One with God is Majority: The Trials and Victories of Hope Uzodinma
How Senator Hope Uzodinma Emerged King David of Imo State Politics, denied 2 Imo Governors their greatest desire in office and floored an ex Governor’s senatorial ambition.
By Boma M.M Pepple
It’s an unarguable fact that Senator Hope Uzodinma has silently emerged as the King David of Imo Politics, who has risen from Omuma in a small village in the Oru East LGA of Imo State, from an average background has worked and walked his way with doggedness, from the lowest rung of the political ladder to the apex seat in Imo Politics of today.
Elections in the 4th Republic of Nigeria has always been controversial, fraught with allegations of voter fraud, most electoral contests are decided in election tribunal, with all factions crying foul, the poll process has not been transparent enough to convincingly determine outcome of most elections in the nation.
There is no election process in Nigeria that is not followed with numerous contenders taking to court to challenge the results, some are able to reclaim their lost victory, as others lose their declared victory at the court. In recent times even United States of America has not escaped this shenanigans and the media is awash with Donald Trump’s bellow for Vote recount in many states and cities, alleging that his mandate was stolen in the last American Presidential Election of Tuesday Nov 3, 2020.
Having always been underestimated by the goliaths of Imo politics for his gentle and humane nature, Senator Hope Uzodinma unknown to many has continuously shaken the tables, overpowering those who are calling the shots in Imo politics at different times with his divinely obtained grace.
Reverend Ejike Mbaka was not entirely wrong when he prophesied of Hope Uzodimma’s would be victory, before the January 14th Supreme Court Judgement. At the time Ihedioha unknowingly stumbled at the Supreme Court by not challenging an aspect of the petition of Hope Uzodimma’s legal team, God was intentionally blinding him so that his heavenly wish will come to pass in the state, in the same way he had ensured Owelle Anayo Rochas Okorochas’s failure with his ambition of imposing his son in law on Imo people, which God used Senator Hope Uzodinma to Rescue Imo People from their alleged illicit Rescuer. Before Okorocha, far back in 2011 the same Hope Uzodinma was used by God to thwart the will of former Governor Achike Udenwa from ever stepping into the red chambers of Nigeria.
How He stopped Achike Udenwa’s Dream of being a Senator, Saving the State another Sleazy Emolument.
Flashback to 2011, Chief Achike Udenwa Imo Governor from 29th May 1999 to 29th May 2007 under PDP had only one political dream after his time as governor, which is to become the Senator representing Orlu Zone at the senate. Chief Achike after serving out his 8 years as Governor, gained appointment in December 2008 by President Umaru Yar’Adua who appointed him Minister of Commerce and Industry.
After the unfortunate incident of Yaradua’s untimely demise, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan relieved him off the office in March 2010 by dissolving his cabinet, this left a bitter taste in the guts of Chief Achike Udenwa who among other reasons accompanied by this, defected to the now defunct political party known as Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) on 20th December 2010 leaving Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) the party that he was its first governor in the 4th republic in the state of Imo.
Unfortunately for Chief Achike Udenwa Senator Hope Uzodinma has the same ambition and this time was in the PDP that Chief Achike Udenwa has left,the road to Senator Hope Uzodinma’s victory against Achike was marred with controversies as well which the oil on his head saw him through as always.
According to information available on Wikipedia, Uzodinma won the PDP primary for the Imo West Senatorial race on 9 January 2011, gaining 2,147 votes, while the incumbent Senator Osita Izunaso came second with 891 votes. However, on 5 February 2011 a Federal High court declared that Izunaso was the candidate of the party for the senatorial seat since Uzodinma had not been cleared by the PDP’s electoral panel headed by Orji Nwafor-Orizu. It seems that Nwafor-Orizu had been influenced by the December 2010 petition.
The judge ordered the PDP to submit Izunaso’s name to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the candidate who had received the most votes among those qualified to run. A Court of Appeal issued a stay of execution on 17 March 2011 while the case was being decided, leaving Uzodinma free to campaign. On 5 April 2011 the Court of Appeal upheld the 5th February high court judgement and declared that Uzodinma was not qualified to run and should not represent himself as a candidate. Uzodinma appealed this decision with the Supreme Court.
In the 9 April 2011 elections, Uzodinma received 85,042 votes, ahead of former Imo Governor Achike Udenwa of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) with 64,228 votes and Rajis Okpala Benedicta of the All Progressives Grand Alliance with 57,110 votes.
On 5 May 2011 the Supreme Court overturned the earlier decisions and declared that Uzodinma was the valid candidate and therefore had been elected. The decision was influenced by the minutes of a 5 January 2011 meeting of the PDP’s National Working Committee that was attached to the April appeal to the Supreme Court. The meeting had overruled Nwafor-Orizu’s decision to disqualify Uzodinma and rejected the December 2010 petition, saying “there was no evidence that Chief Hope Uzodinma has been convicted for murder, armed-robbery, obtaining money by false pretense and or for bankruptcy”.
The Dec 10 petition is still regarded by followers of the new governor as simply accusations that emanated from a petition against him and which he was on 10 February 2009 arrested and detained by EFCC , citing a public petition to the PDP and the agency on 10 December 2010, on behalf of a group claiming to be indigenes of Orlu that gave reasons why Uzodinma should not be selected as Senatorial candidate, which he jumped and passed.
From the onset of his political career Senator Hope Uzodinma was gifted by God with a grace that has surmounted all challenges regardless of the weight or position of the opponent leading the hindrance to stop him from realizing his dream, from an unknown commoner he denied an ex governor who is a 4th republic frontline statesman with federal alliance his most cherished dream. The part two of this article explains in depth the other supreme battles of Senator Hope and his God–driven victories.