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Friday, March 24, 2023

Imo Assembly Crisis: Uzodinma and Battle Of The Cowshed

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By Collins Opurozor

Growing up, we read “Animal Farm”. That allegory, satire and ultra-comical fable, written by George Orwell, has found a fit stage for itself in the Imo State House of Assembly, especially as the battle for the liberation of the Assembly from Senator Hope Uzodinma, their infamous taskmaster and overlord, rages on.

The Battle of the Cowshed in “Animal Farm” is, therefore, significant because it represents the point of no return in the animals’ poise to defeat the cruel Mr. Jones and to take control of their farm. The deserved impeachment of Amara Iwuanyanwu, the erstwhile Deputy Speaker of the Assembly, offers a real-life reincarnation of the climax of the Battle of the Cowshed –  a battle of necessity fought so that the animals might banish their collective oppressor, have civil liberties, propagate their values and lead themselves towards the path of collegiality.

It is important for Imo people to know that at the heart of the deteriorating socio-economic conditions in the state is not just an inept governor who has done nothing to turn around the circumstances in Imo but also a legislature which has abdicated its oversight duty as the watchdog against maladministration, abuse of public trust, executive overhang and financial malefeasance. The twin inadequacies have combined to bequeath to the people a state that is now rated as most chaotic, most regressing, most underperforming and worst governed in Nigeria. In short, the success of Uzodinma’s failure began with his emasculation of the legislature.

This odious incursion into the Assembly by Uzodinma which in its aftermath left the House divided, toothless and ineffective was made possible by Amara Iwuanyanwu, the poster boy for parliamentary sycophancy. In the high noon of his perceived invincibility, Amara did not just publicly sing praises for “his personal god and saviour”, he further created a personality cult around Uzodinma, branded his underpants with Uzodinma’s face, blackmailed his colleagues who had made efforts to redeem the sanctity of the Assembly, and robbed it on the faces of everyone that he was omnipotent,  being sheltered under the wings of Uzodinma. How a man elected by his constituency to check against executive recklessness has ended up as the most ardent enabler of executive recklessness remains a puzzle to Imo people!

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Since his very popular removal on Tuesday, Amara Iwuanyanwu has resorted to all manner of antics. He has sent out his paid hack writers to town to peddle one incoherent narrative or another. They say the opposition party sponsored Amara’s removal so as to finally impeach Uzodinma. Even this miserable propaganda begs the question: So Uzodinma has committed impeachable offences and it takes an Amara to stop the Assembly from discharging its constitutional duties? The implication is that Amara should be held equally responsible for all the atrocities of Uzodinma, for by his admission he has been stalling the deserved impeachment of an unarguably failed governor. 

Imo Assembly members must realize they are standing before history. They must prove that the parliament of the people remains the bastion of democracy. They must stand tall and begin to wield the big stick against the ongoing rot in Imo, and never should they cower again before the feet of a petty tyrant. They must realize that if the parliamentary revolution they have started is stopped halfway they will all be crushed politically. Already, they have all marked for political relegation, with the plot to deny them tickets of the APC come 2023. They must stand up now to end the festering impunity in Imo, because they have nothing to lose but everything to win, especially their dignity and the efficacy of the parliament.

Nwangele people are great and enterprising, and their land is home to very innovative and creative minds. They have, however, been misrepresented in the Assembly for nearly three years by Amara Iwuanyanwu, whose belligerence, quest for vain glory, desperation and collusion in the hurtful and harmful misgovernance of Uzodinma are widely known. The people of Nwangele must now speak up and resist to be seen in that light, and they have to let the world know that the vices which Amara represents are repugnant to their cherished values as a people. 

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Imo ga-adi nma ozo!

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