I am not writing this piece to stir up religious sentiments, political upheaval or social unrest in an already tensioned-soaked Imo State. But at a certain point, truth must be told or said irrespective of whose ox is gored. This state belongs to us and there is no other state we can call our own except Imo. That’s why we must do our best, to give our individual support no matter how small it may be.
I frowned at one of the epitaphs situated on Wetheral Road/Government House roundabout with the inscription “Okporo Uzo Muhammadu Buhari” or “Muhammadu Buhari’s way” to replace an already existing Assumpta Road. The Road Assumpta started from control roundabout and terminated at Imo State Government House round about. Assumpta is the name of not only the Catholic Diocesan Headquarters in Imo State but stands as the Provincial Ecclesiastical headquarters of Catholic Churches in Old Imo, Rivers, Abia and some part of Anambra States.
I don’t want to be hyperbolical but stand to be corrected; Assumpta Cathedral is older than the history of European Partition of Africa in 1885 Berlin Conference. Though, I was not there during the branding of major and strategic urban roads and streets in Owerri but it stands to reason that the said road that stretched from control post and terminated at government house roundabout should be addressed as nothing other than Assumpta road because of the church.
However, the Rochas Okorocha led government of Imo State, having opened several roads both single and dual carriage ways could not deem it necessary to brand any of these roads with the name of President Muhammadu Buhari but chose to de-brand an age long church road just to dismiss the rumor making round that he is anti Buhari.
No right thinking government can do this. Come to think of it, this sacrilegious act cannot happen in any part of Northern Nigeria, otherwise, every nook and cranny of the place will be on fire. But here, I mean South Eastern part of Nigeria, we are learned and wise people. We prefer round table resolution to crisis.
Before, I delve into critical analysis of this Owelle’s non consultative deliberate action. Let me first of all clear the air, lest I am misunderstood, by some of his thoughtless lieutenants whose tongues are in their brains and their brains in their tongue that failed woefully to advise him appropriately. I will not be surprised, if they call me names and describe me as nobody just to win his favour. But I don’t care, truth must be told.
I love President Muhammadu as a person created by God and as a leader. I don’t have anything against him and intend not to insult him in future. Immortalising him in Imo State is not wrong, after all, he has been twice the apex leader of Nigeria. However, substituting highly revered religious institution like Assumpta with the name of a Muslim no matter the person, is a complete aberration which must be condemned absolutely. In fairness to PMB, if he was consulted before de-branding and rebranding this road with his name, I believe he would have rejected the offer as an astute Muslim but I think, he was not consulted before naming the road after him.
Like other pundits may assert, the naming of President Buhari after a major road which was not only never discovered by Okorocha led government instead, is many years older than Okorocha and his team put together is lethal joke taken too far and must be rescinded with immediate effect.
Meanwhile, people have been accusing Gov. Okorocha of being a Muslim which personally I don’t see to be having any iota of truth. But recently, my rigid stand against this allegation or blackmail which he the Governor had serially refuted started to diffuse. This is as a result of his actions towards the state and Christians.
All things being equal, Islamic colours are predominately black and dove grey. In the same vein, Imo State colour to the best of knowledge is yellow dominance. But check out all the epitaphs with their inscription in Owerri Municipality. They are black dominated background with dove grey lettering which is synonymous with Islamic/Jihad fighting groups (Boko Haram, ISIS etc). What defense can one put up to justify this conscious mistake than to accept the mistake and render unreserved apology to Imolites and all Christians.
Finally, this should not be taken as instigation against the present government but should be seen as a wake-up call to all Christian across the state to be alive in following the trends in this Okorocha led government of Imo State.
Nwauwa Justice .I.