In the science of philosophy, there is a principle called the principle of contradiction which says that two propositions are contradictory if they cannot both be true and both be false at the same time. If it is true for instance, that a particular man is running it cannot be true that the same man is sitting down at the same time. A thing cannot be said to be true and false at the same time. That the Christ, the sinless Messiah was crucified and Barabbas the criminal was released authenticated the topsy-turvy of life inherent in the manipulative propensity of human government.
If a leader is having the same problem he or she had last year, the person is not a leader he is rather a problem on himself that must be solved. If you are busy solving the problem of yesterday in an ancient way, you do not fit into the new dimension of modern leadership. One of the most deadly causes of destruction of divine destinies is when a leader is failing, without his knowledge. Ignorant about your role is a death plot against people’s success. That the masses chose a leader ignorantly does not justify the fact that the leader is the ultimate will of the divine. In the case of the Biblical Barabbas, the ‘electorate’ preferred him to Christ. They chose to vote for a criminal than voting for the innocent redeemer. Don’t confuse the actions of a ruler as the nature of his people.
Barabbas was a well known criminal who deserved death in accordance with the principle of justice and Christ was sinless. Both were brought to Pilate (from the prison) for execution of justice during the Feast and it was necessary for one prisoner to be released as demanded by the custom, the Bible says “And Pilate when he had called together the Chief priests and the rulers and the people said to them, ye have brought this man unto me ……I have examined him before you, have found no fault in this man…I will therefore chastise him, and release him… and they cried out all at once, saying away with this man, and release unto us Barabbas” Luke 23:13-20.
Bad things have always happened to good people. The case of Christ (the good man) and Barabbas (the bad man) is a clear reflection on how the world loves evil rather than good and like Williams Shakespeare “I had rather have a fool to make merry than experience to make me sad”. For Aristotle, “The high minded man does not bear grudges, for it is not the mark of a great soul to remember injustice but to forget them”.
Posterity will certainly condemn us if we attempt to forget the high level of political manipulation and ignoble economic policies hitherto initiated by so many previous administrations in Imo state. Apart from Chief Mbakwe, no governor has ever managed Imo in good light and with the good fear of God.
Imo has never been ruled by Christ before. You could imagine what happened during the time of Christ, His name and that of Barabbas were on the ballot paper and those who were to elect them had the chance and opportunity to vote without any inducement and influence. Pilate was the returning officer. At the pulling unit, a question was asked, “Between the thief and the Saviour who would you like to vote for?” The response from the masses got Pilate exasperated because they demanded for the thief to be elected and for Christ to be denied of any vote. This was after Pilate had taken his good time to educate them on the importance of having Christ elected for good governance. The people decided otherwise by choosing the thief Barabbas.
The above is designed to educate humanity on the imperative of having a good conscience while making a choice. The case of Christ and Barabbas together with Pilate was not a matter of voting as I attempt to explain rather I have symbolically used it to portray the choice of the electorates. They prefer making a wrong choice to the good one. An extraction from the antiquity of one of the wise sayings of a sage has it thus, “You don’t deed religion to have morals. If you can’t determine right from wrong, you lack empathy, not religion.”
It appears that our political leaders are too religious but they lack empathy and proper sense of direction. When you prefer Barabbas to Christ the result will usually be very disastrous.
In the words of Aristotle, “In the arena of human life, the honors and rewards fall to those who show their good qualities in action”. In Hinduism, their way of life is summarized thus, “The serenity of the teacher, the heroism of the warrior, the honesty of the business man, the patience and the energy of the worker all contribute to social growth”. While Mahatma Gandhi describes what he sees as social sins in seven ways thus, “Politics without principle, wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity and religion without sacrifice”. As the Sandwich Islander believes that the strength and weakness of the enemy he kills passes into him, so we gain the strength of the temptation we resist. Though, the fastest way to die a martyr is to always stick to the truth even as many critics have fallen due to hunger and frustration.
Christianity understands and recognizes the noble and just struggle for justice thus the tenets of Christ upon which Christianity rests its credo is upon love of God and all in creation as Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa says, “When the honor of God is at stake, we will disobey iniquitous and unjust laws”.
Let me refresh your memory in a moment, during the 2011 April/May election in Imo state, the number of military men seen cannot be compared to the troop seen in Afghanistan this was later reflected in the book “Democracy by Military Tank” written by Ethelbert Okere. I will not forget my ugly experience in the hands of some of them while on my civic duty. Rumour had it that Chief Emeka Offor of Anambra state who was initially dictating to Rochas on how Imo was to be governed due to his financial input in the election of Okorocha, was responsible for the presence of the military that were on a mission to do everything possible to ensure victory for Owelle Okorocha, which obviously was achieved.
Before then, Okorocha had in his campaign assured Imo people including those in private primary and secondary schools of free education. In his maiden broadcast, he did assure Imo people that, “….we shall see no more the evils that we saw yesterday…the corruption we saw yesterday, we shall see no more…” Some people did not understand him, but I did. In the words of Aristotle, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit”.
Oh my God! We must overcome. 2023 is around the corner and I’m sure that so many Barabbas will come out to contest for various elective positions my advice is simple, may we be guided by our conscience and experience to do the right thing.