A REJOINDER by Okey Nwafor
The publication with the above heading has been read. It has been read several times, ranging from grazing through to perusal, toiling to construct a reconciliation of the dissonances and incongruities considered replete therein, and now, it is thought that the authors should return to the keyboard to re-do the work, that they may cohere and symphonise the form with the contents.
The work is authored by a group that goes by the moniker “Orba Concerned Elites”.
First, what is thought that the Orba Concerned Elites should have done is what some politicians and/or their lieutenants do – expansion of their membership to traverse the borders of Orba, embracing other localities in Nsukka Cultural Zone or Enugu North Senatorial Zone to achieve a more appealing effect. By so doing too, the women “Nsukka Concerned Elites” would supplant “Orba Concerned Elites”. They could have, as well, possibly proceeded straightaway to call themselves “Nsukka Concerned Elites” even without expanding membership since no one would know who they are as they didn’t sign in with their individual names on the document.
A lone “activist” could matter-of-factly well pen the job and call it Nsukka Concerned Elites without anyone ever knowing what happened behind the dramatic curtain, but you see, it was said that whom the gods want to kill, they first make mad. The scenario under review lends a better and wider comprehension of this ancient adage. Top Politicians, Captains of Industries, great Educationists, etc have recorded Earth’s most horrifying errata, pursuing causes nature never sanctioned.
This position is further strengthened by the fact that the same people (or maybe person) known as Orba Concerned Elites have/have regarded themselves (or perhaps himself) as Nsukka Cultural Zone of Enugu North Senatorial Zone in paragraph 4 of their/his article. This reference to themselves/himself as Nsukka Cultural Zone of Enugu North Senatorial Zone is not in tandem with the nomenclature with which they/he signed in, and of course, it deals a blow that would have, otherwise, extenuated or attenuated the accomplished (but undesired) result.
Paragraph 5 of that article is a downright contradiction in terms. Orba Concerned Elites bashes Nsukka Cultural Zone, alleging the exuding of disposition looking like an ” insatiable abyss for demand even to the point of brazen request that only Nsukka should take the lion’s share of everything.” You must be kidding! How, indeed, convenient it is to sit down in criminalization of the bull’s eye of Orba and Udenu Local Government Area in taking the lion’s share of what is come-at-able for Nsukka people while implying a bum rap that Nsukka expected the lion’s share of everything meant for Enugu State. Gainsaying!
The reference to sponsored write-ups is too wide. The Orba Concerned Elites should have whittled the matter down to specificities – either mention one or some or rather all such sponsored write-ups for the world to see, analyse and critique. How they arrived at the conclusion that they (if any) were sponsored amuses and amazes. Picking up one such write-up as a case study would have helped the innocent bystander ascertain the veracity or otherwise of the allegation and/or whether the alleged pejoratives (if any) are higher in level or proportional to the doings or undoings of Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi as an Enugu State Governor of Enugu North extraction. What the author(s) of that piece did is to smartly step aside from the corner into which he/they would have been boxed during cross-examination, if he/they had brought forth any one or more of such alleged “acerbic” publications.
A literati once said;
” The first rule for a young playwright is not to write like Arthur Henry Jones. The second and the third rules are the same .”
Now, in the same vein, the first rule for any apostle of peace, calling on his brethren to sheathe the sword, is not to write like the “Orba Concerned Elites”. It is made bold (or at least begged) to say that the Elites didn’t write like a group suing for peace. They rather wrote with a deprecatingly supercilious tune, peradventure, calculated to employ prevarications or outright intimidations to enforce the sheathing of the sword. They got disruptive, truculent, peremptory and cavalier, calling the language ” base and vain”, “calumnious campaign”, “sponsored write-ups”, “personal vendetta”, “persons who have benefitted” from Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi etc. Those terms/phrases don’t sound assuaging or propitiatory.
And then, I versus you tone was created when the “Elites” referred to Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi as “our own son”, “our illustrious son” etc, having already called themselves Orba Concerned Elites.
If (and of course it’s true that) Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi was in the House of Representatives for 12 years or thereabouts, riding on the opportunity available for a people in Enugu North Senatorial Zone, has spent seven (7) years as the Governor of Enugu State on the same opportunity, has campaigned and worked in favour of “Rotation” for Governorship seat and practically has got away with everything he wanted, then, the most any of his critics or attackers can do is to resignedly re-echo the last words of the Home Leopard of the ancient Benin Kingdom, Oba Ovonramwen Nogbaisi, to the white man who visited (or invaded) the great Benin Kingdom, to “tell your Queen – Queen Victoria – that, at last, the big pot of corn has been toppled: now, mother hen and the children may rejoice.”
Ifeanyi leaves next year and cannot aspire again to the Lion Building. It’s of no moment that he didn’t perform well or perform at all. If he is being attacked now, his defenders should do well to reply to attackers with love since nobody attacked him in all of seven years. A man who enjoyed benefits of the doubt in seven out of eight years in power should consider himself luckiest, and be grateful.
The question of whether Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi should now represent Enugu North in the Senate is a different kettle of fish. Whereas he has the right to contest, the people of Enugu North Senatorial Zone have a superior right to say who will go for them, and saying “No” to Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi comes within the people’s right in law, in fact, in conscience and even as a matter of payback. And of course, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi should be happy and grateful even if the people douse his quest for Senatorial interest by voting against him.
How Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi got to the conclusion that 9th Mile Corner in Enugu to Opi Road is a Federal Road while Opi to Ifeanyi’s Orba home became a State or Local Government road still holds Nsukka people nonplussed. And even the good people of Opi cannot rejoice over that because the road wasn’t fixed in their interest. It was rather fixed to link up with a brand new road connecting Opi to Abakpa built by Ifeanyi’s predecessor in office – Sullivan Chime, a man from Enugu West Senatorial Zone, who probably handed over the mantle of leadership to Ifeanyi of Nsukka (Enugu North) to help fix things in Nsukka axis. If Ifeanyi could and can navigate from Government House to his Orba village home without qualms, then, bating no eyelid over the agony of the people of Enugu North with regard to Development is the right way to go, under the village proverb, “Miyi Tigbue Ndi Jere Orba” since you aren’t expecting a wrap of salt.
It is easy for mercenaries to write and even more easy and passionate for Orba Concerned Elites to jump into the fray in defence of their “illustrious son”, but as Shakespeare’s character, Rosalind, said in As You Like It, “…time is the old justice that examines all such offenders, and let Time try.”
Okey Nwafor, is an Abuja-based legal Practitioner and commentator on contemporary issues.