Letter to the Ngwa Nation (1)
By Godwin Adindu
These are precarious times for the Ngwa nation of Abia State! Perhaps, no
period may have been so critical in the political history of the people
than the current time. It is a time of a very delicate decision, a
decision that will shape or mar the destiny of the entity for many decades
to come. No time will the Ngwa be as careful, cautious and as altruistic
as this time. The reason is simple: there are many weapons fashioned by
The Ngwa Nation is currently standing at a crossroad. After a long
journey, with all the vicissitudes and ordeals, it has come to that thin
borderline where one wise step takes us over the cliff and a
miscalculation pushes us down the slope from where the journey began.
Yet, I must commend the Ngwa political stakeholders at home for the
caution and the wisdom they have exercised so far. They understood very
clearly the political temperament of the state and have trod carefully in
tandem with the political mood. There have been many struggles in the past
and many mistakes made and history has opened our eyes to the absurdity
and foolishness of always swimming against the tide.
The Ngwa nation must note that, except for the firm and unwavering
decision of Governor Theodore Orji who, against all pressure and odds, has
stood his ground on power rotation and has kept his word as his bond on
handing over to an Ngwa, there could not have been this present silver
lining in the skyline of the Ngwa nation. We must recall that in 2001, at
Okpuala Ngwa, the traditional cradle of the Ngwa nation, the former
governor, Orji Uzor Kalu, told the people, face-to-face,
eye-ball-to-eyeball, that his daughter who was three years then, would
grow to rule the Ngwa if they do not support him for a second term. That
was the height of insult against the collective sensibilities of a people.
Indeed, it was there and then that the Ngwa decided to run a parrarell
line with Kalu. They immediately routed for the Otuonu Struggle, a great
mass movement for which I gave my career and my life. The movement raised
the momentum of the Ngwa agenda and brought many issues about the people
to the front burner of national discourse. Yet, as in all history of wars
and liberation struggles, the people have over time sat back to review the
struggle and gained some valuable insight and wisdom and also saw the need
for a change of strategy. The lesson is pertinent that political victory
can only be gained by playing with the status quo. It is an unnecessary
dissipation of energy to run at cross purposes with an incumbent power.
This is a suicidal mistake the Ngwa will not make again.
Luckily for us, the incumbent power in Umuahia and Abuja is determined on
power shift to the Abia South and precisely to the Ngwa. This is one
great milestone that Ochendo has helped us to cross. And, I repeat, save
for this political magnanimity of Ochendo, save for this divine
uprightness of a leader, this dream will still be too far-fetched for the
Ngwa and the reasons are very obvious. There is a deep-seated conspiracy
nurtured by an unfounded stereotype against the Ngwa by the other sections
of our polity. But, today, Ochendo has raised the bar of equity by
treating all Abians as one people and insisting that what is good for the
goose is also good for the gander.
The Ngwa must show gratitude to Ochendo for setting this standard of
equity. If we could realise the intense pressure that has been mounted on
the governor forhim to renege on his words then, the Ngwa will forever say
prayers of gratitude to a great man of justice and firmness of character.
The governor is the only leader of Abia who has demonstrated that balance
of power is critical and crucial for our common existence as one common
humanity of Abia State and he is honestly committed to achieving this
template of togetherness and harmony. As every intelligent and wise father
does when time is drawing nigh, Ochendo has also been deeply worried about
who, among his children (here gubernatorial aspirants), could keep the
house in order. The decision is not about his personal relationship with
people, not about the people's clout and pedigree but about the future and
destiny of the over fifteen million Abians. It is about the peace and
progress of Abia.
Today, Ochendo has done his part for the Ngwa, the rest lies in the hand
of the people. Lamentably, the current monster standing between the Ngwa
and their time-honoured aspiration is the personal selfishness of the
aspirants. It is no more the war of ideology but the war of personal ego.
Like Mobutu Sese Seko said of himself and Congo, some of the aspirants
hold the view that there cannot be Ngwa governor without them. Yet, at the
nick of time, Congo existed without Mobutu. At the nick of time, there
will be only one Abia governor of Ngwa extraction that God will ordain. No
one is more Ngwa than the other. No one is more qualified than the other.
It is only God that gives power.
I feel very worried to see that the Ngwa cannot come together even at this
perilous time when we are just at the foot of the bridge. After the rain
and the sun have beaten us for years, we are now standing at the foot of
the bridge, ready to cross. Yet, our albatross is no more our adversaries
but ourselves. Individual ego of aspirants is the current albatross of the
Ngwa. People are so self-conceited that they cannot come to terms with the
fact that it cannot be them. Why must it be you at all times? What is
critical now is the destiny of the Ngwa nation and Abia State and not
you. If the tide is not flowing to your favour, why must you be the
stumbling block? Why not collapse your ambition to the current tide and
think of Ngwa first? This is where the Yorubas have always been wiser.
I am speaking to the conscience of the Ngwa people, my people.
Adindu is the President-general of the Abia Renaissance Movement (ARM)
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