ONWUASOANYA FCC JONES
The confidence with which Governor Uzodimma declared that hoodlums were not planning to attack Imo State again would make one wonder if the Imo governor knows more than he is ready to tell us about the operations and plans of these hoodlums. To say with a certainty, according to a report in the Punch Newspaper, that the hoodlums were not planning to attack any part of Imo State again leaves any reasonable person curious about what the governor could be hiding from us.
Unless the report in the Punch is a mischievous misrepresentation of the governor’s speech, then, the security agencies may not need to look too far from the governor or his close aides in their bid to locate the criminal gangs responsible for the disruption of the peace in the State over the last few months, because it would only take someone who has inside information to sound so confident.
The governor’s aides may want to argue that the governor was simply trying to bolster the confidence of Imolites and those who may be interested in doing business in Imo, but obviously, his choice of words is obviously wrong and if not deliberate, betrays the governor as someone who needs some coaching on how to speak as a governor.
It is understandable that some elements in and outside the State have taken to scaremongering as either a way to become relevant or as a style of showing their displeasure with what is happening, but as much as this is condemnable, the governor’s speech did not do anything to make Imolites feel better nor would it have convinced any visitor to the State that things have returned to normality.
If the governor had told the press that adequate security arrangements have been put in place to forestall any such attack or that security agents had burst the criminal cells and successfully aborted their capacity to menace any part of the State, this would have been much more convincing to anyone reading the news report. But telling us categorically that; “no one is planning to attack Imo again”, leaves us with no option but to either have you produce those who have been attacking the State before now – since you now know when they are ready to attack and when they are not – or dismiss your speech as the careless talk of an overwhelmed man.
The governor must understand how desperate these times are and stop fueling more fear and anger through his choice of words. This time demands a that the leader builds trust and confidence among the people so that his words can be trusted and the people can support him in combating the criminals that have literally held the State to ransom over these months. The governor’s speech needs to inspire confidence, not mistrust and fear.
Another reason why the governor’s words are in bad taste is because it casts a question on the relevance of the emergency measures being adopted by security agents from time to time across Imo State. The argument would be that if you are this certain that there are no plans to attack the State, then, why are you putting the citizens under strenuous discomfort and trauma in the guise that you are trying to avert a security breach?
It is important to discourage people from sending out unconfirmed reports of attacks and other forms of scaremongering in the State, because these things are taking serious tolls on the economy of the State. Billions of Naira have been lost to early closure of businesses across Imo, due especially, to fear of the unknown. It is everyone’s business, but especially, that of the governor and State government officials to restore the confidence of the people in doing business in the State.
MAY IMO WIN!