The title of this article was purposely adapted to internet of things, which was a profound project initiated by some Information Technology (IT) gurus years back. The gurus’ aim was to make life easy and worth living. Their main objectives were to collate all ‘‘things’’ possible. You can find these ‘‘things’’ in the special domain called Internet of Things. This was the basis for Do It Yourself (DIY), which later became a trending word. DIY misfired and became a mere name for shops where handy tools are sold.
For instance, you do not need to trouble your head on how to design a state-of-the-art duplex house, how to create an application (app), how to design a website or television, how to sew your blouse or how to write a high school student union constitution. Whatever you need is in the internet of things. Once such a thing had been done before, it is there. There is no point to re-invent the wheel or to incur costs.
This is why it is easy for jollof rice love-stricken non Nigerian women can google it for a step-by-step recipe. If you want to write a wedding toast or build a solar farm, simply get it in the internet of things and substitute your name. Internet of Things provides step by step on ‘‘how to do’’ whatever that has been done before. As simple as that! So easy!
This article is not about ITs and their gurus. This article regards the politics of Imo State of Nigeria, which the present government succeeded in making hell-on-earth. This article focuses on the contenders for gubernatorial party primary tickets come 2019. Among the contending members across party lines, Chief Ike C Ibe, of All Progressives Grand Alliance party (APGA) has singled himself out, like a sign post, in quite a number of ways.
He is comparable to an infinite internet of things, where every thought subsumes. Sincerely, I don’t envy him. He will have a lot of job to do. He will have to do ‘‘a three point reverse’’ back to sanity from the joke this present vicious All Progressives Congress (APC) party-led administration created out of our beloved state.
If Nigeria must have a record breakthrough in technology – from small/medium scale industries (for agro-allied products) to machine parts, based on home grown ingenuity, then attention must be paid to south-east Nigeria, where mainly Igbo people are reside. The gifted Igbo people have great potentials in crafts and lathe machining for cutting-edge products. The cities of Aba and Nnewi, for instance, have this reputation, for the so-called ‘‘Ibo-made’’ products. There are other attention seeking cities such as Okigwe, Orlu and Owerri in Imo State. The entire attention had deliberately received lips service in the present times from both state and federal governments. This is so because the abysmal electricity power consumption per capita of 179kWh/year, according to World Bank 2014, even got worse between 2015 and 2017 in Nigerian. It is thought that this figure has drastically reduced further to 144kWh/year due to the prevailing circumstances that APC party led government put Nigeria.
As a people of faith, Nigerians who live in Imo State now rely on 2019 general elections to turnaround their fate by shifting political power to virtuous APGA. At that time, Imo people will re-calibrate politics in order to give character to administration.
In line with the people’s yearnings, Ibe commissioned a group of renewable energy experts, most of them consultants, to draw the road map from the joke of 144kWh/year to something in the neighbourhood of firmed up 3000kWh/year. His idea is that there will be a mini-grid system from renewable sources such as solar photovoltaic farms within a national grid of hydro and gas fired plants, etc. His objectives include incentivising homes in order to change lifestyles to those which depend on renewable energy. This will encourage small scale off-grid power generations, which will augment supply from the national grid system for say 5-8hours availability per day. Another objective is to engineer some on-grid solar farms, which will feed-in the national grid, in order to firm availability. This generated electric power would be perfected through a power purchasing agreement (PPA) with Enugu Electricity Distribution Company, which serves the eastern states of the Nigeria. Some parts of the PPA are that electric power will be fed into the distribution network, which serves Imo State. By this, Imolites will be billed approximately below the prevailing N18/kWh, aside the fixed monthly charge disparity for residential and industrial consumers, according to Multi-Year tariff Order (MYTO) issued by Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC). The advantages of this policy goes beyond mere having steady electric power supply. It guarantees good health without self-help petrol-fuelled generators, which kill millions of Nigerians with tonnes of carbon (mono/dioxide) and particulate matters (PM).
Without paying lips service to his dream to ‘‘refurbished’’ Imo State, he commissioned Lordgate Projects Limited for this purpose. Already Lordgate Projects Ltd has completed an expert training on Renewable Energy Management and Finance, Design and Implementation with European Energy Commission (EEC), in London, for this purpose. The goal is to put himself in pole position ahead of time, when he eventually secures the mandate of his people, starting from party primaries.
This is not the first time Ike Ibe of ‘‘things’’ would be doing this sort of things.
We can quickly recall it was he who arranged for the then Executive Governor of Imo State, Chief Achike Udenwa and his top management economic team to visit some of the international agencies like the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation, some agencies of the United Nations. That trip yielded tangible results, when it led to the conceptualization, formulation and realization of the Imo State Trade and Development Office. And in appreciation, the then governor appointed him to head the Imo State Trade Representative Office in Washington, DC.
It was his network in Washington, Maryland, New York, Texas, California, Connecticut, Chicago, Atlanta, and New Jersey which attracted developmental aids, investments and materials to Imo State under the ex-Governor.
He had on several occasions raised funds from Europe and United States of America in order to provide resources for the only state owned university in Imo State. At that time, he attracted funds to equip the university to standard, from its sorry state reminiscent of the military era.
It was Ibe’s ‘‘Imo State International Medical Mission’’ that helped turn around the healthcare story in Imo State. He formed a guild of diaspora medical specialists of Imo State origin, who visited and were resource persons.
He once brought over 37 US based American and Nigerian Doctors. It was reported that the team visited all local government areas in Imo State and the outcome included the treatment of over one million citizens. They performed over five thousand surgeries and issued over three hundred and fifty thousand eye glasses.
It was also reported how, when Achike Udenwa lived in Douglas House, he played ‘‘active role to establish a teaching hospital and a center of excellence in Imo State University’’.
Till date, that the dream of Imo State University Teaching Hospital became a reality is owed partly to Chief Ibe. Then he had procured some of the best state of the arts equipment; namely, 7 ambulances, x-ray, 20 dialysis machines and the water filtration plant, CT-scan machine, EKG (ECG) machines, dental and surgical tables and equipment, examination tables, a paediatric centre with 9 incubators, 1000 beds and mattresses, and over one million syringes. In addition to these, it was reported [that] he ‘‘arranged for specialist technicians to organize trainings and maintenance programs for staff in Nigeria’’.
In the wake of 2005, in conjunction with United States Department and World Bank, he set up Imo Online Project. This project was an information and communication technology (ICT) centre of excellence at Alvan Ikoku College of Education, which was valued at over three hundred million naira at that time.
He was credited to have sourced ‘‘over one hundred and forty thousand books for the Imo State Library and school system to encourage a reading culture in our youths. He also got a commitment for free books for all Local Government Area Libraries and 5000 reading/writing desks for our schools’’. Unfortunately most of these have become moribund under successive governments.
The concept of internet of things is that of infinite resource centre of inestimable depth. The triad of Technological innovations, Healthcare system and Quality education are the Siamese triplets on which Igbo people anchor their struggle. Every other thing subsumes into this. Whatever any politician says or does to persuade Imo people, it must be anchored on these in order to have foothold. And if such has already been said or conceptualised by him, then sorry. There is no point. No one expends energy to just re-invent the wheel.
We understand that some greenhorn politicians want to ride to power on the back of their principal’s credentials, which by the way are in tatters. It is a pity there are no yet serious minded contenders in sight with Chief Ibe for the governorship position. And this worries Imo people. Ibe should be able to contend with some serious minded politicians, so that Imo people can make formidable choice, whether he or any other carries the day. Imo people are in no mood for jokes any more for their future.
In the meantime, Imolites are anxiously waiting for the outcomes of party primaries. They want to see other parties’ front liners and the quality of whoever emerges.
If the present body language of Imo people is anything to go by, 2019 is their best bait, to turn around their fortunes, through this man. The man whose love for Imo State is far greater than ‘‘Chidi-Imo’s’’ love for ‘‘Baby-Nta’’, as they say in local parlance. And the political music is becoming louder.
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