Chidi Obineche, Editor, Special Investigation
Their names ring with applause. Their touch on things, splash a splendor of Midas. And their movements conjure an evocation of gaiety, power and aplomb. Wherever they enter, things uncommon happen; and when they talk or snap a finger, it ricochets with a density of din that defies logic. They are the prime movers!
In our quaint society, where nothing moves itself, the prime movers exist to step in the gap; to make music out of nothingness; to roll the wheel of the world, and to create an enchanting world of dreams. In the eyes of the ordinary, they flaunt in the realms of the creator of the universe, who, according to Thomas Aquinas, is the sole Prime Mover. But to call from the deep, they are representatives of the most high, positioned to fill the void.
In a lax sense, as propounded by Christiane Northrope, energy is the prime mover of all that we see and know. But energy has to be charged for response. The elements that force the charging still wear the prime moving hats. Here in Nigeria, as elsewhere, they invoke something different: a begetter, a creative force that is everywhere and nowhere. The force is inimitable. It contains all possibilities. It incorporates omnipresence, omniscience and omnipotence.
Divine intelligence is imprinted on everything. And the world exhales. The inventor takes the glide with an unseen hand. The humanitarian puts himself in the place of God. Those who govern the affairs of men excellently wish to be prime movers in the lives of others. The instinct to do good, the power to excel and the responsibility to thaw the baseline are the currents that flow in prime moving veins. Some come by fate. Others come through dint of hard work and remain the toys of our fantasies.
In the Bible, we know of Sharon, who gave the Israelites a sense of security and unity. He was the prime instigator of the settlement movement and the prime mover to rectify the damage it caused. His nickname “Bulldozer” best describes his role in the military and politics, a non-aggressive doer. In the military, the world knows no more precocious or proud a conqueror than Alexander the Great. The young Macedonian prince used the blood of the Olympian god, Zeus, in his veins and overcame a bullying father and cloying mother to lead a triumphant army across the Bosporus to the near ends of the world. Ernesto ‘ Che’ Guevara set out to do more than just upend the world’s economic system. He wanted to change what it means to be a human being. His “hombre Nuevo, new man, was imbued with the ability to permanently prioritise the “other” over the “self.”
The epoch of Nelson Mandela still resonates. He became the symbol of an entire people’s struggle against injustice. And as his time behind bars grew, so did the anti-apartheid movement he helped spur on.
We find in these men and women, doers who serve out the essence of what Dalai Lama captures, as “our prime purpose in life is to serve others.” We have those who epitomise the dictum that “the energy or active exercise of the mind constitutes life. Yet we find in them, those who even on a cold, dark day always erupt with a sweet song. They keep moving. They don’t sit down content with the heights attained. They see no monsters or obstacles. They hear no quislings, they know no goliath; they beat no water for another’s net. They may not be your supernatural anthropomorphic deity, but they are regaled in a flaunt of energy. A life force, a prime mover!
They have their heads in the clouds and their feet on the ground. They walk with dreams, beliefs, courage, cheer, and plans. They are the doers and thinkers in one person. They are the dreamers who do. They know the path and walk the path; kings in their right of way. They get things done. They stay strong to be great, willing to be mocked, hated and misunderstood. They show the world that excellence is never an accident. They do great things and small things in a great way. They plod on “doing common things in an uncommon way” in rhythm with the eternal words of Boooker T Washington. They wear excellence, not as a skill or act but as a habit and attitude. They just do what must be done.
And for no other reason than this, these 27 men and women are basking in The Sun for their meteoric deeds and phenomena. In Governor Emmanuel Udom, a catharsis of vision, vigour and development overflows like the cup less stream of oil in his native Akwa Ibom State. Bello Mohammed Matawalle came to Zamfara, saw and conquered. He has, within a short time, planted his footsteps in the sand of time, solving a daunting and lingering security problem with wisdom and tact. Through his savvy, bandits have embraced peace and fear has fled in his state. Dave Umahi has stretched and coupled a grand canvas of multi-faceted strides in a dawdling- strewn Ebonyi State.
On the economic front, Abubakar Suleiman, Obiora Okonkwo, Segun Onofowoke, Nkechi Obi, Mallison Ukatu and Fabian Nwaora, have seared through the mesh of incipient regeneration to a glory land of emancipation. Jackson Agbai Abah and Felix Obuah have engendered a hive of goodness in hospitality, while Femi Otedola, Ebelechukwu Obiano, Emeka Offor troll humanitarian service like branches to a tree.
Patience Ozokwor, Shola Shobowale, Burna Boy, Musa Kida and Felix Ananysi Agwu bulge affirmatively as Posta boys of the god of creativity. The adrenalin for public service, courage in Leadership, and lifetime achievement keeps surging in Dr. Ogbonaya Onu, Rt. Honourable Mudasiru Obasa, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, Hadiza Bala-Usman, Samuel Ortom, Arthur Eze, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, Peter Odili, and Mamman Daura. Kayode Fayemi, a scion of doughty gladiatoring decks the ring of iconic politics. And yet, there is Ekene Iwuoha, who glazed and showcased intriguing bravado, passion and invidious empathy in the quest to save lives.
The dialectics of their choice are found in the prescience of the Spirit – man. They are not creatures of the common place, the slaves of the ordinary. They follow their own star and walk fearlessly towards the challenge. Convincingly, they demonstrate that life belongs to the rare, exceptional individual who dares to be different. They stand for those who dare to take a stand in their lives. They are the prime movers.