Collins Opurozor

Yesterday, a few men, ostensibly old, gathered somewhere in Owerri to drink palm wine. One of them suddenly came up with an idea. It was just about getting small “egunje” from the regime of Chief Hope Uzodinma. He was convinced that if they could get a piece of paper and scribble something like press statement on it, warning Imo people to stop describing Hope Uzodinma as Supreme Court Governor, they would get small cash from Uzodinma. Man must wack!

So they did. Since they were old, no soubriquet could better describe them than elders council. So they did, too. There and then an Imo elders council was created, and a press statement issued, and N50,000 brought to them by a henchman to Uzodinma. They could now afford to buy pepper soup in addition to palm wine, and a day that began so gloomily for them ended with merriment. Ahiazuwa!

Sincerely, these characters should never be glorified by responding to them. What, however, we need to do is to constantly remind ourselves that a government came to power without the consent of the people is illegitimate. It is an aberration and it cannot command respect and earn goodwill. It cannot lead. It may wield naked power but it has no authority. Its policies are words of tyranny, and its programs are never of God.

A man who makes himself emperor without the consent of the people has violated the sacred covenant establishing civil society. The people cannot keep faith with him. By his election, says St. Thomas Aquinas, a leader is supposed to have made a covenant with the people to promote a virtuous life. Even Milton teaches us that, “The power of kings is nothing but only derivative, transferred and committed to them in trust from the people, for the common good of them all, in whom the power yet remains fundamentally, and cannot be taken from them without a violation of their natural birthright.”

Truth is that Hope Uzodinma did not feature in the 2019 governorship election. He neither campaigned nor even had the structure to do so. He never participated in any of the debates. He maintained no presence at over sixty percent of the polling units. Even his emergence as standard bearer was mired in controversies and barred by the infamous tale of Gulaking. Let all his supporters and appointees present their electoral unit results to Imo people to see if the man in Douglas House got above twenty votes in any polling unit in Imo State.

For some of us, it is a moral question to have an unelected governor in Imo State. It is also a complete reversal in our drive for democratic consolidation. I was a spokesperson to a governorship campaign in that election. Imo people never yielded their right to self-governance to the man who now pretends to govern them, and as such Imo State has no governor today. The man in Douglas House did not win a single unit in Imo State. He does not have our consent. He was imposed on us by the Supreme Court, and so there is nothing else we can call him if not Supreme Court Governor.

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