@63, Other Side of Hope Uzodimma Imolites Don’t Know

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Distinguished Senator Hope Odidika Uzodinma may be the much talked about personality in Imo State at the moment. Not just because he is the number one citizen of the state, but the fact that today is his born day remembrance as the present executive governor of the Imo. 

Undoubtedly, the foundation of the state will quake with potpourri of celebration and expected razzmatazz associated to such funfare.  

Despite the disturbing insecurity pervading Imo, time and space have been reserved to celebrate the governor’s birthday.

Beyond the facade of the blitz that would definitely characterize  the marking of the birthday as political associates, friends and allies in the ruling APC roll out drums for the day, Trumpeta Co- Publisher and Deputy Editor in Chief, Kelechi Mejuobi in this write up gives certain briefs  of the Omuma, Oru East born governor that may be unknown to the people of the state.

A cursory study of the man who came into major spotlight after the Supreme Court judgement of Tuesday January 14, 2020 indicate interesting details about Uzodinma not in public domain.

Born on 12th December, 63 years ago, Uzodinma made first attempt to be governor in 2003 under Alliance for Democracy, AD and 2006 he also ran for the primaries of PDP.

From his biography, Uzodinma attended Mgbidi Secondary School, Oru West 

Despite mixed perception about his academic profile, Uzodinma has packs of certificates in his kitty to stand tall among the governor’s who have ruled the state in the past. Uzodinma’s background speaks volumes of bountiful academic qualification.  In 1978, he went to the university where he studied International Studies and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in 1982. It was also learnt that prior to the period he had already obtained an Advance Diploma in Transport Studies. Also, he obtained his Master’s degree from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and attained a degree in political science from the University of London.

A responsible family man, the governor is said to be blessed with eight children. The first lady, Chioma Uzodinma (nee Ikeaka) a lawyer he married in low key traditional wedding in 2015 has three children for him. The first wife, Augusta Uzodinma had five children for him and the marriage was said to have been dissolved over 17 years ago. 

Talking about his political life, he is one of those titans who can’t be easily wished away in Imo State. It wouldn’t be out of place to say he has seen it all in the murky waters of the game. It wouldn’t be out of place to brand him the King David of Imo politics judging from his trajectory that culminated in his emergence as governor.

Trumpeta can state that Uzodinma has trudged on with doggedness from the lower rung of the political ladder to the front seat of Imo politics of today. 

Going into memorable lane, at the birth of democracy in Uzodinma was one of the PDP chieftains until his desire to become governor in 2003 saw him move out. He returned to try his luck on governorship in 2006 but lost out. Later he emerged PDP Board of Trustees. 

This writer who observed activities of 2011 election can vividly disclose that Uzodinma performed an immeasurable feat by capturing the PDP Senate ticket of Orlu Zone ahead Senator Osita Izunaso who itched for another tenure in 2011. He repeated the performance in 2015 still under PDP.

Apparently noticing the change in political climate and need to be in the mainstream of national politics, Uzodinma moved into ruling APC and ran for governorship primaries.

It was dicey in 2018 when Uzodinma renewed  his magic wand in the field of politics to outsmart former governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha in the game. 

Despite verbal boasts of Okorocha who is now Senator for Orlu Zone to retire politicians like Uzodinma and co in the state, his stoic desire to have his son in-law Chief Uche Nwosu become successor in Government House,  Owerri was cut short by Uzodinma who snatched the APC. 

Uzodinma’s rare talisman to gain upper hand in the politics of Imo became manifested when the Supreme Court handed him the governorship victory after losing at the Election Petition Tribunal, EPT and Appeal Court. 

However, it has not been an easy ride for him in the system as he also experienced side tackles in the road to political stardom. Similar to what average successful politician goes through in Nigeria, he has not been divorced from scandals associated with corruption allegations. 

Even before he decided to run for governor in the early 2000, he was accused during the Justice Chukwudifu  Oputa Panel of 2001 of a matter associated with National Maritime Authority and former military ruler Abdusalam Abubakar. 

Apparently to run him down, his name came up again in 2015 with that of Dere Awosika, an associate of late Stella Obasanjo in a matter the EFCC was involved in. 

Before 2019 election, all manners of allegations were heaped against him including the report that he was banned from travel outside the country carried by one major national daily in the country. 

But his ascension into the governorship position appears to have swept the matters away.

Today, Uzodimma noted for his altruistic disposition before he became the governor is being celebrated as he marks another year in life.