My February 2021 Appointment With Gov. Uzordinma

Source: Prof. Nathan Uzoma Protus
Prof. Nathan Uzoma Protus
Prof. Nathan Uzoma Protus

Towards the end of The Apology, Socrates made a statement that resonates the spirit of Philosophy of life thus, “I tell you that…examining both myself and others is really the very best thing that a man can do, and that life without this sort of examination is not worth living.” In examining both himself and others as one of the essence of knowledge, Socrates made sure that before he says anything; such information or examination must pass through his philosophical Triple Filter Test.

The above reminds me of the day the famous philosopher Socrates was visited by an acquaintance of his who consequently visited him to share some juicy gossip. The man asked if Socrates would want to know the story he heard about a friend of theirs. Socrates was not enthusiastic to hear rather he responded by telling his visitor to pass the Triple Filter Test before he could listen to him.

The first Filter test Socrates explained is Truth. “Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to say is true?” The man shook his head. “No, I actually just heard about it, and…” Socrates cut him off. “You don’t know for certain that it is true, then Socrates continued with the test, “Is what you want to say something good or kind?” Again, the man shook his head. “No! Actually, just the opposite…You see...” Socrates lifted his hand to stop the man speaking. “So you are not certain that what you want to say is true, and it isn’t good or kind.

One Filter test still remains, though, so you may yet still tell me. Socrates continued, “Is this information useful or necessary to me?” A little defeated, the man replied, “No, not really.” It was at this point that Socrates said, “If what you want to say is neither true, nor good or kind, nor useful or necessary, please don’t say anything at all.”

Following the above, it is very expedient to note that before one voices his opinion, one must make sure that he asks himself the following questions, Is it true? Is it good? Is it kind? Is it useful? Is it necessary? If it passes all these filters, one can then speak or criticise. If the information you want to pass across to the society is bereft of the filter test, you either keep it to yourself than to speak against anyone just for speaking sake.

A critic must know that he or she is the mouthpiece of the people and must be willing to speak the truth to his nation at all time. The truth of the matter is that these Filter tests are the tests of human conscience; and like Martin Luther King, “It is both hazardous and dishonourable for a man to act contrary to the dictates of conscience.” For Shakespeare, “What is a stronger breastplate than a heart unstained.”Mahatma Gandhi concludes, “In matters of conscience, the law of the majority has no place.”

I am saying this in view of some concerns expressed by some of my fans telling me to start criticizing Gov. Hope Uzodinma for not performing. In the words of Plato, “Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.” According to Winston Churchill, “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak, courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” Gov. Hope is not a perfect man and I know that no man in the physical system of reality is complete and perfect. However, it is not too early to begin to criticize Senator Uzodinma, but I have given grace of one year. We all know the circumstances surrounding his emergence as the governor and following same, we need to watch him very well and give him time to prove himself. Criticizing him because he unseated Rt. Hon. Ihedioha of my party- the PDP, is to say the least an abomination. I must say what is right and constructive so that when I start, I will not be faulted by anyone.

Yes, I have not assumed my office as “Unpaid Senior Special Assistant” (USSA) to the governor. I shall assume office after one year in office if he (our governor) fails to deliver the dividend of democracy as required. Probably he shall swear me in February 2021 when the stage will be set for my assignment which must pass the filter test.

The reason for the above philosophical quotations is to authenticate my view that I will speak out when the need arises and will never allow my voice to be influenced by my political party and associates. I have not compromised my position as was alleged by my fans. I am still what I am and must speak if the system becomes so convoluting. At the moment, the governor is trying to gather momentum as this administration remains focused to the promises.

My pen is already up and can’t be stopped whenever I start. But my criticism of any government must be based on conscience and should pass the Socrates Filter test. The government of Senator Hope, is a new administration though by now we are able to know what is possible and that which is impossible. You don’t need two days to prove what you have. You only have one opportunity to create the first impression you, don’t need another opportunity to create the first impression. With the first impression created by Gov. Hope, any criticism against his administration must pass the filter test. In the words of John Witherspoon, “Never rise to speak till you have something to say; when you have say it, cease.”William Shakespeare enthuses, “Listen to many, speak a few…”

Following the programmes of this administration, I am thinking that Imo is heading to a better place than the eight years of Okorocha’s ‘China government.’ Those who expect me to speak out should know that I shall not disappoint them as I remain a watchdog to any government in Imo state. Yes, I will not compromise my position with Imo government at any time because I am representing the poor masses, the downtrodden, the oppressed and exploited of the society to mention a few. However, I must speak when there is need for it. I am watching this government with keen interest and very soon, I shall bring to the public that which I have discovered as I remain unbridled to the course of making any government sit up.

In the words of Plato, “The greatest ignorance is when a man hates that which he nevertheless thinks to be good and noble and loves and embraces that which he knows to be unrighteous and evil.” On the other hand, another philosopher Ayn Rand enthuses, “Integrity does not consist of loyalty to one’s subjective whims but of loyalty to rational principles.”

The Reformer has not forgotten his root which is intertwined with loyalty to rational principles by not ignoring that which is good and noble. I have written a similar article in the past informing my people that whatever position I occupy in government whether at the state or federal levels, I must continue to be a critic. I must continue my criticism anywhere I find myself. This may be difficult for some people to believe, but I shall not change my stand. This is irresistibly axiomatic!