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Why Igbo leaders must rise against Uzodinma ~ By Collins Opurozor

Yesterday, Chief Hope Uzodinma was in Abuja. He went to Aso Rock, and when he came out, he addressed the press. The long and short of everything he said could be summarized as a scathing attack on Igbo leaders. Shortly after the original video was shared by Channels Television, his media handlers released an edited version in which the blunders of the embattled Uzodinma were erased. It is important we discuss what Uzodinma actually said in Abuja, which has revealed his desire to have all Igbo leaders totally annihilated.

“How many of them are speaking up? Instead they are the ones fanning the embers of insecurity.” Those were the words of Hope Uzodinma. He said our leaders are the masterminds of insecurity. Those were his false accusations against all Igbo leaders without any exception. This is the narrative which Uzodinma has sought to create about who we are. Having said such to the world, Uzodinma has not just described Igbo leaders as cruel, atavistic, warlike, mindless and merchants of terror, he has also opened up our leaders for reproach and extermination. He has said to humanity that the Igbo are no longer the victims of injustice and marginalization within the context of Nigeria, but instead we are the bad eggs, the destroyers of the nation, the perpetrators of carnage and the trouble with Nigeria. Uzodinma, without batting an eyelid, has sold off his brothers for a mess of pottage. The second most tragic thing in history, after Cain murdered Abel, is Uzodinma’s decision to frame Igbo leaders as sponsors of terrorism.

The ongoing campaign of terror in the South East, especially in Imo State, does not have the endorsement of Igbo leaders, and it has been roundly condemned. The Igbo, being industrious and innovative, have never resorted to violence in resolving any question no matter how fundamental it might be. This is the reason that there have been suggestions about the possible role of agent provocateurs in the ongoing crisis. And if, in the instance of Imo state, most people have chosen to remain silent, it is because Uzodinma has continued to mislead them with the fallacious claim that Imo is perfectly at peace and that people should go freely about their activities.

How can someone offer to assist Uzodinma when he has already said all is well? How can people know the true situation when he keeps embarking of a wild goose chase, politicizing a very sensitive matter and accusing his political opponents day after day? Has Uzodinma forgotten how he bulldozed his way through to foist his kinsman on Ohanaeze Ndigbo as President-General? Who is he expecting to hear from when Ohanaeze Ndigbo has been totally emasculated by him? If Uzodinma sincerely wanted to hear the views of Igbo leaders, why did he abolish the Ahiajoku Lectures which provided the platform for both synchronic and diachronic understanding of Igbo problems and the solutions thereof?

To be sure, the queen of all maladies in Imo state is that the regime of Uzodinma has evolved into the worst form of tyranny to be seen in modern history. The skirmishes that culminated in the festival of blood that we can now see across Igboland actually started in Orlu, his own area, where he had represented in the Senate for eight years. Without any attempt to understand what the issues were and fashion a modality for addressing them, Uzodinma’s first and last option was to invite the military into Orlu. He vowed to crush the people. When Igbo leaders spoke up and called for an independent panel of inquiry to know what really happened in Orlu, did Uzodinma budge? Instead, he went to Abuja and openly took credit for bringing the military to Orlu. Who did he consult before doing that? So why is he now crying wolf that nobody wants to speak for him?

Almost every institution in Imo is now mired in crisis given Uzodinma’s penchant for war and failure in governance. He has balkanized all the communities, created conflicts everywhere by imposing different sets of community leaders who he wants to cower before his feet. The NUJ in Imo now has two factions, NAWOJ has two factions, NULGE in crisis, ISOPADEC at war and NLC in crisis because of his determination to muzzle all reasonable voices. Who is Uzodinma expecting to speak up when he has destroyed all the civil society groups and labour unions in the state?

The incompetence of Uzodinma is self-evident. His latest attempt to implicate Igbo leaders in the calamity which he created in Imo is just a layer in his unfolding mischiefs. But since he has chosen to toe the infamous path which intent is to destroy Igboland, Igbo leaders should henceforth stand up to him and ensure that his reprehensible plots against our people do not see the light of the day.

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