Something is absolutely wrong in Imo state, with the people, Hope Uzodinma and his government. The brazen arrest of Uche Nwosu, a former governorship candidate of Action Alliance in the 2019 election and son inlaw of Rochas Okorocha in his community Eziama Obaire Nkwerre Local Government Area, while worshiping at St. Peters Anglican Church on a Sabbath is appalling. He attended a thanksgiving service in honour of his deceased mother who was buried few days before the ugly incident.
It is condemnable and must be so. The police with a clear understanding of the location of their target defiantly invaded a holy ground as hands were lifted up in adoration to the Almighty God. They opened thunderous fire and succeeded in scaring the hell out of worshipers. The church was thrown into a melancholic confusion. Worshipers scampered for safety. Many it was said were injured in the process.
The holy place was unruly defiled, the ambience of the church ruptured and shattered by mere mortals on the orders from above. They defy the all powerful God and chose to obey man. God is merciful but He visits his anger upon generations. Those who gave that instruction from above including those who obeyed should be prepared for the uncommon visit of the wrath of God. If not now, definitely hereafter. It was in the same Imo that a former governor flogged a Reverend Father for blocking his right of way.
With that and many other reasons, he lost election for his second tenure. We are keenly watching how this pans out for Hope Uzodinma. Why must the church be a vintage choice to arrest a man that was never invited by the police for interrogation? Why must the police open fire in an atmosphere of worship and holiness? The answer is simple: we are in government and have the powers to digrace you. Is Uche Nwosu armed while in the church? It is not fair dragging the body of Christ into the murky waters of politics. Uche Nwosu is resident in Imo. His office is in Imo. At no time was he fingered as constituting any security breach in Imo. Therefore, it beats ones imagination why of all places for arrest; the church was the most ideal.There is more to this than meets the eyes.
The police has more often than not given in to the manipulative tendencies of politicians than other security agencies. Effective crime bursting has been our societal bane. However, the same police who could not speak the language criminals understand in Imo has offered itself as a willing tool in the hands of politicians and power brokers who desperately seek the control of men and resources of Imo. It is high time the police show some level of professionalism in the discharge of their duties. They should not be seen as political hunting and barking dogs of those in power and money bags.
The raging political wild fire burning in Imo deserves greater urgent attention. People of good will and conscience within and outside the state should wade into this matter before Imo is finally consumed by the inferno. The political supremacy battle between former governor Rochas Okorocha and the incumbent Hope Uzodinma has torn the peace in Imo state into shreds. This bickering if not adequately checked will negatively affect governance and develpment, attract more public spats and squabbles. Is the state not sliding into anarchy? In the ensuing melee, it is societal development and the ordinary people Imo who suffer the brunt.
The politics of “tigbuo, zogbuo” going on in Imo is becoming one too many. It has led to many deaths, affected peace, development and brotherliness. Hope Uzodinma should note that the unpopular circumstance that brought him to power in Imo is still fresh in the minds of people. Therefore, collaborating with the federal establishments in an attempt to muzzle voices of dissent and run political opponents down is a bad strategy. It will further diminish the modest effort his government is putting in serving the people. The arrest of Uche was an extension of the war of attrition between the two masquerades – Rochas and Hope.
The drama fits into the proverbial Igbo saying that; “if you cannot confront the king or match him strength to strength; you maim his favourite he goat.” Former governor, Rochas Okorocha should also speak passionately and act against injustice meted to the common man in Imo by security agencies the way he did when it affects his own. He must also find the best civil means of addressing the onslaught against him and his interests. He must be reminded also that he ruled with iron fist in Imo and brooked no any nonesense during his tenure no matter how justified ones case seem. His media aides should take the microphone from him.
Since the supreme court declaration of Hope Uzodinma who came a distant fourth in the 2019 governorship election as winner months after Emeka Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was sworn in, Imo state knew no peace. The people saw that judgement as a Kangaroo one – an affront to their political sensibilities – a stolen mandate. Instead of the government to adapt to the mood of the state, mind its business and surprise the people with unprecedented good governance never seen before in Imo; it goes witch-hunting perceived enemies. Surprisingly, two members of the same party are engaged in public brawl not even with Emeka Ihedioha or the opposition PDP. What is actually wrong with Imo state?
The quality of a government and governance is measured by the calibre of people occupying various strategic positions. The arrogant disposition of the Commissioner of Information and Strategy, Imo state, Declan Emelumba while addressing the press on the issue declared that; “it was not in anybody’s place to tell the police how to arrest a suspect.” He was preoccupied with pouring invectives on perceived enemies of government than justifying why the arrest had to take place at the church. He effortlessly battled to defend the indefensible. Uche Nwosu was released afterwards without the police giving any reasonable hint on what warranted his arrest. The force only accepted that the man was taken into custody after a backlash from the public. The struggle for 2023 elections and beyond in Imo and who controls the reins of political power is behind all these brigandage. Nigerian politicians sometimes do not even understand the game they play. Continuous harassment of opponents makes the incumbent unpopular. The public perceives the hounded or harassed opponents as the scapegoats. The apology of Imo state government on the matter speaks volume of the voice of Jacob and the hands of Esau in this matter. To discerning minds, the approach of government in dealing with Uche Nwosu is weaved in personal vendetta. Nigerians do not care any longer what offence he might have committed. It is a political brigandage taken too far.
Sunday Onyemaechi Eze, a Media and Communication Specialist, wrote via firstname.lastname@example.org and could be reached on 08060901201