IMO: The Lull, the Distractions And Equity.

By Henry Ekpe(08036695810)
 Imo State has been in a unique quietness since after the inception of the Governor Hope Uzodimma’s second term .
 The Citizens seem confused and “Sleep Walking” In a lethargy that has not been witnessed in the State before.
Imo is not exempted from the excruciating hardship wrought on the Federation from Abuja where the President has been  battling to contain the heavy  burden of Nigerian Load.
Recently,not much is heard about Government Activities in Imo unlike the last outing,when Gov Uzodimma was usually seen and heard.
Presently, Imo people are in a lull, occasioned by the gloomy environment that is not inspiring as the masses grope for what too eat, without hope.
It has never been this demanding for Parents and all,in the annals of Nigeria.
The Imo situation began drab the moment the Governor  spent Months in assembling his new Cabinet.
 Imo State is purely a Civil Service State and  depends much on Government for  its Economy.
There are no significant factories or Companies.  Therefore the populace depend majorly on Salaries of Workers and Government Appointees for Funds to circulate round in Markets and other Ventures like Private Schools, other economic outlets etc..
Therefore the welfare of Workers both in the Civil Service and Appointed Politicians essentially drive Imo Economy.
Unfortunately,  just a privileged few has been enjoying financial power in the present Administration.
Even Government Contracts a handled by One Big Company.
Much as they do good jobs,but sharing major Contacts among  different Companies in a State helps to put money in different Hands.
Imo State  was more Economically boisterous few years ago because of Election season which forces Politicians to throw money into the State’s Economy.
Within such periods all the sectors enjoy  Bountiful harvest from Political activities.
The Media, Transporters, Security Companies, Food and Drinks, Entertainment,Idle Youths, etc.
The Imo Government also gave over two thousand people employments through Appointments and other jobs.
Now, Governor Uzodimma has reduced the number of his Appointees due to the Economic situation in the land and also as the Political exigencies of then  are no more necessary now.
Under this the ugly scenario the Citizens must  gird their loins and seek for genuine alternative ways for survival.
They say Necessity is the mother of Invention.
It will take next two years before the Election  Seasons arrive again for freebies.
So,the journey is still far away. But that does not stop Politicians  keeping the Environment busy in Imo.
Despite bad Economy the 2027 handover date for a new Governor remains sacrosanct even if hunger reduces the population before then.
Indeed,it is heartwarming that under the harsh situation the masses still remain optimistic of tomorrow, leading to the present  day “Distractions” in Imo State.
The “Distraction” is that Imo people from the three Political Zones of Orlu,Okigwe and Owerri are already seriously engaged on the issue of who succeeds Uzodimma in 2027.
Since there are not much of Government Activities,the masses, especially Imo Elites, have busied themselves with the issue of “Imo Next Governor”.
The Incumbent Governor Uzodimma is  quoted to have said in several fora that Owerri will succeed him.
But that has not stopped Okigwe,even Orlu to prepare ahead.
Imagine that this Topic had not dominated Imo Political space,how dull do you think Imo would have been now?
What would the Politicians be doing and saying in the State now?
What would the Journalists be writing?
The  newly inaugurated Commissioners are yet to settle down in Office, while  recently appointed ones are not yet Inaugurated.The Special Advisers SAs have not been assigned Portfolios yet..
Therefore it is right and proper that next Imo Governor in 2027 be the major issue in 2024.
Imo people have moved one in earnest.
We can’t leave  the Political space dull and empty of Activities.
Governments come and go but the people remain.
So let Imo people talk and decide  their future as their own contribution to the dull polity.
From all indications, the 2027 Imo Governorship election will be dicey as usual.
The Orlu Peoples Consultative Assembly,OPOCA seems to have tactically concurred to the “Owerri slot” but are worried that it is too early to begin such talks now saying  it heaths up the polity and “Distracts Our  Son,Gov Uzodimma”,from leaving office on a high.
The OPOCA also argued vehemently that no Group, persons or Zone can produce Imo Governor without Orlu’s input even though Orlu would have occupied that seat for 24 years in 2027. They even threatened to run again.
There is the Owerri Zone Political Forum OZOPOLF.
As an Organization from Owerri,many had hoped  OZOPOLF would to make her stand clear on the Owerri Governorship matter.
But OZOPOLF said it would support only whomever the Governor, Senator Uzodimma props up to succeed him.
The Group did not make it Clear if that person  MUST be from Owerri, before OZOPOLF will throw her weight. Or it doesn’t matter who the fellow is , provided he/ she is  supported by the Governor and is from Imo State.
 OZOPOLF seems to be made  up of mainly APC chieftains and Governors trusted allies from Owerri Zone.
By its own admission, OZOPOLF agreed that it did not support Emeka Ihedioha,from Owerri Zone,in the 2015 Imo Governorship election,but Rochas Okorocha from Orlu.
But in that same Election there were other Owerri born Politicians who participated apart from Ihedioha.
Trinity OPOCA led by Bar Willy Amadi is not   mincing Words on supporting Owerri Governorship come 2027.
And there is the IMO HARMONY PROJECT HIP, sponsored by Captain Emma Ihenacho, a former Minister.
This Group  looks more “Democratic” in their Advocacy. More Urbane, Academic and Moderate like their Convener.
While they say it must be Owerri turn,they are not concerned who the Qualified fellow is or the Political party, provided it is a son or daughter of Owerri Zone.
And the Group is a “Rainbow Coalition” of Owerri Zone People,from different Political Parties,with the “Owerri 2027 Agenda” as their binding Principle.
Yet, there are  Owerri people making case for Okigwe Zone.But these  people are anchoring their individual calls on a former Governor of Imo State.
But Okigwe Nation has Convened a Meeting  for this Weekend, comprising of her Prominent Sons and daughters with the single Agenda: Imo Charter of Equity”
It is likely that after the Okigwe meeting the tempo on Imo Governorship Tussle will rise higher.
However,the Governor who initiated the Charter of Equity, Senator Hope Uzodimma, has been busy with other things and ignored the latest “Distractions”.
But certainly he must speak some day at the proper time, through whom he will point at as his candidate, and the Political party.
But Imo Electorate will also speak, because they had Spoken several times before that Imo Voters hardly suffer fool easily. That is the reason the Out gone Imo Governors hardly produced the Successor of their choice.
So,let us tarry,while  “The Lull,and Distractions” continue to wait for “Equity”, even as the Various Groups Continue Steaming the Imo Political Environment