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Imo: A Day Of Destiny

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Izumachimgbara Osuigwe 

As the Supreme Court review of the Imo State Mishap appears set for the 18th of February 2020, we pray for the best for the sake of Nigeria and the reverberations of the future!

It’s a day every Nigerian,  politician, civil servants, military,  students, governors,  party members, teachers, my lords spiritual and temporal, imams, chief priests of shrines, women leaders, should spare 3 minutes and hold up a mirror and look at his or her reflection and ask,  was this the Nigerian of Ahmadu Bello, Azikiwe, Awolowo???

Was this what we dreamt of as kids when we belt out, ” Arise O’compatriots ” and 

When we say “I pledge to Nigeria, my country “.

Is this for what I go out every morning and come back every evening?

Is this the Nigeria I hope for my children and grand children to be proud of?

I am  happy for the efforts of people like us who ensured that the “Lamentations of Jeremiah” were heard all over the universe!

We did not fold our hands and accept the verdict, we refused to be cowed into submission,  we just knew that something terrible had happened and if left  unrectified,  the loser won’t be Emeka Ihedioha ultimately, but the legacy of Muhammadu Buhari in the annals of the history of Nigeria!

These Lamentations came from Owerri zone, Okigwe Zone, Orlu zone, from all over imo state, from South east, from the west,  from the south south, from all over nigeria, from Africa and finally from the entire world!

The reason became a source of caricature and mirth that a 4th in the list became the winner!.

That the constitutional ways of tendering evidence before our courts were spurned in favour of the unusual. 

The decision implied that “even when invigilators discovers a student writing outside the exam hall, in cancelled exam centres, provided the student wrote on approved answer sheets, no matter how fraudulently obtained, even if it was the school gate man who comes to tender the results,” instead of such student being arrested and charged for examination malpractice, the  results should instead be accepted by the examiners for the purposes of determining who came first!

The repercussions of such a decision could have and were already affecting how foreign investors viewed Nigeria as a destination for their investments. 

Strive Masiriya of Econet sued  Nigerian politicians, businessmen and states who hijacked his shares in then Econet, the matter got to supreme court in Nigeria and he won, that verdict assured international bodies and businesses of the relative independence of our judiciary.

Some have tried to distinguish between politics and business, as if the supreme court justices have different sets of turpitude depending on whether the matter before them is of  political or investment nature.  How funny!.

Thank God for the indefatigable character of Emeka Ihedioha, he has fought to give our justices another opportunity to clean their act. They should rather be grateful that he took up the matter.

Those who plotted this civilian coup overlooked some obvious facts on the ground!

They assumed the fight, over the right or wrong of their conspiracy would be left to only politicians to fight, that the ordinary people of imo state would just wash their hands off the ensuring squabbles and dismiss such as politicians versus politicians!

They did not realise the depth of the impression Ihedioha’s seven months on the saddle meant for the Imo people.

On the evening of the 14th of January 2020,  Imo state was like a community that suffered mass death!

Women were openly crying, men were brooding, the sense of marginalised injustice was so high that many igbo intelligentsia were already thinking deeper on appropriate reactions and responses to the affront. 

Even Orlu zone, where Hope Uzodinma comes from shunned any celebration of the tainted gift and instead wore a toga of deep mourning.

Under the Ihedioha governance, beyond the resumed payment of salaries and pensions,  Imo started to look like one massive construction site, as roads abandoned since decades were being constructed across the length and breadth of the state, curious wondering of where the resources came from, revealed that these were counterpart  projects already existing and  approved by international bodies, like world bank, etc but because the previous  governments preferred embezzling the state’s share of the cost, instead of contributing,  the funds lying idle,  unutilized, but Emeka Ihedioha instead of towing the self enriching approach of his predecessors,  paid up the Imo state share of the projects hence the resultant constructions going on everywhere. 

The man approached governance with the urgency of the now! 

Touching on every stratum of the state’s entity, from education, agriculture, technology, culture, etc..

The team he assembled to interpret his programs for the state was the type, you can’t get near to if you lack serious issues to talk about.

For the first time in decades,  a governor appointed those who can look him in the eye and disagree with a position they find inimical to the state’s interest. 

No wonder the haste of many of the house of assembly members to port to APC,  as they realized that none of the commissioners or heads of agencies were the type to come and lobby with bags of Ghana must go on the floor the assembly. 

The discovery by his economic team of over N100 billion of the state’s funds fraudulently held by banks and his insistence that the money shall be spent,  also attracted it’s own share of animosity from that side.

Myself and a few others never counted on Hon.Ihedioha being different from others before him, even when he was sworn in, we were still sceptical, until we started noticing the calibre of his appointments! For the first time since Mbakwe and Enwerem, he was appointing technocrats. Even when the appointees were party members, one observes that those appointed were the calibre who had made it in their private capacities!

Then our usual visits to the state revealed a real spurt of fresh air, people were already comparing his administration with that of Sam Mbakwe, telling those too young to know of the similitude between both administrations in positively impacting on the governed.

Some have said that the supreme court verdict was political and intended to clip Ihedioha’s wings enroute to 2023 presidential election.  Please we assure those that Ihedioha will not dream of such, having regards to the gamut of work and effort needed to cure Imo state of the serial decay of more than 16 years of misgovernance. 

I am sure Nde Imo would torch his house and banish him and his family if he ventures to talk of leaving the state without utilising the opportunities of a 2 term to reposition the state.

If he wasn’t aware before,  the emotional outpouring by the Imolites would warn him of how bad they would consider such adventurism on his part.

Any one doubting this should call for a rerun,  if Emeka gets less than 80% of the votes in imo state,  he should concede victory!

The curses and vituperations on the president were lessened when the story came out that Buhari was not in the picture of what happened and that he had therefore warned his aides to allow the integrity and independence of the judiciary henceforth! 

Imolites are grateful if this is true, and this free hand  appears to have occasioned  the fixing of the review date, without dragging it out unnecessarily! 

It is said, Ubi Jus Ibi Remedium

However, justice delayed is justice denied.

18th February 2020 is Buhari’s date with history! 

Would he start placing blocks of history’s vindication of his era or would he say, let the worst happen and  “with Ate by his sides, let loose the dogs of iniquity”. on Imo state?

Public notice have been taken of his photo Ops with Hope Uzodinma together. That notwithstanding. 

 Who “will go to Obowo for us” but Vox Populi Vox Dei

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