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Gov. Ihedioha And The Platonic Allegory Of The Cave

Source: Prof. Nathan Uzoma Protus
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As a philosopher, I find it very difficult to rejoice while others are rejoicing and to weep while others are weeping. The reason for this is because I look beyond the moment euphoria to the period of reality, at the expiration of same when pain, sorrow and agony await familiarity. And until then let him that rejoice weep and he that weeps rejoice in anticipation.

In the Summa Theologiae, St. Thomas Aquinas states, “Natural things are intermediate between God’s knowledge and ours. For we get our knowledge from natural things of which God, through his knowledge, is the cause.” Things that are natural are sources of our knowledge but could be controversial or contentious following the school of thought where the scholar belongs.

However, the creator of human race is the cause of nature and He teaches us beyond the natural phenomenon which intermediate between his knowledge and ours in line with St. Aquinas view. This dimension of knowledge could only be acquired outside our normal academic curriculum. Though this is not my point of argument for now as my intention in this article is to prove beyond every human reasonable doubt that Imo is on her way to total liberation, as our Governor is busy dealing with the task ahead.

Though by faith, we can say that we have been rescued from the hands of one man that sees governance as a means of attaining opulent thereby impoverishing others. But is should be noted that for eight good years Imo has been in the cave and to be able to meet with reality of life we shall need to trust God as the cause and not trusting nature that serves as the intermediate between humanity and the divine.

In the words of George Orwell, “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is revolutionary act.” No wonder it’s very difficult to understand what is very simple to understand. Yes, the most difficult thing to understand is why anything should be understood. In the difficulty of understanding lies the complication of simplicity. This informs why Anthony de Mello enthuses, “He who understands the hidden truth is a lonely man.” In the spectrum of same, the allegory of the cave as the basis of this article is justified. The reason for all this analysis is to enable my reader follow me in my line of thought which on the other hand, may be very difficult because if a million people follow you, you need to ask yourself a serious question of where you have gone wrong.

Over 2,000 years ago, Plato, one of the Greeks elder-statesman and very famous in philosophical thought, explored the question of whether reality exist in his famous allegory of the cave. The allegory of the cave begins with a scene painted of a group of prisoners who have lived chained to the wall of a dark cave their entire lives. Every day these people in the caves watched shadows projected on a blank wall. For them these shadows are real and they shaped their entire reality. Now, imagine that one of the prisoner’s leaves the cave and walks outside into the sunshine. For the first time in his life he sees the sunshine, he will be amazed in the first instance and will certainly be happy. He will feel librated from ignorance and bondage.

The great question then is, what will he then think of his companions back in the cave? He certainly felt very sorry for them and their limited reality. If he returned back to the cave and told them about what he saw, they’d probably laugh at him and think he was crazy.

The Platonic allegory of the cave explores the tension between the imagined reality that we think is “real” (shadows) versus the reality that is the “truth” (outside the cave). At this point it is very imperative to infer like Sir William Osler would say, “The value of experience is not in seeing much, but in seeing wisely.” Today, in seeing wisely, Imo has become one of the less corrupt states in Nigeria; this is very glorious and wonderful and we just witnessed this within six months of Rt. Hon Emeka Ihedioha. He led us out of the cave.

What makes the people of any state to rejoice is not the man at the hem of affairs but his policies. The man may be outside the cave while his policies may be those inside the cave. If someone enjoys too much of injustice, he sees justice as a favour. What Gov. Ihedioha is doing right now in Imo is very commendable and praiseworthy.

The previous administration of Rochas kept Imolites in the cave for a long time. Don’t forget that the cave people believed that the shadows they saw were the truth just as many people right now are rejoicing for a mere shadow that is momentary. The interpretation you draw from this may obfuscate your understanding and may not be associated with the inherent meanings. Yes, what Gov. Emeka is doing now is just a shadow of what is to come. However, I am very sure that the liberation of Imo people by the special grace of God has come through this noble administration.

The emergence of Gov. Ihedioha is associated with the very person who left the cave and witnessed sunshine. The key lesson from Plato’s allegory of the cave is to question every assumption you have about the reality you call “real.” Appearance is deceptive! But I must say here that Ihedioha’s appearance in this context is not deceptive at all as Imolites are yet to enjoy see the policies that will transform the state into the state of our dream.

History has it that one day King Philip of Spain (1627-98), called his son to a private room in the palace. There on a table were the sword of the king and the crown of the king. His royal majesty asked the prince to choose which of the two he wanted. The young man chose the crown. Then his royal father said, “No, son, first take the sword in defence of your country and win the war; otherwise your enemies will wear the crown. Gov. Ihedioha is almost done with the war and the manifestation of the victory shall assist in the transformation of Imo state.

If you must wear the crown, you must win the war. I do not think that anyone should blame Gov. Rochas who lost out in the “war” because he knows that his political days are numbered. Again, anyone who wants to wear the crown must first of all tell himself the hidden truth. Again Uche Nwaosu has finally lost the crown and must be willing to face the reality of life.

Are you the man or the woman of the people by circumstance? If given the opportunity to serve either as a Local Government Chairman, Counsellor, Commissioner, Minister, Senator or even House of Representative member etc. are you going to replicate Rochas ideology and philosophy? No wonder Aristotle say “If a man is interested in himself only, he is very small, if he is interested in his family, he is larger, if he is interested in his community, he is larger still”.

A good society is very possible and realizable only when the right knowledge is taught and people manifest love and peace towards one another. What will happen in Imo in the next four or eight years shall justify my averment.

Imo is out of the cave life and the reality of “Rebuild Imo” Agenda of Gov. Emeka Ihedioha is the reflection of the light that has brought hope and restoration to Imo people. We must join hands to make Imo great once again.

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Prof. Nathan Uzoma Protus and do not necessarily reflect those of The Nigerian Voice. The Nigerian Voice will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."