My heart bleeds for my dear state. A state once made the envy of others by Late Chief Sam Mbakwe, a governor like no other.....but since 2015 news coming from Imo State has been saddening and irritating.
What a man sows, he must reap, the Holy Books say. This could sum up the drama and present confusion in Owerri, the capital city of Imo State.
What do we expect when the political leaders in the State had turned it into a battle ground? What do we expect when the leaders have been trading with the conscience, commonwealth and peace of the people for too long? What do we expect when the interest of the people no longer matter?
They say he that fetches ants infested firewood invites the lizards to a party. The ongoing movie in Owerri is a reflection of the position of leadership in the State. No trust among the leaders and no unity. Therefore, chaos has been given the leverage to exist....because the people no longer respect, trust and believe in their leaders.
The political leaders had exposed the state to all amount of danger thereby ridiculing the people. They align with strangers and forces from outside the state to outdo or outwit one another in a clear power tussle. They lay landmines on each other's paths.
Is it not in Imo that a mere quest for a Senatorial seat has turned into a do or die battle? As we speak, Imo North doesn't have a Senator in the Senate since the by-elections held last December.
The people are yet to come to terms with the shock of the Supreme Court judgement of January 14, 2020 which swept away the government of Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha to install the administration of Senator Hope Uzodinma.
Before now, Owerri was a peaceful place. A city of comfort with five-star hotels scattered all over the places inviting and attracting visitors and guests for good times and fun. Hardly does any week pass by without Owerri hosting a high profile national or international event.
Owerri was a tourist haven. From Concorde Hotel to Protea Hotel to WestBrook Hotel you can keep listing them...the city embraces you with splendour, candour and ambience of hospitality...which is the trademark of the people.
With the Federal University of Technology, Imo State University, Alvan Ikoku College of Education and Nekede Polytechnic among other institutions saying welcome, the city presents an enlightened and receptive class of people who understand every pinch and bit of coexistence, tolerance, fairness and education.
With 34 Artillery Brigade of the Nigerian Army and the State Police Command not too far from each other one wonders why and how the bandits or criminals could invade the Prisons which is equally close to the Police Command to break in and free prisoners.
The theory of "external invaders" cannot be ruled out since the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has denied carrying out the prison break and attack on another police station.
Though Gov. Uzodinma who is the Chief Security Officer of the State with the most reliable intelligence reports has fingered IPOB as responsible for the acts but again, it goes to show how disunited the state is since the political crisis started in 2019 or before.
Why would IPOB carry out such action which allegedly is targeted at unsettling Uzodinma's government? Or does the action have an undertone? Could it be coming from Uzodinma's perceived political enemies?
The present confusion has multiple theories. The IPOB theory, the External Forces theory and the theory of high profile individuals within the state being involved in the whole trouble. The external forces theory seems most worrisome because it has been so since 2019 governorship election.
Critics say, some people are bent on pulling down Imo-born politicians on ground that they possess the CV to lead at the centre. They say the ambition of few of these Imolites is the reason behind the political crisis in the state since 2019...as the politicians are pitched against one another by the external forces.
Faulty as this theory sounds, I wonder why the politicians from Imo State would allow their personal ambitions to override their emotions and collective responsibility of good governance. Truth is they are the ones fetching ants infested firewoods....lizards must be their guests.
It is sad that none of them has been courageous enough to speak up against insecurity in the state. Now Owerri is becoming a theatre of insecurity if not war. This could be the hand of Esau and the voice of Jacob. We hope that bandits have not made Imo a safe haven yet hiding under other umbrellas.
The award winning movies churned out in Owerri since 2015 arguably makes the city the official capital of nollywood. Remember the coinage IBERIBERISM? Remember the statues? Remember the Supreme Court verdict? Remember the recent battle over properties? Remember the war over who controls Imo North in the Senate? Endless movies.
Now we have jailbreak. We equally have Police Station sack.... Remember in between the former IGP got kicked out....What next?