IPOB’s fatwa on Uzodinma, By Ifeanyi Maduako

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Governor Hope Uzodinma

Since January 15, 2020, when Senator Hope Uzodinma became the governor of Imo State the pronouncement of the Supreme Court, the highest court in the land, it is obvious that some people are still aggrieved and inconsolable.

As I have repeatedly argued, there is no governor in Nigeria of today whose mandate was not affirmed by the Supreme Court. Peter Obi became governor of Anambra State on March 17, 2006, the pronouncement of the court. became the governor of Rivers State in October 2007 the pronouncement of the Supreme Court. The incumbent governor of Rivers State, , lost at both the and the appeal court after the 2015 General Election. His mandate was only affirmed or reaffirmed by the Supreme Court, which set aside the judgments of both lower courts.

In Zamfara State, All Progressives Congress (APC) lost the entire elective seats People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidates the pronouncement of the same Supreme Court. There is a surfeit of examples where the made pronouncement concerning elections in Nigeria’s history. Why should Governor Uzodinma be singled out for constant vilification?

Uzodinma didn’t commit any crime by approaching the courts of the land for redress after the gubernatorial election. He had a genuine case substantiated with facts, and he won. Courts rely on indisputable facts arrive at a judgment and not emotion or sentiments.

Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) leader, Nnamdi Kanu, often refers Governor Uzodinma as the “Supreme Court Administrator “of Imo State. Why should the IPOB leader be partisan or political when all Igbo men and women should be seen as his brothers and sisters? If you listen Nnamdi Kanu speak, you would observe his morbid hatred for Governor Uzodinma. Has IPOB become a political party? Do IPOB leaders have preference for one political party against others when all the parties are made up of Igbo people? Who, among the four candidates of APC, PDP, APGA and AA, did IPOB think won the Imo governorship election?

Recently, Nnamdi Kanu was reported to have said that there would be no governorship election in Anambra State if Governor Uzodinma is not removed before then. Since all litigations concerning the 2019 governorship election in Imo have been put to rest, how does Kanu want Uzodinma to be removed? Through death which lies in the hands of God or through impeachment which lies in the hands of the state legislators?

Why the focus of Nnamdi Kanu on Imo State among all the five states of the Southeast? He is from Abia State, but he decided to launch his Eastern Security Network (ESN) at Orlu in Imo State. Why Orlu for goodness sake? Orlu has boundaries with other towns in Igbo land; it does not have a large forest and land mass unlike some other big towns in Igbo land; why then was Orlu chosen as the launching pad or base of ESN if not to incite the adherents of  IPOB against the government of Imo State? Why didn’t Kanu use his state (Abia) as the base of ESN or other big towns that have boundaries with non-Igbo states? Nnamdi Kanu rarely talks about the other four governors of the Southeast; his preoccupation is always with Governor Uzodinma of Imo State.

The allegation that Uzodinma is the agent of the Northern Cabal in Imo State is incorrect. Governor Uzodinma can never sell his fatherland to foreigners, but logic and commonsense dictate that he must not be confrontational to the federal government to placate IPOB members.

IPOB is justifiably against the numerous injustices meted on the Igbo, and every reasonable Igbo person supports the agitation, albeit morally. However, IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, shouldn’t expect every Igbo man and woman to kowtow to his modus operandi for the emancipation of Ndigbo.

IPOB must not be seen to be supporting or having a preferential treatment for one party against others. As IPOB has said that it doesn’t want Uzodinma to continue as Imo governor, who does it want? What about supporters of Uzodinma who are strong members of IPOB?  How does IPOB want them to feel if IPOB’s leader insists that he doesn’t want Uzodinma to continue?

The recurring and incessant unrest in Orlu town was brought upon by Nnamdi Kanu and his ESN. Governor Uzodinma swore an oath to protect his citizenry and territory with the Nigeria Constitution and not Biafra constitution. Until Biafra is eventually realised, all of us are bound by the Nigerian Constitution. Therefore, no sane man should have expected the governor to fold his hands and watch while Nnamdi Kanu and his ESN overrun Orlu, which is part of his territory. Uzodinma brought or beckoned on the security agencies to restore peace and normalcy. He never and couldn’t have told them to go to Orlu and kill his own people. He needed peace in his state just like other southern states were relatively peaceful.

Did IPOB/ESN expect Uzodinma to keep quiet for them to use or establish their base at Orlu, which was inexplicably singled out among other towns in Igbo land? Afaraukwu, the home town of Nnamdi Kanu, is relatively peaceful, but he wants to set Orlu on by bringing ESN there? No governor should condone that, especially as it is the senatorial zone of Governor Uzodinma.

The precipitated unrest by ESN in Orlu Zone has resulted in the killing of Ikonso, who was reported to be a commander of IPOB/ESN. As a result, IPOB has declared a fatwa on Governor Uzodinma with their leader, Kanu, going ahead to derisively rename the Imo State and some other major roads in with Ikonso’s name, ostensibly to immortalise him.

Nnamdi Kanu had and still has no such legal right to make such a pronouncement, we are still in Nigeria. We have not realised Biafra and until Biafra comes, he cannot usurp the functions of a governor who is the state Chief Executive Officer, according to the Nigerian constitution?

Governor Uzodinma didn’t kill Ikonso, the Commander-In-Chief in Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, sent his troops to Imo State. His security agents did the killing and not Governor Uzodinma. Governors are called the Chief Security Officers of their respective states, but their powers are limited as they cannot deploy Nigerian security agencies whose allegiance is only to the C-in-C, which is the .

Maduako writes from