Anyone following political events in and around Nigeria must attest to the fact that the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike has always dished out unprovoked tackles on the Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma. Most of the unprovoked attacks are not based on issues of governance but on political party differences.
Governor Uzodimma known to be reserved and with measured with his words, has continually refused to join many other politicians in the country to trade banters in the media.
Known to make appearences or statements only after perfecting plans and arrangements for any endeavour, Gov. Uzodimma has continued to shame his detractors with his approach to issues.
Sincerely, it is counterintuitive to expect an emperor to be happy with the strongman and tactician who took away 43 oil wells from him. This is exactly the foundation of Nyesom Wike’s hatred towards Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State as far as common sense goes. 17 of the wells currently under litigation with Imo State securing victory at the Federal High Court and Appellate Court now await final ruling by May, 2022 at the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
For many years, some oil wells in parts of Oguta, Ohaji/Egbema and Ngor-Okpala LGAs of Imo State have been credited to Rivers State, until the emergence of Governor Uzodimma who has now taken the bulls by the horn to recover them and set records straight. The National Boundary Commission have long done all the necessary assignments and with the imminent victory on the litigation, Imo is sure to have her Revenue Allocation reviewed upwards and stand a chance of making it to the big four in oil and gas production in the country. Unprecedented.
Wike had on Wednesday 23rd February 2022 said it would be a mistake for the Imo electorate to allow the current governor of Imo state, Hope Uzodimma, to return to power the second time, as governor in 2023. He said this in Owerri, during the reception organized by the Peoples Democratic Party PDP in the State, to welcome home the National Secretary of the party, Senator Samdaddy Anyanwu, along with the National leadership led by the National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu.
He described the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, as unfit to rule the states and the country at large. According to Wike, “Nigerians are angry and frustrated because the APC has failed them and we should all unite and push them away and reclaim our positions both at the national and state level”. He went ahead to declare that PDP will take over Imo State and should expect defeate in the Ngor-Okpala State Constituency By-Election.
These statements of Wike were however replied by Governor Hope Uzodimma who spoke through the Information Commissioner declaring that the re-election of Gov. Hope Uzodinma will be done by the people of Imo state who will not be influenced by rabble-rousers like Nyesom Wike. Imo Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Hon Declan Emelumba reacting to the statement credited to Wike noted that if the performance of Wike was an indices of the strength of PDP, then the party will never dethrone Uzodimma because the Rivers state governor is synonymous with unmitigated failure and crass recklessness even as he is a colossal failure and a megalomaniac whose posturing has left Rivers State poorer in the last seven years. He is a complete failure in governance and leadership and therefore is unfit to assess Uzodinma, Emelumba said.
For me, the king of all replies is the recent outcome of the Ngor-Okpala State Constituency By-Election which took place yesterday, the 26th of February, 2022 where the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) recorded a resounding victory with a win margin of over 2,000 votes. An election adjudged to be litmus test for the coming 2023 general elections giving the recent passage of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill by President Muhammadu Buhari and the Bimodal Verification Authentication System machines innovation of online transmission of result by the electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Governor Uzodimma had months ago delivered APC the last two By-Elections that took place in the state (Okigwe Federal Constituency and Imo North Senatorial District) but the historic thing about the 2022 Ngor-Okpala State Constituency By-Election is that with the exception of 2011 elections, it was first time the People’s Democratic Party would be defeated in a resounding manner. The Saturday election marked the first time defeat of the PDP since our nascent democracy of 1999 in many polling units of the Local Government Area. It’s outcome has sent strong and shocking signals down the spines of the opposition PDP in the state.
Governor Hope Uzodimma recently announced that Ngor-Okpala has been earmarked for the Special Agro-processing Industrial Zones Project of the African Development Bank, a multi million naira Agro-processing project in partnership with the Federal Government of Nigeria billed to create thousands of job and produce export compliant Agro produce for the betterment of the Imo economy. Hope has demonstrated uncommon love for the people of the Local Government by meaningful inclusion in his government and determination to site projects that will turn around their socioeconomic circumstances being one the largest council areas of the state. This is even as Uzodimma has undertaken very many infrastructural development projects in the state, especially the roads, flood and erosion control projects, civil service reforms, agro revolution, fight against insecurity and so many others that have endeared him to majority of Imo people of goodwill.
Wike, Ikpeazu, Ihedioha, the PDP and their sympathizers have once again been shamed and defeated and have only resorted to cheap lies and propaganda on media spaces suggesting that the election was marred by violence and bloodshed as against the reality on ground which resonates a clear and keen contest devoid of violence which did not go their way like the yesteryears. It is also pertinent to point out the commitment, dedication of the APC, her leaders and members who campaigned vigorously to ensure the victory of Amajirionwu Blyden Okanni, the candidate of APC in that election and now the Member-Elect for the Ngor-Okpala State Constituency seat in Imo State House of Assembly. Imo people and Ngor-Okpala electorates have succinctly replied rabble rousers in the opposition, especially the drunken emperor.
Martin Okorowu is a Public Affairs Analyst and writes from Owerri.