By NATHAN PROTUS UZORMA
In the earliest human history whatever is authentic is universal, and whatsoever is universal is anonymous. One cannot use whatever that is universal and constitutional to rob the future or deceive the present in order to rob the future.
In one of the fables of the slave philosopher Aesop, he shared a story that appears to have coloration and in tandem with the history of Orlu PDP Zonal meeting held recently. The philosopher says, “Some mischievous boys were playing on the edge of a pond, and, catching sight of some frogs swimming about in the shallow water, they began to amuse themselves by pelting them with stones, and they killed several of them. At last one of the frogs put his head out of the water and said, Oh stop! Stop! I beg of you, what is sport to you is death to us”.
From the forgoing philosophical epigram, Aesop paradoxically exposed the hidden truth presently prevailing on the minds of some misguided politicians from Orlu zone. For the purpose of clarity, Imo State has three senatorial districts namely Orlu, Okigwe and Owerri. By providence, Orlu zone happens to be the largest zone with 12 Local Government Areas. This opportunity has always given the people of the zone the honour to wade influence on who becomes the governor of Imo State in every political era.
Of recent, and precisely on Saturday 7th June, 2014 a meeting of Orlu PDP Zonal executives and stakeholders was put together at Orlu Hotels to cart the way forward and to re-strategize in order to reclaim the Douglas House of Imo State. This meeting however, has generated controversies and has widely been reported in media in view of the position the distinguished Senator representing Imo West Senatorial district maintained.
The meeting which was said to have no proper agenda ridiculed the psyche of Orlu Sons and daughters and was overtly criticized. It should be noted however that the meeting had in attendance great sons and daughters of Orlu zone like, Chief Achike Udenwa, Sen. Hope Uzodinma, Eze Duruiheoma (SAN), Chief Nnamdi Anyaehie, Tony Ezenna, Chief ThankGod Ezeani, Athan Ogoh, Nze I.M.O Umunna, Hon. Jerry Alagbaoso, Chief Douglas Acholonu, Chief Tony Ezenna (Orange Drugs), Hon. Jones Onyeriri, Bonny Ebeli, Osita Nwaneri, Okey Ikoro, Peter Mgbenwelu, Chima Ekwem, all the party LGA chairmen, youth and women leaders to mention only a few.
The issue of Imo Chapter of equality was not part of the agenda but it should be emphasized here that Imo PDP has been zoning its governorship position since 1999. I do not think it should be disallowed. I must admit at this point that the Charter of Equity is causing some politicians in Imo State sleepless night. Some times last year, Imo Stakeholders forum organized a Political Summit aimed at restoring the Charter of Equity, the summit was well attended by all the who is who in Imo State, consequently, I was the main guest speaker.
There is no need going into details but suffice it to say that the equity charter shall certainly determine the fate of Imo in 2015 and beyond. Our distinguished Senator Hope Uzodinma who is against zoning has his constitutional right to do so but does not have the moral courage to deny Owerri zone their opportunity because what is constitutionally right could be morally wrong. I am from Orlu zone but I am saying this in the interest of equity fair-play and natural justice.
It should be noticed here that for 22 years of democratic rule in Imo State, Okigwe zone has ruled for 8 years, Owerri zone 2 years while Orlu zone in 2015 would be completing 12 years. What an obvious disparity! What moral justification has any Orlu man to contest for Imo governorship may be for another 8 years? This is obviously wrong and should be opposed by any right thinking individual. This is exactly where Senator Hope Uzodinma got it wrong and those who are correcting him have become his enemies. How long should we continue to play politics without morality?
What appears like a political sport as was captured by Aesop in his fables is gradually leading to destabilization of Imo Charter of Equity which will eventually haunt Orlu people in the future. Orlu zone is too big for a single individual to dominate.
It is political aberrations cum abomination for our distinguished Senator to assert in a general zonal meeting that he will single handedly pick his successor. Our most distinguished Senator, you know it is not going to be possible consequent upon the fact that we are not in the era of the military. All your predecessors never did such, how could you say such a thing? You got it all wrong.
Fillers from the press indicate that Senator Hope addressed the meeting in exasperation while vilifying the state Chairman of the party in a manner not acceptable to many. In the same vein, he disclosed indirectly while attacking some law makers in Owerri zone that he has not lived up to expectation in the hallowed chambers of the senate. This he did by informing Orlu people that out of 32 Federal appointments allocated to Imo, 26 of them were hijacked by Owerri zone. That was not all, Senator Uzodinma further disclosed that 80 percent of all the NNDC projects meant for Imo were also hijacked and sighted in Owerri zone.
The question that has kept me awake for some days now is, could an illustrious son like Senator Hope be hold to tell his people that he has failed in the upper chambers of the senate? The only lesson from this type of failure is that he will fail again if given another opportunity to serve; but if he has truly learn from this failure, I don’t think he has lost anything. In the words of Oscar Wilde, “If someone is a gracious loser he is probably a failure.” If our distinguished Senator tried and failed that is a different thing but lack of effort occasioned by laxity and frivolous consciousness is where the problem lies. It is heard to fail but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.
If out of 32 federal appointments only 6 was left for Orlu and Okigwe zones and 80 percent of all the NDDC projects were also hijacked and taken to Owerri zone by someone who is in the lower chambers, it simply means that whoever the man is, he is more skilled in that art of representation than Senator Hope who may have prefer frivolous life to proper representation of Orlu zone.
This political conundrum should be properly accentuated to enable Orlu zone make a better choice in 2015 for proper representation in the senate. I sincerely wish to appreciate and applaud this hijacker who is busy searching for projects and appointments at the federal level in order to better his zone. On the other hand, Senator Hope should either resign from the senate or wake up to his responsibilities before it will be too late.
Orlu people need a more educated, and qualified and action Senator in 2015 that will not be asleep and subsumed by champagne, thereby allowing his colleagues in the lower chambers to hijack projects. We sincerely need an educated person with character who will not disappoint Orlu people as Senator Hope has done. In the words of Socrates, “Whom, then, do I call educated? First, those who control circumstances instead of being mastered by them, those who meet all occasions manfully and act in accordance with intelligent thinking, those who are honourable in all doings, who treat good-naturedly persons and things that are disagreeable, and furthermore, those who hold their pleasure under control and are not overcome or spoiled by success”.
Following the above assertion, should we infer that Orlu zone is been represented at the senate by an educated man? A man who control circumstances, one who meet all occasions manfully without complaining his failures to an intelligent one who is out-smarting him by hijacking projects and federal appointments? Senator Hope should try and think out ways of correcting these errors so that he will be bold to say in 2015 I have fought like a man and have conquered like a god.
• Prof Uzorma writes from Owerri
Sunday, 22 June 2014