By Agboola Osabia
In the beautiful game of football, an ‘own goal’ is when a player mistakenly scores the ball into his/her own net. The player through that costly error put his/her team in a precarious situation and sometimes that ‘own goal’ could be the decider of the match.
Winning an election in any clime is an honour bestowed upon politicians in their constituency so it is incumbent for politicians to diligently serve their constituents and desist from acts of nepotism, tribalism and shenanigans. Many people see history as merely a story about past events and people. However, history is more than just a story as John Hope Franklin asserted, “good history is a good foundation for a better present and future”.
Okorocha the serving governor of Imo State, Nigeria was given the mandate by his people to represent their interests but with time he developed a penchant for power, greed and selfishness. In his own imagination, he is the Lord of the manor who is untouchable. He probably sees himself as a brilliant politician but in reality what he exudes is sheer craftiness. As he is not a student of history, it is unbeknown to him that “unbridled craftiness is what kills the grown grasscutter”. In a few months’ time, his tenure will end after serving the full two terms allowed by the constitution.
Recently Presidential Support Committee, PSC, South East Zone issued a 48 hours ultimatum demanding the lifting of suspension placed by the APC, National Working Committee on their principal. In their ridiculous statement they released, they mentioned that Okorocha’s suspension “came to them as a rude shock and that it was a ploy to disorganise Ndigbo ahead of the 2023 Presidential election believed to be the turn of the zone to produce a President.” In their mind, Okorocha equates Ndigbo or to put it bluntly there is no Ndigbo without Rochas Okorocha. The suspension was not shocking to any reasonable man, in fact, some thought he should have been expelled along with his brother in Abeokuta. PSC’s deafening shout fell flat as the voice behind it was timid, docile and devoid of reasoning and common sense.
Okorocha after serving his two terms as the governor of his State will immediately walk into his new job as a member of the Senate. In his grand plan, his son-in-law was to succeed him as the governor but he lost the party’s primaries to Senator Hope Uzodinma. Okorocha who was bent on accomplishing his grand plan set up a political party and installed his son-in-law as the candidate to contest against his own party’s candidate. This intra party activity culminated Okorocha’s suspension from the APC.
George Santayana, in his book, The Life of Reason asserted that “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”. This brings me to the story of Okorocha’s tribesman, the late Major-General Aguiyi Ironsi. After he seized power from the coup d’état orchestrated by the late Major Nzeogwu et al, Ironsi consolidated power to himself and changed the system of governance to a Unitary system which we have to this day. His motive was to advance the supremacy of his tribe over others but as fate would have it, he died within the six months he took charge of office of the Head of State of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The consequence of his action brought about the marginalisation of the entire nation of Ndigbo from the political sphere to this very day. Okorocha is walking tall on Ironsi’s highway. He is driven by nepotism and greed. After leaving the State House in Owerri, he will take up his seat at the Senate and after serving for four years, he will contend for the Presidency. Due to his hubris, he set up a new political party to rival his own party in his home state, and still had blind hopes of flying his party’s flag in 2023. The PSC who are unreceptive to facts could not fathom why a man who was responsible for his party’s loss at the recently concluded gubernatorial election could be suspended. If Okorocha became the President the most reputable positions will go to members of his immediate family, next in line will be his extended family then his village, local government, Imo state, the South East, South South then the rest of the country. In the words of Martin Luther King Jr “every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness”. Okorocha has chosen the path of selfishness and could probably have snookered himself come 2023. However, in politics nothing is certain and especially in the Nigerian context where souls of humans can be bought for less than 30 pieces of silver, money rules. But in the event of Okorocha contesting the Presidency in 2023, Nigeria should beware of his antecedents. And in reply to PSC’s concern over Ndigbo vying for the presidency in 2023, there are many Moghalus amongst the Ndigbo who are able and fit for the position.
Agboola Osabia is a Legal Practitioner.