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Imo Election: Why No Wangle From State Actors Should Be Tolerated Again By The People

 Imo Election: Why No Wangle From State Actors Should Be Tolerated Again By The People The Imo State gubernatorial elections is few days awa...

 Imo Election: Why No Wangle From State Actors Should Be Tolerated Again By The People

The Imo State gubernatorial elections is few days away. Polls are set to be officially opened on November 11th, 2023 for citizens to troop out and exercise their "constitutional rights" by choosing their preferred candidate to lead them as traditionally enshrined in universal democratic system, except that in Nigeria the above endearing political pick-up-line is to put mildly – too good to be true.

The recurrence of unending cycles of electoral malpractices, ballot snatching, certificate/result forgery, thuggery and political witch-hunting has been norm and order since 1999 when Nigeria converted from military dictatorship to Western-style of democracy. The Nigerian Electoral Commission (INEC), and the Nigerian Judiciary has mostly been at the spotlight of the conspiracy to override and uphold the results and emergence of the highest bidder, with wishy-washy excuses of eroding "technicalities" as the winner. The 2023 February presidential election and the debacle that followed is a striking demonstrative example to comes to mind comparatively.

In 2019, elections were conducted in Imo State which saw the re-election of Mr. Emeka Ihedioha, the People's Democratic Party candidate and Incumbent Governor of the state. It was a popular mandate given by the people, to say the least. But, in a sudden move which can be safely described as a blatant travesty of justice, The Supreme Court overturned and nullified the outcome of the polls, and announced the ruling party APC candidate, Hope Uzodimma whose position – Per Official INEC records was 4th – as the rightful winner.

Since 2020, When Mr. Uzodimma officially assumed State affairs management. The decades-long peaceful Imo State was turned into an abyss of chaos and bloodbath. In less than 36 months in office over 5,000 Innocent youthful lives from Imo state and neighboring states respectively were cut short with thousands more unaccounted for. 

Residential buildings in remote villages, suburbs and urban areas razed down by incessant militant/military attacks and counterattacks, various criminal groups engaged in all sorts of despicable crimes like kidnapping for ransom, Political assassination etc. sprouted all over the place. Economic growth and infrastructural developments was ground zero. It appeared that Mr. Uzodimma was imposed on the people of Imo State and by extension the Southeast region for a nefarious purpose and mission of destabilization.

Four years later, election jingle are sounding again. Mr. Uzodimma and his backers are doing everything within their might to retain power, even at the cost of sacrificing everything and everyone in the state. Intimidation, extrajudicial arrests and incarceration of dissenting voices, bribery of handpicked INEC electoral officials and the Court Judges with State funds to tilt the waves to their favor, has been conspicuously ongoing.

The Supreme Court subsequently refused to hear the case challenging the legality of how Mr. Uzodimma acquired office, rather postponed it to December 5th 2023 after the electoral process must have been over. Reports suggests that this came about as a result of monetary compensation from Hope Uzodimma to the judges. Moreover, the 27 INEC Officials have also been carefully handpicked to do the outright bidding of Hope Uzodimma come November 11th.

Although, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), movement have warned sternly against the foul gimmicks of Hope Uzodimma, vowing consequences for collaborators who teams up with him to work against the people's will.

 However, the people of Imo State collectively has a great role to play in ensuring that their will and mandate is not trampled upon or hijacked by few irredentists who thrives in their tears, misery and penury.

In times past, the IPOB movement had unanimously deployed the tactics of election boycott to force the hands of these politicians to behave accordingly and cave to demands.

 But, owing to attempts by State-sponsored fifth columnists to capitalize on this strategy and paint the movement as being anti-democratic, the movement has alternatively opt for neutrality to allow the exercising of constitutional provisions and rights of the people. Hence, while the public is yet to know other surprise strategy the IPOB Movement might apply following the recent warnings.

It is imperative that the people of Imo State rises up in unison, and confront those who have taken their lives and destinies hostage with impunity for over 4 years. One good turn deserves another, a bad one does not. They must rise up and fight for the protection of their Indigenous and constitutional rights to live as dignified humans not hostages who are to be readily slaughtered when the captors deems fit.

This task is not only binding solely on the people of Imo State, but also on the people in Neighboring states precisely in the Southeastern region. They also bear the responsibility of rising in political consciousness and defend the interest of each other without allowing the artificial boundaries of state creation, to hinder and obstruct the natural cohesion the exists within us a people and race. A stitch in time saves not only nine, but also saves lives. 

We should make hay whilst the sun shines.

Written By Enenienwite Ikechukwu

For Family Writers Press International

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