On February 15, 2014, one sycophantic group known as Mezie Abia Organization took a full-page advertorial in SATURDAY INDEPENDENT to pour tirades on the trio of Femi Adesina, Eric Osagie and my humble self for our different feedback on the invidious visit of a few members of the Abia State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), led sheepishly as usual by former Governor Theodore Ahamefule Orji, to the erstwhile chairman of the party, Alhaji Ahmadu Adamu Mu’azu, in Abuja. The sole mission was to clamour for the non-return of Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu to the party. Also inevitably joined in the calumny was Kalu, of course.
The horribly written advertorial, entitled “Abia PDP and the activities of Clown Writers,” was signed by a certain Hon. Uche Nwosu, President, Mezie Abia Organisation (MAO). First free lesson: ‘clown’ is a noun/verb and its adjective is ‘clownish’—which should have applied to the silly advertorial title.
Let us continue with the bizarre name of this outfit. Which Abia are they fixing? The one ruined by T. A. Orji in eight years? Whose mandate do they have to fix the 17th Century-like state? And what is the pedigree of this organisation? Why did it employ illiterate English language to communicate blunders in the name of a rejoinder? Must you write if you do not have rudimentary writing skills and basic knowledge of the English language? Do children of outcasts not have access to vernacular (Igbo specifically), which should have been employed in attacking us? The advertorial is a sheer advertisement of half-literacy and boyish illogic! So much for Nwosu’s self-inflicted public embarrassment as we go into the concluding aspect of Kalu’s roles in the senate.
The Court of Appeal sitting in Owerri in 2015 established the fact that the result of the Abia North Senatorial Election was heinously mutilated. The implication of this is that the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) candidate in that poll and former governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, was robbed of his victory. Short of declaring him winner, the appellate court ordered a re-run, which took place subsequently.
Of all the contestants in that race, I did not see anyone of them competing with Dr. Kalu in terms of quality representation that would be most efficient and beneficial to the people of this axis. Even his opponents and their supporters knew this full well. In most other communities, the personage of Dr. Kalu should have guaranteed him this mandate on a platter based on his robust political antecedents, profound clout/contacts and economic contributions to the country’s transformation. His superlative philanthropic pedigree alone should have earned him an automatic ticket.
The docility in the representation of the state generally and Abia North particularly at the red chamber will experience a revival with the catalytic introduction of Dr. Kalu.
There is unmitigated charlatanism among the political elite from the South East axis. They conduct themselves in a spineless and inarticulate manner that you wonder if they know anything about political philosophy, ideology and strategy. For them, anything goes especially when there is lolly. My people in politics do not stand for anything—wherever the wind blows them, they go sheepishly. This explains why other ethnic nationalities play games with them, endlessly!
The charlatanism and opportunism cascade from the National Assembly to political appointments, state governorship, aspiration for political offices, local government administration, and contributions to national political discourses and re-engineering. Apart from 2015 governorship aspirant, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, you hardly hear or read any critical intervention from the Igbo caucus as individuals or as a collective. The same horrendously disappointing scenario plays out in the lower chamber. Their counterparts from other parts of the country make vibrant contributions in the hallowed chambers. Membership of committees, which someone tried futilely to impress on me, is so rudimentary as to constitute a key performance threshold. As far as I am concerned, there is so much parliamentary docility informed by naivety on the part of South East representatives at the National Assembly.
It should not even be a surprise if consideration is given to the profile of most of these lawmakers: suspected drug barons, notorious scammers, nondescript businesspersons of questionable shadows, nebulous academic credentials of some of the legislators and other unwholesome characterisations! Parliamentarians from the other parts of the country obviously are doing far better than their Ndigbo colleagues in terms of legislative activism! No longer do we have the calibre of the Oyi of Oyi, the late Dr. Chuba Okadigbo, a respected, highly cerebral, colourful and pleasantly intimidating senator.
You take ministers and other appointees from this zone. Most times, the best are not considered for such offices because the power brokers, particularly governors, nominate their acolytes and lackeys for such national assignments. So, at the end of the day, performance is below expectation and at the slightest opportunity, they are dropped ignominiously, usually. This is despite the fact that we have a superfluity of professionals with global competencies and inimitable experiences.
Of all the former South East governors, it is only suave Peter Obi of Anambra State whose sterling and incontrovertible performance reminds one of the glorious days of the late Chief Sam Onunaka Mbakwe as governor of the old Imo State. Ever since De Sam’s exit, the South East has not known superlative leadership at the state level anymore apart from Obi’s manifest efforts at recreating such developmental paradigms.
Obi’s fading clan of critics will tell you that my assessment of him is jaundiced because they, naturally, have issues with him. Give it to such people, too. But on a comparative note, Obi is not on the same pedestal with his South East ex-colleagues in terms of physical accomplishments and unprecedented epochal cordiality with former President Goodluck Jonathan for fruitful zonal transformation: he clearly towers above them. It is only in South East that 37 aspirants—mostly nincompoops and frauds—will jostle for a governorship position in a particular state. At the presidential level, too, zone the office to the region and risk multitudinous aspirations. Everyone wants to be the president even when there is ample evidence of emptiness of almost all the contestants, who cannot even qualify for councillorship polls!
What is the matter with Ndigbo? Why can’t we get our act together? The misperception by other ethnic groups that we are slavish to money, which affects our disposition, and attitudinal inclination must change.