By Henry Ekpe
One of the things that Nigerian politicians are known for is Sycophancy. Since the inauguration of Senator Hope Uzodinma as the Governor of Imo State, this Group has increased in number in Imo State.
Naturally, sycophants have no political value of their own, and neither do they have anything doing, hence they dwell on mouthing praises of others to attract attention and job.
Sycophants live on Government patronage as they have no means of livelihood, and ready to do anything to please their Principal at the particular time.
However, they are also ready at any time to ditch a “Principal” for another, provided the price is okay.
Therefore, such people are dangerous as they cannot be trusted and could be described as Political Merchants.
It is quite unfortunate that even though such political Merchants existed in Imo right from the days of Governor Achike Udenwa, but their tribe has increased in the current regime of Governor Hope Uzodinma.
And there are reasons for that. First of all, no one gave Uzodinma a chance in the world to be the Governor of Imo State today, starting from the party primaries, as he was too busy trying to pick the All Progressive Congress APC Governorship ticket than to campaign for the main election.
Even when he battled then sitting Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha to submission by grabbing the APC Guber ticket through “GULAK”, Okorocha could not give Senator Hope Uzodinma any space to campaign.
The only time Governor Hope Uzodinma attempted to campaign, Okorocha restricted him to Okigwe road Owerri, where the APC State office is located.
Even when President Mohammadu Buhari visited Imo, he was compelled to tell APC members not to vote for their Governorship candidate, at Dan Anyiam Stadium, that they were free to vote any candidate of their choice. All these were the hand work of Okorocha, as then incumbent Governor and Chief Host to Buhari. He was rather projecting his son inlaw, and candidate of AA, Uche Nwosu, than Uzodinma of APC, his own party.
Even at the contentious Imo Governorship Tribunal, Senator Hope Uzodinma was never reckoned to be a big challenge to then Governor and PDP candidate Hon Emeka Ihedioha, as all focus was channeled towards Chief Uche Nwosu of Action Alliance AA, and Senator Ifeanyi Araraume of All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, who both came second and third respectively, according to the INEC result.
Therefore, the supports of Imo people were shared among Ihedioha, Nwosu, Araraume and Uzodinma in that order of popularity.
However, the unthinkable happened on January 14, 2020, when the Supreme Court of Nigeria pronounced Senator Hope Uzodinma as the Governor of Imo State.
Unthinkable because not many people envisaged the shocking development, following what had transpired from the Tribunal to the Appeal Court.
But the stark Reality became that Uzodinma is the Governor which took a lot of Imo politicians off their feet, so much that they have been adopting to the new situation in the State.
This development have exposed that most of those called politicians in Imo have no second addresses and therefore see politics as a profession instead of a past time vocation to render service to the masses.
Because of this ugly but truthful situation, nearly all Imo politicians have suddenly over night shifted camp to the latest Bride in town; Senator Hope Uzodinma. Even those who led the smear campaign against Uzodinma’s Governorship election have also joined the Bandwagon. And quite unfortunately, the major “War Mongers” who spear-headed the slogan of “Hope is Hopeless” are now the main “Vuvuzelas” trying tirelessly to attract the attention of the Governor by engaging in their usual trade; smearing others to gain Uzodinma’s notice.
Under this confused situation, everybody is fighting everybody, as a means of getting recognized in the scheme of things in the present administration.
Quite unfortunately, in a bid to outdo each other, nearly every person now is a Face and Spokesman of the present Government of Imo State to the extent that you are confused to decipher which is the official pronouncement from the Government.
Even releases from Government House hit town before official comments could come out to authenticate them. And the cause is that too many people are jobless and want to be recognized, but inadvertently usurping the office of those in Government.
And because the Government is still battling to gain the confidence of Imo people, it allows such irregularities, which is now causing embarrassment to the Senator Hope Uzodinma’s Government.
Let me state here that since Uzodinma assumed office, he has exhibited some Dovish character which many see as act of Statesmanship and therefore elicited some attraction to his administration from a certain section of Imolites.
But unfortunately, it seems like the Hawks are gradually influencing the Governor’s Easy disposition, as the Governor is gradually toeing the line of the Governor Rochas Okorocha era, which was full of combative actions in a democratic society, and in the end left Okorocha isolated by the masses he came to “Rescue”.
One of the major test for the Uzodinma administration was the recent visit to Imo State by Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha which was aborted by threats from the Imo State Government.
The Hawks may have led Uzodinma into that action, which instead of making Uzodinma a benevolent leader, and raise his rating among the populace, has instead now turned him to a Dictator in the eyes of many and raised Ihedioha’s rating to a Hero feared by Authorities.
One of the lay arguments advanced by Sycophants was that when Ihedioha was Governor, he barred Owelle Rochas Okorocha from coming into Imo State. But that is not true, as the Ihedioha/ Okorocha issue is quite a different case as what recently happened between Ihedioha and Uzodinma.
Mind you, Ihedioha allowed Okorocha into Imo State, but Okorocha turned the arrival into a Rally where he abused the sitting Government, and even incited his followers against the Government. This is open to investigation as Security Agencies were present at that Event.
As if that was not enough, the next day Okorocha went for a Live Programme on Radio, and committed more blunders on Air, to the hearing of Imo masses.
It is on record that even when the then Secretary to Imo State Government, Hon Uche Onyeagocha went after Okorocha with verbal actions, Ihedioha reined him in and even publicly denied Onyeagocha. This led Onyeagocha into Calmness and reduced the tension between Okorocha and Ihedioha.
Therefore, it would have been better, and even a credit to the present Government in Imo state had Ihedioha been allowed into Imo State, and then if he abuses any of the privileges accorded him, could be denied entry next time, just as Ihedioha did to Okorocha.
I would ask Governor Hope Uzodinma to beware and avoid the “Hawks” as they have all gathered again to tell him what he wants to hear, but only to jump out when it is convenient for them, when the groove is no more coming.
These people have been around since 1999 and we know them. They served in all the Governments in Imo State right from Udenwa till date. Their hatrade for Ihedioha was just because he kept them at arms length for the Eight months he was in office.
Now, they have circled around again for easy lucre and are ready to jettison the Ship at the slightest chance. So, Governor Hope Uzodinma, watch these Hawks.