BY ONWUASOANYA FCC JONES
There is a seeming free for all fight on the social media over the President’s speech at his first-ever working visit to Imo State. While the displeased and apparently disappointed members of the opposition, comprising of the PDP and an aggrieved section of the APC, have chosen to fly with the version where the President purportedly said that he will be careful with the governor’s next invitation to Imo State, promoters of the government are arguing that the President actually said; “cheerful”, but the opposition twisted it to “careful”. At least one independent reporter, Joyce Uwaoma has reported that the President said “I will be grateful with your future invitations to Imo State”, even though, this was later edited to “cheerful” in some versions of the report.
Now, I will not go into the syntactical logicality of the words, their contexts and probable implication, but I will blindly go with the opposition to assume that the President actually said, he will be careful with the Imo governor’s future invitations. One thing the purveyors of this narrative have failed at is to tell us what could have warranted any carefulness on the part of the President, given, especially, that the President was apparently full of praises for the governor.
While a section of those distributing, authoring or syndicating this baleful narrative would want to be seen as lovers of the President, the immediate interpretation of what they are doing is to present the President as someone who speaks from both sides of his mouth. For a speech that is entirely full of commendation for the governor of Imo State for his insightful leadership and full of new promises for Imolites in particular and Ndigbo in general, it would be inexplicable for the same person who praised the hospitality and logistical accurateness of his hosts to, in the same speech, express any kind of reservations with his visiting Imo.
If there were reservations, the President couldn’t have been taken by surprise. We should recall that barely 48 hours to his visit to Imo, he received security briefings from all the security chiefs in the country. There wasn’t anyway, his visit to Imo wouldn’t have featured prominently on whatever briefings he got. The fact that a group of opposition Party militants and terrorists had declared a politically inspired sit-at-home and that due to fear, rather than any form of loyalty, many people were set to keep away from the streets, for fear of been mailed, didn’t need any special security briefing to know.
The President took time to inaugurate some of the projects executed by the governor in the last 18 months, and this was the first time, he would be doing that in Imo State. It is a significant reality that in his 76 months as President and Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces and the undisputed leader of the governing APC, this is the first time Muhammadu Buhari GCFR is raising scissors to personally unveil any State built project in Imo State. This is historical and he couldn’t have accorded someone he doesn’t trust with such an opportunity.
If the President was going to be “careful” in the sense my friends are trying to present it, then, he wouldn’t have stepped his feet into Imo in the first place, because it was obvious, even to the most politically naive, that the embittered sponsors of this narrative could have done anything to stop the President from stepping his feet into Imo, and even up till the time the Presidential jet touched down in the Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport, many of them were expecting to see either the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha or at most, the Vice-president, Professor Yemi Osibanjo alighting from the aircraft. But, the President came out in full-body, soul and in his true elements. That’s enough to make some people commit suicide if they had some honour. But, honour is the scarcest commodity among our politicians.
Now, let me tell you why, if, the President will be careful at Governor Uzodimma’s future invitations;
- The President will be careful with gossips. Many people who have some closeness to the President must have exploited that to try to convince the President not to come, but the President came and saw for himself that the things he was told about the governor are not true.
- The President might have expected to see a rundown State with the people, disoriented, unhappy and violent, but he saw a massively changed and fastly developing State, with people lined up on some of the streets to welcome him. There wasn’t even a single shot of gun, talk less of a bomb or a suicide bomber like he might have been told. So, the next time he is invited to the State by this governor, he will be careful those to listen to.
- The President might have been told that Ndigbo do not like him or will not welcome him if he comes, but the President would have been marveled at the calibre of Igbo statesmen who turned out to welcome him to Imo. Igwe Achebe, Professor Obiozor, General Nwachukwu, former governors, top military leaders of his generation, captains of industry, etc.
- The President is obviously grateful he came and saw things for himself, and will definitely be careful with the people he listens to, by the next time the governor invites him.
MAY IMO PREVAIL!
9News Nigeria (Owerri)
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