At the weekend the capital city of Owerri was thrown into confusion following the clash of supporters of ex-Gov. Rochas Okorocha and loyalists of Gov Hope Uzodimma in what has been described as supremacy fight over who controls a looted property.
Governor Uzodimma reportedly following outcome of Judicial Panel of Inquiry on irregularly acquired lands sealed the Royal Spring Palm Hotel belonging to a family member of Senator Okorocha.
The Orlu zone Senator had thought differently insisting that there should be a court order or police warrant mandating the sealing of the premises. This view was expressed by the former governor himself when he confronted the security guards if they had any such document to support their stay in the place.
The ensuing fracas has led to injuring of people in the free for all fight and sporadic gun shots. We condemn in its entirety the unnecessary flexing of muscle or show of strength as exhibited by the combatants. What is strange in the encounter is the wielding of fire arms by the supporters of the groups raising questions on how they were acquired.
Majority views appear to hold it against Senator Okorocha for ignoring the sealing order and application of force to gain entry into the premises. The argument of those who canvass this opinion is hinged on the sanctity of the law and the authority of the government which can be vacated through another court of competent jurisdiction.
While this makes sense we believe that it does not justify the attack by the governor’s team who appeared prepared for war. The reinforcement of their group with more militant and aggressive boys lends credence to the ensuing fracas that led to the shooting of Okorocha’s in-law and wounding of his personal security aide.
The government team ought to have applied tact and taken solace in the law to resolve any dispute. Violence is an ill wind that blows none any good. The manner the two groups clashed raises suspicion that they saw it as an opportunity to settle old scores. Hitherto, the two titans are reputed to be at each other’s jugular because of the struggle over who controls the Soul of the party in the state.
Uzodimma was the immediate past senator representing Orlu zone who was succeeded by Okorocha. Okorocha was a past governor of the state who held forte before Uzodimma. Neither Okorocha nor Uzodimma appears to be in the heart of Imo people as a result of bad governance. Okorocha it is alleged took Imo backwards during his 8 years leadership of the state.
Presently Uzodimma is grossly discredited according to reports for his failure to meet his obligations to Imo workers as well as failure to deliver the dividends of democracy. While Imolites may be happy to see their looted funds or assets recovered the fact is also not lost on them that this is a supremacy fight of two discredited leaders who they want to surrender their ill gotten wealth.
News Echo wishes to let public servants appreciate the fact that there is no gain looting public treasury with impunity because the old saying that time heals all wounds will eventually catch up with them. Whatever any leader may dispossess the people of requires time for people to recover whatever belongs to them.
Power is transient, and can be best used in the service of the people. Primitive accumulation of wealth is akin to the age long statement by Socrates, a Greek philosopher who opined that ”men eat as if they are going to die today and they build as if they are going to live forever”
Okorocha and Uzodimma are two influential politicians in the state with large following. Issues affecting both are likely to spill over to their supporters and portend grave implications for the political stability of the state. It is not unlikely that both will be engrossed in the act of trying to even up and extract more vengeance.
We therefore call on the intervention of Imo elders and all well meaning groups to stabilize the polity and ensure that justice is done. Imo is tensed up at the moment and requires healing to reduce tension and emotional stress Imo people are subjected to by poor governance orchestrated by politicians.