Open letter to Hope Uzodinma

By Editor on 12/03/2020

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Your Excellency, Senator Hope Uzodinma (Onwa)

I am sure you know why this letter is coming this late. I wanted to write it when you might have the right frame of mind to read and assimilate its content, should you choose to give it your attention. There is no need belabouring the circumstances of your coming to power. The details are quite known to you, as they, some of them, are of public knowledge equally. Therefore, I am quite sure you will not see my congratulations as coming too late.

If I had sent it earlier and you lost the battle at the Supreme Court, on account of the return of your opponent, Emeka Ihedioha, to the same court to undo what they did on January 14, my effort would have been wasted. Emeka Ihedioha, whom you replaced, lost the bid instead and you won. Your governorship is settled, your seat, secured for the next three, plus, years. So, congratulations!

Your Excellency, before I delve into the meat of my letter to you, which, in the main, is a message from both the head and the heart, permit me to tell you a story, or better still re-jig your mind, because, it is a story everyone knows quite well, including your good self, supposedly, being a major player on the same pitch at that time.

I am sure that you are well seized with the story of Anambra State, particularly the political trajectory between 1999 through 2003, 2006 and following, till date. Between 1999 and 2003, Anambra was reputed to have been cursed with the worst government in Nigeria. That was the time of Governor Chinwoke Mbadinuju. Let me not bore you with the details of why I believe that Mbadinuju, was a mere pawn in the chessboard of intrigues played by wicked men who served on the alters of evil forces. Those details are too deep that you may not be patient enough to come with me on a walk through that slippery path. So, I drop it.

However, what was quite evident in those years the locust ate in Anambra was that Mbadinuju, a good man, if you ask me, decided to invest his resources and those of the people with Abuja. Throughout the period he was buffeted, harried by day and haunted by night, he ran to the people in Abuja, believing, albeit in vain, that the battle was to be fought and won there. It was a fatal mistake, one I am sure he must have learnt the lesson the hard way today.

After that disastrous outing, however, his successor, Chris Ngige acted in direct opposite. I don’t know if it was fate, the gods of the land or God, the creator, who holds the cosmos in his hands and directs its movement that manipulated the situation or it was Ngige’s wisdom that did it. However, the result was that Ngige, invested the same resources Mbadinuju wasted in the land of his birth. I am sure you know the story of how the game changed.

Had he not been wiser and more prudent with his ideas and believed that Abuja would save him and that the battle with the evil forces that pursued him like dangerous predators (they are there, still, as I write, but more as a confused and powerless lot), was to be fought and won at the seat of power in Nigeria, I am sure his story would have been similar to his predecessor today, if not worse.

In the first place, Ngige could have played along. He could have paid the monthly levy of N5billion, I hear they demanded, into the coffers of his godfathers, who later became his traducers. He could have agreed to all the insults and taunting and laid his back to be scourged like slaves that offended their masters. He could have agreed to run across the street and buy envelopes and writing pads, as he was humiliated to do. He could have taken the slaps given to him at the slightest irritation with “Thanks Sir!” He could have done those. But he resisted and like the man he is, said No!

Perhaps, he could have been left alone to “enjoy” the little that would be left to him, bearing his burden in silence otherwise. But, then, that would have been it. His case could have turned out the same as Mbadinuju, if not worse. So, head or tail, he would have lost with Abuja.

But his change of mind did the magic. It was what stirred the heart of the people who knew that they never voted him into power, having loath the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the platform under which he contested and “won” with everything in them, to do a rethink. What did Ngige not suffer for this? Imagine being kidnapped from office on that hot afternoon of July 10, 2003, the humiliation, fear and all. After all, is he not human? Imagine watching hoodlums kitted and egged on by security agents set the entire state capital ablaze, practically and figuratively. But did all those work? Never! Apart from the power of the people, there was the hand of a JUST GOD.

In fact, so good was the situation about the chemistry between Ngige and Anambra people that many people who would have willingly stoned him, if they had the opportunity, now saw Peter Obi, the man they actually voted, as an irritant and distraction and openly called on him to give up, so much so that were there to be another election at that time, the situation could have been completely different, regardless that the people believed that whatever votes they were casting, belonged to the late Ikemba Nnewi, Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, the undisputable leader of Ndigbo, rather than the little known Peter Obi.

But, even at this, the people themselves were equally wrong, because the coming of Obi, underscored the fact that it was actually God at work. Having lost on Ngige by throwing the baby away with the bath water, the same evil forces turned to Obi. But here, they met an even more determined fighter, whom from the first day, was never in doubt about what he wanted to do with power. Did they not impeach him? Yes! But he returned. Was he not chased away by another fraudulent election? Yes! Barely one year, after regaining power from his impeachment that saw Virgy Etiaba, his deputy running things during the interregnum, was he not upstaged once again by Andy Ubah via another heist that was the 2007 election? Yet, God was in control.

In the end, through that bizarre affair, Obi not only became a champion of development, a phenomenon whose giant strides bestrode the entire landscape of Anambra State, but a historic figure whose name is in the mouth of virtually every person in Nigeria and beyond. What is more? Today, Anambra State has become a success story and standard bearer in good governance, from where it might never fall again.

Your Excellency, why do I bother you with this long tale? I see your circumstances similar to the ones mentioned above. Your Imo today, appears on all fours with Anambra 17 years ago. Thus, fate has handed you an opportunity to travel North or South. I am sure you are not entertaining yourself with the alluring belief that you enjoy the support of ALL your people. You are far wiser. Such a seducing thought, regardless of what those around you may be saying at the moment, could be quite fatal, were you to travel that route.

You have won in the court of law, thus, the sobriquet: Supreme Court Governor! But have you won in the court of public opinion? Totally? On that the jury will be out for a long time. But what is important now is what you do from hence. I have already tabled before you what your brothers did in the same circumstances and the outcome. There is no need to overstress the argument, knowing that you are a busy man.

In conclusion, what I am laborouring to say, Your Excellency, is that many believe there are forces, who helped put you in power. If indeed there are, wherever they may be, they will definitely come for their comeuppance and their demands, whatever they are, you cannot meet as an individual without going under. Therefore, you must take recourse to Imo people to bear the burden. Because they are wicked and evil, like in Anambra, they will demand a pound of flesh, sliced right from the breast, which you know, would surely result to instant or slow death – death of Imo. Therefore, say no! Do it and see what will happen. Yes, they will come fighting afterwards. But that is when you will discover the power of the people.

There is no better demonstrable example that God could use a bad situation, to show humanity that He is almighty and all-knowing than the Anambra story. Onwa Oyoko! You may well become the illumination Imo people have been waiting for. Prove it, if indeed you are.

Finally, Your Excellency, there is a large swathe of people still in great pain – still hurting in Imo, the Mbaise people particularly, who are crying that the people of Orlu, have squeezed their hand and taken what belongs to them by sheer power. Do you leave them to keep hurting? Do something and quickly too. I hear you threatening to deal with some people, those who you think are against you. You particularly mentioned the PDP. Banish the thought of fighting on that battlefield. Instead of fighting people in the street, because they are demonstrating (their right to do), fight the economic brigands – contractors who collect money and run away, those who inflate figures and other corrupt officials.

What have the naysayers not done against Donald Trump? Some of them have even defecated in open street and used the waste to rub on his image before TV cameras, while others have gone to make image of him completely naked all in an attempt to mock him. He has even been impeached. Yet, he remains the man to beat in the November election. Why? You know the answer, Sir.

Onwa na-eti eti, if you find time to read this letter, please choose the right option and let us meet at the other side of history – glorious history, I mean. Good luck, Sir.

Sunny Igboanugo, a journalist, lives in Abuja   







Posted on March, 12 2020

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