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One would have expected that after Senator Hope Uzodinma was foisted on Imo people by Justice Tanko Mahamood – the Icon of ‘Technicality’ at Nigeria’s Apex court, he would have immediately understood the gravity of the problem he was faced with – a stark disconnect with the people whom he blatantly stole their mandate and a need to gain their trust by stamping his feet firmly on reality and wiping away ugly reputations with solid performance, on this, the Orlu born Senator has failed abysmally!
On assumption of office on the 14th of January 2020, Uzodinma began with a very beautiful speech, a detailed speech about the State governance that made a strong case for those that believed the mandate he was occupying was his, indeed he sounded like a man that had a programme for the state before running for elections, sadly, all those inanities have all proven to be glib talk when one takes a cursory look at them today.
For starters he vowed that he would renovate and equip the hospitals within his year in Office; his clueless predecessor – Rochas Okorocha littered in all 27 LGAs of the state, he even promised to ensure that some of them were upgraded to become specialist diagnostic and surgical centres. Oh well! On the scourge of insecurity, he created and named a new security outfit without tact and proper consultations, and even went on to name notorious forests that will be combed immediately to show how serious he was. At that time, it could be recalled that he even went on to announce plans to integrate the security outfit within the local governments and link them with DPOs in real-time. Classic intentions one must admit but what has become of them? It would also be recalled that he promised to ensure prompt payment of monthly salaries in full, before month-end. Today the guess of Imolites is as good as mine. Hope promised to fix the major roads and connect the big towns. He boasted that he would bring in Julius Berger to handle the construction of Owerri-Orlu and Owerri-Okigwe roads one may ask, what has become of those flashy promises? one may be forced to give the governor the credit for constructing a few hundred kilometers of roads in the State capital which were mostly started by his predecessors but then again, juxtaposing these with those bogus promises leaves Hope empty.
Indeed Uzodinma promised many things and promised to be different from his predecessors. One of the differences one would have looked forward to was self-effacement, the reason was obvious, Imo has had too many governors who have come with an inflated sense of self-importance and noise but alas, Hope has set noise making to new enviable heights. His version of ‘Iberiberism’ seems more potent. He talks like a ‘tout’ most times and this is why the State appears so rudderless.
It didn’t take long for careful observers to decipher that the man from Omuna was simply out to hoodwink Imolites, he embarked on a very dangerous slide by choosing to align with ‘Abuja’ – the seat of power in the centre even if it meant alienating his people in the process. What initially began as frequent visits to Abuja, slowly but unsurprisingly snowballed into obnoxious policies, irrational statements, and insensitive actions. While some of his colleagues were talking tough and putting the marauding Fulani herdsmen in their place, Uzodinma was busy assuring them of their safety and welcoming them to the Eastern Heartland with open arms. While some of his conscientious colleagues were fighting the herdsmen to a standstill by empowering community and neighborhood security in their domains, Uzodinma was somewhere in Edo State dishing out lectures to Pastor Osagie Iyamu (APC’s candidate in the last Edo elections) on how to employ ‘Ben Johnson’ methods to win elections at all costs. While helpless Imolites were looking up to a governor they did not elect to speak up for them during his numerous visits to the seat of power, Uzodinma preferred to pay deaf ears to their wailings and throw his weight behind the oppressors.
Today’s mind-chaining spate of insecurity in Imo state is simply attributable to the disconnect between the State government and the people over whom it is superintending, Uzodinma’s gross incompetence and cluelessness have made Imolites detest him. A testament to this is the recent public reaction to the unveiling of a regional security outfit by Uzodinma and his gang of fellow inept leaders in the south-East. The people have lost faith and it’s very unfair to blame them. They feel safer with secessionist groups because the government has failed to live up to its part of the social contract, security is too basic to be negotiated. Uzodinma should hide his face in shame!
Most recently, a jailbreak was reported in Imo state, about 1,844 inmates were reportedly set free by hoodlums, Uzodinma’s ineptitude again came to bear as he immediately jumped to the conclusion that the attack was carried out by opposition politicians even without investigations. He didn’t care if the move would embolden the unseen elements. last weekend’s torching of his house would surely point him to something he isn’t used to; Leaders speak with tact and wisdom, these attributes are obviously lacking in Uzodinma and that explains why the rhapsody of absurdities is now the new order.
In just one month, a prison was razed, police headquarters was attacked, the country home of a chief security officer of a state was reduced to ruins, countless number of security posts and security officers were maimed all in one State, if this clime was sane enough, Uzodinma would have since tendered his resignation but we are not used to that in Nigeria.
AFRICA DAILY NEWS, NEW YORK