BY COLLINS UGHALLA#
Those who know me in this state and beyond are fully aware that I write for nobody as I have criticized almost all political leaders based on the facts available to me. I am the moral mind of journalism and I want my children to grow up tomorrow and be proud of their father’s very modest achievements. This is my philosophy in life that I will never sacrifice for anybody or anything.
If I write for money or other benefits, I would be a very rich man by now, but I am very satisfied and a very rich man in my own calculations, and that gives me peace of mind, which is the highest grace from God.
What concerns me on the stand of Hon. Uche Onyeagocha in recent attack on the President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, and Governor Okorocha, is that he attacks, attacks and attacks, as if he has no blame in the problems he talks about in Imo State. He attacks everything and everybody, and this is the time to save him from himself.
I may not applaud everything concerning the visit of the South African President, but I have one take-home as an Igbo man from what President Zuma said “that South Africans should not kill Nigerians and Nigerians should not kill South Africans because we are one”. This coming from the lips of a sitting President is a policy statement.
I am, therefore, relieved because 97% of Nigerians killed in South Africa are my Igbo brothers. Some of them are from my state, Imo. So, if the South African President should come to Igbo land and give such assurances, it is a major victory and justification for such a visit and both leaders, Governor Okorocha and President Zuma, deserve to be praised by all, including Hon. Onuyeagocha. If there are other aspects of the visit that raises concerns, let the Governor and his team do their explanations to Imo people of whom he is holding power in trust.
The idea of attacking a visitor is uncharitable and runs foul of the culture of hospitality for which Ndigbo are known, especially when an elder who is highly respected both at home and abroad is concerned.
Hon. Onyeagocha, from all indications, went too far here, and I am worried and shocked because he is a politician that should be wiser. I have heard so many unprintable things about the former lawmaker but I refused to believe them because propaganda and falsehood are handy weapons of war by politicians. Therefore, delving into South African domestic political issues that I am sure he knows little about as a reason for attacking such a man is just going desperately too low.
Going by his irritating press release, there is no doubt that he has become part of those throwing mud at anybody in sight without the benefit of checking his fact well. His recent outburst illustrates graphically the fact that politics in South Africa cannot be different from the character and nature of politics elsewhere where politicians hit below the belt in their desperate bid to capture power.
Even in the United states, names are called and accusations fly left and right just to cajole and hoodwink the voters. In Nigeria, especially Imo State, the situation is no different as it is only when people leave office that the people realise that the reasons for voting them out were mere fabrications. In this state it was alleged that former Governor Ikedi Ohakim beat a Reverend Father. It was after he left office that people realized the truth that he did not beat a Reverend Father.
Accusations like this seem normal in politics. But what is not normal is when those who should know pretend as if they don’t.
I have no doubt that the position taken by Hon Onyeagocha in attacking everything the Imo government has done cannot be unconnected with yet another senatorial ambition that he is nursing. Sensing that he has lost grip with the realities in Imo APC now inevitably led to his outbursts. The strategy is simple: present himself as a champion of Owerri interest to make things easy for himself as an alternative to reclaim relevance.
That is only the target, because as for his campaign for an Owerri man in Douglas House in 2019, that is no longer his priority as he is believed to be in good working relationship with other APC gubernatorial interests outside Owerri Zone.
It is by behaviours like this that politicians will never stop to amuse me. It should therefore be noted that the fact some of us are not politicians does not in any way make us fools.
I find it hard to separate the anger and behaviours of both Hon Onyeagocha and Thomas Malema of the EEF in South Africa. When both came to the rude awakening that they have lost power and relevance with their bosses, they started throwing tantrums like denied children.
I am sure we are all aware of the events in South Africa that led to the exit of Malema as the Chairman of the youth wing of the ANC. The fact that President Zuma has survived two no confidence votes in the South African Parliament is a pointer that the man does not deserve the childish attacks from any of us in Nigeria here, especially those who claim to be experienced in practical politics.
However, as the course of democratic principles are awaited on all politicians all over the world, especially here in Africa, I once again advise that we should apply caution in hurriedly attacking others. We should bear in mind always that until a court of competent jurisdiction pronounces anybody guilty, nobody, no matter how angry, has the right to over reach himself.
Once again, I wish the visiting South African President and his entourage a safe journey home, while reminding him of his promise to protect not only Nigerians in South African but other people also from other nations living and working in South Africa.