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Uzodinma, Okorocha and the journey to Lilliput ~ By Collins Opurozor


L’etat c’est moi! The state is me! A stubborn French king was quoted to have declared thus. Louis XIV. A revolution was looming and he was informed about it. “Sir, the state is on fire,” he had been alerted. And he replied, “The state is me.” Absolute monarchy! While mobilizing for Donald Trump’s first impeachment, Speaker Nancy Pelosi likened him to this king. An idea nurtured in France, uprooted in America now blossoms in Imo, somewhere in Black Nigeria.

The state is me! Hope Uzodinma does not just see himself as the emperor of Imo state. He sees himself as the empire itself. The state is him! Unfortunately, he was sometime in a lawmaking arm of government somewhere in Abuja. Some say he is not sufficiently educated to understand that outside of laws, the modern state system is in no shape or form different from the Hobbesian pre-political state in which all claims are arbitrary and all rights are only powers. Brutish, nasty, solitary, poor and short is life in that state.

But I disagree that my dear governor is that daft. But how can a former lawmaker, now governor, run his state in the most lawless manner? I think something is wrong somewhere. Is it not possible the only bill Uzodinma could have sponsored as a lawmaker was to seek to run Nigeria without laws? There is one book I have not read. I have not even seen it. It is entitled “The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism”. It seems clear that only George Orwell and Hope Uzodinma know where this book can be found, and Big Brother in Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighteen Four” ostensibly read this book!

These days, Rochas Okorocha is the business of Hope Uzodinma. Break his bones. Crush his spirit. Hit him down. Set his house ablaze. These seem to underscore the mindset of Uzodinma and define his latter-day interactions with Okorocha. My people, my people! And Rochas weeps!

Okorocha is not my friend. He is my idea of whom a leader should not be. The Ogboko-born rabble rouser deserves to be quarantined away from public spaces and kept far apart from the governance of humans. The man blew Imo’s opportunity to join the league of a bit prosperous states in Nigeria and mortgaged the future of his state with unpayable debt stocks.

But the situation in Imo is beyond the rehash of Okorocha-Uzodinma feud. The Imo dilemma speaks to the broader issue of governance and the emerging ill-fated attempt by Uzodinma to enthrone lawlessness and plunge the state into anarchy. And the state is him!

Invading private buildings of Okorocha with cameramen even without a court order, branding him a looter without conviction, and locking up a university without either a court pronouncement or abrogation of the law that ceded it to Okorocha are all indicators of tyranny in full swing. My sympathies are not with the Okorochas but with Imo state which has lent itself to the fertilization of tyranny! I can’t starve my fears that this will end with Okorocha. It did not begin with Okorocha. It will happen to more people.

Gulliver’s Travels. Read that book. Uzodinma sees himself as the only giant in the land of the Lilliputians. He invaded Okigwe, conquered them and left them without a senator. His belligerence knows no bounds, and his bellicosity is limitless. His authority cannot be challenged, and as it pleases His Excellency, anyone can be dealt with. The state is him.

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