Of late, Imo State has been trending for obvious reasons. So much has been said or written about the judgment of the Supreme Court, sacking Emeka Ihedioha as governor of the state and enthroning Hope Uzodinma in his stead.
Naturally, in highly emotive situations such as this, there are bound to be varying opinions. Was this not why one of the hit songs of the late highlife maestro, Ositadinma Osademe, o so ndi, o we ndi, remains evergreen? Certainly, some weep, others rejoice, not necessarily to rub in the pain of the loser, but to celebrate their own good fortune. After all, one man’s sharwarma is another man’s maggots; such is life.
It is under this contest that Imolites have to embrace sanity and move on, especially because there is absolutely nothing that could be done about the finality of the Supreme Court ruling except to accept it no matter how one perceives it.
Of all the commentaries on that election, one stands out for its correctness, balance and objectivity. That is why I have chosen to reproduce the same in the hope that the lessons would be learnt to propel Imo forward and hoist its flag among achieving states in the next four years of Governor Hope Uzodinma’s reign.
Responding to the governor’s maiden address to Imolites, the President of Nsu Economic Council (NEC), Chief Pascal Egerue, who is also an insurance czar and boardroom player, wrote: He sounds good. His speech writers have touched the right chord. The only thing left is to hold him accountable to these fine action-oriented words and hoping that they are words anchored not on mere populist grandstanding but also on clear understanding of the financing ability of the state.
“Most of what is in this speech are things crack professionals can help him to achieve. He, therefore, needs the square pegs in the square holes. While cronyism cannot be avoided in our political millieu, he needs to appeal to all the hefty people, gathering around him to exercise patience for the food to be done. While on this, he should institutionalise the fight against corruption. That is the only thing that will compliment the excellent single treasury initiative and autonomous local government system adopted. “Every person, including the governor, needs to postpone his gratification to enable a solid foundation to be laid. If it is possible, there shouldn’t be more debt incurred until old ones are cleared or minimised. New debt must be productive and not consumption financing debt. Citizen’s vigilance is required now. If the governor realises that people are sceptical about both his antecedents and the way he emerged, then he must get down to work. It is his output and not his speech that will win the heart of Imo State.
“I wish him the best in this new task. Let me finally advise that in all this, Ihedioha deserves all respect and understanding. The hard truth is that the silent majority are still with him nationwide.
“We have all spent so much energy on the legality or otherwise, morality or otherwise of the emergence of this governor. The law is that he is the governor. The gang rape is done and completed. What we need to do now is serious prophylaxis to ensure that no serious disease erupts from this gang rape. Eternal vigilance is critical. This vigilance cannot be predicated on emotions and resignation to fate but on ensuring that there is no vacuum of nonperformance or underperformance in Imo and importantly to ensure that we don’t return to the years of the locust.
“I have often stated it clearly that Uzodinmma has a legitimacy issue to contend with. He could, however, overcome it if he works hard for the people. Anambra people still remember Ngige even though they agree with the law that he was not properly elected as governor. The natural expectation and which is idiomised by our people is that a dog does not eat the bone hung on his neck. By extension, we also say a thief does not steal something entrusted with him.
“Uzodinmma is on a delicate balance and must perform or perish. The choice is his. Imo people are capable of perishing and vanguishing him if he faulters. He should mean every word of his promise to Imo people. His speech provides a template or benchmark to assess him. He will be inviting trouble to himself if he devotes his time, pillorising Ihedioha rather than work.
“The mass defection of members of House of Assembly to his party is mere tokenism and he shouldn’t be deceived by that. Those House of Assembly members are in the mental mind of Imo people, highly dispensable people that cannot be trusted. Some of them were there with Rochas and permitted the perfidy.
“Finally, the hard fact, if it is, is that all cases against Uzodinmma in court will have to wait until he loses his immunity one way or another now or in the future. Until then, he is rightly protected by the presumption of innocence, which is guaranteed to him by the Nigerian constitution and the criminal code.”
I think Uzodinma is smart enough to know that those hanging around him today are political turncoats and fair weather political vultures in search of carcasses to devour. He should not allow himself to be deceived by pretentious and fawning loyalists, who would try to goad him to self-destructive acts. These wonky hailers are actually nailers and Uzodinma should strive to etch his name positively on the hearts of the people, bearing in mind that only he would bear the brunt of infamy or gain of his actions and inactions when the chips are down and the vultures long gone in cahoots with yet another mugu to nail him after milking his administration dry.
The governor should beam his searchlight even in obscure places to fish out professionals and technocrats that would enable him realise his laudable goals. Imo is not in short supply of these hot brains, who, unfortunately, have been shunted off the scene and overshadowed by loquacious undertakers solid on selfishness and greed. Above all, he should court hedioha but vehemently shun overtures from actors of our immediate iberiberic past; they are bad market that can only stain his garment.
A word for Ihedioha: Ome ka nna ya, you did evidently well within your spell of time in Douglas House. You tried to unmask the mystique behind misgovernance in Imo by laying good groundwork that would have erased all traces of iberiberism in government as foisted by the tragic-comic melodrama of the last eight years. Nevertheless, fate has abridged your reign and you should be grateful for the groundswell rejection of your removal.
I am not so sure your rumoured return to the Supreme Court to seek a review of their judgment is a wise one. It is highly improbable that the apex court, as presently constituted would grant such a request. Their ruling was very deliberate and has no inkling to ignorance or mistake.
I wish you could take your huge goodwill back to Aboh Mbaise and revel in it rather than embark on futile shot in the dark that is sure to hit nothing but would rather throw up conflagrate the state.
You should put this behind you and prepare for another battle in the next dispensation. I urge you to support to the governor and don’t dissipate your goodwill, making Imo a battle ground. It is the same people that are rooting for you that will still suffer the backlash. In politics, sometimes you win; at other times you lose but however it comes, be pragmatic and accept it like a sportsman.
Anu laa taa, the Igbo say, echi wu nta, (another hunting expedition awaits the animal that escapes today). Better luck (favour) next time, and well done!