With the south east of Nigeria slowly slipping away from the grips of the Nigeria security forces and agents, the many communities within the south east states find themselves grappling against the ever-forceful push of the Nigerian security agents/forces in their effort to recapture the authority in the region. In the process, youths are caught in the web of arrests and murder by angry police officers who had been given orders to shoot at sight – and “to go their homes, find them and kill them”.
As observed, the deadly activities of the federal police/military force are most evident in Imo State where the State Governor, Mr. Hope Uzodinma had invited the federal military and had boastfully told the nation while standing at the entrance to the Presidential Villa that he had invited the military to Imo State to help rid the state of miscreants and Biafra agitators. He made the proclamation while existing from the President’s office where he had gone for a meeting with the President.
So ensued the killings. Amidst outcries by mothers whose sons and daughters had been abducted by the federal agents, the embattled governor remained resolute and determined to fish out the agitators out of the State. He remained adamant – claiming to be winning the battle against the people of Imo State.
But in talking to a top aide to the Governor who is considered close to Governor, it was made clear, the Governor is shaken up. He has come to regret his actions of inviting the federal might against “his” people. But “he is in a bind” too much innocent blood has been wasted. “The red line has been crossed”.
The aide indicated the Governor never envisaged a situation where the federal military and police would use the towns and villages of Imo State as firing grounds – without regards to human rights violations. “He misread the situation from the onset. He saw it as a politically motivated crisis stemming from the manner he emerged as Governor through the Supreme Courts. He believed the Biafran agitators were working with his political enemies, so he sought federal cover from his friends in Abuja, to counter what attacks that may come.”
Unfortunate for the embattled Governor, his actions backfired on him. In his quest to impress his Northern friends in Abuja who had played key roles in his Supreme Court, he misfired. The embattled Governor was determined to display his disdain for Biafra agitators to his friends in Abuja – he pledged to rid his state of all Biafra agitators. He took the decision without thinking through the possible consequences.
“Too late to call for withdrawal” because the red line has been crossed and both sides must continue to fight. Even though “he wants the noise to end”, there are no openings allowing him to end it. Desperately, he wants to initiate dialogue with the Biafra agitators but his northern friends in Abuja appear not willing.
“So, the killings continue”.
Meanwhile, in a related development, Uzodinma’s inability to exhibit impressionable governance since taking over the mantle has worsened his problems with the people of Imo State. His inability to pay worker’s salaries has not impressed the people of Imo State. The nonexistent of bulk or significant projects in the State has not helped to alleviate or dissipate the hatred for the Uzodinma administration.
Our source within the administration reveal that there exists dire financial crunch that goes beyond the monthly allocations from the federated accounts. “Uzodinma is still settling his Abuja friends who helped him win at the Supreme Courts. And, he is using the state resources to do so.”
The source pointed to a multi-billion contract awarded to the former national chairman of the All Progressive Congress [APC], Adamu Aliyu Oshiomole – for the dualization of MCC road from Weatheral junction to Uratta worth an estimated N3.4billion. As expected, the contract has yet to be executed but 70% of the contract sum has been released.
In addition, the personal assistant to Oshiomole while he served as the APC chairman, a fellow by the name – Simon Ebegbulam – was given the position of Commissioner in the Uzodinma administration – as part of the pay back for helping him win the Supreme Court case.
The numerous visits by the recently gun down APC chieftain [Gulak] to the State has been deemed suspicious by those knowledgeable of the goings on in the State. Gulak had been making frequent low-profile visits to the State to see the embattled Governor – of which no known projects or contracts were allocated to Gulak. His reasons for the frequent visits remain unexplained.
It is recalled Gulak was the one who conducted the highly controversial APC gubernatorial primary that gave rise to Uzodinma as the winner of the primary. At the conclusion of the primary, Gulak claimed to have escaped the State for fear his life was in danger. He claimed he ran away from Imo State because some personalities were after his life owing to the outcome of the APC primary. He never said who the personalities were.