The mood among Okigwe and Owerri political elite is that of veiled anger, frustration and resentment. But the two cheated zones are largely responsible for the growing arrogance and landlordism of Orlu zone.
Most Okigwe and Owerri politicians are blinded by self service and pecuniary interests, and it appears that they do not fully understand the game-plan of a zone that seems to have perfected methods of keeping Imo State as its inherited territory, in the same way that the politically greedy Hausa/Fulani have held and continue to hold the entire territory of Nigeria down as a vassal state for their domination and exploitation.
The danger here is obvious: very soon, Okigwe and Owerri people would begin to look at their Orlu counterpart with bottled-up anger and envy. This may not be too good for peace and unity necessary for development.
How do we restore the Equity Formula that, at a point, made Imo state the envy of neighbouring and far-flung states east of the Niger?
First, political Orlu must accept that it has had more than its fair share of tenancy at Douglas House, and should begin to loosen its firm grip on political power in Imo State. It should begin to seek alliances with politicians in the two zones, and accept, without being shy, that greed can, in fact, attract envy and resentment.
The emergence of Senator Hope Uzodinma in 2020 again from Orlu zone after the dislodgement of Emeka Ihedioha after 16 years of previous Orlu rulership, and who is also rumoured and appears in view of recent developments, to be angling to do a second term as governor in 2024, is uncharitable, unacceptable, and could possibly engineer anger and a gang-up. This may not be too good for our children, grandchildren and to values that we collectively share.
Please, note that I have not said, nor am I canvassing, that Governor Hope Uzodinma has not done well to the best of his capacity ans abilities or that he is not eminently qualified to govern Imo State or that he is not constitutionally empowered to seek another term, that is not the point that I am making. It will be stupid of me to say that. What I’m saying and will keep saying, is that it would be callous, self serving and unfair to continue to perpetuate the unjust, unfair and inequitable landlordism of Orlu over the rest of the state. I am saying that the Governor should be statemanly and allow our famous Equity Formula that guaranteed peace and development in the state to be restored in 2024 before resentment takes over our political space.
In the spirit of our Equity Formula, Owerri zone needs to do one full term at least or Okigwe to complete its eight years as the case may be. Imo people should consider and determine the options democratically. But the deviation from the Formula that assured, guaranteed and promoted Harmony and Accord is most likely going to have dire consequences in our state, unless we have a rethink, especially by the social category I simply refer to as “Political Orlu”. We should all realise that our famous Formula is in coma, and in the immortal words of Othman Danfodio, “conscience is an open wound and only truth can heal it”. Our elders should speak out now or forever remain silent and live with consequences od their greed and self service.
The brewing resentment and envy against Orlu may haunt them tomorrow. The continuing monopoly of political power in the state by one zone and the subtle conversion of the other two zones as pawns, may be very dangerous. Its also pertinent to note that no amount of showcasing of visible achievements of this government can make up for the inequity, unfairness and injustice of a further perpetuation of Orlu zone in office beyond 2024. Orlu may be capitalising, as it were, on the two zones’ lack of appreciation of the character and style of their domination. This is not fair. It is not just.
Politicians should pursue their ambitions with eyes fixed on the future, and not to operate as if there will be no tomorrow. The injustices of today may haunt us tomorrow. The monopoly of power and the greed that excludes other components of the state by a fraction of the Orlu political elite is certainly not the best.
It is for the political elite in Owerri and Okigwe zones to see the exclusion, the monopoly and the veritable dominance of the political space by their Orlu counterpart as an affront, an assault to their sensibilities and an insult. They should get together and devise ways of curbing the excesses of a fraction of Orlu political grouping. Huge damage has been inflicted on a hitherto innocent and vibrant state. It is the prayer and hope of all concerned Imo citizens, who genuinely wish peace and development in our state, that God will save her from chaos, anarchy and doom, and for our elite to pursue only what is “right, just, fair and equitable.
Duruebube Uzii na Abosi