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Suspicious ‘Hope’, Kanu’s arrest, the north’s duplicity

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Hope Uzodimma. Photo; TWITTER/HOPEUZODINMA1


Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State is the typical Nigerian politician. With utmost dexterity, he has mastered the intrigues of survival in this most brutal and unconscionable trade. For instance, in 2018, Mr. Hope promptly dumped the PDP, his party since 1999 on which platform he served two Senate terms, and joined the ruling APC.

He had realised that his prospects of becoming governor as an APC candidate were brighter than as that of the PDP. And, true to his reckoning, he later emerged as governor – even though it took a Supreme Court ruling to confirm his victory. Self-preservation and political survival is the name of the game. Apparently, Governor Hope had mastered it so well.

The day before the Nigerian government announced the arrest of Nnamdi Kanu, Governor Hope had advised his fellow Igbo people to support the Buhari-led Federal Government because, “After God in Nigeria, the next person is Buhari. He has the power to dictate where there should be light or not, and it happens.” The governor was widely condemned by Nigerians, some of whom dubbed his utterance as blasphemy for almost comparing Buhari to God.

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But most politicians like Governor Hope, and there are many of them, see in President Buhari a god-like figure who possesses absolute power over and above all of us ordinary Nigerians. This perception is fed by the narrative that Mr. President is the epitome of incorruptibility – a commodity that is very scarce on Nigeria’s political turf. This has been debunked by the consistent ranking of his administration by Transparency International as one of the most sleaze-infested in the annals of the country. Nevertheless, Buhari’s power is even more awesome in the eyes of those self-serving politicians who believe that he will be the ultimate giver and dispenser of political power, come 2023.

Which is why a venomous personality cult has been woven around him and an unctuous brood of subservient men and women have slavishly put themselves at his beck and call. Which is why Governor Lalong has vowed to die for him. Which is why Bola Ahmed Tinubu would sacrifice his hard-earned reputation and the yearnings of the people of the South West simply to ingratiate himself with Buhari and all the eggregious values he represents. Which is why state governors, parliamentarians and sundry politicians are daily flocking into an APC that has been reduced a pliable puppet in the grips of Buhari and his minions.

No wonder, Governor Hope believes that his people in the South East have been justifiably marginalised by the central government because they deliberately placed themselves outside the reach of Buhari’s benevolent hands. In the governor’s candid opinion, this willful intransigence of the Igbo race will neither hurt Buhari nor his kinsmen in the far North. Rather, it will only be adding to the suffering of the Igbos because “He [Buhari] will stay there until eight years’ tenure is over. He will develop his place and help his people and leave while we remain here crying.”

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Therefore, the only way out of this self-imposed predicament and its debilitating consequences is for the Igbo nation to plunge headlong into the ‘mainstream’ of Nigeria’s politics, where the generous Mr. Buhari holds sway. “So let’s stop wasting our time and start talking in the same tone with others. There is nothing like someone being with the ruling party,” Mr. Hope enthusiastically concludes.

However, Governor Uzodimma’s political pedigree appears to suggest that this homily of hope may not after all lead to the general upliftment of the South East. It may merely feather the political nests of a few individuals whose goal is perpetual aggrandizement and continuous political rebirth. They say that this governor is rooting for a highly suspicious ‘Hope’, a kind of Greek Gift.

Kanu’s arrest and the duplicity of the north Although this could be a mere coincidence, there is a feeling among a section of Nigerians that the arrest of the IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, only a day after Mr. Hope’s counsel to his kinsmen somehow underscored the plausibility of his political sensibilities and beliefs. Come to think of it, has that arrest not shown that President Buhari and his government can indeed influence the affairs of Nigeria in a most profound way because of the unbridled power at his disposal?

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Despite the fact that the details are still sketchy, Kanu’s spectacular arrest in a foreign country and subsequent repatriation to Nigeria in a private jet is no mean intelligence feat. It is a testimony to the fact that President Buhari can muster the political will and harness the state’s human and material resources to enhance the security of the country and protect its sovereignty.

But security experts and many ordinary Nigerians wonder why these enormous state power and resources have not been deployed in equal and proportionate measure to neutralise the Islamist insurgency that has now turned Nigeria into a favorite playground of terrorists, the persistent Fulani herdsmen’s attacks against indigenous Nigerian communities and the armed bandits that have become a daily scourge to students, school children and law abiding citizens in northern Nigeria.

If the Nigeria Intelligence Agency (NIA), its sister intelligence and other security agencies have the acumen, wherewhital and scope to carry out such a daring clandestine operation (which has been described as “a breakthrough for our intelligence agencies,” according to thenationonline.com) outside the shores of our country, why have they not been able to muster same in the fight against these myriad security challenges at home for more than a decade now? This is the critical question that has been on the minds of Nigerians since the Justice Minister, Abubakar Malami, announced Kanu’s arrest.
In fact, this success shows that the security agencies have made tremendous progress from their 1984 fiasco when the attempt to smuggle the then Minister of Transport, Umaru Dikko, back to Nigeria in a crate woefully failed. That incident, which caused a lot of international embarrassment to the country, was recorded when Buhari was military head of state.
To be continued tomorrow
(Gyang is the Chairman of the N.G.O, Journalists Coalition for Citizens Rights Initiative.– JCCRI. Email info@jccri-online.org)

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