IT IS difficult to talk about the sun – I mean the natural sun that lights up the entire universe. I believe it is a subject that cannot be completely comprehended by man no matter how hard we try. But we can deal with the benefits, and for one we all know that the sun is central to everything we do and one cannot fully appreciate the place of the sun until we compare it with darkness.
If the great Holy Book, the Bible, is anything to go by, Almighty God, the creator of the earth, saw darkness all over and was speechless. It is possible He would have lamented what He saw because his latter action proved that what He saw was not good at all and He went ahead to order an immediate reversal, by saying, “Let there be light” and there was light and till today, there is that light, and if you ask me the world is better off. I am yet to see a man or woman who is proud of darkness.
I have a friend who went by the funname “darkness.” This gentleman who is the head of an establishment has since discarded this alias and from what I hear is ready to fight you if you insist on calling him by that pet name he used to cherish years ago, when we began life in This week magazine in the mid-80s. The truth is that there is nothing good about darkness.
This weekend I am celebrating; it marks the sixth year of my coming to The Sun and the debut of this column. Let me quickly admit one thing, I am not given to open celebration. Usually what I would do is to note the development in my heart, nod my head and in my privacy raise my hands and say, ‘God thank you’ and thereafter move on to unfinished businesses or new challenges. I hope my wife would not take offence on this but I would say what I want to say because of public interest. Open celebration has always been a source of minor disagreement between us. I have a wife who is beautiful and highly social, so she knows from her early days the importance of celebrating recognizable landmarks in her life or in her career. I didn’t have that handover; for me I grew up very angry not because I had a difficult childhood, no, my father was a wealthy man by the standard of his days and he knew the sense of taking care of the children he brought into the world. I began reading news- papers and magazines very early in life and it was clear to me what the difference was in development here and in the Western world. I was piqued that our leaders with the wealth available to us and with the abundance of human capital couldn’t surpass what we saw of the White world in the newspapers and our black-and-white television of those days.
So I resolved to only act serious, disciplined and focused only on is- sues of personal and societal trans- formation and to play down things I consider mundane. Therefore, celebration in the midst of backwardness and massive poverty happened to be one of those things I considered. I was a comrade dedicated to the quick development of this nation and anything contrary to that was nonsense. Don’t ask me if I have changed.
Let me reveal this: my wife and others kept teaching me that life was not what I perceived, that celebration is not vain but rather an occasion to evaluate and recharge to capture the future. When we became born-again Christians, our pastors successively drummed it into our ears that it is good to take a time to show appreciation, and when you do, physically and spiritually speaking, the recipient is happy and would be willing to do more. The philosopher, Voltaire, brought the message home when he said in one of his books that it is important to always rekindle hope because when circumstances like underdevelopment and economic hardships force us to lose hope, life becomes a disgrace and in that circumstance, death may be a duty. It has been six years of writing for The Sun, Nigeria’s voice of the nation and the biggest circulating newspaper. It has been fun and a very wonderful experience.
A sage said knowledge is like a garden if left uncultivated, it cannot be harvested. I know I have much in this head, which I deliberately acquired for use for the development of my family, community, state, nation and entire humanity. My family will not deny that I am important to them neither would my community where I am currently the Traditional Prime Minister.
Not even my local government can say they have not felt the push from my eagerness to unleash the gifts God implanted in me not to talk of my state where I served in various capacities from the military to the civilian governments, all in search of the modern society I envisaged as a young man.
I did not fail even though I know it’s better to be a chief executive. Oba- sanjo captured this well when he said, “My advisers can advise and I have the right to take or not.” To that point and to the extent that issues of backwardness are still with us, means there is more work to be done and all of us do not have to be in power, perhaps, at the same time for the challenge to be effectively tackled. That is where The Sun’s engagement of my humble self comes in and gives me joy. It has afforded me opportunity to ventilate some important ideas and strategies that could follow me to the grave if I didn’t have such a golden opportunity and from responses I can confirm that the struggle is indeed on and it is catching up. Many times authorities have reacted to what we said the previous day. That is the power of the pen which certainly is mightier than the gun and that is the power the publisher and the management of Sun newspaper have given to me and am grateful to them all. I want to thank Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, a great humanist and committed patriot, Mike Awoyinfa, Dimgba Igwe (late) and Femi Adesina for bringing me to The Sun, Eric Osagie, the current Managing Director, Steve Nwosu (Deputy Managing Director), Onuoha Ukeh (Editor Daily Sun), Funke Egbemode, former Editor Sunday Sun and now Managing Director of Nigerian Telegraph Newspapers Limited, who all carried my burden at the initial stage. I am also grateful to Amanze Obi, Robert Obioha, Dan Onwukwe, who welcomed me enthusiastically, not to forget Abdulfatah Oladeinde, the current Editor, Sunday Sun and Enyeribe Ejiogu, News Editor (Sunday Sun), who every week take the pains that I transfer every week. To my readers, I say you are special, I pray for your health and prosperity. Thank you.
Amazon Hon. Chief (Mrs.) Ehisieanya Rose Ojinka departs in glory @ 74
MY mother-in-law whose glorious transition took place few weeks ago would be buried on Thursday, September 22, 2016 at Ekwereazu Ngwa, Mgboko Umuanunu, Obingwa L.G.A.
After obtaining a Bachelor of Education (Hons) degree from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, served and retired from Abia State Public Service, and went on to become a community builder and the first woman to win election into the lo- cal government area a councilor. She served for three and another three years as a supervisory councilor. We will all miss her, particularly my children to whom she was the alternate mother. May her soul rest in perfect peace.