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By Prof.Protus Nathan Uzorma

Do you think Owerri zone has changed in their philosophy of having multiple political candidates in this political dispensation? Is history repeating itself, can Owerri zone afford to support Orlu or Okigwe guber candidate? Let us read this piece with deeper understanding may be we may understand what language the destiny of Owerri zone is speaking in 2023. This article was written in 2015 and I decided to republish it today in order to pass a message.   

Life has taught me that the outer life (physical system of reality) is characterized by various expectations anchored on hope, disappointment, success and failure. When an individual’s life trap catches hope and success, the individual will rejoice. But when it catches nothing the individual will meet with serious disappointment failure and confusion.

At the parting Point of Success and failure lies the ocean of hope and destiny and at the meeting point of destiny lies so may “unsayable”. Confusion is the begotten son of a natural man and it comes when it is necessary. I feel it now and wonder if anyone is seeing what I am seeing.

I ventured into politics to correct the ills that has hitherto enslaved our country especially Imo State only to be schemed out by great and smart manipulators. As a classroom man, and a social critic who has won many national and international awards for being objective and saying things the way they appear, I thought that politics is a thing I can easily play and have my way by calming the feeble minds.

Today, I am now convinced that politics in Nigeria especially that of Imo is dirty. Politics is not dirty but those who play it are very dirty without conscience. I have seen things that have convinced me that Imo State is about going into another round of four years of enslavement and bondage. No doubt, unless the Chief executive repents!

Before now and during our political campaigns, I thought that the sound of a bitter cola is how it tastes. Alas I discovered otherwise-great pestilence for almost all Owerri zone politicians. It was Lao-Tse who inferred that, “He who understands others is learned. He who knows himself is wise. He who conquers others has muscular strength; he who subdues himself is strong. He who is content is wealthy; he who does not lose his soul will endure”.

 Following the above, and in line with what played out in the just concluded gubernatorial election, I saw almost all Owerri zone guber candidates as men who know themselves but refuse to subdue themselves due to greed occasioned by selflessness. They do not fit into Lao-Tse Philosophy of great life hence they lacked understanding of the nature of Imo politics and collective ideology for growth.

Owerri zone did not manifest maturity and love for the highly trumpeted chatter of equity.  I pity them so much! On page 21 of the forty Hadith, Tirmidhi: Nawawi, it states, “A wise person is one who watches over himself and restraints himself from that which is harmful and strives for that which will confront him after death; and a foolish one is he who gives rein to his cravings and seeks from Allah the fulfillment of his vain desires”. I will not in line with the Hadith of Prophet Muhammad call some Owerri zone politicians fools who only chase after the fulfillment or satisfaction of their belly and  not after the collective efforts of equity, fairness and justices for which they ought to have benefitted.

Some Owerri zone politicians are very wicked and senseless for Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha to loose in three to four Local Governments of Owerri (I don’t mean Mbaise Areas) is a bugaboo. Why should Owerri zone still uphold the philosophy of (Ntala Ugba nola Nmii, ndi uba na barama) in so far as food and drinks are made available for my satisfaction riches are not my concern? Yes, Gov. Rochas understood this philosophy very well as a result he provided little money and drinks together with ugba (African Salad) to Owerri people, they sold their conscience to (Ugba and Nmii) African salad and drinks and voted for Owelle Rochas Okorocha.

Fools follow vanity, but the wise man prizes his thoughtfulness as a treasure. Owerri zone should not blame Okigwe zone or Orlu zone for whatever woe that will befall them in 2019 because the destruction of political equity in Imo State shall haunt them without mercy. Epicurean life of the majority of Owerri zone shall bring Imo State to the status –quo in 2019 where they shall continue to cry for help and will only be given Ugba and Nmii for permanent satisfaction. What a shame!

 I took my time to prepare a paper which up till this moment remains a master piece that was presented at the Imo state holders political summit 2013 which positioned Owerri zone as the major beneficiary of the just concluded election. The paper became the watch word of every political interest in Imo state. At the appointed time, Owerri zone shut themselves on the leg by refusing to harvest the already ripped fruits, instead of harvesting them, they decided to continue with the antiquated ideology of Ntala Ugba Nola nmii which has kept them where they are today.

Though I am aware that no zone in Imo state is worthless they can always serve as terrible examples. Yes, the most valuable gift one can give another is good example. Owerri zone has become a good example for betraying themselves. In the word of Athanasius “you cannot put straight in others what is warped in yourself.” A dad example is a lesson to those who want to learn while those who prefer Ugba and Nmii to standing out will always have their reasons for betraying their own.

As a deputy Governorship candidate of United Progressive party (UPP) in the just concluded 2015 election, I wept for Owerri zone because a small zone with 7 Local Government had more than 10 governorship candidates of both minor and major political parties contending with one man from Orlu zone that has 12 Local government areas . In fact, if you reduce the number of strong guber candidates from Owerri zone to four (PDP, UPP, APGA and Accord Party) you will agree with me that they were not united.

At a point a meeting was arranged here and there for the three major political parties (PDP, UPP and APGA) which all of us (Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha and Hon. Nnaji, Captain Iheanacho and Barr Ike Ibe, Dr. Osmond Ukanacho and Prof. Protus Uzorma) attended and the topic was who was going to step down for the other? The organizers urged all Owerri guber candidates to listen to the voice of reason and understand that people who like people are people that people like. Thus they urged them to choose one person and support him so that Owerri zone will not miss this single opportunity that they have. The topic generated serious argument as each candidate saw himself and his party as the last hope of Imo state and Owerri zone in particular.

The meeting which never ended the same day was re-scheduled the following day. All the candidates attended the meeting yet it was not resolved. The main agenda was for the flag bearers of Owerri zonal extraction to pick a consensus candidate in order to produce the next governor of Imo State. Their selfish desires never allowed them pick any candidate. In fact, and on a particular occasion, I looked into the eyes of each and every one of them and asked if they were willing to step down, the response I got was very embarrassing and I looked at myself the second time to see if I had made a mistake. I saw greed occasioned by ignorance and avarice.

Socrates said, “There is no possession more valuable than a good and faithful friend”. I hate injustice and detest unnecessary political bravado. Owerri zone refused to support anyone and today they are happy for doing so. While Owerri zone was busy arguing on who was going to step down for the other, Gov Rochas was busy strategizing on how to rig the election and the number of bags of rice, wine and meat that was to be distributed at each pooling unit in Imo State. Today so many Owerri zone supported Owelle Rochas and he is our governor, Owerri zone is defeated. What next?