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Imo Assembly, Uzodinma and tragedy of repetitive history — By Collins Opurozor

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When in mid January 2020 the Supreme Court gave Chief Hope Uzodinma to State as Governor, there were two options before him. They were like two divergent paths. The paths diverged at the point where even from a distance the light, splendour and magnificence of one could be clearly seen, while the decay, goriness and miasma of the other could as well be observed. No Appian Way, no middle ground, no synthesis! Following one would mean ignoring the other. The former was created by the PDP in seven months and the latter, the path of filth and infamy, created by the APC, his own political party.

At the crossroads, Uzodinma raised the Holy Bible and swore before Imo people that he must toe the path of the PDP. He boldly confessed to the beauty and glory of the legacies bequeathed to him by the Ihedioha Administration, and vowed to continue apace. He also decried the rot, decadence and political dung pits dug by the defeated APC Administration in Imo under Chief Rochas Okorocha and stressed his resolve to recover not just the loots for which the kleptomaniac reign had been known, but also to reinvent the socio-political institutions run aground in the course of the looting spree. One of such institutions, indeed the victim-in-chief, was the legislature.

But, just like all other political jaywalkers of his ilk, Uzodinma was saying one thing and thinking of another. A better way to understand such people is to take every word from them for its opposite. Doublespeak and doublethink are their tools just like the Orwellian Big Brother in “Nineteen Eighty-Four”.

Today, Uzodinma has not just plunged Imo State into crisis, sector by sector, but he has also levied full-blown war on the soul of democracy in the State, namely the legislature. The outrageous suspension of six members of the Imo State House of Assembly over what was termed “unparliamentary conduct”, which was entirely Uzodinma’s contrivance, has become the peak of his unfolding despotism. The absurdity of the entire debacle is that while one of the suspended lawmakers was in Abuja, another was in Botswana, and they got suspended by Uzodinma’s lackey, one Paul Emeziem, who obviously has no understanding whatever of the workings of democracy!

It is interesting to note that a man who at inception of his disputed rulership acknowledged the ills of his party in Imo has now immersed himself, body and soul, into the very same ills he had pointed out and denounced.

In 2018, the infamous term, “unparliamentary conduct”, was imported into Imo’s legislative lexicon by the Acho Ihim-led Assembly while suspending five lawmakers that disagreed with the impeachment of Eze Madumere who then as Deputy Governor was at daggers drawn with his boss, Rochas Okorocha. However, an Imo State High court later declared the suspension null and void. It could be recalled that the presiding judge, Justice Goddy Anunihu, in delivering judgment had described the processes that led to the purported suspension of the five lawmakers as putting the cart before the horse and also awarded N8m against the defendants.

It is now tragic that a man who said he was going to recover Imo’s institutions from the destruction meted upon them by his party has ceaselessly reenacted the woes and the most unacceptable anti-democratic practices that have defined his party’s misadventure in Imo state.

May Imo overcome this tragedy!

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