BY MODESTUS NWANKPA# There was a story of one rich man who suspected that he would die any moment because he was old and suffering from a terminal disease which his Doctors had confirmed it to be incurable. So the man felt he needed to give his only son and heir apparent a life saving advice because he feared his wealth was so much for his only son to handle after his exit on Earth. He was visibly afraid of his relations, kinsmen, business partners, friends and his neighbors because he feared that they might swindle and deceive his son when he died. One day, he called his son Ikechukwu for a discussion and demanded that he brought along with him a piece of paper and a Pen because he told his Son that he might not have the opportunity of getting that advice from anybody after his death perhaps including his mother. Call it the last advice if you like. He started by telling his son to be wary of three persons in life- a politician, a thief and a priest and at the same time, he told him to befriend a priest, hate the Thief and never believe a Politician. His son was confused. He further told him to always think like a thief, talk like a priest and behave like a politician. His confused Son demanded for an explanation to this puzzle- like advice and he said that all these people behave in an instructive way. He clarified by telling him that he needed to follow the behavioral pattern of all of these people and with that, he assured him that he would succeed in life. A Thief, he said would take you unexpected and therefore you need to protect yourself and your wealth at all times. A Priest he explained would sermonize the word of God for you and elevate your spirit to the point that you begin to see him as a representative of God and that was all he needed for you to believe everything he says and as for a Politician, the man now squeezed his face and told his son that he is the worst of them all. A Politician he said will tell you twenty things in twenty different times and end up failing you twenty one times. A Politician is the only one who promises you bread and end up giving you stone and would assure of you of giving you fish but be rest assured that you will get a snake from him. A Politician the man further told his attentively listening but bewildered son will befriend you and pretend to be your lover anytime election is close but in real sense he is your fiend not your friend. Anyway, that was the summary of an advice of a dying rich man to his loved son. In any case, it does not matter at this stage whether you and I believe the man or not but we can only deduct one thing and that is the fact that the man advised his son perhaps based on his personal experience as we all have ours in different dimension no doubt. Now, as the 2019 Imo Governorship election draws closer, we most shine our eyes very well. We as a people in Imo state must try and reason from our brain not from our ears as we will hear a lot but we must not fail to sieve all that the Governorship Candidates will tell us in their time of desperation. In the past, we have seen politicians drink pure water, eat roasted Corn in the street and even eat with the poor in the open all to prove that they are compassionate. We have seen them dance at the rostrum and market places during campaigns; we have seen them throw their doors open during elections for all to enter but only to tightly close the doors after electoral victory. We have seen what looked like formulation of people oriented policies and progranmes and superlative blue print before election but later discover that all are geared towards a selfish end. So, that is why we must not repeat the mistakes of the past else we find ourselves in another messy situation like we are presently. This time, we must consider all the variables before appending our thump print on that ballot paper. We should not vote any politician who is not liberal minded and who does not retain his friends, who is stingy, who is too egocentric, who does not believe in forgiveness and who is too disconnected from the people. We cannot consider anybody who changes his real life only during elections by doing those things we are convinced he does not do during normal times because such a person is fake and will remain fake even after victory. We can only vote somebody who is a friend of the people during and out of elections and not a wolf in Sheep’s attire. In 2019, we have another opportunity of deciding whether to go front as a people or to either remain static where we are or to move backwards. Imo state is ruined and need a true reformer and a real panel beater to put it into right shape. Honestly, we may not know the level that the state has sunk until after 2019 and therefore next election is not about sentiment but it is a time we should put on our thinking cap and wear our sharp eyeglasses. We shall not look at anybody from a skewed eye because once beaten, twice shy. We must ask ourselves: How did we find ourselves in this sorry stage? Please this time, we must resist Abuja decision and consider Imo state peculiarity because just like Michael Jordan once said that ”if you accept the expectations of others especially negative ones, then you will never change the outcome”. Abuja has always imposed their choice on us and at the end; we get enmeshed in self agony and lamentation. This time, we must think like a Thief and talk like a Priest. That is to say that we must always be wary of them and do not allow them to swindle us with their fantabulous and mind boggling promises. Our mind must be our guild. We must watch our back and reason ahead of them. I cannot believe less the words of John F Kennedy when he retorted “Not everything that is faced can be changed but nothing can be changed until it is faced” We shall therefore face 2019 with the desire to change the narrative. It is at this point that we shall apply the brake. Until next week, please be reminded once again that we are still maintaining our covenant with Truth. We are condemned to always profess Truth in its undiluted form and nature and it is only the same Truth that will set us free.