Imo State Guber Election and the Futility of Hope

By Jude Atupulazi

As you read this, the gubernatorial election in Imo State would have been held and results trickling in. I don’t know if you’re among those Nigerians that still see hope in a hopeless situation; one of those Nigerians who are still waiting earnestly for a miracle. Well, if you are, you may as well wait endlessly for the realization of your hope and the actualization of your miracle because this is Nigeria where hope does not thrive and miracles are only faked.

The name of one of the candidates for the Imo State election is Hope. Hope Uzodimma. But there’s nothing hopeful in that name. He is the incumbent governor of the state whose ascension to power was a miracle but not the kind of miracle seen or read in the Holy Book.

He had come a distant third in that election but somehow our courts declared him the winner, probably because the All Progressives Congress, APC, the party in power at the centre, which was in power in Imo State at that point, did not want to lose its only state in the Eastern part of Nigeria. Mind you, APC had not won an election in Imo State prior to that time. It was just that the then governor, Rochas Okorocha, who won on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, later defected to the APC.

But because of the abysmal failure of the governor, the people of the state were ready to throw away his party when he was leaving office and was trying to hand over to Uzodimma. Uzodimma and APC were roundly rejected but surprisingly Uzodimma who came third, jumped in through the window, sorry, through the Supreme Court, to become the governor of the beleaguered state.

Today, the people there are complaining about the bloodletting going on there occasioned by violence. They say Uzodimma is ruling with an iron fist and brooks no opposition. To him, all is fair in war. That was why the president of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Comrade Joe Ajaero, who went to that state to mobilize his members, was beaten blue and black and found himself in the hospital.

Latest news from the state is that the organized labour has threatened to plunge the state into darkness in protest against the treatment of their leader. There was also this threat by airport workers to shut down flight operations so that no one comes in or goes out. For sure, this last one will pain government officials.

But beyond that, what else? The situation in Imo State is as hopeless as the situation in the larger Nigeria. No shining light at the end of the tunnel and that means no hope. Yet, a man called Hope is governing the state. As I noted earlier, by the time you read this, the election would have been over but it is an election that will throw up no surprises because we all know that even if Uzodimma comes last, the electoral umpire will conjure up fake results and declare him the winner.

The losers will be asked to go to court and the court will rubbish their petitions and affirm the declaration by INEC of Uzodimma. Protests may trail the announcement of Uzodimma as winner, just as they may follow the affirmation of his victory by the courts. But at the end of the day everybody will return to their normal beats and life goes on. That is the situation Nigerians have found themselves in these days.

It is a country people who are favoured get away with impunity and laugh at you. Oh yes, did not Tinubu laugh at Peter Obi last Tuesday when he told Obi that he was never going to become president and advised him to bide for his time come the next presidential election?

Nigerians have become fed up with the system which continues to produce monsters that feed fat on fellow Nigerians. There is serious frustration because everybody knows they can do nothing unless they want to commit suicide. Nigerians are helpless and hopeless and are seething with rage. That is why it is unsafe to toy with the emotions of many people these days because of the backlash. Little things now irritate Nigerians. You could see it in the brutal way they burn suspected criminals.

You could see it in the way some people agitate for Biafra and take it out on their own people because they know they cannot challenge the status quo. But that is foolishness. I have always said it. If you are angry with the establishment and you go ahead and kill fellow sufferers among you, who will you live with? But they say anger robs people of their senses, making them to behave like animals.

The Imo State governorship election will further anger Nigerians because of the way it will end. Many will be maimed and some may be killed and the families will get no justice. If they make noise the accuser will become the accused. This is Nigeria!!!

But while hope dies every day in this country, I still believe that a time will come when the corrupt system will suffer an implosion. An implosion means something that collapses from within. That is the only way Nigerian can be freed from the nightmarish rulership of APC and their demons.