Senator Athan Achonu, the Labour Party’s governorship candidate, has strongly criticized a recent endorsement of Governor Hope Uzodinma for a second term by Orlu Zone elders.
In a statement released by the Senator Athan Achonu Campaign Organisation, Achonu condemned the endorsement as “selfish and deceitful,” highlighting its potential negative consequences.
The statement addressed a communique that emerged from what was described as an ‘arranged’ Historic Orlu Zonal Unity and Development Summit held on August 26, 2023, in Owerri Nkworji.
The communique, signed by HRH Eze C. I Ilomuanya and Engr. Greg Madu, expressed the view that Governor Uzodinma’s emergence as the Governor of Imo State in January 2020 was a “divine gift to Orlu Zone” and touted his leadership as “the best thing to happen to Orlu Zone.”
Senator Achonu fiercely challenged this sentiment, drawing historical parallels to illustrate his point. He likened the Orlu elders’ endorsement to the mistakes made by Egyptian and Philistine leaders in the past, leading to dire consequences. He accused Uzodinma’s governance of having adverse effects on Orlu Zone and Imo State at large.
The statement from Achonu’s campaign organization stated, “Uzodimma’s governorship remains an ill wind that blows no good. Not to Ndi Orlu and not to Imo generally.” Achonu highlighted what he deemed as a deteriorating situation in Orlu Zone since Uzodinma’s assumption of office, particularly referencing troubling developments and alleged atrocities.
Achonu’s statement further decried the Orlu elders’ endorsement, labeling it a disservice to the people of Orlu. He questioned the genuineness of seeking unity and peace while disregarding reported cases of violence and alleged murders within the region. Additionally, the statement called out the elders for failing to address concerns related to the controversial security outfit, Ebube Agu.
The statement reads, “The attention of the Senator Athan Achonu Campaign Organisation has been drawn to a communique issued at the end of an ‘arranged’ “Historic Orlu Zonal Unity and Development Summit Held on 26 August 2023 in Owerri Nkworji and signed by HRH Eze C. I Ilomuanya and Engr. Greg Madu in which the summit “acknowledged that the emergence of His Excellency Distinguished Senator Hope Uzodinma CON as the Governor of Imo State in January 2020, is a divine gift to Orlu Zone, and therefore the best thing to happen to Orlu Zone.”
“By this selfish endorsement of Governor Hope Uzodimma for another four years, these Orlu elders are making the same mistake the Egyptian and Philistine leaders made when they (Egyptians) stubbornly refused to let Israelites, leave their domain, and in the case of the Philistines when they held on to the ark of covenant. Both suffered afflictions never known in their lands.
“Bluntly put, Uzodimma’s governorship remains an ill wind that blows no good. Not to Ndi Orlu and not to Imo generally. Immediately he took over the skies in Orlu turned black, signaling impending disaster, and today Orlu is witnessing a pogrom reminiscent of the Nigeria/ Biafra War pogrom.”
“This latest failed gimmick of the so-called Orlu elders is a great disservice to the good people of Orlu. It is akin to endorsing the continued slavery, killing, and dehumanization of the long-suffering people, especially in the Orsu area where it is an offense now for able-bodied youths to walk the streets. How can one claim to be seeking unity and peace in the zone without acknowledging the fact of the gruesome murder of traditional rulers and other sons and daughters of the Orlu zone in the period under review? Or, condemn the notorious Ebube Agu for the many alleged murders linked to them?
“Finally, everything about the elders’ communique is repugnant and smacks of selfishness. These elders were motivated by nothing but either of two things – hunger or fear. It is either that or they are afraid for their lives in a state where known opponents had been dispatched to the great beyond under questionable circumstances,” LP said.