Recently, the Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma has come under serious criticism for not aligning with other Southern Governors on issues affecting the entire region. It should be recalled that not long ago, the Southern Governors met and reached an agreement on three issues that have become important to the region.
The first being to ban open grazing of cows across the entire Southern region, the second agreement reached by the Southern Governors was to insist on the zoning of the 2023 Presidency to region, while the third was to insist that states should directly collect Value-Added Tax (VAT) from companies in their territories. Out of the 3 agreements, the Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma, who never attended the Southern Governors meeting, has reneged on two.
It should be recalled that the Governor alleged that his state would not ban open grazing of cows, insisting that he would rather regulate the activities of herdsmen in Imo. This was followed by the Governor’s remark that the All Progressives Congress (APC), is not interested in where the next President of Nigeria comes from. The position of the Governor on these important issues for the Southern region, has attracted serious criticism from the public.
It should be recalled that recently, Daily Post reported a backlash on the Governor from the Ohaneze Ndịgbo, an apex Igbo socio-cultural group in Nigeria. This is coming at a time when several other people have continued to criticize the Governor for not aligning with the rest of the Southern Governors. In my view, Governor Hope Uzodinma should not be criticized for the following 2 reasons.
1. Politics is a game of interest
It is common knowledge that politics is a game of interest, and every politician takes decisions that would protect his interests. With this, one may not be wrong to say that Governor Hope Uzodinma’s refusal to align with other Southern Governors, could be based on the need to protect his interests.
2. We should consider his miraculous Supreme Court victory, and the pending suit filed by Chief Phillip Umeadi demanding his sacking.
There is no doubt that the emergence of Governor Hope Uzodinma from a distant 4th position has remained a mystery to many Nigerians. The judgement that brought him in, is still the subject of litigation today. As such, the Governor cannot be said to have cemented his position like other Southern Governors. Considering how powerful the central government is, and its position on the agreement of the Southern Governors, one may not be wrong to say that it could be dangerous for Governor Hope Uzodinma to align with them.
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