Has Imo State Become Another Sambisa Forest? By Chuks Madueke

Apart from the alleged invasion of Imo State by the Nigerian security agents in search of Eastern Security Network (ESN) forces founded by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), it seems that another war is in the offing.
Could former governor of the state, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, allegedly have “cornered” too much from the state when he was in power such that his successors are not pretending in having a showdown with him over the said government property?
Recall that Okorocha’s immediate successor, Chief Emeka Ihedioha deployed every arsenal within his reach to repossess what was then termed “government property”, which Okorocha allegedly possessed while in office.
It was a big war then between Ihedioha and Okorocha who only had a breather when the supreme court elevated Chief Hope Uzodinma to become the state governor.
However, since Uzodinma took over the reins of the state, there seems to be no respite yet for Okorocha since it’s becoming evident that there’s no love lost between the two.
It’s either you see Okorocha in some video on social media taunting and daring Uzodinma to do his worse or on the other hand, you see Uzodinma with equal venom and tenacity warning Okorocha not to dare him.
It seems that the stage is finally set for the showdown as the feud between the two has currently escalated.
Reports indicate that Imo State government last week sealed one of Okorocha’s estates, which it also marked for demolition, for contravening environmental laws and regulations.
It is also reported that Okorocha mobilised his own forces to resist the alleged onslaught by the state government thereby having a bloody clash with the government agents.
Yet, one wonders if this fight is for the soul of APC, the party that is currently ruling the state or if there is something else we are not seeing?
Considering how Okorocha’s candidate and son-in-law was denied the party’s gubernatorial ticket – and how Uzodinma who barely joined the party then clinched the said ticket, one can then gauge the rivalry and animosity running between the two gladiators.
With the invasion of Orlu by security forces who are allegedly searching for ESN operatives, this may not be the best time to instigate another war between Uzodinma and Okorocha.
Furthermore, with the herdsmen/farmers clashes, kidnapping and armed robbery cases still in the front burner in the state, no doubt, any diversion from paying attention to the issues could be catastrophic and volatile.
Imo State government needs tact and diplomacy to tackle the socio-economic and political challenges confronting it rather than taking steps that could ignite a full-scale political war in the state.
The horizon is blurred with ominous signs and the skies are getting darker and gloomy. This is the time for Uzodinma and Okorocha to sheath their swords, especially trimming their protruding ego and pride if they really love the state.
This is also the time for security agents to stop bombarding the state in the alleged search for ESN operatives.
If bandits in the north were invited to negotiation tables and paid humongous amounts of money, the current invasion of Orlu by security forces obviously may not be justified.
It is such glaring contradictions in our political sphere that have rather escalated the waves of insecurity across the nation.
Yet, Imo has suffered enough politically in recent times to become another killing field as we have witnessed in Sambisa.


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