Published a year ago! We saw it coming!
Uzodinma: What Peter Obi Said About Imo State
By Collins Opurozor
Shortly after he was picked as running mate to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar in the 2019 presidential election, the former governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, came for a breakfast meeting with the leadership of a pan-Igbo socio-cultural group in Owerri, Imo State. That meeting was thought-provoking, just as it provided the context to set the priorities of Ndigbo for the presidency to which Obi was aspiring.
One thing that went undisguised in Obi’s entire presentation was his total disappointment with Imo State. For him, Imo has not just failed to fulfill its manifest destiny but has disappointed the entire Igbo nation. On his authority, Imo in the time past was renowned as the receptacle of the finest minds in the country, and it was the beacon of hope for the renaissance of Ndigbo, and had been the quickest example of the best which the defunct Eastern Nigeria could offer in good governance.
The agony of Obi, however, was that this generation of Imo people have allowed the very worst characters among them to rule over them. The Eastern Heartland has witnessed a steep descent from excellence in governance to political mediocrity, and far from ever pulling attention to itself as emblematic of whatever Ndigbo could offer in leadership, the politics of Imo State has in fact become everything Ndigbo must learn to avoid. Debating these views of Obi would simply amount to self deceit.
A few days ago, Chief Hope Uzodinma shocked the world when he described himself as the second Sam Mbakwe of Imo State. The first meaning of this description, which further lends credence to the position of Peter Obi, is that for nearly four decades since Mbakwe left office, Imo has yet to get a replacement. The second meaning is that in the governance of Imo State falsehood has been elevated to the status of state policy. Combined with the other traits which Chief Uzodinma has shown since he was sworn in as governor, no one is left in doubt that fascism is unfortunately in full swing in Imo State.
By its very nature, fascism is a dictatorial regime characterized by the use of brute force, forcible suppression of opposition and strong regimentation of society and of the economy which rule is primarily sustained by bare violence and a vast propaganda network. Europe in the 20th century had some regimes defined by these features, but Italy in particular under Benito Mussolini represented fascism at its peak.
The reincarnation in Imo State of this very obsolete and extremely inhuman system which has since been dumped in the museum of antiquities by all civilized societies is very worrisome. The fascist misadventure of the Omuma-born career politician has cited issues of state interest to hijack four months allocations of the local government in Imo State even without JAAC meetings. As it stands, well over N13 billion belonging to the local governments cannot be accounted for by the fascist regime of Chief Uzodinma.
Between January 1, 2020 and April 30, 2020, the total sum of N596 million has accrued to just Ideato North LGA, but what the LGA has gotten within the period is a paltry N2.5 million. The balance of N593.5 million is nowhere to be found. This sad story obtains in all the local government areas of Imo State.
The regimentation of the economy has propelled the fascist-in-chief to revoke all certificates of occupancy in the entire state so as to expropriate perceived enemies from their estates while on the other hand convert a larger part of the state to himself, with his leiutenants ripping off land owners left, right and center. Today, no single investor in real estate is considering coming to Imo State, just as land owners are scampering to sell off their lands even with no buyer in sight.
Instruments of state have been deployed to repress political dissent. The House of Assembly exists just to okay the will of the governor, and pursue his foes, while fraud of gargantuan proportion is being perpetrated under its nose. Even education, which belongs to the socio-cultural sphere, has been politicized and tertiary institutions stripped of autonomy. Today in Imo State, the governor directly pays the salaries of lecturers and other non-academic staff of the tertiary institutions, though since January he has not given them a kobo.
Even without planting a single palm seedling at Adapalm in Ohaji, the regime has gone on air to congratulate itself on its successful revamping of Adapalm through which it has employed 35,000 thousand youths and produces 100,000 metric tonnes of oil palm per day. A regime that lives by propaganda shall die by propaganda! Truth is that nothing whatsoever has been done in Adapalm by the Uzodinma regime. The dream of creating mass employment in Adapalm through the establishment of downstream factories for glycerine, margarine and soap, and the equipment thereof, ended with Sam Mbakwe.
Imo has been clutched in the barbarous hands of a corrupt, inept, propagandist and fascist regime, and what alone can be prayed for is that may the good Lord grant that the state survive the ongoing financial hemorrhage and ruinous misrule.