The position of Accountant General of any state or that of the federation is one office not meant for learners and dull brains. It is an office where figures, calculations and critical plus and minuses are considered before crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s or else you blame yourself. For these reason, calm, reasonable and responsible persons with supersonic intellects are always on the saddle in this office.
In Imo state today, the office of the Accountant General is occupied by one man who does not only posses the qualities mentioned above but with other extra uncommon qualities and qualifications which had singularly singled him out among his predecessors and contemporaries in other states.
Sir Valentine Chukwukamma Obieze, from Akatta in Oru East Council of Imo State is indeed a case of a square peg in a square hole. Aside his background as a highly educated professional Accountant with cognitive years of experience spanning over 25 years and still counting, Obieze’s pro-life and pro-masses posture are undoubtedly the very principles guiding the Imo Accountant General to the extent that lines are falling in pleasant places for him and Imo workers since he came on board.
In March this year, when his appointment letter was released by Gov. Hope Uzodimma and made public via the Principal Secretary to the Governor Dr. Mrs. Irene Chima, a lot of civil public servants in Imo State no doubt heaved a sigh of relief, contractors, pensioners and other persons that have something to do with supply and business transactions applauded the governor for appointing an honest man as Imo Accountant General.
Sir Val Obieze, a Knight of St Mulumba in the Roman Catholic Church is a proud Rotarian and since he joined Rotary Club in 2008, has demonstrated and exhibited so much passion in simply promoting those ideals that are geared towards lifting the poor, the sick and the oppressed out of their very pitiable states. No wonder the Rotary Club of Owerri was among the first group to commend Gov. Hope Uzodimma for appointing this thorough-bred bureaucrat and highly principled Accountant as Imo AG.
The President of Rotary Club of Owerri Dr. Nneke Ewelike and other members were physically present in Sir Obieze’s office on a courtesy call wherein they not only poured super accolades and encomiums on one of their own but unreservedly saluted and commended Gov. Uzodimma for doing the right thing at the right time with that singular appointment.
Sir Val Obieze, it is worthy to note was supposed to have become a substantive Permanent Secretary several years ago but that did not happen owing to reasons best known to past powers that be in the state. He was until his appointment as Accountant General, the Acting Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Commerce and Industry but that did not dampen his spirit nor made him lose focus and direction, rather it propelled him the more in discharging his official duties diligently, cheerfully and with renewed zeal and vigor.
Since he became the Accountant General of Imo state, public and civil public servants are receiving their salaries and allowances without hassles. Those whose salaries were not paid as and when due over some technical issues are trooping in and out of Obieze’s office and he humbly and humanely attends to them with assurances of hope that they must get their salaries. To the glory of God, majority of such workers as I write, have received their payments in bulk depending on how many months they were owed.
This godly, result-oriented, wonderful team worker and humility-personified fellow had also brought smiles on the faces of pensioners in the state. He joins the Governor to all FAAC meetings in Abuja and having been working in concert with His Excellency, he will always encourage Sen. Hope Uzodimma to earmark huge and substantial amount of money each month to ensure that the mountainous pension arrears in the state are defrayed. Between last week and this week, a number of Imo pensioners got their arrears in bulk, at least 5-6 months arrears. Those already verified and cleared have also received their October, 2020 pensions.
Sir Val Obieze would not mind sleeping in Government House or in his office to ensure that all concerning civil-public servants including many others are brought to the governor for approval and does not allow files and memos to be kept on his table without being treated with the urgency they deserve.
A good family man and revered Soldier of the Cross, Sir Val Chukwukama Obieze does a lot to leave the Accountant General’s office better than he met it. An office which is most often enmeshed in corrupt and mind-blowing sharp practices, soaked with unimaginable financial scandals and padded payments is today the centre of decency, excellence, fiscal responsibility, probity and unarguable transparency under Sir Obieze’s watch.
I therefore join many Imolites to commend the Governor for Obieze’s appointment, first as Accountant General and subsequently as Substantive Permanent Secretary. Obieze for me has redefined the exalted office and done Imo proud and I wish him God’s wisdom and divine protection as he labours to make Imo great again in his own little way.