· Raises doubt on competence of supporters
As if there is shortage of qualified, credible and competent people to be appointed commissioners in Imo state, Governor Hope Uzodinma recently included the name of Hajia Aisha Ibrahim in the list of commissioner nominees he sent to the Imo State House of Assembly for screening.
When the list was made public and the media tried to ascertain the identity and class of personalities involved, it was discovered that Aisha Ibrahim who hails from Ejemekwuru in Ohaji/Egbema L.G.A but married to a Zamfara indigene was serving as a commissioner in her husband’s state of origin at the time of her appointment by Governor Uzodinma.
A government House source who spoke to this reporter said it was not ascertained if the woman’s consent was sought before the appointment.
There are also speculations that the Governor is contemplating removing some of the nominees including the person nominated by the deputy governor, Prof Placid Njoku. This, according to a reliable source explains the unnecessary delay in swearing them in considering the fact that their predecessors were sacked almost six months ago.
It is also speculated that Aisha Ibrahim is under enormous pressure to reject the appointment which raises many unanswered questions. “Besides, she can’t serve in the same capacity in two states simultaneously”.
When contacted, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Oguwike Nwachukwu said, “the governor is not aware that she was serving as a commissioner in Zamfara state at the time she was appointed. It could also be that she prefers the present appointment to the former; hence she accepted the offer and presented herself to the Imo State house of assembly for screening. And that does not constitute any problem neither is there anything wrong in that.”
However, a cross section of Imo people who are not comfortable with the development are of the opinion that, “it is a subtle indictment of some ardent supporters of the Uzodinma administration who are yet to be compensated for their loyalty.
“Besides, it sends a negative signal which tends to portray the state as lacking qualified, experienced and competent people to be appointed into such positions of trust and responsibility.”
On the inexplicable delay in appointing commissioners, six months after the first batch was sacked, they said, “Such vacuum in the administrative structure of the state speaks volume about the Uzodinma administration and gives credence to speculations that even when the commissioners are appointed, they are mere figure heads who are neither incharge nor in control of their respective ministries as all decisions, actions and approvals are taken and given at Government House by the governor and members of his kitchen cabinet who thereafter pass instructions to the commissioners who hardly make any input. The reason for this is not farfetched, especially when it has to do with the award of contracts.”