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Governor Hope Uzodinma has continued to set new failure standards in Imo State ever since he took the helms of government following a judicial heist in 2020. Today, the State is gasping for breath, from oil crises to insecurity, battered economy, flooding, decaying infrastructure, and what have you; the government clearly lacks direction. Imolites have never had it this bad.
Last week, many Nigerians particularly Imolites were dismayed when they woke up to the news that Governor Uzodinma has gone against the pact of the Southern Governors forum by declaring that the ‘Ban on Open Grazing’ would not be enforced in Imo State. It was a heart-wrenching moment for many who understood what this meant to a once peaceful State like Imo State.
Over the years, Fulani herdsmen have grown notoriety in committing all manners of atrocities against communities in Nigeria, hiding under the banner of farmer/herder clashes, they heartlessly maim, rape, destroy and kill innocent farmers for protesting the damages wrecked by their cattle on their farmlands. This was the reason why the Southern Governors came under the same umbrella to declare that ‘enough is enough!’ To solve the problems. the Governors placed a ban on open grazing to minimise these frictions and set a date for its enforcement. Out of 17 Governors, it is only Uzondinma that has chosen to be the black sheep.
Just one week to the 1st of September deadline, Uzodinma decided to become the odd one. what a man. This surely has nothing to do with partisanship because Uzodinma is not more APC than the Chairman of the forum, Rotimi Akerodolu who has been vocal against the activities of the rampaging terrorists masquerading as herdsmen. What this means is that Uzodinma knowing fully that his stance is a recipe for more clashes and violence has damned the consequences and chosen to serve his masters who imposed him on Ndi Imo against their wishes even if it required sacrificing the lives of every Imolite. This is simply the height of it.
However, Uzondinma needs to be reminded that the Supreme Court gave him a first term using ‘Ben Johnson’ methods. They cannot guarantee him a second term, so it is important he stops being delusional. While bulldozing his way to satisfy the whims and caprices of those who imposed him on the people of Imo State, it is important that he is reminded that he would not have any State to govern if law and order completely break down in the State.
The spate of insecurity in the once peaceful State keeps gaining scary momentum with every passing day. Kidnapping has now assumed lofty proportions. There’s hardly any day that passes without a story of someone being forcefully abducted in one part of Imo State, it is a very rare occurrence. It pains every lover of the State to be reminded that the State in question has a sitting Governor who is supposed to be the Chief Security Officer of his citizens. As chief Security Officer, he collects monies running into billions of Naira monthly from the badly depleted State’s coffers as Security Vote, it is such a painful situation. Imolites now live in fear in their towns and villages. Safety is now considered a luxury and not a necessity under Uzodinma’s Imo. Terrible!
To even think of the fact that Uzodimma himself played huge roles in setting the pace for the level of insecurity confronting Imo is far more painful. This is a man that publicly admitted inviting the military into Imo State to come and mercilessly deal with innocent civilians to death under the guise of looking for secessionists, indeed, Imo has never been the same ever since. Imo preferred to use guns and bullets where tact and diplomacy were heavily needed.
Perhaps, Uzodinma never knew that handling an executive office required a great deal of emotional intelligence, it’s for the very serious-minded and never for jokers and charlatans like Uzodinma. It is a place for people that have thinking brains not rogues like him who lack any modicum of discipline of principle, little wonder why he has continued to wobble and fumble in Douglas House. Imo has never had it this bad.
Just last week, Uzodinma’s lack of leadership qualities came to the fore again as an unresolved dispute between his regime and the independent petroleum marketers led to the closure of all fuel stations in the state. First, the crooked Uzodinma began by blaming past administrations in the State forgetting that he was a PDP member until 2018 when he got to that realisation, he quickly switched to mocking Ndi Imo by asking them to travel to neigbouring States to buy their petroleum which has become an essential commodity for survival in today’s Nigeria. Between then and now, many people have died to health emergencies simply because it was almost impossible to find a vehicle to rush them to hospitals in record time. In practical terms, Owerri is now shut down; homes are now starving, kids weeping, parents helpless. No kerosene, no gas to cook and Uzodinma still sleeps well at night. Shameful to say the least!
Finally, Imolites and all lovers of the State must at this point rise up and make their voice heard. They cannot continue to keep quiet while Uzodinma continues to joke with the destiny and fortunes of the State, and for Uzodinma, while he invites more Fulani herdsmen into the State to live in harmony with Ndi Imo, he should ensure he gives Fulani herdsmen his home town – Omuma, Charity they say begins at home. The world would be taking notes.
AFRICA TODAY NEWS, NEW YORK