By Debo Oladimeji
It is better to “jaw jaw” that to “war war” Sir Winston Churchill
It has now become history that Governor Hope Uzodinma was fought by forces of darkness who wanted to ensure Imo state cannot exist without them being in control.
It is very clear from the beginning that enemies of the governor’s political party, All Progressives Congress, APC, masterminded the recent attacks in Imo state. We thank God that peace has eventually returned to the state, after all said and done.
The good thing is that the governor did not take laws into his hands throughout the crisis. He allowed the security agencies to do their job as the matter is still under investigation.
Uzodinma concurred that no amount of attacks on the state would deter him from working for the growth of Imo state.
The governor while speaking in a broadcast to mark the 2021 Workers’ Day celebration said the sponsors of the attacks wanted a state of emergency to be declared in Imo.
Uzodinma also linked what happened to his resolve that the resources of the state should be used for the welfare of the people, adding no amount of attacks on the state would deter him from working for the growth of Imo state.
He said, “You would have noticed that disgruntled politicians in concert with militants and other criminal elements have unleashed violence in our state known traditionally for its peace and hospitality.
“Unable to contain themselves over the developmental strides of our administration in just one year, these enemies of our state have devised devious ways of not only distracting us but striking fear in our citizens. Some of them have even come out to unmask their real intention which is to make the state ungovernable.
“Recall that at the onset of this administration, these same people had vowed to make the state ungovernable for us. While I sympathize with them over their feeble and futile efforts at intimidating us, let me declare here that the state will employ all lawful machinery at its disposal to crush criminality.”
It is quite unfortunate that despite the impressive progress he had recorded in the first year in office, some people have failed to appreciate the glaring evidence everywhere that Imo State has taken a turn for the better. This group of fifth columnists has therefore wreaked havoc on the state. “Although their actions are quite regrettable, it is my duty as the Governor of the state to ask everyone to sheath the sword and make room for development.”
The governor warned that days of mindless criminality in the state were over.
He also assured the people of the state that no stone would be left unturned in ensuring the security and safety of lives and property in the state.
Hitting the ground running, Governor Hope Uzodinma has sought to turn Imo around, away from the squandermania and the mismanagement that was initially witnessed under the administrations of the past, under the auspices of “A Shared Prosperity” anchored on his 3 R’s of Recovery, Reconstruction and Rehabilitation, his administration has helped Imo save N2bn of its resources by simply automating the state’s finances. Not done, he has also sought to bolster the will of civil servants in Imo to work, with a rehabilitation of the secretariat and the provision of vehicles to ease the movement of civil servants in the state.
Governor Uzodimma has been commended for “demonstrating political courage and responsibility towards the restoration of peace and security” in the state.
Imolites Collective, a socio-political group, which made the observation in Abuja, noted that there was no doubt that political rascality and brazen criminality were at the root of the needless bloodletting, violence and brigandage that enveloped Owerri, the state capital and its environs.
Its President, Elder Longinus Duru, said Uzodimma deserves kudos for rising up to the occasion to restore order and normalcy. While regretting that overzealous politicians decided to spoil the serenity and beauty of Owerri as a leading tourist destination by introducing violence and wanton destruction of public property to settle political scores, the group expressed relief that the state government came out boldly to address the issues.
Duru, who spoke on behalf of the group, said: “We are happy to note that normalcy is returning to our beloved state. For this reason, we commend the Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma, for his very proactive steps towards the return of peace and security in the state. Social life is returning and that is a good omen for our people, especially our mothers.”
“There is no doubt that the informal economy of our state was under serious injury because of the violence and criminality of past two months. We urge politicians to respect constituted authorities and stop levying war on the state just because things did not turn out their way in the last election.”
The group pleaded with Imo State politicians to eschew politics of bitterness, remarking that in advanced democracies, after elections, everybody gets down to the business of social and economic development and avoids electioneering and partisan competition.
Imolites Collective said the plan by Imo State government to engage the youth in productive ventures through micro credits and enhanced small and medium scale enterprises is a very welcome development.
It said: “Bringing the youth into the loop of economic development is a step in the right direction. Governor Uzodimma has shown that he knows his onions about governance. As professionals, we encourage the governor to retain the focus on doing whatever augurs well for sustainable development.
“We are impressed with the steps taken so far to return Imo State on the path of social harmony, economic development and peace. Politicians should please recognise that the almost 70 per cent of Imo State population engaged in different walks of life are not members of any political party.
“We should be allowed to breathe the air of freedom, which democracy offers as our fundamental right. No matter how anybody sees it, Senator Hope Uzodimma is the governor of Imo State until January 14, 2024. The most we can do is to support the government, but not to distract his administration or disturb the peace of the state.”