Last week, the Imo Stat Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, sacked six of his commissioners in what is seen a move towards repositioning his government. That is just one year after he constituted a large cabinet made up of people whc did him one favour or the othei on his way to the Imo State Government House. STEVE UZOECHI, Owerri reports hen that with the reality of massive expectation and urgent need to deliver hitting the governor in the face, he has embarked on a journey to shed some weight and refocus the machinery of governance.
WHEN Owelle Rochas Okorocha, the Governor of Imo State, said in a recent stakeholders' meeting that the Imo governorship seat was no longer for boys and mediocres, he presumably meant all facets of government and categories of government workers.
The same ideology may have informed his recent decision to show six of his commissioners the doors without much ado.
While the sacking of the commissioners remains a subject of small talks, another form of Tsunami is presently sweeping through the Government House, blowing away over 90 per cent of Governor Okorocha's advisory staff and aides - Special Advisers, Senior Special Assistant and Special Assistants.
It was gathered that out of the nearly 70 appointees of government in these category, only about 10 is certain of surviving the ongoing shake-up by the Okorocha administration.
Several informed sources aver that it recently dawned on Okorocha that while he was busy working himself to a frenzy, his appointees were busy exploiting the system, contradicting his policy direction, courting scandals or junketing.
Okorocha also realised that as he approached the second year of his tenure, there was need to re-invigorate his cabinet and expand the executive council so as to be able to face the socio-economic challenges strewn on his path which is especially complicated by the vagaries of the human nature.
The nickel may also have dropped for the Governor on the fact that he may after all be a captain of a team of players most of whom have lost their drive and cutting edge.
As ironic as it seems, while Okorocha was yet rolling up his sleeves for more work, some of his aides were settling down to a buffet expected to be ushered in by the governor's second year.
From all the attendant variables, the indications are clear that Okorocha tossed out the bulk of his aides last week largely on the ground of non-performance. The facts couldn't get milder than that.
As it is, Okorocha has never been a governor before and no matter how resourceful and intelligent he might be, there are still certain truths of governance he must learn on tnejob.
One of such realities is the fact that no one can run government by appeasement. No matter what any person may have done for you or how much an individual might have contributed to your campaign and electioneering success, it does not make such a person automatically qualified for government appointment.
Most of the commissioners and aides of the governor recently flushed out of government were supporters, side-kicks, apologists, sympathizers, friends of friends or kiths and kins who did this or that during the electioneering period.
Government positions are definitely not for everybody and appointments should be made according to competences.
A glimpse at the sacked commissioner of Tourism and Culture, Alex Ogwazuo, tells the whole story.
Ogwazuo before he was appointed commissioner had not worked anywhere before. He was more or less, a fresh graduate who was job hunting, ut because he was active in the campaign days of Okorocha, he landed the juicy commissionership.
He was instantly blown away by the responsibilities of the office which was more to him like a vicious whirlwind.
Ogwazuo was still struggling to get a grip on the job when he was hit by a series of scandals that culminated in his recent wedding.
Barely a month or two after he has supposedly doused the scandals with his recent wedding, he was shown the way out. Young Ogwazuo was reported to have shed tears on hearing his name listed for sack. A number of his senior colleagues were said to have consoled and advised him to get a grip on himself.
Chief Chris Ejike Uche, the then Commissioner for Public Utilities, is another commissioner in the same mould.
Chris Uche's only qualification for the job, is his being a national officer of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), the governor's political party.
He literally put every foot wrong until he was re-deployed to another ministry and eventually sacked.
The same was the story for Nelson Ezerioha, a striving lawyer who attached himself to the Rochas Okorocha political structure and Mrs. Chioma Ogoke who was in charge of media affairs for Okorocha during the pre-election era. She was thereafter appointed commissioner for commerce and industries, later redeployed and eventually sacked.
For most of these hangers-on, Okorocha created new offices and portfolios to accommodate them but his expectations from them were woefully defeated.
Today, with no result to justify their continued existence, the governor has reportedly scrapped most of such offices and either sacked or redeployed workers there in. The size of his cabinet apparently had increased the running cost and liabilities of government and also widened the error-margin in achieving set goals.
By shedding the dead weights and scrapping irrelevant offices and Eortfolios, Okorocha would ave cut the cost of running government and reduced the chances of mis-representation of his policy thrust by incompetent aides.
Seemingly, Governor Okorocha is repositioning and restructuring trie operational framework of his administration to be able to face the challenges of the next phase of the "Rescue Agenda" with great emphasis on enhancing productivity.
Only by so doing however, can Okorocha return to the Government House in 2015 on the wings of APGA, whose political platform is not as solidly grounded and funded as the PDPin Imo State.
Hence, it is a dire need of Governor Okorocha to post an unblemished performance which of course, is the only hope of silencing opposition, returning to the Government House or for seeking a higher office with the groundswell support of the people.
In Imo, no excuse is good enough to justify nonperformance or failure.
So Okorocha's recent 'weeding of the garden', to say the least, is the only sure-fire way of putting his house in order; improving on his execution of the rescue agenda for his second year while keeping his ambition in perspective.