Simply, a narrative is a story, while a cliché is a word, phrase, sentence or expression that has been repeatedly over-used over the time, such that they don’t make any new meaning any more and doesn’t help discourse. Those that deploy clichés are said to be enjoying their exercise in circumloclution! Democracy allows it!
In Imo State, Southeast Nigeria, there’s this expressional rigmarole by some people, which has since attained the unsavoury status of clichés. The repeated saying of something, especially something that you know is beyond your control is a waste of time and a waste of scarce resources.
The current remix of “Uzodimma has abandoned Imo for seven days”, “Uzodimma Left Imo People With Broken Hope” and all of such expressions have become broken CDs, which music are unpleasant and unpalatable to the auditory mietus of the audience.
There are far more important issues to be discussed in the State than obvious situations of Uzodimma’s trips and the unfounded assertions of hopes that he broke, etcetera.
Yes, when His Excellency, Distinguished Senator Hope Uzodimma, stayed away for a whole 28 days or so, it necessitated our outcry. But when he did return with the feat of inviting President Muhammadu Buhari, we were silenced. Nothing silences opposition like good governance!
We therefore see it as a cliché for anyone to decide to still raise unnecessary issues about Governor Uzodimma staying out of the State for seven days. Who knows what he’ll return with this time around?
Ndimo steadily pray for the governor and wish him hearty “ije oma”, “eje elo”, “gara loro” and such other safe journey and journey mercies wishes! Who knows he might return with goody goody in the spirit of “welcome, wey bread”!
After his last trip to the seat of power in Aso Rock, Abuja, he returned with Mr. President, federal road construction project, appointment into the Board NNPC Limited, and other intangible benefits.
It was at State House, Ribadu Road, Ikoyi, Lagos that Chief Samuel Onunaka Mbakwe became “the weeping governor”, after he must have tearfully pleaded with the then president, Alhaji Usman Aliyu Shehu Shagari to come to Imo and see things for himself.
Of course, President Shagari soon visited Imo and what followed was an explosion of physical infrastructural development across the urban and rural areas of the then expanded Imo State, which earned Dee Sam the status of the best governor Imo ever had.
It was on one such visits that President Shagari paid the legendary visit to Amucha in present Njaba LGA, and made the parabolic promises, creating the concept of “nkwa Shagari kwere Amucha”!
What that means is that no real governor can get desired federal presence of programmes and projects if he doesn’t associate and fraternize with Aso Rock. It’s a case of if you don’t say here I am, nobody will say there you are! In real terms, no governor can be independent of Aso Rock! You can’t be an island and attract growth and development!
Whenever, His Excellency travels out, what should be agitating any interested observer, analyst, commentator or pundit, and indeed all Imolites is the proven capacity and capability that Governor Hope Uzodimma has established and the great expectation that he will do more, having set a plausible example with the feat of attracting Mr. President to Imo.
We feel that it’s not true that the governor has left Ndimo with broken hope. Ironically, those driving that line of thought are the same those who have never agreed that the governor brought any hope to Imo and Ndimo. So, which “broken hope” are they referring to? That’s a confused stream of consciousness!
Of course, there are those who have developed imaginary cataract and even glaucoma, who will never see anything good about the government or governor they love to hate.
It’s believed that if Governor Uzodimma approves the construction and tarring of the roads that pass at the front of the houses of some people, they will still have negative comments against the roads and the governor after its successfully completed!
Now, our argument is that at a point people spoil their arguments with clichés. Normally, after making your point on an issue, you let it rest and seek to generate your contribution to another issue. But people endlessly say the same things and ask the same questions! That turns their thoughts and words into clichés by-and-by!
What that means is that there’s this pervasive narrative of cliché that don’t add value to the discussions about the State. Ordinarily, it shouldn’t be a problem, but it certainly is a waste of resources, at least precious time and vital human resources!
Rather than say that Governor Uzodimma has left Ndimo with broken promises, what every true, honest and sincere Imolite should be prayerfully saying is that there’s light at the end of the tunnel and that there’s silver lining in the dark sky!
If you keep abusing, insulting, cursing and wishing that evil befall the government and the governor so that your own master can be governor, when God answers your prayers and things go bad in the State, who gains and who loses? Think!
One thing that proves that Governor Uzodimma has steadily increased the hope he raised in Ndimo is the ebullient recovery of property belonging to government and people of Imo State. The governor promised to recover all stolen property in Imo State. And he is so far making an example of Owelle Rochas. Other property looters will follow!
Evidence abound that Governor Uzodimma is fulfilling that promise to the letter. That’s keeping hope alive among Ndimo. If Rome wasn’t built in a day, Imo State can never be rebuilt or reconstructed in a day. Let nobody deceive anybody! Rehabilitation, reconstruction and recovery take quality time!
Incidentally, the author didn’t highlight his idea of the dashed hopes, probably he can’t find any promise that Governor Uzodimma hasn’t fulfilled or isn’t in the process of being fulfilled by the governor. Slow and steady win the race!
In all sectors of the Imo State economy, talking about education, works, health, roads, business, commerce and industry, public utilities, security, human capital development, sports and entertainment, and others are receiving a lot of attention from Governor Uzodimma.
The time to change the narratives and sing new songs is now. Not just because we’re now involved, but because narratives of cliché dampens intellectual and intelligent discourse and hinders comprehensibiltyi. A new normal is possible, as Prof. Nnamdi Obiaraeri would admonish!
By God’s grace, Imo State must be rehabilitated, reconstructed and recovered!!