OPEN LETTER TO MOST REV. A.J.V. OBINNA ON KALU VS. ORJI
His Grace, Most Rev. A.J.V. Obinna, I come to you today in this letter with a heart full of tears and sadness. My anxiety is twigged on the feudal relationship that exists between our two sons in the persons of Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, former Governor of Abia State and, the present Governor of the state, Chief Theodore Ahamefule Orji. Ndigbo at all levels seem not to be paying attention in reconciling these two personalities for reasons I am yet to comprehend. This is the reason I've decided to come to you through this open letter knowing that with your position, not only as a revered cleric, but, also, as a known voice in the world, peace could be negotiated.
I've known Kalu as a peacemaker who had reconciled personalities in different parts of the world, so I'm not sure why we should stand beside and look while the governor and him lock their heads in this shocking fight and continue to exhume what they have done in secret while one served as governor and the other as Chief of Staff between the period of 1999-2007. I'm crying knowing that if it were other persons from the Igbo extraction that are fighting this dirty, Kalu of all people would have taken the gauntlet on himself and reconcile them no matter what it would take or cost him.
Most Reverend, I'm bringing you in knowing the injunction in the book of Matthew 18:15-17, which says: “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
Kalu and Orji, no doubt, have told each other their faults at different times and they are still telling, but, sadly, in a more dishonourable forms that do not befit us Ndigbo: A people that the rest of Nigerians are always proud of. There is obviously bound to be problems between individuals, groups and countries, but that of the Kalus and Orjis is navigating to a direction of no return if we do not rise up now and make peace for them.
It is more obvious that we cannot throw them aside. If we continue to do this, we have also thrown the love and beauty which our people are known for. As a Christian you are, Most Reverend, you have been given the mandate to reconcile people in this type of argument that is between Kalu and Orji. The book of 2 Corinthians 5:18-21 reminds Christians that, “All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
We, as Ndigbo, are not together if our brothers do not have peace. We would continue to be seen as a wise people, the blessed people, if we reconcile our feuding brothers, by making them to swallow their different pains and pride and come together again as Igbo people, not as politicians that politics is always ready to divide. Most Reverend, I've been reading you and people have always said that you are wiser for a matter like this, because you have a spirit of light to step things forward.
Ever since our brothers have been apart, they have not learned to be peaceful and those in their different camps are like soldiers in the war front who do not know where the war would be leading them to. And Ndigbo cannot wait till people begin to die in their different camps before we creep in and bring peace. I remember Romans 12:17-21, saying, “Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, 'Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.' To the contrary, 'if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.' Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good…”
I´m feeling for our two brothers and know that we can overcome evil with good, but I am quite sure that there may be those who do not want this reconciliation because of the monetary gains they make from the feud while the two once beloved brothers and political associates burn. They have pushed everything too far with their infantile whims and caprices. Their inconsequent adventures are harming Ndigbo. We all are not free before God if we do not unite our brothers. They are committing too many mistakes and we are sharing in this ugly banquet directly or indirectly because an Igbo proverb says that any man whom his brother is dancing badly would cover his face in shame.
The feuding moves are gross blunders full of gross errors. Most Reverend, I'm making this proposition to you knowing that after they have been apart for over three years, you have the capability to reconcile them without compromise and, not because you are a revered cleric, but because you are a renowned Igbo first. I am of the conviction that you will bring these escalating dishourable moves of our two brothers to a halt. You are a 'father' and you know the method you will apply to bring them together. Please, time is of essence.
Written by Rubby Obinna.