By Collins Opurozor
On Friday, today, Chief Hope Uzodinma hosted some of his allies. For the purpose of the meeting, his personal friend who brought the other few persons, was addressed as the chairman of the Inter-Party Advisory Council, IPAC, in Imo state. His name is Prince Marcon Nlemigbo. His history is very simple and straight. He is the man whom Uzodinma installed as factional state chairman of the APC in Imo state. The event, purportedly an IPAC meeting, had eighteen persons in attendance.
Most of the faces are well-known active civil servants in the state, while some others are unemployed young men, who have never been close to the leadership of any political party anywhere in this country. Yet, they were brought together to impersonate some deregistered political parties. Some even introduced themselves as chairmen of unregistered political parties. For them, the mission was simple: man must wack!
When the rented men left with their thank-you-for-coming egunje, Uzodinma quickly issued a statement. He talked about the praises that IPAC had heaped on him for doing this and that. He also described how, in the words of George Orwell, “water now tastes better” and “hens now lay two eggs in one day”, because of his leadership. So, the things he reeled out were the sole essence of the entire contrivance: to create the impression of popularity.
Remember, Uzodinma has spent the last sixteen months immersed in legitimacy crisis. For him, recruiting the factional chairman of his party to act as IPAC chairman would in one way or the other help him appear to have been accepted by Imo people. Imagine reasoning! But he ended up exposing the weakness of his political base and the dubiousness of the mandate which he claims.
There is only one route to political power in a democracy. It is through the ballot. Those who use coups, whether military or judicial, are illegitimate rulers. Uzodinma knows how he became ruler. He, about a week ago, told his appointees about it. He said that none of them worked for him to be governor. You know, one thing democracy does is to order the conduct of leaders and make them conscious of popular verdict. A democrat respects the people whose mandate he holds in trust. A man who openly says his coming to power had no contributions from humans has already professed tyranny, and has sent a very disturbing signal to humanity.
Virtually all the non-state institutions within Imo state have been either plunged into crisis or outrightly destroyed because of this very desperate search of legitimacy by Uzodinma. The NUJ in Imo has two factions: one pocketed by agents of the regime, while the other is the mainstream body. Every community leadership in Imo is now torn apart because the regime wants to plant some moles to create some presence in the town unions. Even religious bodies are not spared.
SUG elections are politicized in the morbid quest to seek acceptability among the students. The shameful turn of events with the botched IMSU SUG election is emblematic of the flaming infatuation of this regime to capture by all means. Is it not pathetic that a man who claims to be in power is still struggling to create structures and presences in most parts of the state. Who then voted for him? Where then did he win? Who constituted the support base that delivered the purported gubernatorial victory?
Every attempt by Uzodinma to expand the social base of his power has always been met with stiff resistance by the people. This is the reason he now parades his friend and factional chairman of his party as IPAC chairman and his in-law as Eze Imo. Nobody is with him, and as he continues to search for elusive legitimacy, he must realize that he was not elected by Imo people, and that political authority only comes through the ballot.