By The People's Bishop Kenneth Obi

I guess many in Imo State now realize that the state has since 1999 been on the wrong leadership pedestal. I also hope that the people now do realize that the comfort they had shown with leadership, at all levels, with persons of questionable character, has done the state more harm than good. It is hoped that the realization of this will spur action towards correcting mistakes of the past with the 2019 general election

It must now be obvious to Imo people that all politics is local and that there is really nothing spectacular about aligning with the government at the center. The most important thing in politics is that a state gets it right with its leadership. This simply means that every state of the Nigerian federation stands alone in defining how it pursues its development and how it interprets its desires. This has nothing to do with how the government at the center expresses its obligations. For the Imolite therefore, 2019 offers another opportunity to get it right and define the leadership that will explore the potentials of the state and transform it using same.

This, therefore, means that Imo people must rise beyond the demands of the immediate and begin to think of their state in future tenses. Being futuristic ought to make the people sit back and evaluate what they have been through in the hands of those they empower to administer the fortunes of the state including House of Assembly members, House of Representatives members, and members of the Senate. It also means that the people must begin to envision a state where integrity and vision are more cherished values than financial worth.

Sadly, the last has been the bane of leadership in the heartland state. Many will prefer to deal with the moneybag who promises transformation without questioning the sources of wealth. Our preference for such has brought the state to where it is today. Imo once noted for hard work and integrity, sadly took a dive into a pool where hardwork and integrity are no longer essentials for leadership. We forgot that in the labour maxim which says that if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys for workers lies a truth that if you worship cash, you get a Robin Hood, or Dillinger, for a leader. Those who have followed leadership evolution of Imo state since 1999 will realize that our decent started immediately we allowed persons of questionable wealth to return to hijack our traditional institution. They became our traditional rulers not an account of inheritance or merit, but on account of the fact of how much they threw around bastardizing the traditional leadership system in the process.  Having successfully hijacked the traditional institution while our youths clapped after working as foot soldiers, they embarked on a conquest process whereby likes were enthroned as red caps dominating the traditional cabinet and community leadership. Such characters eventually took over town union leadership. The conquest was total.

With this gradual erosion of traditional ethos and values, we began a descent into the system whereby our worse became our best. We, therefore, valued financial worth to cerebral worth. Our academics thus meant nothing to us because they did not have the cash to throw around. Those with technical know-how were derided because they did not have the millions to announce at community luncheon. Men of value and integrity took the back seat because our communities no longer valued them on account of their lean pockets. And without saying much, we told our children that it was better to come back with deep wallets than a bag of certificates.

The choice before Imo in 2019 is to correct the mistakes of the past by voting credible candidates, not men of questionable character.

Citizens for Righteousness and Social Justice is the Best way to Go Raising Anti Corruption Crusaders fighting Injustices in a Violent and Immoral Society of Nigeria for a Better Nigeria come 2019.

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