The happenings in Imo APCare nothing other than the hand of God. They have nothing to do with the political savvy of Senator Hope Uzodinma…

Onuoha Ukeh

Those who invoke the saying, “Imo is in the hand of God,” may do so as if it is of little consequence, but this affirmation holds true of Imo State, one of the oldest South East states now under the control of Owelle Rochas Okorocha of the All Progressives Congress (APC). Every time the state finds itself at a political crossroad or whenever its rulers or governors begin to play god, the hand of the Almighty God is usually seen. History has proved that God always rescues Imo State from the hands of “little gods.”

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Looking at the political trajectory of Imo State, it is apparent that God has always shown His face in the choice of leaders, always rearranging things outside what mortals want. No doubt knowing what the people “need,” against what they “want,” God has always played a great role in Imo State during elections. There is no consensus as to why God put those who end up on the throne in Imo State as people conjecture, arguing whether the choices are a blessing or punishment, to teach them some lessons.

In 1989/99, when democracy was being born, to end military rule in the country, Imo State was a hotbed of politics, as the dominant political party, the Peoples Democratic party (PDP), was in crisis over choice of governorship candidate. Humphrey Anumodu and Okorocha, who came first and second respectively in the PDP governorship primary, were in a fierce contention, following PDP’s preference for a candidate from the Orlu zone at that time. Not ready to favour Anumodu, from Okigwe zone, who was the top runner, and Okorocha, from Orlu zone, who the party leaders did not want, the PDP settled for Chief Achike Udenwa, a relatively unknown accountant, who never made impact in the primary election, having come third. Udenwa emerged the PDP candidate and won the governorship election, against all the run of play. With that, God spoke in Imo State.

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In 2007, God’s hand manifested again in Imo, in determining who succeeded Udenwa in office. First, there was a drama in the PDP. Araraume had won the governorship primary of the PDP and had his name submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The PDP later substituted Araraume’s name with that of Charles Ugwu, causing him to go to court to challenge the decision. When the case ended in favour of Araraume, PDP expelled and disowned him, a few days to the governorship election. Araraume was, technically, an independent candidate in the election. At that time, the fire of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) had caught up in Imo State and Chief Martin Agbaso was riding high. However, in the rerun governorship election, following the cancellation of the earlier one by the INEC, a dark-horse, Ikedi Ohakim of the newly registered Progressive People’s Alliance (PPA) won the election to become the governor. God, again, spoke clearly.

When Ohakim sought a second term in office, in 2011, the glory of God figuratively left him. God raised another person as governor. In the midst of controversies over his conduct in office, including a running battle with the Catholic Church, Ohakim fell out of favour with the people. He lost the governorship election to Okorocha, candidate of the APGA. It was a victory and loss that could only be explained as God’s intervention for a people that wanted a change. These are lessons for the candidates in next year’s governorship election in Imo State. None of them should be confident of victory, for the hand of God will be seen clearly in the election, as in the past.

Taking all these together, it is obvious that Okorocha failed to learn this one lesson: That nobody can play god and get away with it, no matter how powerful or connected. In his politics, Okorocha seems to have forgotten the God factor as he behaves in a manner that suggests that he wants to take God’s glory. The Imo State governor had looked round the state and came to the discomfiting conclusion that his son-in-law, Uche Nwosu, was the best man to take over the mantle of leadership in Imo State after him. Like Nza (the tiny bird), which overfed itself and challenged his god to a wrestling match, Okorocha presented Nwosu, endorsed him and dared Imo APC members and voters to do their worst. Owing to his fixation to have Nwosu as APC candidate and Imo State governor, Okorocha ran roughshod on everybody. Five members of the Imo State House of Assembly were suspended, to make the House pliable. Deputy Governor, Eze Madumere, was impeached and removed from office because he showed interest in running for governor. Okorocha took control of the machinery of the APC in Imo. He arrogated to himself the power to decide who got what ticket for the 2019 elections. He allotted to himself the senatorial ticket for Imo West. He thought the world was at his feet.

Until the bubble burst, making it impossible for his son-in-law to be the governorship candidate of APC in Imo State, there was no deference to God in Okorocha’s political calculation. Confident he would get his son-in-law elected governor, Okorocha played god and expected the people to worship him. He boasted that nobody would stop him. Uche Nwosu himself did not put God first in his aspiration. No doubt carried away by the praise-singing of sycophants and the unfounded confidence of his father-in-law, the governor, Nwosu started seeing himself as next political chief executive of Imo State. Matters came to a nauseating point when he celebrated his birthday and caused his friends and “oti mkpus” to take newspaper pages to congratulate him. And to tell us how important and politically powerful he believed he had become, Nwosu once declared that only God could stop him from being the next governor of Imo State.

Of course, God heard his declaration and showed His hand. The happenings in Imo APC, therefore, are nothing other than the hand of God. They have nothing to do with the political savvy of Senator Hope Uzodinma, the APC governorship candidate for Imo State. It has nothing to do with the personal agenda of APC chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, to stop the emperorship of Okorocha. It is not about the doggedness of Deputy Governor Madumere. It is simply the hand of God. God heard the prayers of Imo people for Him not to allow one man decide the fate of everybody and take His glory. God did not want Imo people to worship an unknown god and, therefore, caused the political earthquake that is about to stop Okorocha’s evolving political dynasty.

Okorocha squandered the goodwill that brought him to power. In his attempt to “do what Napoleon could not do,” Okorocha sowed a political wild wind, which is about to sweep him away. Indeed, no matter how the Imo political drama eventually ends, in favour of Okorocha or against him, the words of the Bible in Galatians 6:7 aptly tells the Okorocha story: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

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