From Teryima Ajijah, Jos
Considering persistent attacks on personalities and general growing insecurities in Imo state, a group “South North Conference Group” has cautioned Governor Hope Uzodima to seek round table solution rather than hostility.
Leader of the South North Conference Group, Mr Charles Ihemegbulem, in a press release on Monday, issued in Jos Plateau State appealed to the conscience of the Imo state Governor, Hope Uzodima, to implore the wisdoms of other stakeholders to advise him accordingly on how best to handle the situation, which the group said is treating toward becoming unbearable.
The group fears that Imo citizens might have lost hope of a meaningful life. “the responsibility of the very primarily Socio-Economic contract between the government and the people which is security of lives and properties have been overwhelmed. No sector is working. A few people have transform themselves into Predators to feed on the rest of the people as their prey. Nobody is safe not even school children and women. The government have failed to convince the masses they are equal to the task of keeping them alive.”
The statement read in part: “Your Excellency sir, following the now serial situations of unrest in Imo State manifesting as agitations, crisis, insecurity, intimidation and extra judicial killings; the best story not too long ago in the archive of history to capturing these situations is akin to the devastating incident that occurred in Libya under the then dictatorship of Maummar Gaddafi, who permitted a chaos whose effect for a decade now has left Libya in disarray with no reasonable way forward yet.
“On Tuesday, exactly 15th February 2011, the day the protest that broke the camel’s back started in Benghazi, had Muammar Gaddafi handled the protesters with respect and deep sense of responsibility worthy of a true leader, it would not have escalated into a wide rebellion that grew, spread and reduced Libya into a failed State it’s now known for.
“Gaddafi got to a point where he thought the entire Libya belonged to him like a pet, he thought he had sufficient military might, financial backup and structures to suppress any uprising. Thus, he treated the protest with kid’s clove, arrogance and impunity. Extreme Forces were used where dialogue was supposed to have been used. Potential threats were neglected. Key stakeholders were thrown out of relevance. He felt all sufficient!
“Boom! Violence escalated. Instead of Gaddafi to reduce the use of force, humble himself and do the needful, he insisted on brutality and maintained he knew it all. Little did he understood that the more he became brutal and intimidating, the more he harden the people until they lost their fear, became united in struggle and dared the emperor.
“Your Excellency sir, you know what? That almighty Emperor-Gaddafi did not survive the wrath of the people. It went so bad against him that he ran into a hole like a rat. The people followed him there, dug him out and made him eat of his own flesh and drink of his own blood. How the mighty are fallen!
“Mr Governor sir, let me put it to you without any fear or favor; you have done below average in respect to handling the ongoing agitations in Imo state. I believe strongly that you mistook the agitation for political rivalry and power tussle . You thought it was a sponsored political attempt to undermine your administration and make you look incapacitated before Abuja by those whom you are at logger head with or have fallen out with. So, since the interpretation was wrong the solution you proffered was miscalculated. You took it very personal sir.
“What is happening in Imo today is a clear sign that your structures of governance are not formidable to access situation, reach the people, address their issues and win their trust. Secondly, considering the circumstances that brought you to power some are still struggling to accept that reality as they tagged it gross injustice and imposition. Be it as it may, what would have bridge this gap of acceptance is good governance which though there is probability you still have time to achieve that but as for now it is not yet feasible.
“Thirdly, how comes your allies who rallied round you to become the governor you have fallen out with so soon? What this disconnection have done to you is; you now have very reduced bargaining power to appeal to the crowd. Another reason I decoded is; you have not make deliberate effort to carry the leaders before you and other relevant stakeholders along. If I am wrong, show the world such effort to mobilize and induct them into helping to find lasting solution. Lastly, I stand to be corrected sir, but I really think you act as though you are under pressure to impress Abuja above all your counterparts in the Eastern region.
“Sir, you must show quality leadership now. It is high time you gathered all the political blocs in all sincerity, irrespective of your relationships status with them. Ihedioha, Rochas, Ararume, all the ex governors of the state and relevant stakeholders must be brought to the table. All must shield their sword because if Imo shall collapse every body will lost out. Called and commission them to get involved in calming down nerves. As you do this we the people will be your witness.
“As a matter of pro-activeness, you must set mechanisms now especially in the seemly calm communities to make sure that there is resistance waiting for any eventual crisis. Your zone is on fire, Owerri is increasing, we have started hearing rumors in Okigwe. This must not get out of hand.
“You must reduce the use of force and adopt more peaceful approach. Dialogue! Let the media, Groups and the civil societies with proven proficiency in peace building come out and help. The religious mouth piece are highly recommended too.
“You will have to make room for compensation, rebuilding, rehabilitation and amnesty to our youths who are involved and are ready to shield their sword. Yes the are heavily emotional troubled, physically abuse and psychologically traumatized. Living in nation is enough trouble.
“There has to be structure most likely a panel of inquiry to mob up grievances of the people and make feel someone at lest cared for them, followed by action. For instance, if farms are destroyed there has to be reasonable compassion.
“The people must be incorporated into the security architecture that work for them and give them confidence.
“You must be on the same page with the other governors of the South East because this protest is even more of regional. You all must agree to institutionalize a regional legislation and form a safe security platform to stand for our people.
There is no greater and wide reaching solution to all these mess than good governance.”