Very recently, the mainstream and new media have been awash with negative stories essentially targeted at tarnishing the image of Imo State Government.

What many do not know is that government is the people and not about any individual. When negative stories fly against the state, the individuals in the state are also adversely affected, warts and all. So anyone rubbishing the state with the misguided intent that the name of Dist. Sen Hope Uzodinma will be mired is only rolling in the ash of myopia.

Simply put, any negative news about Imo State is a negative for its citizenry and its heritage. And indeed, no negative news story, in a manner of speaking will reduce the personal or political clout of the governor. The governor, essentially, is only but an individual and not the state.

The opposition in Imo should indeed be wary of what they post and what news they make. An assault on the state in the name of junk journalism is clearly an assault on Imolites, make no mistake about it.

In the last few days, a twin-headed monster of negative stories has found its way in the mediascape of the polity against our dear State of Imo, and of course against every Imolite.

The first was the curious subterranean move by an oil marketer apparently acting in cahoots with some opposition elements to cause a socio-economic pandemonium in Imo.

One morning, Imolites had woken up to meet locked gas stations, causing the price of petrol to rise by over 400% in the black market. Yet, these gas stations allegedly sold petrol to black marketers in the dead of the night. Talk of evil conspiracy!

The impasse had reportedly begun when a petrol marketer, who claimed his station was demolished by the Okorocha government, incited his colleagues to close shop to customers. This was a way of stampeding government to pay him over one hundred million naira damages allegedly awarded to him by a court. This is in spite of Imo State being listed as fourth defendant in the law suit by the plaintiff.

The marketer had hardly waited for the government’s position when he took advantage of his membership of petrol truck drivers to sabotage the government and good people of Imo State.

It is utterly sad and absolutely uncharitable that the said filling station that was allegedly demolished was not touched, after all. Only parts of the perimeter fence were affected by the bulldozer of the construction firm.

A fact-finding mission led by the Imo State Commissioner of Information and Strategy has made the damning revelation that Sunaz Oil Nig Ltd, the gas station at the center of the ugly media against the government of Imo State, is still dispensing fuel because its operations were never disrupted by the alleged ‘demolition’.

How the court judgement compelling the government of Imo State to dole out a humungous amount in excess of one hundred million naira to the proprietor of the gas station is an imbroglio which a higher court has to resolve.

That Imo State Government has sagaciously exercised its right of appeal is a step that has to be applauded by every patriotic Imolite. Meanwhile, there is every reason to suspect the voice of Jacob but the hand of Essau in the whole debacle.

It is rash and primordial that the owner of Sunaz Oil Nig Ltd is holding fellow Imolites to ransom with his wild goose chase. There is also need to unravel the perfidy that took place at the hallowed chamber of the court and the evidence tendered by the station owner.

The opposition in Imo has continued to run berserk in the name of constituting a binary against the government of Imo State. The way it went wild with celebration at the failed move of the petroleum marketers to sabotage the Imo economy, stands as a case of grand conspiracy. The opposition thought that as usual, they would make capital out of their plot. But the government had proved to be steps ahead of them.

Almost coming simultaneously, the opposition again went gaga by cloning the headlines of ThisDay’s digital edition of Friday, 28 August, 2021. This was with the evil intention to give the impression that the governor of Imo State is sanctioning marital unions between Imo women and Fulani men. That plot, too, failed flat like a skyscraper with weak foundations as Eniola Bello, the paper’s MD came out spitting fire at the work of the mischief makers. This left the opposition sulking and whining in their funk and anguish.
The ill-fated game plan was to clothe the governor of Imo State in ant-Igbo garb.

To further bolster the evil plot, the rambunctious Imo opposition shared a cloned image of the governor donning a Fulani traditional attire. Talk of the case of giving a dog bad name in order to hang it! Again, the plot failed, and woefully too.

Imo opposition needs to be told that light and darkness have nothing in common. And there is no way darkness can comprehend light. The opposition is fast representing darkness and degenerating into a band of felons and nihilists who want to test the will of Dist. Sen Hope Uzodinma.

Methinks the opposition should do a little bit of sober reflection as to why they have kept flunking and getting consumed by their own funk. The opposition politics they are playing has suddenly gone awry and listless. Their gambits have only become predictable and pedestrian.

Dist. Sen Hope Uzodinma is vigorously and rigorously redefining the Imo of our dream. There were others before him who only played on the intelligence of Imolites, talking too much with little or no motion. But here is a governor who speaks little yet moves with considerable speed in monolithic infrastructural development and prudent leadership.

It has become timely to lecture the opposition in Imo that being opposition players does not imply engaging in subversive actions aimed at scoring cheap political points. Opposition also is not a game of shouting hoax. Definitely, it is not a game of populism to gain relevance.
Make no mistake about it, the government of Dist. Sen Hope Uzodinma has come to stay. It has, come, indeed to give quality leadership as never before witnessed in Imo.

And God willing, the government has come to utilise its tenure to deliver the core mandate of reconstruction, rehabilitation and recovery for the good of Imolites. This tripartite mandate has capacity to redefine governance in Imo. And the governor is leaving no stone unturned in achieving his mandate.

Opposition in Imo should desist from engaging in negative populism. By so doing, they descend so low into the cesspit of bitter politicking and pathetic subterfuge, feeding on mindless lies and self-destructive perfidy.

The attempt by the hatchet writers and content developers of Imo opposition to construct an antiheroic narrative against Dist. Sen Hope Odidika Uzodinma is doomed to fail. And like Okonkwo in Achebe’s epic Things Fall Apart, Imo opposition will continue to make fruitless efforts and ill-fated populist chirps and gabs.

The opposition
should instead be bothered about the curse of vanity ensnaring them in all their pathetic drives to de-market the government of Imo State.

Once again, Imo is our own. Dist. Sen Hope Uzodinma will stay through an eight year mandate to bequeathe the Imo of our dream to us. His policy document of Shared Prosperity is a veritable guide to a new Imo. Any move to defame his character is in every inch unacceptable and unreasonable. By extension, it is a move against the state and its citizenry.

Imolites should, therefore, guard against elements who exploit their psyche with negative populist arguments. These elements are never genuinely concerned with the welfare of Imo State. Their selfish aim is only to defame the person in power in order to grab power.

The truth, however, is that all power belongs to God. He has chosen to give it to Dist. Sen Hope Uzodinma. God bless Imo State of Nigeria.

Hon Sam Osuji (samosuji1@gmail.com)is a public opinion commentator and writes from Owerri.

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