Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State.

RIGHT OF REPLY

By Oguwike Nwachuku

On January 4, 2022, Senator Hope Uzodimma interacted with stakeholders in Imo State, the sixth in the series since he assumed office on January 15, 2020 as Governor.

Attendance during the stakeholders’ meetings, which is the highest level of Town Hall meeting in the state, has always been for all Imo people regardless of their political affiliations.

To the government, the stakeholders meeting is critical to the extent that it is an opportunity for the “owners” of the state to get first-hand information about anything they desire to know regarding the administration of Governor Uzodimma.

Two years down the road, Imo people are as curious as they were during previous sessions, in 2021, to hear from their beloved Governor.

Whether for security, road infrastructure, education, health, youth employment/empowerment, women empowerment, agriculture, among others, Governor Uzodimma was available on January 4, 2022 to, again, speak wholeheartedly with the people of Imo State because in his administration, nothing is hidden.

His is not a cult system of government of the few, by the few and for the few. His is about the people. Government of the people, by the people and for the people. Contrary to the thinking and insinuations of the likes of Ikechukwu Amaechi, the meeting will not be on security-related matters alone.

I cited Ikechukwu Amaechi because in his column in the Vanguard of December 30, 2021 he went ballistic again in an article with an idiomatic headline tagged: “Under Hope Uzodimma, Imo has gone to the dogs”.

His views in the piece were in sync with that of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB, an association he probably has sympathy for, because of what he does not like to hear anyone say – his hatred for Governor Hope Uzodimma.

Amaechi and IPOB had alleged in separate interventions on the pages of newspapers last week that the Governor of Imo State is using security as trump card to frame up his perceived political opponents.

Writing in that column, Amaechi, again, did not hide his disdain for the governor. He used the piece to do what virtually everyone has known him for: stoking the fire for public hatred for Governor Uzodimma in order to win the love of his benefactors and political associates.

If you read the column in question, you would think Amaechi was sincere in his submission on former Governor Rochas Okorocha and his son-in-law, Uche Nwosu. But he betrayed all that if the recent ordeal that led to the arrest of Nwosu by the police is anything to go by.

Even though the police had explained that Nwosu was arrested, Amaechi still gleefully wrote that he was abducted because he knows whom he wants to get at- Hope Uzodimma. He played down on the contradictions in the comments of Okorocha and Nwosu, the two major actors in the recent brouhaha in Imo, because Uzodimma must be nailed willy-nilly in the public space.

He preferred to maintain that Nwosu was abducted in the Church while service was in session; played up the sentiment of sporadic shooting inside the Church when there was no such thing and sided Nwosu on his claim that Abuja did not know about his ordeal when the contrary is the case.

In fact, Amaechi still thinks that Governor Uzodimma, rather than Abuja, was instrumental to Nwosu’s arrest.

He tactically kept from the public the fact that Nwosu had already volunteered statement under caution to the police before he was admitted to bail on the intervention of the Inspector General of Police, Alkali Usman.

If you believed Amaechi’s piece, then you can believe anything. Truth is that Amaechi has developed new sympathy for Okorocha and his son in-law’s style of politicking to discredit Governor Uzodimma based on the new political marriage his benefactor, Emeka Ihedioha and Okorocha have entered into which, today, is public knowledge.

Ihedioha may not be shooting directly, but we know those who shoot for him to achieve his aim.

Forget that he pretends there is no love lost between him and Okorocha, the truth is that today, Amaechi cannot discredit the former Governor the way he does Uzodimma today. As someone who is not good at managing his emotions, Amaechi has continued to jump as high as he is asked to jump, simply to undermine Uzodimma and his government, not minding the consequences.

When his political benefactors are done coppling iniquitous lies out of envy for Governor Uzodimma’s rising profile in the public space, regrettably Amaechi willfully follows suit.

One is at a loss as to why Okorocha should be on panic mood ever since Governor Uzodimma said he would make public the faces behind the insecurity in Imo State during the stakeholders meeting.

His response to the Nwosu saga, and of late, his comments on issues of insecurity in Imo State which tallies with IPOB’s and Amaechi’s, point to one thing – some people are not comfortable with the efforts being made by the government of the day to secure the lives and property of Imo people. For crying out loud, Governor Uzodimma took an oath of office to protect the lives and property of Imo people and other residents.

But the likes of Okorocha, Nwosu, Amaechi and others want him to fail in this responsibility, hence the resort to de-market him and his government.

The 2021 Yuletide has come and gone, but apart from the likes of Okorocha and his new political camp which Amaechi sympathises with, Imo people who have been witnesses to the carnage in parts of the state such as Orsu Local Government Area, will attest to the fact that Governor Uzodimma has acquitted himself creditably the way he ensured that those who came home for the season were not unduly molested.

I was amazed by Amaechi’s clinical narration of what allegedly transpired at the St. Peter’s Anglican Church, Eziama Obaire in Nkwerre where Nwosu was arrested as if he was there. What he has done is a clear case of a woman who tells the story of a war while the man is in the battlefield.

Amaechi just fell for the disinformation coming out from the camp of Okorocha. That is not the Ikechukwu I thought I knew.

I am sure he has heard about the discovery of the killing field at Orsu where beheading of humans, roasting of humans and eating of humans in what is obviously 21st-century cannibalism has become the order of the day.

He cannot narrate the Orsu experience because he believes, like Okorocha and their ilk, that Governor Uzodimma is the one killing the victims.

I am sure Amaechi would have seen the video of a suspect on social media who linked Nwosu, Okorocha and one Kingsley Uju to the nauseating act of sponsorship of kidnapping and banditry in Imo State.

He probably has heard of former ex-militants named Gen. Banga and Gen. Felix, also mentioned in the video.

Regardless, he would prefer to write that all fingers point to Uzodimma as being instrumental to the alleged bloodletting in parts of Imo State just because Okorocha, Nwosu and Ihedioha are saying so for their political convenience.

As Aristotle said, “criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing and being nothing”, but that is not the position we desire that Amaechi takes. What we desire of him as usual is unbiased criticisms, not playing the ostrich by sympathising with his benefactors on their envious ways. It was British philosopher, Betrand Arthur William Russell who said: “Envy is the basis of democracy. It is also one of the most potent causes of unhappiness.”

Amaechi should also take a critical look at what Aristotle says envy is: “A pain at the sight of another’s good fortune stirred by those who have what we ought to have,” and then advise himself whether to flee from associates who want to lead him to such cul-de-sac.

At a time when Imo people are beginning to behold what looks like a semblance of governance – fully automated payroll system for the more than 43,000 Imo workforce, improved road infrastructure devoid of poor standards, improved security, empowerment of youths, women and the vulnerable, availability of medical facilities.

These are now at the reach of the ordinary people at the rural areas, including availability of drinking water in the city and at the rural areas. So, it smacks of mischief to say that, Under Hope Uzodimma Imo has gone to the dogs.

Amaechi is far detached from the people. Or he is not asking questions from the right persons. Ndi-Imo who are following the government of Uzodimma can attest to the fact that Imo is getter better under his watch.

I am surprised he has stopped talking about salary of workers and pensioners.

Few months ago, that was one of the sing songs with which he satiated the appetite of his associates in his column.

Can somebody, please remind him that in the same government of Uzodimma which he claims has gone to the dogs, payment of salary is not in any way regarded as an achievement.

It is rather seen as workers’ right and the government is obliged to pay them as at when do. To the glory of God, Governor Uzodimma is not reneging on it. For the first time in the history of Imo State, workers were paid 13th month salary, not just a percentage of their pay like most states that are even richer than Imo such as Lagos and Kaduna did, but 100 per cent.

Only an Uzodimma who cares about workers’ welfare, has a large heart and not greedy could have done that.

I am sure Amaechi has relations, friends and relatives who must have benefitted from such well-thought-out Governor Uzodimma’s programme but would prefer to discredit the Governor because of his penchant to kowtow to the whims and caprices of his benefactors.

We did not come to Owerri for mere propaganda. We believe God that our work will speak for us in the due season no matter the weight of hate that people elect to visit on the government and person of Governor Uzodimma.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.