There has been social unrest in the heartland of Igbo in Imo state. Starting early this year, Imo people were beset with air bombardments, prison break, then the discovery of den of cannibals among other forms of insecurity and political bickering by politicians.
The South-east witnessed many forms of social unrest and insecurity but that of Imo state has become unabating.
It is no longer shocking to hear of any new incidence because the incidences have become a regular occurrence where the people who should benefit from the dividends of governance are left to bear the insecurity and political squabbles coming from the stables of the political leaders who are in fight over the soul of Imo politics.
Imo people have cried out about the bad leadership of people who get into the political offices to amass wealth and turn themselves into tin gods rather than use the resources for the benefit of the people.
Recently, the president traveled to Imo to commission a gutter named a tunnel.
During the Rochas administration, Imo was in the spotlight for projects which can be described as chasing shadows in the guise of transforming Imo to a tourism state. Those projects which were ridiculed by Imo people are now left to welcome the rats and goats.
Even though the idea to turn Imo as a tourism state, is a good one to at least welcome visitors and generate revenue, it is a chase of shadow because Imo is not yet ripe for such when many basic infrastructure and needs are not met yet. And that was why those projects were ridiculed by the people and abandoned by the Ihedioha administration who went as far as trying to demolish them.
Since the Supreme Court declared Hope Uzodimma the governor of Imo state, the people have been grumbling though resigned to fate. The choice is not of the people but an imposition of a choice on the people which makes the Orlu zone dominant in the politics of Imo state. Since the return of democracy in 1999, apart from the four years of Ohakim administration of Okigwe zone and one year of Ihedioha of Owerri zone, Orlu zone has been fielding the governors of Imo state.
The people voted for Emeka Ihedioha who spent one year trying out his hands in a vendetta politics before being ousted by the Supreme Court.
His ousting from the government house may have added to the issue but the main issue is that Governor Hope came into office with the mindset to retrieve from former Governor Rochas, the projects built with Imo state money but taken over by Rochas.
Rochas administration has been accused to have diverted Imo resources into his and cronies’ coffers. This does not sit well with Imo people.
In part, Imo people do not like Hope because he is not their electoral choice but they are equally supportive of his resolve to retrieve from Rochas what he took from them which Rochas and his cronies are resisting.
Indigenous People of Biafra group were also in the mix. With their activities said to be anchored within the state, and with the resolve of Governor Hope to root them out of the state, he invited the military to conduct the air bombardments. This fight between the group and the state government and also the sit-at-home and the enforcement of the same caused much security, social and economic destabilization.
For the greater part of the year, Imo has been in the news. It has also ended the year with another politically sad news with the arrest of the former Chief of Staff to Rochas administration, Mr. Uche Nwosu who having been disqualified from the last election, is interested to vie for the next election.
The insecurity and the upheavals in Imo state even from external influence as stated once by Governor Hope, resulting in countless killing and kidnapping of individuals, the traditional leaders and a camp of cannibals where humans are killed are stories that are heart wrenching to be happening in this time when the people are eager to witness changes and developments that will improve their lives.
Politicians often care about their interests and the strategies they will employ to achieve them. They can even heat up the polity in order to advance their political strategy. In this society, regrettably, those who seek political power are not those who hunger for what they will use their position to do for the people positively but what they will take from the people while doing only a few percent of the required job and the rest used for political spectacle. This is why society is falling apart in terms of developments.
In the next election, Imo people should look beyond the persons who pose as if they have good intentions and will not deliver and look for those whose passion is to bring good governance and development to the people.
The fight among the social and political gladiators in Imo is setting Imo back and the people are the ones suffering it. The soul of Imo politics should be in the hands of the people and those with good purpose and not those whose aim to politics is to amass wealth and use their positions to torture the people with insecurity. Peace is needed for development. Imo state deserves peace for progress.