society must take and operate Government as a *continuum* and Imo State cannot afford to be indifferent to the gains of consolidation of the dividends of democracy that go with continuity.

It is on this score therefore that we join men and women of enlightened consciences to commend Governor Hope Uzodinma of APC for acting in good faith by committing to Continuity and Consolidation as a sure route to Prosperity.

The *New Sheriff in Town* has demonstrated this by allowing contractors put together by the sacked PDP Rebuild regime to continue to work on their various project sites uninterrupted.

This is great!

Imo will win big with this unlike those who would have cancelled or torpedoed everything they met on ground out of pettiness.

He has also authorised the payment of seven months arrears of salaries of Imo Community Watch and allied Security operatives which the outgone Rebuild Agenda regime did not want to pay because these Imo indigenes working in conjunction with the regular security agencies to keep our rural communities safe were “appointed by Rescue Mission Government”.

On this continuity pedestal, we herald the news that the world class *JUSTICE OPUTA HIGH COURT COMPLEX in OWERRI* built by Distinguished Senator Okorocha when he was Imo Governor will soon be put to the intended good use courtesy of the determination of Governor Uzodinma to continue with good policies of his predecessors.

After a familiarisation visit to that facility, Governor Uzodinma is quoted to have said the following-

“…The New Imo State
High Court Complex
is the best in the
Country with State of
Art Facility built by
the past Government
of His Excellency
Senator Rochas

What a staresmanly disposition.

This is therefore to applaud the Governor for his timely decision to have that facility put in use and to also implore him to do all within his powers to make this happen real quick considering that the facility was unreasonably abandoned in the last eight months that Hon Ihedioha held forte.

The state of court infrastructure in Imo State was nothing to write home about until that gigantic edifice was built by Governor Okorocha and commissioned by no less a person than Hon Justice Ibrahim Tanko Mohammed (then Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria and now substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria).

Instead of continuing by doing the needful to make that facility to be conducive for court business, it is regrettable that Hon Ihedioha chose to play peurile politics with that humongous Justice Oputa Judicial complex by allowing the place built with huge taxpayers money to lie waste and to be overgrown with weeds because he never wanted any credit to be given to the Rescue Mission Government forgetting that government is a *continuum.*

Good leaders never care about who takes political credit because leadership itself is selfless service.

Ultimately, the people know, and posterity records, which leader was altruistic or self serving.

The need for Government to be run as a public trust and with the best of intentions cannot be over-emphasiszed as there is no way everything about a previous regime will be so bad that nothing good can be said of it or salvaged from its programmes or projects.

Lest we forget, late *General Abacha* with all his not too good human rights record as Military ruler established the *NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION* in 1995 and thereafter successive governments have developed and nurtured that Governmental agency to an enviable position today.

Talk of a bad man bringing on board a good policy.

That is a practical example of what is meant by running government as a *continuum* in overriding public interest.

Now that the New Sheriff in Town has started on a very good footing by showing commendable political will to do the needful along the line of continuing with good policies and projects of his successors in order to create a prosperous Imo State, Imolites are enthusiastically waiting for the clear policy thrust of his administration on the laudable Free Education at Levels Policy and on the 27 General Hospitals that are at different levels of completion in the 27 LGAs of Imo State.

He will also need to quickly revisit the ultra-modern Police and Prison Headquarters in Avu along Portharcourt Road Owerri that were abandoned by the Hon Ihedioha Rebuild Agenda just because they were constructed by the Rescue Mission Government of His Excellency Rochas Okorocha.

Clearly, Imo people will stand firm with Governor Uzodinma on this Continuity for Prosperity Policy because we cannot make progress with *”one step forward and two steps back”.*

Happily, Imolites are looking forward to better times under the *Prosperity Governor* because when the righteous is on the throne, the people rejoice.

A new normal is possible!

*Prof Obiaraeri is my name, the ☆☆☆☆☆ 5-Star Civilian General etc.*


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