I was opportune to have interviewed Prof. Uche Ikonne, when he was an aspirant. This was before his emergence as the gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Abia state.
In the interview that took place in his country home, Agburuike Nsulu in Isiala Ngwa local government area, Prof. Ikonne, a successful academic spoke on many issues such as his achievements at both Abia State Polytechnic Aba and Abia State University, Uturu, why he wants to succeed the incumbent Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu among others.
During the interview, Prof. Ikonne let the cat out of the bag or spilled the beans as they say in organised crime by revealing the laudable programmes he intends to pursue if elected.
The programmes which are encapsulated in a 5-point agenda, is a practical demonstration of his preparedness to offer quality leadership.
As an aspirant, Prof. Ikonne, an erudite scholar had already created a blueprint for fast tracking Abia’s development.
This is happening at a time when other aspirants on the platform of the same party were busy touring the 17 local government areas of the state with the aim of persuading the party’s delegates to vote for them during the primaries.
One therefore wonders why some people are bent on distorting the fact that Prof. Ikonne was not prepared for leadership.
Before I digress, I will focus on one of the 5-point agenda; good governance.
Although Prof. Ikonne is not a familiar name in Abia politics before now, but he is aware that good governance is a scarce commodity.
And that explains why the erudite scholar chose good governance as one of the pillars of his administration if Abians give him the mandate in next year’s election.
According to Prof. Ikonne, good governance will be anchored on participatory, transparent, accountable, effective, efficient, equitable, responsive, inclusive and respect for rule of law.
Prof. Ikonne summed it up this way: “leadership is about unlocking people’s potential to become better. The x-factor of great leadership is not personality, is about humility. Lead from the back-and others believe that they are in front. People may hear your words, but they feel your attitude”.
Prof. Ikonne is aware of the disconnect between the government and the people.
Though constitutional democracy is centred around the people, but it is an open secret that the majority of the populace are not carried along by political leaders. There is a growing feeling of despair and alienation.
That is the reason for sabotaging government efforts by the people irrespective of how good such government policies and programmes might be.
Prof. Ikonne wants to have a clean and complete break with the past by carrying the masses along. When people realize that they’re stakeholders in governance, they will be in a position to support the administration.
This is why good governance is among the 5-point agenda of his incoming administration.
Prof. Ikonne is first and foremost a teacher despite attaining the pinnacle in his eventful academic carrier.
A teacher is like a town crier. His message is believable.
Prof. Ikonne is a man of integrity that will keep his promises. His messages are believable.