Imo Presidential Visit: Mid-Week News Review
NJOKU MACDONALD OBINNA
Barely one week after President Muhammadu Buhari visited Imo State, Thursday, September 9, 2021, to commission select projects executed by Governor Hope Uzodimma; the gains, pains, and related topics of such visit had since formed part of the matters arising as these continue to dominate discussions in the cyberspace among members of the organised opposition in the state, political analysts, the pundits, conservatives, as well as those sympathetic to the IPOB’s agitation and sit-at-home order.
While the Nigerian President was well received by his Chief Host, His Excellency Governor Hope Uzodimma, top government functionaries, South East leaders, the clergy, opinion moulders, traditional rulers and Imo youths: gauging the mood of the public, the reception accorded the President by the entire Imo people could be said not to be as cordial as it was ordinarily supposed to be given the relative empty streets, as the aggrieved South East region is crying over social injustice, marginalization, insecurity, alleged ‘conquer quest agenda ‘ and dominion by the Northern oligarchy; political leadership.
Regrettably, rather than have a robust discussion and engagement with the President through an ‘inclusive’ Stakeholders’ Town Hall Meeting with the August visitor, Muhammadu Buhari, which could have given the critics and opposition elements in the state an ample opportunity to present their demands on national security, political inclusiveness, structural integration, true federalism and good governance, they left the substance and started pursuing shadows; the purported over-sized President’s trouser, the bingo-mouth like his pair of brown shoes, the concluding controversial statement of being ‘careful or cheerful’ with future invitations by Hope Uzodimma, commissioning only a tunnel as an achievement, etc.
The above ravaging controversy online made a rather proactive Presidential Spokesman, Femi Adesina, through an official press release to disclose the real intents of Mr. President while dislodging the dangerous interpretations and misplacement of facts by the opposition.
”I’ ll be careful with your future invitations.”
In the true context of his statement: The President was not only taken aback by the grand reception, overwhelming galaxy of personalities and South East leaders in attendance, he was also inundated by the pace of infrastructural development in the state within two years in office of Sen. Hope Uzodimma.
Crème da la crème of Igbo leaders, who graced the epoch-making presidential visit included, but not limited to; President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Prof George Obiozor, former Chief of General Staff, Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe (Rtd), former Senate President Ken Nnamani, former Military Governor in old Imo State, Senator Ike Nwachukwu, the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Achebe, Chairman of the South East Governors Forum and Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi, Deputy Governors of Abia, Anambra and the SSG of Enugu State, who represented the Governor, the Anglican Archbishop of Owerri Province, Most Rev David Onouha and his brother Bishop of Enugu, Archbishop Emmanuel Chukwuma, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, Ahaejiagamba Ndigbo, among others.
Not satisfied with the press release made by Presidential Spokesman, Femi Adesina, the purveyors of misinformation, who have expertise in deliberately contorting and twisting narratives found another glaring topic to go online with. This time, the governor’s seeming slip of tongue in using ‘insensitive’ in the place of ‘sensitive’. But who is above mistakes?
“Anyone can make a mistake and that is why pencils have erasers.”
While constructive criticism is a veritable political tool to make a government sit up, accountable to the people and be conscious of her policies, programmes and projects, there are times one is forced to believe that what we have in Imo State are mere power mongers, blind and destructive opposition, whose only interest is to gain power by all means possible rather than serve as watchdog and voice to the unsuspecting public and innocent Imo citizens.
Suffice it to say that: Of all the human emotions, none is trickier or more elusive than envy. It is very difficult to actually discern the envy that motivates people’s actions or to even know that we have suffered an envy attack from another. This is what makes it so frustrating to deal with and so dangerous.
At inception of office, they derided him with the toga of being a ‘Supreme Court Governor’. When they found out that the man is used to the online insults and has remained resolute in his administrative policy thrusts of 3Rs – Recovery, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction, they resorted to ‘Quench and Push Government’. Just last month, ironically, the new name was ‘Equidistant’, and now ‘Insensitive’, all in the name of giving a dog bad name, and hang it.
Honestly, I commiserate and share in the pains of the opposition given the manner, way and style in which Sen. Hope Uzodimma emerged Imo State governor; the Ben Johnson Way.
Nevertheless, the deliberate opacity of not accentuating and situating a number of the lapses of the present Administration in practical terms other than name callings makes the intelligence opposition game not too attractive, especially, to the elites, members of the ivory tower, the political class, traditional rulers and religious leaders except the paid media hirelings, who disturb our social space on daily basis.
Funny enough, most of them who do not have strong cases to present as to be heard are now hiding under the guise of fanning the ember of sit-at-home order to keep distracting and disrupting business of governance in Imo State.
Imo State is above the present governor and government since power is transient. Engage the government through robust and constructive criticisms. Tell the State Government that people are suffering and the youths have no jobs.
Advise the government to revive moribund industries in the state, pay workers’ salaries and pensioners gratuities, attract foreign investments, build solid roads and other infrastructures to boost the state economy. Commend government good policies and people-oriented projects and condemn same when it is the opposite. That is what makes Opposition credible and responsible.
The above is what defines a proactive and responsive opposition. Sadly enough, what we read in the Imo social space is rather too appalling and childish except a few names that sound reasonable.
President Muhammadu Buhari has come and gone, let’s look beyound the lingual errors or flawed grammatical punctuations, but harvest the fruits of his visit which is Federal Government’s presence with the much expected infrastructural developments in Imo State.
- Njoku Macdonald Obinna,