THE OPEN GRAZING BILL CHARADE; THE SCAREMONGERING PASTIME; THE FEIGNED IPOB’S BIAFRA SUPPORT ANTICS; ET AL AS CASE STUDIES
Stanford Arinze Nwokedi
The bane of today’s generation of Imo and Nigerian polity is the deliberate and calculated mischievous inclination of our elites. There are many instances in the recent times where and when the elites of Imo State, especially those of the opposition extraction, have continued to deceive the proletariat class. These Opposition elements, for political, most times, hidden selfish reasons, have in foolhardiness been negotiating dangerous bends and in these, endangering their hapless, oftentimes, gullible followers in their games to gain unnecessary political capital and ascendancy. The freedom allowed by democratic governance is understandably usually stretched far beyond limits. Unfortunately they leave in their strides and in the wake of their actions a theater reminiscent of tears, sorrow and blood. Fortunately for them and because they are artful in their sinister operations, they go scot-free but unfortunately leave bitter experiences with those they deceive.
It is unfortunate that at a time when every well-meaning and patriotic citizen is eagerly concerned about the degenerating/ orchestrated
insecurities across the nation and are committed to the restoration of peace here and abroad as Imo State is steadily receiving the 3R therapies of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Recovery, these tested and woefully failed political elites are busy tasking their negative intelligences and criminal ingenuity to ignite more social and political mayhems and spending human capital. These things happen just to discredit the Government in power. They seem more spurred in these retrogressive actions once they notice the Government achieving feats that eluded Imolites while they held sway. Why must Imo State be developed, they often seem to defiantly query by their actions and body languages.
Out of malice and unwholesome desperation to torpedo the Government of the
day, elements like the erstwhile Secretary to Imo State Government, Barr Uche Onyeagocha and his clique of the PDP are at it again. And we must watch out for them going forward and note particularly their jaundiced motives.
Mounting the podium at Sheraton Hotels and Towers, in a viral video recently, Barr Uche Onyeagocha who only a couple of years ago was caught on National Television tearing the result of the 2019 Gubernatorial elections, took a swipe on all other national leaders with an undeserved exception of himself for many obsolete issues bothering on coup d’etat and other gallery dance matters of the past. One wonders what genuine objectives are his set of intentions. Could those his views have been true while he held sway as the SSG to the Ihedioha-led Government of Imo State?
Due to the emotional attachment of most of our proletariat Igbo class over the Biafran agitations, he ( Uche Onyeagocha) has dramatized his lip-service loyalty and kwashiokored/half-hearted support for Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. Again I ask; “could these his views on Mazi Nnamdi Kanu have been true while he held sway as the Secretary to Imo State Government?” Absolutely, no!
These weaping up of negative public sentiments coming spiritedly now that the issues of Igbo Integration and concomitant development are upstream can not pass the tests of morality and critical analysis. They are artful deceits and aim to achieve nothing but elusive selfish political ends.
How now could everyone else be evil but Barr Uche Onyeagocha is the saint? The man that fought on National Television in an effort to alter the expressed democratic desires of Imolites? What example can he be to the young and even the old Imolites? Does media razzmatazz end in the romanticization of verbal expressions and dancing on the Sheraton podium?
How did his arraignment over televised infractions against the electoral law end? Did rule of law prevail? Has he therefore any moral justification to indict any?
And now those clapping for him for incriminating others but exonerating himself might become his victims while he goes scot-free when the chips of his deceits are down.
It becomes expedient that the average Imo youths and all others who are “thrilled” exhilaratingly by these desperate deceits should take careful note of the ominous undercurrents of these unhealthy dramas by the dramatis personae and shun them and their games.
Imo State must heal of all the many months of disastrous opportunity politics of the recent past: the “I no go gree protests from Jan 14th 2020 to about March/April 2020; the Supreme Court “Review Reverse” upheavals, post-litigation on the Imo guber matter at the Apex Court ; the hijacked ENDSARS protests and attached undercurrent agitations for regime change; the Unknown Gunmen months of trepidation and scaremongering ; now the Ghost Monday Sit-At-Home self hurt; etc etc. In all, peace is in high demand and all cravings including the orchestration of apprehensions in what ordinarily we have all along contained all the years we have been as a State and prevailed upon, must now be taken with their deserved pinch of salt. Of particular note is the new singsong of the Anti Open Grazing Bill with its attendant bandwagon.
It is true and beyond contestations that the issue of herders malfeasance in most Eastern and other Southern States threaten the peace between herders and farmers. But Imo State has had a peculiar exception to the bloodletting as a result of herdsmen. The skeletal misunderstandings had been adequately managed and contained all along. It is true that the matter now has been so inflamed that most Igbo communities have began to see the Hausas and other itinerant herders as enemies even when these same Hausas are hosts to millions of our kits and kin in their own States. The hate and the attendant orchestration of criminalization of even the innocents are expensive wages we can not afford to pay for. Such is reprehensible. Such is avoidable. The dexterity of the Government should therefore be called into action. Good enough there have, despite elitist compromises, been an effective legal control of the farmers’/herders symbiotic relationship in our dear State. Memoranda of understanding have been signed. No known over-scaled breaches of the extant law are witnessed truly in Imo State and all we witness these days is just a hyping of non existent fears and insecurity apprehensions. These, not withstanding that the finite number of genuine Fulani/Hausa herders under the firm control of Miyetti Allah Cattle Rearers Association are in close control of the Government here in Imo State. The added advantage of the group being strictly self-policed by its credible leadership is a further reason for Imolites not to be stampeded by empty scaremongering. The cattles being reared are even most times owned by Imolites.
The essence of Government is to control human natured excesses and extremism. The Government controls, regulates and maintains statutes and laws which preserve its people at home and abroad. It is true that we must be guided how we see others so as to avoid negative and unnecessary recriminations and attendant reprisal hatred as well as the avoidable bloodletting. So far in Imo State, there are no reasons for the hype.
We must learn from our history and avoid those actions as a people and as Government that can reenact the pre-civil war pogrom. Such a gory happenstance need not be imagined now that weaponry has been made more sophisticated and lethal by the preponderance of wars in our troubled world. Just look at Afghanistan. These are the spectacular lenses through which the Government in its authoritative height of socio-political and legitimate exclusive position sees through and reckons with.
That there is a Government in place presupposes that such regulations and controls should be the exclusive preoccupation of the Government using it legitimate coesive instruments, not an Opposition group who lack the necessary legal tools to sustain the aftermath of a careless bandwagon and its effects. We should not join the politically disgruntled to give moral or sundry supports to upheavals, no matter how our emotional fancies are tickled. This is the crux of the matter.
I suggest we disappoint the politically compromised and ensure we reawaken patriotism and public-spirited pragmatic citizenship for our collective good. Uche Onyeagocha and his ilks have compromised political antecedents and are unworthy of their touted Political Sainthood. They are not a healthy bunch of mentors for political followership.
There is in Imo State today a legal instrument and viable statute duly experimented and creditably fit to maintain law and order in the farmers’/herders mutual interelationship. The law was signed by H/E Achike Udenwa of the PDP in the year 2006 after the Iheagwa farmers/herders strife. The law is known as The Prohibition Of Grazing Of Cattle In Restricted Areas, Law Of Imo State, 2006. The law defines the RESTRICTED AREAS to include cultivated lands, residential and commercial areas. This law and its control efficacies can arguably be said to be the best of such a law in the entire Nigerian Federation with a more-than cursory emphasis on National Unity and with potent punitive stings enough to instil law and order in the State. That had guaranteed the comparative advantage of Imo State on the rampaging menaces of farmers/herders strifes as witnessed in most of the Southern States of Nigeria. Let the loss of power in Imo and at the center by PDP whose Government in this State enacted the law not set us all against the Hausas who today have, as a people and region, managed, too, to contain our people in their own individual trades and economic activities. The Nigerian Constitution allows all citizens the right to live, trade and do their legitimate businesses any place or region such citizens choose to. The Government is meant to guarantee and regulate this right by ensuring that the needed controls to minimize and or remove infringements on others’ rights as well are maintained without eliciting unnecessary ethno-religious misgivings. This has been amply achieved by the Prohibition Of Grazing Of Cattle In Restricted Areas, Law Of Imo State, 2006. Let us live inclusively in peace and not incite ethnic wars. It does not pay at the long run.
One thing is already sacrosanct about the priority the Shared Prosperity Government of Imo State places on the Security of all Imolites and our cohabiting fellow nationals of other ethnic derivations. It is true and worthy of premium mention that the Government can not condone any prospective criminal tendencies of any Imo inhabitants, be they Igbos, Hausas or Yorubas, etc. If anything, the law has received greater impetus for effective execution. Let these PDP deceivers not be more Catholic than the Pope!
We must be pragmatic as a people to decode sinister elitist motives. We must all be very circumspect. We can!
Blood, how I hate to see thee spilled.
Imolites must rebuke these Political elites now. They are against our collective good. They care for nothing other than political power. Distraught and desperate, they can court the devil and sacrifice those who are careless. We must rebuke them now and surely they will flee in many ways.
© Stanford Arinze Nwokedi is the Senior Special Assistant on Public Enlightenment To Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State.