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Now That I Am Afraid

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There is no fear like the fear of being found out. Yes, life's storms turn fear into trust when divine reality is in place. In the words of a French existentialist, “…Each century can be summarized by one thing, 17th century- Mathematics, 18th century- natural sciences, 19th century- biology, 20th century- fear.” In addition to the above, the 21st century is characterized by aquarian tendencies.

One of the aquarian tendencies is fear. Fear of sudden cosmic catastrophes and all that; but that is not my major concern here. I am afraid; I mean I am afraid because life has no duplicate at all. My life is in danger due to what I am writing and no one seems to understand what I am saying. However, I cannot stop writing because I am dead already in Christ Jesus our saviour. Yes, I died the day I met him face to face here on earth- many may not understand me.

Dr. Harold Urey, a Noble Peace Prize winner and one of the Physicians whose work led to the creation of the atomic bomb, wrote, “I write to make you afraid. I, myself, am a man who is afraid. All the wise men I know are afraid.” If the conclusion of Dr. Urey that “All the wise men are afraid” is true, it means they have at one time or the other had an experience that invoked fear into them or the fear could be natural. I am therefore not exempted following my own experience. Yes, experience enables one to recognize a mistake when one makes it again. If writing against Gov. Rochas was a mistake, I will still make it again and again until things begin to take their proper shape in Imo state.

Back to the issue, the word fear connotes being shocked, feeling of insecurity, being startled. Its Greek form “Phobos” as Kittel G. observed, “Is used for sudden and violent fear fright, panic.” However, it is very interesting to note that, in ancient Greek mythology, fear was depicted as a real powerful deity. In the order of hierarchy, it was placed Zeus and before all other gods and goddesses. In ancient Sparta, a temple was built in honour of the god-fear. Unlike the ancient, the contemporary age sees fear as one of the depraved emotions which can be stirred up and controlled.

In the words of Fredric Neumann, phobia is seen as, “an excessive or unreasonable fear that leads a person to avoid a particular object or situation.” To this effect, there are four types of phobia namely; common phobia, specific phobia, social phobia and agora-phobia. Without bugging my friends on the emphasis on different kinds of fear, I wish to state categorically that I am caught up with both specific and Agoraphobia because of my experience on the 20th day of August 2014. The day that I escaped assassination by eight well armed men that stormed my residence; in the cause of exchange of gun-shot, the police killed four and captured one alive. I thought they were seven but recent investigation by the police shows they were eight in number. Eight men chasing one man, what do you expect? There is God ooooo!

After that ugly experience, which would have claimed the lives of my household, I sat down to reflect on what would have been my fate if my entire family was wiped-out- Oh God! It is amazing. I have received thousands of sympathy calls from friends and associates. I must say that the only person that has not called to appreciate God with me is the Devil and Gov. Rochas or any of his aids. I know that the devil is very happy over the shock that I received because it is in line with his mission as is evident in John 10:10, but is the government of Imo state under the leadership of Gov. Rochas Okorocha also happy because of what I went through? Only God can answer that.

After all Gov. Rochas maybe innocent of the whole thing but any of his aids maybe responsible in trying to make him happy in one way or the other. This is mere assumption and may not be impossible because in Nigeria politics anything can happen. Social critic (like myself), don't last because we are the target of any government in power. The great question that has always flashed into my mind ever since I had this ugly experience of assassination is, should I stop criticizing the government of Chief Rochas A. Okorocha? My answer is simple- NO!

Why should I stop from doing right thing? Even if I die, I would have died a hero in active service. Yes, death is not the issue now because every one of us shall die one day. What is constantly keeping me awake at night is the fact that Imo is in total disarray because of bad system of government. Our governor is not honest with us. All his activities are shrouded in fraud and this is the major root of his failure.

History has it that King Edward III (1312-'77) wanted a governess for his children. A Scottish lady of integrity was recommended to him. The king offered her the position she did not accept his offer. “Royal children need a much more learned person than I am,” she said. The king, however overruled her, saying, “Madam, I wish you to accept the position because you are an honest, good woman. I can employ others who are possibly better prepared scholastically than you, but I cannot buy honesty.”

In the words of Cornelius J., “Honesty is an attitude of accepting reality as it is. It demands the acceptance of one's own goodness as simultaneously God's gift and one's own responsibility…” for Jack Mcalister, “Humility is pure honesty.” Our governor is not honest with us. He informed us that he will go for only one term or tenure, now he is seeking for another. He recently said that he is holding the governorship seat with tight legs while dragging the Presidency position with his hands. If Gov. Rochas is honest, he should humble himself and be truthful to Imo people. Because in honesty one's personal value does not stop with one's own personality it reaches beyond oneself into one's community.

He should appreciate the value of others because honesty accepts others for their own value and willing to contribute to the growth and development of those with whom one lives. The case of our governor is on the contrary. Now that I am afraid, should I drop my pen? Should I run away from Imo state? Should I join Chief Rochas Okorocha in his political team to further destroy the future of Imo youths? Should I then compromise? My answer to all these questions is NO! NO!! and NO!!!

I believe in the true philosophy of Igbonism and in social justice. There is no doubt that social justice is the sine qua non for social, political, religious and economic equilibrium. The absence of it, stains the integrity of any society. My conviction as a social critic is rooted in the principles of individual freedom and liberty, social justice and equity. These are the basic propensities that uphold unity in our society. Therefore trying to kill, humiliate and silence one with intimidation will only strengthen me and empower me the more.

Imo belongs to us all. I shall continue to contribute my quota in building this noble state of ours. Even if I become the governor of Imo state by tomorrow, I shall continue to criticize myself when I go wrong because it has become part of me and I shall appreciate criticism too. I shall not kill or attempt to kill anyone who criticizes me because criticism gives direction. According to Plato, “Think not these faithful who promise all your words and actions, but those who kindly reprove your faults.” Yes, the goal of criticism is to leave the person with the feeling that he's been helped.

My humble advice to the State Chief executive is simple; if what we are saying about you is true, then, mend your ways. If it isn't true, forget it and go on and serve the Lord and the people of Imo state. In another words, if my criticism is untrue, disregard it, if unfair, do not be irritated by it, if justified learn from it. Finally, I wish to admonish the state chief executive by borrowing the words of Rabbi Norman Lamm thus, “Great is the man who can accept criticism. Greater yet is he who welcomes it. But greatest of all is he who knows how to administer it in a spirit of love and sensitivity, without causing pain and chagrin.”

Prof Protus Nathan Uzorma (The Reformer)

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Articles by Nathan Protus Uzorma