He couldn’t be more right!
The author did me proud by showing me there a people who “actually see beyond there nose”. In an era of dearth of right thinking and proper ideology, there are still those whose values are for common good. The bottom line is this: Ndi Anambra should get it right once again, this time!
About a decade and half ago, religious leaders became the principal moulders of opinion in Anambra State politics; not by chance but in conformity with the religious nature of Ndiigbo and all Africans. Religious bodies have not only caused people to win and lose elections but have also played a principal part in the implementation of government policies and projects. At times like this, religious men and women become the focus of politicians; churches and church projects also become easy means of flying a politician. Many religious leaders count this as gain and cash in on it to raise funds for their projects and more. What remains is the prophetic role of religion in which the voice of God should be heard in truth and in the light of God’s word speaking to the situation of men. What remains is that religious leader who will boldly tell the politicians “Away with you; you who use the public funds to buy over the clergy and leave the poor widow and orphan die on the streets without medical attention. Away with you, who hoard public funds, waiting for the period of election to waste it on ephemerals. God is angry with you and his anger will blaze on you without stopping”. If it was right for them to give money to the clergy or to fund church projects, then religious leaders should be wary of the source and the implication it holds for the future of the state.
Traditional rulers and community leaders should not sit on their thrones and offices only to say to whoever brings money to them “I jebego”. Their integrity is being tested. These politicians know that we are not ready for good governance when we take all the money we can get from them. We inadvertently tell them to keep looting and in turn reduce ourselves to the struggle of who gets a good part of the loot. It is mind blowing to think of the kind of money that is being spent in this state now; money that will build a state-of-the-art medical facility or the so-dreamed cargo airport. Let us not allow ourselves to be fooled.
Most times we decry leadership, but it is time we understood that bad followership necessarily begs for bad leadership. What you get is what you want. We cannot hold our leaders to account when we indulge with their nefarious activities in the name of getting our money out of them.
Having listened to the talking points of the various candidates, I go back to the man I have so often quoted and believe in, as far as championing the cause of Ndigbo is concerned. Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu has written:
“… We suffer from selective amnesia – we conveniently forget certain unpleasant facts about our journey through life as a polity … we suffer from selective myopia … our vision skips areas we find unpleasant no matter how recent…. We are inflicted with the same degree of selective hyperopia – we perceive and draw lessons only from convenient happenings in our history and convenient sources of our national chronicle. We … suffer from selective audition (the calls we hear are only those we wish to hear). We suffer from selective indignation … and … selective morality” (Because I am Involved).
Though Ojukwu wrote this in 1989, he captured in so many graphic representations Nigeria and Nigerians of yesterday, today and probably tomorrow if caution is not heed. In the light of the warning of this icon, Anambra must take caution. November 18, 2017 is our date with fate; if Anambra does not get it right, the consequence for the country may be calamitous.
This is not a time for bickering and dirty talk; it is a sober moment for serious introspection and decision. This is no time for the implementation of “Okwa philosophy”. Okwa (the bush fowl) had said “the person whose yam it ate, cultivated the most.” We stand to gain nothing if the reason we cast our vote is in line with the thought of okwa. It is no time for the wisdom of the African dog and ‘Nwoke afo ukwu’. It is in the light of the foregoing that this writer will not want to suffer the fate of Oturukpokpo, the woodpecker but like ‘Aturu’ (the lamb) a couple of galloping will make for a good dance when the drum beaters as much as bring it home to its family compound.
Ndi Anambra should not be victims of Selective Myopia
Anambra election is not about what an individual stand to gain or lose; it is about Ndiigbo, our stake in the Nigerian polity and in the global sphere. Our children are in the globalized world; residing in Awka and competing with their peers in China. Our children are living in all nook and crannies of the world; what kind of governance will make them comfortable abroad and at home?
Anambra State is not just a part of south-eastern Nigeria, it is a community in the global village. Who will make Anambra more visible to the world? Who will give Ndi Anambra the connection to global issues and grow a formidable economy that conforms to international best practices? Who will place Anambra in the world map and set a sustainable roadmap to development? Who will expose our children to the real competition of their age in real time? Who will project Anambra of the next hundred years and begin already to work towards it? Who will give Anambra State the superstructure upon which every other infrastructure could stand? Who will be our Li Quan Yu to catapault us to the heights where we really belong? Four years or eight years is too myopic as the length of our vision and plan. For this singular reason many of us voted for continuity in 2013.
Ndi Anambra should not be victims of Selective Amnesia
Let us not forget that on his return from exile Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu joined politics under the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) when every prominent Igbo was in Nigerian Peoples’ Party (NPP). A lot of our elders speculated that it was a precondition for his pardon or he has abandoned the Igbo struggle. But now we know better from his personal aid, Uche Ezechukwu (read “Ojukwu: the ‘Rebel’ I served”). I have argued on this platform that All Progressive Grand Alliance is an ideology, it is not a platform. If you are steeped in the ideology, any platform can take you there. Ojukwu was the same man throughout his life, military, war, exile, NPN or APGA. His personality is it, we have seen it before.
Let us not forget that when Mr. Peter Obi began to gun for the governorship of Anambra State, he belonged to no political party until he had gained acceptance into the hearts of Ndi Anambra. He bought into Ojukwu’s philosophy and joined APGA, may be for some other political intrigues beyond his control. Clearly he made APGA, not the other way round, let us not forget. Ndi Anambra voted for the person in 2003 not the party. It was in 2007 that the Supreme court ruled against the election Of Celestine Omehia but upheld Rotimi Amaechi of the same PDP (who never contested elections) instead of Tonye Princewill of the Action Congress Party in Rivers State who contested; ruling that it was the party that was elected not the person. It is time we voted the person again and not forget we had it good when we first did.
Let us not forget that the same people who gave us Chinweoke Mbadinuju also gave us Chris Ngige. The first did us harm, the second launched the liberation of the state from their chains. There is no politician without a godfather even Donald Trump. One may have a godfather who projects him like Peter Obi did Obiano or a godfather who buys into ones aspiration like Ojukwu did Peter Obi.
Let us not forget that in 2013 we voted for continuity. We were all in agreement that the outgoing administration had set Anambra State on the path of development and we needed someone to continue on that path. The incumbent flew on the scorecard of his predecessor and bought into the hearts of Ndi Anambra for simply agreeing to keep to the rules.
Let us not forget that before 2013, the former administration had begun to organize and fund community vigilante; doing direct funding for community roads and partnering with President Generals of town unions; knowing that with more cohesion in our communities, crime will be abated. Every intelligent political watcher knew that such moves were already yielding fruits for a secure Anambra State before this administration took off. It is only fair to acknowledge that this administration delivered on security in faithfulness to the 2013 Campaign mantra – “Continuity”. Security in Anambra State as we clamour is a product of diligent continuity. It is magical to have achieved security in the state in three months. Let us be clear about it and not forget!
Ndi Anambra should not be victims of Selective Hyperopia
We do not need to look far; the incumbent and his surrogates are saying there was discontinuity. In other words there was a breach in their contract with Ndi Anambra. It is up to Ndi Anambra to accept this reason for the breach or demand for the result they had expected. Ndi Anambra needs a person whose word is his bond.
We do not need to look far because most of us were alive during the last administration when people took turns to make a tour of the governor’s achievements in his first tenure, sponsored by the governor himself. I made my own tour on a personal cost without a guide. That was the first time I went to Igbakwu in Ayamelum LGA. No surrogate of the incumbent denies gross infrastructural deficit in Anambra State. One of them has severally made the case that security is paramount for the economy to thrive. I believe the erudite professor cannot be faulted in his field. To buttress this point, he also says that good roads were there when there was crime all over the land. In other words in spite of bad roads now there is security and the economy is thriving so much so that Anambra State did not feel the crunch of economic recession in the country. Is something not missing in that logic? It is common sense that bad roads are good enabler of crimes.
We can only listen to what other candidates are saying to judge them but look at what the incumbent has done to make a good judgement of whom to vote. APGA bu nke anyi on condition that it is still representing our ideal, and that Ojukwu will still recognize it if he were to come back to life. Whatever we decide should not be as a result of selective amnesia or selective myopia or selective hyperopia or selective audition or selective indignation or selective morality. Our talking points should be informed by facts, truth and love for Anambra State. A lot is at stake, Ndi Anambra. Let us listen to these candidates with keen interest of moving our state forward. Anambra is the hope of the southeast. Calling ourselves names and insulting one another does us no good. Let our philosophy supersede that of Okwa. If Anambra gets it wrong Ndiigbo are finished.