There exists a form of power and intelligence that represents the high point of human potential. It is a ‘native intelligence’ that is neither acquired by formal education, taught in our schools nor analyzed by professors , but almost all of us , at some point , have had glimpses of it in our individual experiences. It often comes to us in a period of tension when facing a deadline, while under pressure or undue expectations. The urgent need to take a firm stand, a proactive step to solve a problem and put an end to a discussion , albeit, through an intitutive reasoning , surfaces.
In keeping up with his pledged tradition of presenting a progress report on the Rehabilitation , Reconstruction and Recovery Agenda of his Administration through a periodic Stakeholders’ Meeting; which Governor Hope Uzodimma, this time, promised to throw caution to the wind and announce sponsors of insecurity in Imo State.
As a result of the above, ndi Imo , keen observers of Imo politics, the pundits and conservatives, Nigerian media, critics of the 3R Government , the opposition elements and political detractors of Sen. Hope Uzodimma prepared their minds as they waited with breathed air to hear the highly publicized ‘naming ceremony’ of the dangerous sponsors of insecurity, kidnapping and banditory in Imo State at the January, 2022, Imo Stakeholders’ Meeting, 6th edition.
While it is not yet the season of ‘ April Fools .’ Ironically, Onwa played his political enemies as their hopes were dashed and ego punctured by a rather Maradonic Sen. Hope Uzodimma, who at the end of his impressive and entertaining long speech, reneged on his avowed promise to name the trouble makers of a once peaceful Imo State.
At the end of the day, Sen. Hope Uzodimma rescinded his decision to publicly announce names of those fueling the crisis in Imo State, maintaining that he was inundated with calls from Imo citizens home and abroad, and hearkened to the plea of ndi Imo to give peace a chance to reign. Indeed, ” laughter in the midst of trajedy can never be really funny.”
Going by his past antecedents as a ‘Lagos Big Boy’ , Chief Hope Uzodimma, now, the Imo State governor, is a very smart guy and a good boardroom political strategist. During the run-up to the 2019| 2020 power tussle in Imo State, he technically played Owelle Rochas Okorocha and Sen. Ifeanyi Ararume, Maradonically dribbled Chief Emeka Ihedioha and Uche Nwosu to become Imo State governor through a ‘ Ben Johnson Way’ with the assistance of the most controversial Supreme Court verdict in the annals of history; making one who came distant 4th position in the governorship race to eventually emerge winner of the election. What a melodrama? Imo political signs and wonders! I laugh in Swahili.
However, if he is not carefully watched in 2023, he may succeed in dribbling his opponents and the opposition elements again to clinch a second term in office even when it is becoming obvious that ndi Imo are not too comfortable with a Hope Uzodimma’s proposed second missionary journey given the spate of alleged extra-judicial killings of innocent Imo citizens by the joint security forces deployed in the state to fight head-on rising insurgency and banditry a few months ago!
Nevertheless, the Stakeholders’ Meeting and its fallouts, had had some school of thoughts argued that a rather smart Hope Uzodimma who wanted a massive turnout in attendance, the attention of the Nigerian media and noise from the political space, intentionally made the announcement of the colorful naming ceremony of the sponsors of insecurity and banditry in Imo State even when he knew in his closet that he wouldn’t dare take such action which is under the purview of the Nigerian police to investigate the crime, while the court prosecutes the culprits if found culpable of their alleged sponsorship of banditry, kidnapping and general insecurity in the State.
Meanwhile, earlier before the Stakeholders’ Meeting, political analysts and keen observers of the Shared Prosperity Administration, including close political allies of the governor , who know the soft side of Onwa Onyoko already knew he wouldn’t make such public pronouncement. They rightly predicted a governor who just wanted to catch some cruise with his usual mind games on the sensibilities of curious Imo people who waited so tenaciously to hear the names of those behind a crisis ridden Orlu, Imo, where insecurity has almost succeeded in collapsing the state economy as both local and foreign investors prefer neighbouring states over the Eastern Heartland for their investments due to the highly politicized security impasse in Imo State.
Regrettably, while Imo people are going through psychological and emotional trauma given the recurring negative reports about security situation across the state, trusting God for an end to this social malaise, the political class are busy hitting up the polity with their sustained political fight and power tussle over party structure and leadership, and who is in total control of state resources to the detriment of the socio-economic development of Imo State.
If one takes an unofficial inspection tour or working visit to emerging infrastructural developed states like Enugu, Ebonyi and Anambra States in the South East, one might come back to question what the billions of Naira of our monthly state allocations from the Federation Accounts are truly used for? Are the executed physical projects on ground commensurate with the billions of Naira allocated to our dear state? Where are our LGA monthly statutory allocations for 2 years now since nothing is happening in the 27 local government councils across the state. I stand to be corrected!
Also, a casual visit to cities in Rivers , Akwa Ibom, Cross River and Delta States in the Niger Delta region where practical governance is on top gear, may force one into an emergency social crusader, activist or critic of the Imo State Government wherein a successor state governor finds pleasure in fighting his immediate predecessor all in an attempt to erase his relative good record just to take the shine off him, instead of focusing on implementing the policy thrusts of his Administration.
While the Imo Stakeholders’ Meeting in all fairness could be adjudged to be successful and rich in attendance as the venue was filled to the brim as all calibre of people came with different good and bad motives, including the PDP agents of Chief Emeka Ihedioha, the APC agents of Owelle Rochas Okorocha’s faction, loyalists of Sen. Ifeanyi Ararume, Ugwumba Uche Nwosu’s political spies and the aggrieved Imo APC chieftains who came to find faults and take home sailent points for cosmetic analysis. I saw a governor who is in charge the affairs of the state. I saw an emerging political emperor who shall soon careless about the campaign of calumny against his government. Onwa Onyoko is a dangerous dribbler and it takes combined joint political forces , mass movement and organized opposition in Imo State to cut down such iroko tree.
To this end, let me commend the Imo State governor, Sen. Hope Uzodimma, for his well articulated public address.This time, I doubt if it was Mr. Oguwuike Nwachukwu, the governor’s Chief Press Secretary that wrote the speech since he is known for contradicting the stand of the State Government in his official press releases. Everybody paid rapt attention, including the imaginary enemies of the state.
From the governor’s introduction, narrative, his expressed authority and force of argument over the politicized security challenge in Imo State, the attempts organised opposition to distract him, his administration’s scorecard under review and intentions to complete ongoing projects, among other points, which shall left for independent analysts to critically dissect.
To the glory of God and ironically too , the governor finally disclosed his seeming grouse against his predecessor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, who is now representing Imo West Senatorial District in the Nigerian Senate.
To Governor Hope Uzodimma, Owelle Rochas Okorocha is his major headache. Because after 8 years of leaving office, he still parades himself with the toga of being the governor of Imo State instead of maintaining decorum like other formal state governors like; Chief Achike Udenwa and Chief Ikedi Ohakim.
In his own words as captured by 4th Estate Reporters, the governor posited thus:
“The difference between the other former Governors and Okorocha is that he is out of office but he still wants to be in office. Okorocha is a younger brother to me. I’m older than him, if not for anything, traditionally I deserve to be respected by him. I don’t want to join issues with him. Let him just know that he is not the Governor and for the short period I will be here God-willing, he should allow me to be Governor.” Funny enough, I saw the governor’s ‘ Hallelujah boys’ clapping hands and cheering him up for that statement.
The above expressed palpable fear by Sen. Hope Uzodimma, although honest one, is a clandestine indictment of the governor’s leadership insecurity. Who is surprised ?A governor who doesn’t trust members of his kitchen cabinet and other appointees can never be a secured leader.
Finally, as I had earlier advised the governor in one of my recent expositions. Let me also reiterate as an independent publisher and opinion moulder, that Governor Hope Uzodimma should give Okorocha and his family members some peace of mind. This political vendetta against them is appearing rather too personal as they continue to enjoy the support and love of Imo people and the Nigerian media.
Owelle Rochas Okorocha is too popular to be ignored with his cult-like mass followership across geo-political zones in the current Nigerian leadership discuss and political landscape. Okorocha enjoys a cordial relationship with the masses at the grassroots. He is too ambitious and wouldn’t stop anytime soon because of Hope Uzodimma.
A two term State governor; a serving Senator, a father figure to over 80 thousand indigent African students under his scholarship, a political warlord that single handledly raised four serving federal lawmakers in Imo State; visa viz: Chief Kingsely Uju, Chief Ugonna Ozurigbo, Dr. Paschal Obi and Deacon Chike Okafor. A role model to aspiring young Imo politicians and major contender for the presidency. Such a glorious personality is too big to be boxed to a corner by his successor. Owelle Rochas Okorocha is a big political masquerade with strong public appeal and goodwill in the North and across the country. Does that make him a saint? No, never! He also contributed to the present challenges we are facing in Imo State through his greed and impositions.
As a concerned Imo citizen, I will therefore, candidly advise His Excellency, Distinguished Sen. Hope Uzodimma to pick his battles very carefully. All of us have our shortcomings and limitations, the governor is no exception. And as humans, our energies , skills and approaches will take us only so far with time.
However, danger comes when a particular approach is outdated and should be changed, but completely ignored. Or when you try to surpass your limits. As a governor, you must know your limits and pick up your political battles very carefully. Consider the hidden costs of a political battle which is a distraction to your avowed commitment to developing Imo State. The costs of time lost, political goodwill squandered and embittered enemies bent on revenge.
In political war strategy, sometimes it is better to wait, to undermine your enemies rather than hitting them straight on. I can confidently tell for free anyone who wishes to listen that the Okorochas are enjoying the background support of the Nigerian media and Imo people with this height of sustained political rift between the former governor and his successor -brother governor, Sen. Hope Uzodimma.
Give this man some peace and concentrate on the work you are doing in Imo State.
Wisdom is profitable to direct .Happy new year, Ndi Imo nwem!
+ Njoku MacDonald Obinna
Media Consultant| News Reporter|
© 4th Estate Reporters.
“While the Imo Stakeholders’ Meeting in all fairness could be adjudged to be successful and rich in attendance as the venue was filled to the brim as all calibre of people came with different good and bad motives, including the PDP agents of Chief Emeka Ihedioha, the APC agents of Owelle Rochas Okorocha’s faction, loyalists of Sen. Ifeanyi Ararume, Ugwumba Uche Nwosu’s political spies and the aggrieved Imo APC chieftains who came to find faults and take home sailent points for cosmetic analysis. I saw a governor who is in charge the affairs of the state. I saw an emerging political emperor who shall soon careless about the campaign of calumny against his government. Onwa Onyoko is a dangerous dribbler and it takes combined joint political forces , mass movement and organized opposition in Imo State to cut down such iroko tree“