Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State has told appointees in his cabinet to forget their personal relationship with him in the past and relate with him as governor, if they intend to help him recover the state from its ruins.
Uzodinma, who gave me the advice on Thursday during a three-day retreat for executive members and other top government officials of the state at Concorde Hotel, Owerri, noted that he has personal relationship with most of the appointees.
The governor said: “As those who have come a long way with me in politics, I am sure you are all aware of where we are coming from. I need not remind you that all eyes are on us to know what we make of the mandate Imo people gave us. You also know that we are not in short supply of detractors and enemies of progress. You must therefore remain very vigilant and not allow yourself to bring dishonour to this administration.
“The fact that I have a personal relationship with most of you makes it necessary to sound this note of warning: There is now a new order with a great difference. We are now in government and no longer in our private lives. You must forget that personal relationship after this retreat and buy into a new order of genuine service to the government and people of Imo state.
“This means that you are duty bound to buy into my vision as the governor and live by it. More importantly wisdom demands that you separate that old personal relationship from your relationship with the governor and the government. Those who fail to do so may find that they may have themselves to blame”.
Uzodinma told the appointees to consider themselves really privileged to have made the list of the new Imo team.
“I painstakingly chose each and every one of you on merit based on your commendable pedigree and commitment to our struggle. But that is as far as your team membership goes”, he said.
The governor told them that to retain the membership of his cabinet would depend on four simple but important things which he said he was not ready to compromise.
According to him, “Tenacious commitment to duty, Result driven performance, Manifest honesty in the discharge of your duties and undiluted and undilutable loyalty to Imo people and my administration.
“I believe you know that there are thousands of Imo people who are eminently qualified to occupy the positions you are occupying, yet I choose you. You must therefore see the opportunity to serve Imo state as a privilege. And it is one privilege you cannot afford to abuse. You must bring yourself fully to bear in the discharge of your duties. In doing so, Commitment, results honesty and loyalty must be your watchwords. Let me make it clear that should you fail in this regard I will not hesitate to sanction you accordingly”.
He also warned them that they would be candidates for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) if they engaged in any acts of corruption because his government has zero tolerance for corruption.
“Any one of you involved in any corrupt practice will not only be removed from office but will be handed over to the relevant security agencies for prosecution. I am aware that some government officials are already tinkering with the idea of circumventing due process in the conduct of government business. Let me reiterate that anyone caught in any form of corruption will be a sure candidate for the EFCC.”