By Princely Onyenwe, Imo
Four main issues have been raised by pundits over the recent open letter by High Chief Willie Amadi to Imo state governor, Senator Hope Uzodinmma. One is that as an appointee in the Uzodimma administration, (Amadi is Chief Technical Adviser to the governor on Environment) Amadi ought not have made the letter to his boss public.
The second is that the (open) letter is evidence that all is not well with the Uzodimma administration, while the third is that he wrote the “letter” out of frustration of not having access to his boss. There is even a forth; which is that Amadi had foreknowledge of an article written by one Njoku Macdonald Obinna in which he threw tantrums at the governor in a pretentious bid to rationalize Amadi’s open letter. But these postulations are obviously big fallacies.
Agreed, it is unconventional for political appointees, believed to have access to their principals, to go public with a piece of advice to the latter or other members of the administration in which they are serving. But this unwritten rule is basically aimed at guiding against a situation where a disgruntled appointee would want to wash the dirty linens of the administration in public.
This is not an attempt to defend High Chief Willie Amadi but the point ought to be made clear that the author of the article in question – Obinna – is a meddlesome interloper who was most likely briefed by a clique that saw an opportunity in Amadi’s innocent mistake to get even with the governor.
To play the devil’s advocate, Obinna’s article was so cunning that it is possible for even the best of Amadi’s well wishers to fall into the temptation that he (Amadi) knew about it.
In other words, there is a danger that insiders of the Uzodimma administration, its supporters and admirers may well become so blind folded by their initial perception of and anger over Amadi’s letter that they may fail to realize that Obinna was merely being used to mock him for obvious reasons: to regret his bold steps to cross over to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Any other reading of the article outside this context would be injurious to the quest to debunk the foolish claim that Amadi’s letter is “an ominous sign that all is not well”.
Yes, Amadi made a mistake by making his advice to his boss public but I make bold to say that in that mistake would be found one of the best image-boosting outings for Governor Uzodimma and his administration.
Witness the precision with which Amadi presented what would have taken an average commentator one full newspaper page. In six concise, bullet-point, paragraphs, High Chief Amadi crystallized those positive but rare attributes of Governor Uzodimma which his critiques would never want the public to know about.
Take Paragraph One of the “letter”, for example. It opens with the phrase, “REMAIN FOCUSED”. The author did not ask the governor to “BE FOCUSED”; which means that he was emphasizing the point that the governor is already “focused”. There can be no better testimony to His Excellency’s show of capacity than that.
Or take the next paragraph which reads: “CONTINUE TO APPLY AND DISPENSE THE PEOPLE’S MONEY WITH THE FEAR OF GOD FOR THE BENEFIT AND GOOD OF IMO PEOPLE”. The key word here is “Continue”
The author didn’t say “Begin” or “Start”;which means that the governor is ALREADY doing what the author is saying: Dispensing the people’s money prudently and with the fear of God.Again what better thing can anybody say about Governor Uzodimma at a time when the so called opposition haulsall sorts of invectives at him but which are almost always sheer fallacies and lies?
I wonder why anyone would quarrel with the public display of such a beautiful portrayal of the unmistaken positive attributes and trajectory of the Uzodimma administration, the paranoia of the “see nothing and say nothing” unwritten rule of the public service notwithstanding.
I have come across some advertorials personally signed by appointees but whose contents are nothing but evidence of unbridled sycophancy; with the result that they merely end up denting the image of the governor and his administration. If Amadi had dubbed his write-up a “congratulatory message” – as other appointees do – instead of an “advice”, I am certain that we wouldn’t be talking about it today.
I also wonder why those who gave Obinna his brief were irked that Willie Amadi, a maverick, whom they described as a fellow with “unmatchable courage”, “uncommon candor” and “fearlessness”, decided to say the truth about Governor Uzodimma and his administration regardless of the vehicle in which he conveyed it. In other words, if Amadi is fearless and so courageous as they admit, why then quarrel with him for showing the same in this case.
Is courage only to be applied when someone is being vilified or in telling lies? Which brings us to the claim that Amadi wrote out of frustration of not having access to the Governor. This is nothing but a figment of the imagination of the author.
The Willie Amadi we all know could not have spent four months seeking for the attention of the governor (as Obinna claims)who, apart from being a personal friend and long time political ally of his, signed him on to oversee a sector that the governor has openly admitted is very critical to the strategic vision of his administration.
Even so, the tone of Amadi’s letter in no way suggests that he was writing out of frustration no matter how pretentious he might have wanted to be.
Obinna insinuated that Amadi was criticizing Governor Uzodimma’s “elitist style of leadership”, when in fact Amadi in Paragraph Four of his letter advised the governor “not get demoralized by criticisms of your style of leadership …” Imolites are discerning enough to realize when a commentator or critic wants to input his or her own meaning on what someone else said.
All said, Njoku MacDonald Obinna’s article, is no more than another illustration of the penchant of the so called opposition elements in Imo state to turn every white into black for the self serving partisan interest of their leaders who do not believe that power belongs to God.
Fortunately at the end, Obinna, perhaps inadvertently, let out the real motive behind his article when he wrote: “Being ignored or sidelined by a governor whom he sees as a partner in progress is not only embarrassing but a clandestine call to make him reconsider working with the 3R government especially as most of his former political allies in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, through the background social engineering of Senator Sam Daddy, are gradually returning back to their first love where they are completely celebrated”. Really?
Many thanks to him and his tactless ignorance because the good people of Imo state now have a better idea of where the blackmail is coming from and have taken judicious notice of that. But how far they can go with a man of High Chief Amadi’s caliber, a utility player in the 3R government in such a foolish trajectory is a matter for another day.
In the mean time, my advice to the good people of Imo state is to ignore the antics of opportunists, particularly among the so-called opposition elements, who want to make a mountain out of a mould. It is legitimate for the PDP to want Willie Amadi back to its fold, but it should employ conventional, more sophisticated ways of wooing him and not resort to cheap blackmail.
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