By Rt. Hon Cosmos Ndukwe
By the end of his tenure as Governor of Abia State in 2007, many believed that Orji Uzor Kalu would fit in as the new face of Igbo Leadership. Those who so reasoned expected that he would concentrate on building bridges across the length and breadth of Igbo land using his native Abia as a footstool.
Today is 19th of September, 2016; Orji Uzor has spent all his years outside office to beg his successor in office Sen. T.A. Orji Ochendo to show him gratitude. This is also including the years he has struggled to be elected either as President or Senator. It is therefore important to note that it is either our 'hope' OUK is busy fighting a war with an Ochendo who has continued to ignore him or he's busy failing elections.
I have no problem with OUK failing to be elected. Every politician at some point loses elections. My concern is how OUK has failed to understand the assertion by Francis Assisi that "above all the
grace and the gifts that Christ gives to his beloved is that of overcoming self".
Only recently, OUK promoted a story he wrote through his SUN NEWSPAPERS that the Traditional Ruler of Ibeku "cried" over ingratitude of their son Ochendo. According to OUK, the Ogurube apologized to him on behalf of Ochendo. Though the Ogurube has repeatedly said he never said that, it is even embarrassing to imagine that a former Governor would choose opportunity of a chance meeting with a traditional ruler to pitch him against his subject. The Ogurube is an old man. So, assuming one refuses to respect his office, his age should immune him from this manner of senseless involvement in politics.
Orji is not the only person who had established a newspaper company. It would make sense if this newspaper is committed to fighting Igbo cause than helping to pitch one Igbo against the other. Tinubu is OUK's mate in Nigerian politics. While Tinubu deploys his resources to advance the Yoruba cause, OUK engages in squabbles with those he thinks he helped. The difference is that while OUK is busy fighting and failing elections, Tinubu is advancing the state of his political dynasty. While Tinubu used his paper to defend the Oba of Lagos at the heat of his comment against Igbos during the 2015 elections, OUK uses his newspaper to paint a revered traditional ruler in bad light.
When somebody in the calibre of a former governor, the one who likes to pride himself with the sobriquet of Igbo leader continues to demonstrate this degree of insensitivity, it is obvious he is yet
to overcome self. So, the Ogurube "cried" to OUK? So, the whole cabinet members in Ibeku gathered to apologize to Orjj on behalf of Ochendo? Have we seen how OUK has demystified himself by
engaging in petty lies and unavoidable altercation? I am even more pained because Ochendo the man who OUK looks for every opportunity to vilify had since moved on, ensuring that OUK remained where he (Ochedo) left him at the reserve bench of Abia Politics. I think what OUK ought to have done is to look for enduring strategies to play himself back into the main team.
So long as OUK continues to disparage Ochendo, so long as he ascribes himself the monopoly of wisdom, OUK will continue to be a victim of Ochendo's deft political moves.
Again, let me say this for the umpteenth time, though no two persons are the same, within the precincts of Abia politics and for now, Ochendo remains an enigma of some sort. He remains
remarkably relevant not so much because he is a rich businessman or an accomplished technocrat but for largely learning when not to overstep his bounds, when not to overreach himself and when to overcome self. These are some of the virtues that make him a Super Star. I cannot imagine Ochendo
playing god for Okezie Ikpeazu. I cannot imagine Ochendo seeking for Okezie's attention for nothing.
It is heart rending to imagine how OUK likes to contradict himself. In one breath he says he has nothing against Ochendo. In another minute, he calls him ungrateful. If you had helped a man
to reach some point in his pursuit, you cannot live the rest of your life waiting for a thank you. It is even more annoying when one realizes that begging for this thank you and the other acts that
follow have helped to decimate OUK to an embarrassing low.
Hate or love Sen. T. A. Orji, he cannot sacrifice the unity of his people on the altar of cheap popularity. Hate or love him, he knows how to make people, especially those who play God look
ordinary. This is the hook that is having a firm grip on Orji Uzor Kalu. The more he runs from pillar to post trying to cast aspersions on the integrity of Ochendo, the more he picks banana peels along the way. This is not nice for a politician who wishes to be useful to his people. I think every politician should open his ears and eyes, then close his mouth more than he opens it. When you talk too much, you contract vulnerability and soon people will begin to treat your comments as lies coming from the pit of hell.
Ochu nwa okuko nwe ada.