Insecurity: It Is Time To Impeach Uzodinma By Collins Opurozor

May 20, 2021

Hope Uzodimma

There is insecurity everywhere in the country. This is almost a cliché. And the intention of those who are quick to put forward this argument is very simple, and very mischievous as well. They seek to downplay the primacy of a meaningful conversation about the specificities, manifestations and ramifications of insecurity in different parts of the country.

To be clear, what is happening in Borno is different from what is happening in Oyo. Also, Anambra’s manifestations of insecurity, which have partly come down to inter-communal conflicts and the activities of touts in Upper Iweka, may be significantly different from what is obtainable in Imo, where the absence of governance has opened up the floodgate of hell for demons to take over the streets.

One thing is remarkable about insecurity in Nigeria: most Governors have, in consultation with their citizens, come up with homespun options intent on addressing the situation. For instance, the pattern of killings from the plateaus of Mambilla to the Benue valleys have made it imperative for the key political actors along that belt to conclude that the solution to their problem was the enactment of anti-open grazing laws. Gov Samuel Ortom has never budged from this position, and the popularity he enjoys today stems from the simple fact that he stands with his people.

Enugu, in order to check the activities of the murderous herdsmen, quickly responded with the creation of the Forest Guards, which operations Governor Ugwuanyi kicked off by personally leading the way into the forests. Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State earlier identified youth unemployment as the major driver of conflict in his State, and favoured soft security measures. He immediately launched the Skills Training and Entrepreneurship programme (STEP) and the Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurs Programme (YAGEP), which have today taken thousands of Delta youths off the streets. No less profound are the efforts of Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State in intervening and creating platforms for discussions towards sustainable peace. A life lost in Oyo is to Mankinde a misery untold.

In Imo, each day brings a new sorrow. Hardly does a night pass by without fire and fury pouring down on Owerri, in which wake unarmed and non-combatant lifeless bodies litter the streets. Uzodinma’s band of enthusiasts, supporters and actual media handlers would describe these ravages which gulp the lives of our compatriots as security measures to “warm up” the city. They are following the footsteps of their principal who would always deceive the world that Imo is peaceful, even when he cannot visit any part of the State, or that he has brought back security even when people cannot stay out at 6pm. It is troubling that the blood of Imo people has continued to be used for “warming up” Owerri, while the regime in Imo claims all is well! This is a sacrilege!

I was moved to tears upon coming across a footage that captured where a wife and a sister met their slain husband and brother in a pool of blood behind Imo State University in Owerri. That was in the morning after the “city warming” at night. That innocent, ostensibly responsible man was murdered in cold blood for no sin of his. And the regime looked the other way as if it was a goat that died. Tales of reckless extra-judicial killings have become commonplace in the State, with the populace now losing count of the victims.

What has become immensely worrisome is that Uzodinma still does not want to take responsibility for securing the lives and property of Imo people. Today he blames some militants, tomorrow he puts the blame on his real or imagined political foes, even when he has failed to name any of them. But Uzodinma’s fixation with issues of regime protection, and prioritization of same over the security of Imo people, has revealed him for whom he is. The comical claim that the opposition is behind the insecurity has further defined Uzodinma as totally at a loss with what governance is, and has unmasked him as a huge threat to the peace and security of the State. The earlier he is eased out, the better for everyone.

No other confession to insensitivity can be more eloquent than Uzodinma leaving Imo people to their fate and junketing about in Abuja. Today again, he has moved to Abuja, and the few days he spent in Imo, he never stepped out from his coven to see for himself how he has left Imo in ruins. Imo people cannot keeping dying recklessly, yet their supposed governor shows no empathy, no regard, no remorse. This kind of thing does not happen elsewhere! In the streets of Imo, victims of arbitrary arrests recount their ordeals and the extortions meted out to them by security operatives who take advantage of the situation to subject citizens to untold exploitation.

We have a House of Assembly in Imo State which is supposed to be the bastion of democracy. Imo people have grown despondent, and they are despairing. Their agonies are worsened by the belief that the Assembly has been pocketed by Uzodinma through whatever means. It is time for the members of this Assembly to convince Imo people that they are not malleable and that they are not an extension of Uzodinma’s appointees. They must therefore rise up and become an Assembly of Imo people who Uzodinma has betrayed, abandoned and left to perish. The primary purpose of government is the security and welfare of citizens. That is the oath Uzodinma took to uphold, and that is the oath he has grossly violated. He must therefore be immediately impeached.

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