As if bowing to the spate of criticisms orchestrated by the major opposition political party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which had earlier referred to the administration as “Push and Start”, the Executive Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma is most likely going to assign portfolios to his over 89 political appointees within the second week of May, 2020. The assignment of portfolios has been long over-due and severally criticized as improper.
As revealed by a government house source, the appointees are also to forfeit their first three (3) months salary as their contribution to stabilizing the 3Rs administration.
Though the Governor was sworn-in on the 15th of January, 2020, he could not appoint commissioners until after one month. Instead he ran government businesses exclusively with the trio of Nnamdi Anyaehie as Chief of Staff, C.O.C Akaolisa as Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice and Cosmas Iwu as Secretary to the Government of Imo State. This makes it the second time the Abajah Ehime Mbano Cosmas Iwu would be appointed Secretary to Government. The first was under Ikedi Ohakim.
Despite sending their names for screening to the State House of Assembly, they were not inaugurated after clearance until the end of March, 2020. It was however in the peak of the Coronavirus pandemic that Governor Hope Uzodinma amidst tension over the wide spreading Covid-19, assembled people at Imo Ahiajoku Centre Owerri, where he subsequently swore-in the appointees.
The source revealed that until now, none of the appointees has been pay-rolled, not even their data capturing had been done since after their appointments. One of the commissioners lamented that the N2 million given to each of them to renovate the commissioners quarters could not clear in the banks hence they have been squatting with friends and operating from Concord Hotels Owerri.
Speaking to this reporter on condition of anonymity, one of the appointees said that most of them clearly understand the predicament and challenges facing the government and will be willing to let go. “All we need is for the government to succeed and no amount of sacrifice is too big to achieve the goal of the government”, he stated. Others are however grumbling against such act that denies them their monthly remuneration since the federal statutory allocation has not reduced drastically for now, it appears the Governor has fervently adopted the push and start policy in all his programmes.