Imo State, once famed for being a place of peace and progress, is gradually changing into a marshland of violence and unrest. Anything goes now—or will soon start to if nothing is done to return the State to its original status. Ironically, Imo used to be nicknamed the ‘Land of Hope’. Is it a joke of the ages that when a Governor named Hope took the reins, hope flew out the window
The recent murder of Ahmed Gulak, a chieftain of the All Progressive Congress (APC) and Special Adviser to the former president, Goodluck Jonathan, has stirred the waters much more than the others have done. Gulak’s political assassination—that is what Governor Hope Uzodinma called it—in Owerri woke folks up to the realisation that almost anyone is up for grabs and that the banality of evil reaches even to the high tiers of government.
Governor Hope Uzodinma is the main target of critics, whether well-meaning or otherwise. As a human being with limitations, Uzodimma is not altogether capable of cleansing Imo of the growing trend of insurrection. Nevertheless, as the chief government official in the State, this is Uzodimma’s first responsibility.
This is the line of reasoning that most folks used to present at newspaper stands both for and against Uzodinma. Then suspected hoodlums allegedly attacked his house in Oru East local government area of Imo State and were rumoured to have ended the life of a Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) officer. Consequently, it became clear that even the head of the government was barely holding his own against the budding insurgency.
A few days ago, it was reported that communal clashes had begun to spring up within the North area of Imo. Even the local people noted for their endurance have begun to beat and sharpen their ploughshares into swords. Is this the new normal for the eastern heartland? Is it all going to Hades on Governor Hope Uzodimma’s watch? What is hope, and where is it?