Even if Gov. Hope Odidika Uzodimma sacrifices his life for Imolites it will NEVER make any impression on the people. Facts they say are sacred and must not be spared to drive home a point. Sadly, the generality of mankind detests beholding the truth even the one that may save them. In this era where sycophancy and hero worship is the order of the day people attack you not because you are not saying it as it is but querying why you should speak the truth.
No matter how we hide it only truth can set one free. In the event you chose to attack be careful to attack the ball (the facts here) and not the leg (author). This advice is for the media e-rats and hired writers doing the hatchet job of misleading the people with propaganda otherwise you risk confronting the laws of nature crudely.
In recent time some of the activities of Gov Hope Uzodimma may appear to be striking the right cord and in sync with the peoples desires. We have heard that the government is set to recruit over 10,000 teachers. We have also heard that gratuities of retired employees will be getting attention. And just few months ago the former Vice President left here after commissioning the dredging of the Orashi River for a seaport. There are a few other laudable projects proposed.
The Imo government may be singing their own praises of other accomplishments but sadly the people are nonplussed. I repeat no matter whatever the Imo governor does, it can never attract the sincere acclaim of Nde Imo. Let’s look at the issues and why?
His party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) is seen as a pariah group and having sunk Nigeria this far nobody believes anything coming from its leaders. Nigeria has never been this divided. Sadly again Uzodimma is seen as one of those Igbo leaders who have sacrificed their kinsmen to the northern oligarchs for position and mere pot of porridge. During the meetings of Southern governors he hardly identified with it and some of his comments and body language on national issues weighed against his people and more in favour of the slave masters eg the herders attack.
How the governor came to power is still an issue many people are yet to come to terms with. The political mathematics is still a mystery. The Almighty Supreme Court gave him excess unaccounted votes and declared him Imo number one citizen. The governor himself did not help matters when glowingly in a national television he owned up to Ben Johnsoning others to coast home to victory. Ben Johnson is not an adorable sports character and that is the route our governor said that he took. Did I lie here?
We must again not lose sight of the fact that before he ascended the throne he was nearly stopped by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commissions who gave him a hot chase over unperformed contract amounting to about 12bn naira. The contract has to do with the Calabar port. When he escaped the EFCC net the anti-graft agency discontinued action saying he is now enjoying immunity. Whatever happens after office is anyone’s guess. Although not yet convicted Imolites expect that those who are coming to governance must come with clean hands.
Nde Igbo and Nde Imo in particular are people who cherish their values of integrity. A person’s character and worth is weighed by his strength of honesty and credibility. How trustworthy is a person. In a typical Igbo society no person of questionable conduct is ever allowed to lead others because that would amount to torpedoing the values of the people. Unfortunately, the political class is now standing truth on its head and what in the past would pass for sacrilege is now the norm. This is because guy men are now in power.
Even as bad as many of us have become even the thieves and never do wells among us still want to be ruled by saints. Did you not notice how the entire Nigerian society en mass erupted rooting for Peter Obi, a spotless Igbo man who despite the stereotypes and stigmatization of Ndigbo have lived Igbo values in every of his conduct. Today he has raised the bar for qualities Nigerian leaders must possess and is the role model to many. He is a humble noiseless rich Igbo man with humane character and milk of kindness.
Governor Uzodimmas’s background is another issue that may be hard selling him into the hearts of the people. He can be described as one person who grew from grass to grace rising from being the chief driver of Maurice Ibekwe-Okwelle Holdings to clinch all the high profile political positions. The highly celebrated Okwelle Holdings was in the House of Representatives until Obasanjo cut short his political career due to questionable business dealings. He had no clean reputation.
Drawing from the maxim of show me your friends and I will tell you the kind of person that you are that raises a lot of unspoken facts. People don’t always forget the past no matter how they pretend especially Nde Imo. It is funny how they praise the government with one part of the mouth and in the next breath they mouth unprintable things against the leaders.
Imo people though silent are not lost on some facts especially the manner the governor has approached governance. He has made pronouncements that cannot be seen anywhere on ground. Once he told Nde Imo that he has established a rabbit farm worth N2bn to meet the protein needs of the people. We are yet to see the location of the farm to patronize. Further, shortly after 100 days in office or so we were told by our Onwa that he saves N2bn monthly from ghost workers but some workers still complain of arrears of payments till date.
The desperation shown by the ruling APC government to retain power in the state at all cost is not in tandem with Igbo philosophy of “egbe bere ugo bere’’ (live and let live). Imo people are not fooled by how APC in connivance with INEC and security operatives over ran the entire state scoring 27/27 in the Assembly election. I heard that they later surrendered two seats. Their silence is one of a conquered people who are praying for a savior.
The blood-letting in Imo where precious lives of Imo youths were dispatched to their untimely grave still hurts Nde Imo. No amount of government excuse can compensate for these lives. In Igbo cosmology shedding of blood is highly abhorred. Government in its wisdom felt that fire must be quenched by fire and it appears that conflagration is not yet doused. Life is sacred and must be preserved. It is not certain that the governor has done well in this area.
The unabating security situations have grave implications for business and social life in the state. Many Imolites in other states and Diasporas are shying away from visiting their home stead. While the government is blaming the opposition parties for insecurity the citizens are pointing hands at the government.
The recent disclosure by the ex-Niger Delta militant that he provides vigilante services to Imo State among other five states have raised serious concern among the people. It has further fueled their suspicion that the state sponsored Ebubeagu security outfit may be the real killers drawing from previous narratives eg the Awomamma killings. Curiously, the government has remained silent on Asari’s statement. But Nonsonkwa, an On Air Personality was taken in on that.
Looking at all of these all hope is not lost to fix what has gone wrong. The governor may not have a clearer picture of the issues especially in areas where some of his aides may have misled him. The buck stops at his table and he is vicariously liable to any damage. To measure his standing with the people an independent survey will determine the true position rather than the hordes of praise singers and hungry e-rats seeking stomach infrastructure and telling the governor rubbish. In every government failings they blame opposition.
As at moment even if Uzodimma kills himself for the people they will never be impressed. It is never too late for a new beginning especially now that it appears nothing is stopping his second term bid. We wish him well.