ihedioha On A Divine Race To Douglas House- A Narrative Analysis
Early this month precisely on AUGUST 13, 2019, a book written by Dr. Chuks Osuji was officially presented to the public and the occasion was well attended by dignitaries from all works of life. I did the review of the book and since then I have been receiving calls from different groups and individuals who appealed to me to publish the review in my column. I wish to oblige you all by doing so today and I implore you to enjoy yourself as you read. The review is purely the reflection of the author.
During the time of the great Athenian Philosopher, Socrates, a young man that desired to know the secret to success came to him for enlightenment. Socrates patiently listened to the man’s question and consequently asked him to meet him near the river the next morning for the answer. The next morning Socrates asked the young man to walk him towards the river. As they went in the river the water got up to their neck. But to the young man’s surprise Socrates ducked him into the water.
The young man struggled to get out of the water, but Socrates was strong and kept him there until the young man started turning blue. Socrates pulled the young man’s head out of the water. The young man gasps and took a deep breath of air. Socrates asked, “What did you want the most when your head was in the water?” The young man replied, “Air.” Then Socrates said, “That is the secret to success. When you want success as badly as you wanted the air while you were in the water, then you will get it for there is no other secret.”
Here, one of the Greek’s elder-statesmen, Socrates, attempts to teach humanity that a burning desire is the starting point of all accomplishment. Just like a small fire cannot give much heat, a weak desire cannot produce great results.
The unique literary cum research work, “Ihedioha on a Divine Race to Douglas House” is a book designed to balance the inequity and political disequilibrium in Imo political history. The book Authored by Dr. Chuks Osuji (oon), an accomplished lecturer and media guru is composed of 340 pages and was published by Opinion Research and Communications, INC 54 Mbaise Road Owerri in 2019. This unique book under review has a pictorial display of the Chief Executive of Imo State, His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, as well as the graphic design of the Douglas House. The book is arranged in chapters and is made up of 10 chapters with profound insight in the thesis of Chief Emeka Ihedioha’s life as one on a divine voyage whose experience therefore, offers the reader an indisputable opportunity to appreciate the objective ontology of socio-political dynamics that characterized the primordial placement of political diadem on the head of Chief Ihedioha for harmonious cum equitable progressive existence of Imo people.
The author is an intellectual cum entrepreneurial of copious magnitude who understands Naphological phenomena surrounding the emergence of Chief Ihedioha. He came up with the book at a time the political administration of Gov. Emeka Ihedioha is picking momentum and when this newly born administration is at the center-point of every meaningful discussion.
Let me briefly comment on the title of the book, “Ihedioha on A Divine Race to Douglas House…” The title shows that the emergence of Gov. Emeka Ihedioha to the glorious seat of governance came as the will of the DIVINE. However, it is obvious that some people do not know why they were born into the physical system of reality; as a result they pass through life being punished. In Oriental cosmology, Krishna is quoted in the Bhagavad Gita as he summarized the purpose of life thus, “Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear” Bhagavad Gita 16:18.
Following the above, the purpose of life is for one to surrender to the Lord in total devotion, in this kind of total devotion lies the destiny of someone who has understood the true purpose of life. When the person surrenders to the Divine in line with the author’s view, God crowns the effort with success. This in my term is the “Divine Race” God or celestial being appoints the ruler of a land or country. The “chosen one” would be the embodiment of God’s will. In the Quran 65:2-3 Allah says, “And He provides for him from (sources) he never could imagine. And if anyone puts his trust in Allah, sufficient is (Allah) for him. For Allah will surely accomplish his purpose; verily, for all things has Allah appointed a due proportion.” Here Allah is saying that anyone who puts his trust in Allah shall sufficiently find the purpose of his mandate in life accomplished.
In the (Spentamainyush Gatha of the Zend) Avesta 50:3, says, “…So this reward shall come to him through the right, O Mazda, this reward which by the dominion and good thought he promised, whomsoever by the power of his destiny prospers the neighboring possession that now the liar holds..” Furthermore, in the Tripitaka (Pali Canto) one of the Pali Cantos, Buddha of Enlightenment states, “Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without…Three things cannot hide for long; the Moon, the Sun and the Truth. Those who have failed to work toward the truth have missed the purpose of life…” However, the Divine has ordained the emergence of this great leader and no one can do anything about it except God. As the Bible in Romans 9:16 says, “So then it is not of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.” Further on in Romans 9:18, it is said, “Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.” To harden Chief Ihedioha is to make him strong, and to make him strong is to make him win the Race, and thus he smiles like St Paul and declares, “bonum certamen, certavi” (I have fought the good fight), and won the race to Douglas House, and we all onto this piece have come to applaud the heroism.
Thus, in the introductory note, the author gave a background on how Chief Emeka Ihedioha distinguished himself in the annals of political leadership in Nigeria as he climbed the ladder of his political destiny which led to his mission in becoming a Governor and the author regarded the entire episode as unfolding divine history in the fulfillment of the Governor’s destiny. The book under review is a condensation of many circumstances within the framework of divinity.
A look at chapter one, with the topic “How It All Began,” justifies the fact that the load which the author wishes to lift through this publication is certainly heavier than his shoulders, but merely touching it emboldened him spiritually shrouding him with the will-power to accomplish the task. This however shows how scholarly and acquainted the author is with the necessary information in getting the task done. Hence he gave a chronological background on how the Divine Race of Chief Ihedioha began, which metamorphosed to Owerri zone clinching the governorship seat. According to the author, “The mission of producing a Governor of Owerri zone extraction was considered a very urgent one…Owerri was considered unsuitable with the risk of a false alarm and infiltration by moles within the environment…”
The author accentuated how various political summits including the Imo Charter of Equity of 2013, which the guest speaker, Prof. Protus Nathan Uzorma of Orlu extraction, who incidentally is the book reviewer today harped on the need for Owerri zone to produce the next Governor of Imo state. His emphasis was on equity and natural justice.
Dr. Chuks Osuji did not ignore the role played by some leaders from Orlu extraction that stood firmly in support of Owerri zone in 2019 election despite the ignoble effort of the Ex-Governor, Chief Rochas Okorocha, in imposing his son in-law on Imolites. In the words of the author, “The Owerri agenda could never have succeeded without the earnest effort of intellectuals and academics like Prof. Protus and many others drawn particularly from Owerri zone and beyond…on the intellectual front from the month of January 2017 as the 2019 elections drew close, a number of academics from Owerri zone started to sensitize fellow Professors in Nigerian Universities on the plight of Owerri people in Imo State.” The author continues, “It was Prof. Peter Okorie of Imo State University Owerri who called in some key persons such as: Prof. Fr. Philip Ogbonna, Prof Emma Ugweledo, Prof Patrick Nnamocha, Prof. Austine Awujor, Prof. Izuchukwu Ibeawuchi, Dr. Chris Egbuche, Prof. Iyke Dozie. These academics formed the group Owerri Unity Forum; a name that was reportedly chosen in acknowledgement that the greatest problem facing Owerri is unity”. He further inferred that Ezumezu Mbaise, Ezumezu Mbaitolu, Orlu Elders Council headed by Prof Francis Dike (SAN) and hosts of other socio-cultural groups played major roles in getting the job done.
Dr. Chuks Osuji in chapter two of the book under review proved that the art of book writing is a serious debate probably with intellectual adversaries. While discussing “Ihedioha: The Man in the Eye of the Storm” opened up a window from where rays of his intellectual embryo can be evaluated. He enlightened his readers on the need to have reliable knowledge and information of the personalities entrusted with the position of leadership. This he was able to demonstrate by availing in the book the chronological history of His Excellency, Chief Emeka Ihedioha. The author informs us that the Rt. Honourable Ihedioha, now Governor of Imo State was born on March 24th, 1965 to Nze Bernard Maduakolam Green Ihedioha in Mbutu Aboh Mbaise LGA of Imo State. His birth was greeted with joy which informed the name as he arrived at the time he was much expected. This is not far from his political voyage and history as he emerged as the State Chief Executive of Imo wherefore he is being expected to categorically rebuild the eight years of locust in Imo.
His academic background is not in doubt as the author delved into such areas as he provided us with evidence that the Governor is a product of University of Lagos and other schools within and outside Nigeria. The author informs us thus, “Before cutting his edge in politics and public service, Ihideoha earned a reputation for himself as an effective public relation expert.” Chief Ihedioha has served his country in different capacities and his achievements are enumerated in this book under review. As a former Deputy Speaker of the Federal House of Representative, Gov. Emeka attracted a lot of projects not only to his constituency but to Imo people at large. The author outlined all these in chapter two.
In chapter three, the erudite scholar, Dr. Chuks Osuji, while discussing “Some Characters Who Made It Happen” in synopsis accentuated that unrelenting hard work predicated on good planning, using a network of strategic opinion, were the secrets behind the emergence of Gov. Emeka Ihedioha. The author, did not ignore close associates, friends and colleagues who have been around the Governor for years and who nevertheless see him as an effective manager of men and materials. The author realized that if nobody does nothing about anything, everything will remain as it is, including a state of odium and opprobrium. In the act of doing, Dr. Osuji came up with this epoch publication to educate the world on the various roles played by Team Emeka Ihedioha and his campaign organization led by Dr. Vin Udokwu, the Campaign Councils both at the State and Local Government levels.
The book under review highlighted on the major roles played by Owerri Elders Forum, Orlu Elders Council and the Coalition of Elders from the three geopolitical zones as well as other critical stakeholders as being part behind the success of Owerri zone in the just concluded 2019 Imo governorship election.
In chapter four while discussing “The Role of Women Groups” the author made his contributions in this area of intellectual permutation, exposition, interpolation and interposition produced every conceivable and imaginable evidence which enabled him rest his conclusion on the true foundation of proper reasoning as demanded by the principles of logic. As a result, the gender friendly author acknowledged the common fact that PDP women played very active role in the election of the present Imo State Governor. In the words of the author, “The activities of women in the campaign and election of Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha was led by his wife, Lady Ebere Ihedioha, an unassuming woman with touch of godliness.” The author also acknowledged the contributions of other women in Ihedioha Campaign Organization within and outside Nigeria.
In chapters five and six, the issue of the impact of Ihideoha Youth Movement and the Diaspora Initiatives were thoroughly discussed thereby making the battle to the Douglas House a mass movement that gained the supports of the youth groups and other Imo indigenes in diaspora.
In Chapter Seven, Dr. Osuji did an appreciable cum substantial research on “Party Primaries and Elections.” He posited that party politics is essential for any political leader. The failure of PDP in 2015 as well as conspiracy against Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihidioha, and the history of Nigerian political situation was extensively discussed. The author also talked about how Gov. Ihedioha engaged in the socio-political dance of the spirits. The political music in my term is called “political surugedee music”. This surugedeematic dance saw Gov Ihedioha through as a child of destiny. He was able to triumph over all political huddles in the PDP and went to the poll proper. After the victory, the author enumerated how he picked his Running Mate who is today the Deputy Governor of Imo State Engr. Alphonsus Gerald Irona.
Chapter eight talks about when the sky went rainbow. Here the writer discussed how Imolites rejoiced over the defeat of Chief Ikedi Ohakim second term and how the people on the other hand, celebrated the government of Chief Rochas Okorocha in 2011. The writer lamented on how in the public opinion Chief Okorocha failed to live up to his promises. In the same chapter, we saw how Gov. Ihedioha, the man on a divine race to Douglas House was declared the winner of 2019 gubernatorial election. The author emphasized on how the people of Imo State gladly received the victory of Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha. One aspect that caught my attention in chapter eight is how the author described the Green Cap which is directly associated with Gov. Ihedioha. The author says. “The Green Cap which Emeka Ihedioha regularly wears is his indelible honour to his father whose full name is Nze Bernard Maduakolam Green Ihedioha, a noble of the land going by the title Nze…”
Chapters nine and ten showcased the Technical Transition Committee and Inauguration Committee as well as what the author tagged “Our Cooperate contributions and Input.” The author further enlightened his numerous readers that the first appointment made by Gov. Ihedioha after the election was that of technical transition committee. He noted that Gov. Ihedioha did not disappoint the Imo people. In the same chapter, he explained why those various committees and sub-committees were formed. However in chapter ten, the author appears to have followed the Hegelian dialectics (theory). Hegel developed a theory of reality of becoming in which becoming is a tripartite movement: Thesis, antithesis and synthesis. The Hegelian dialectics is an interpretive method in which the contradiction between a thesis and its antithesis is resolved at a higher level of truth called synthesis. Here, Dr. Chuks Osuji used his establishment, among others to carry out a good public opinion survey that favoured the emergence of Chief Emeka Ihedioha. This in my term is the synthesis that has resolved the entire controversies raised in this book.
Therefore, this great book “Ihedioha on a Divine Race to Douglas House…” synchronizes with the Hegelian interpretive method in which the synthesis resolves the contradiction.
Book writing is like a debate with intellectual adversaries. It is better not to talk than to open your mouth and reveal a hidden degree of foolishness, ignorance or prejudice. It is my submission that the topic and approach of any author discloses his intellectual identity, personality, capacity and potentiality. The author has done a good job though not without typographical errors, numerous grammatical atrocities, especially in the areas of concords, nouns in apposition, rules on clauses and phrasal usages, indentations and paragraphing, as well as some long sentences that present vague communications. The worst editing errors are found in the APPENDIX 1 that knows no paragraphing and presents His Excellency’s inaugural speech to the State. Again, I noticed that the book has no References and the theoretical framework and proper research method were not strictly followed, which dent its studiousness. Nonetheless, they all are proofs of the haste with which the Book was written and depict excellent scholarly venture that is highly applauding.
However, I recommend and commend to the public this unique product of academic pilgrimage. The good aspect of this book is that it refreshes our knowledge on the things we may have come across. I congratulate the author for his courage.
God bless you all.
Prof. Protus Nathan Uzorma