By Bennett Izuogu
There are some stories that when weaved to explain certain acts and actions of citizens just fail to be plausible and possible. Such stories lack all lines of connectivity and leave the incident and its attendant reports hanging.
One such story is the one on the Nmahu incident on Sunday, March 8, 2020 involving Senator Hope Uzodimma, the governor of Imo State and his official bullet proof car and two other cars, that were reportedly attacked by angry youths, resulting in the damage of the cars, while not sparing the back windscreen of the governor’s SUV.
That’s certainly a very serious matter. It’s the first of its kind in Imo State as far as history can reveal. It’s not in the character of Imo State for a governor or his convoy to be attacked.
There have been some discordant reports of what happened at Nmahu, including the official press release signed by Ogwuike Nwachukwu, the Chief Press Secretary to Senator Uzodimma. They all have one message. And that’s that the governor wasn’t attacked by irate youths.
However, a youth was eventually shown as the person that threw the stone that broke the governor’s SUV. It was reported that he was one among other youths who wanted Uzodimma to come out and address them and so on. Differrent stories for a single incident!
The issue there, however, is that the incident needn’t be privatized and politicized. For instance, if, as the government’s official statement suggested, Uzodimma wasn’t attacked, why then were three vehicles in his convoy vandalized, including his personal SUV?
If there were no extended physical fracas, how could the single stone thrown by a single youth destroy three cars at a go? Who and where are the other youths in the stone throwing mission?
The above highlighted questions are begging for answers. It’s good that the case has been taken up by the Nigeria Police, Imo State Command for investigation. Maybe the report by the police will set straight the records and expose what must have transpired at Nmahu community.
This is because as at the moment, there are two sides to the story. One side is the already stated story that the incident wasn’t an attack but an outcome of some youths that were agitating for the the governor to address them or youths that had misunderstanding and were throwing stones.
The other side of the story is that it was an attack by angry youths and indigenes who are still nursing anger over the criminal misjudgement that erroneously enthroned Uzodimma as Imo governor.
Both sides of the story don’t add up, even though the latter about people expressing their anger over the process of Uzodimma’s emergence, appears more realistic.
There’s what’s known as principles of cause and effect. Whatever led to the physical damage of a governor’s official vehicles anywhere in the State, while on official duty must be very serious.
That’s more so in the obvious presence of the characteristic retinue of security operatives on the governor’s convoy each time he officially goes on a visit or so from the precints of the Government House. Where were the governor’s security details when this single youth that was arrested and handcuffed was throwing the stone that damaged the governor’s SUV?
The answer to that was proffered by natives of Nmahu that claimed to be eye-witnesses. They claimed that when the youths started the attack on the governor and his entourage, throwing stones and chanting “onye oshi votes”, everybody on the governor’s convoy expectedly took to their heels with the governor himself shielded and hurriedly ushered into a house.
The foregoing are worrisome stories to be told and heard about the governor of a State, who happens to be the Chief Security Officer of the State. It was a near miss, which could have been fatal, with imaginable and unimaginable consequences.
It’s a good thing that no life was lost in the incident that appears more of an attack by irate youths than a stone throwing joke by some happy youths. Yet, the good news was that no life was lost, but vehicles.
It’s expected that the police should conduct a very thorough investigation into the ugly incident and come up with a plausible report.
Meanwhile, citizens mustn’t take laws into their own hands just as officials of government mustn’t give cause(s) for citizens to take laws into their own hands.
The Nmahu incident is one one that mustn’t be allowed to happen again. The security of a governor at any point in time must be guaranteed!