Orlu Military Rampage: A Mismanaged Opportunity By Gov Hope Uzodinma

Egejuru Austin T.

At a time Gov Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State justified his brothers killer herdsmen carrying unlicensed AK-47, maiming and sacking communities, Gov Hope Uzodinma of Imo State choose to unleash fighter jets and helicopter gunships against his brother ESN who are trying to defend their fatherland, calling them hoodlums and threatening to prosecute them.

Is this not a case of one Governor being loyal to his local kits and kins, the other being loyal to Abuja kingpins. 

Inasmuch as I do not support ESN operatives attacking military formations, it is expected that Gov Hope Uzodinma, devices a local approach to identifying and placating ESN operatives while also presenting the plight and predicaments of Easterners in the hands of criminal herdsmen to the Federal Government. 

The deployment of unreasonable brute force to handle a matter that could be solved through moral and political persuasion and round table dialogue is akin to using a sledgehammer to kill a fly. 

I elect to remind Gov Hope Uzodinma that he has just played into the hands of ESN and their mother IPOB. Like IPOB said earlier, Gov Uzodinma and the Nigeria Military by their bombardments, have thrown the gauntlet to ESN. Anybody who thinks the ongoing military incursion in Orlu and Orsu is enough to deter these ESN guys will have to think again. This singular attack could propel the ESN to embark on asymmetrical warfare with state authorities and the military.

The sanctimonious and impressionistic posture of Gov Uzodinma will end up exacerbating the agitation and already charged atmosphere. It is absolutely better to bring these ESN operatives out from the forest for discussion, than to send them deeper into the forest to hibernate. Their coming back will be more catastrophic than Gov Uzodinma, and military will imagine.

Gov Hope Uzodinma’s insensitive actions are no doubt driven to impress sundry political quarters. Worst still, it is happening at a time his colleague, Gov Bello of Niger State, and other Northern Governors have commissioned Sheik Gumi to negotiate with criminal bandits in the forest with a possible offer of blanket amnesty.

What ever that is good for the bandits, should be better for ESN.

Somebody should please remind Gov Hope Uzodinma that politics is local. Most times, it is sentimental. At all times, he should gauge and play to the sentiments of his people. 

The way Fulanis are shouting the hosanna of Gov Bala Mohammed for defending them, even though Nigerians condemned his comments, why don’t Gov Hope Uzodinma cause Imolites and Igbos to sing his hossana for defending and protecting their ancestral heritage?

ESN may not have acted absolutely well but, history will be kind to them from at least taking a decision.

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