Why Soludo Should Forgive Obi If He Has Offended Him In The Past

By Isaac Asabor

There is no denying the fact that the media has been agog with various coinages of headlines since a week ago or thereabout in the bid to graphically report the story about how the governor of Anambra State, Prof. Charles Soludo literarily dragged Mr. Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) to the market square where the elders traditionally prefer to dance naked.

It would be recalled that Prof. Soludo, in a recent Television interview described the present value of investments made by Peter Obi while he was governor as worthless and followed it up in a long article attacking Peter and concluding that Peter Oni can never win the 2023 presidential election.

Among a plethora of headlines that were used to anchor the reportages were “History Beckons and I Will Not be Silent (Part 1)”. “Why Peter Obi can't win in 2023 – Soludo”, “Soludo: I Won't Succumb to Bullies”, “Peter Obi Knows He Can't ...”, “Attacks: I, my family being punished over comment on Peter” ...”, “Peter Obi Knows he can’t and won’t Win”, “Peter Obi threw Anambra into massive poverty level as governor”, and “Soludo threatens to deface posters of Obi, others”, among other headlines that speak volumes, and which no doubt reflect the mood of a man that has bottled up hatred and anger against his brother, or better put, his fellow “Onyeigbo”.

It is expedient to say in this context that this writer was inspired to look at the issue from a religious perspective as it makes it more explanatory as the word of God in Hebrew Chapter 4 verse 12 says, “For the word of God is quick, powerful, and sharper than any double-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart”. Given the efficacy of the word of God, there is no doubt that when applied to counsel two bickering people that it must surely restore peace between them. After all, Matthew chapter 18 verse 15 says, “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.”

Be that as it may, it cannot be said to be a misnomer at this point in time to say that since the messy fight ensued between the “two brothers”, mostly on the pages of newspapers and in virtual space that not a few Nigerians have been asking “Why did this matter generate so much concern?” As the foregoing question cannot be farfetched, it is apt to conjecture that it has the effectiveness to portray “Ndigbo” as being bereft of the spirit of brotherliness; which is not true.

In fact, the foregoing inference cannot be dismissed with a mere wave of the hands as prominent Igbo elders and leaders as well as stakeholders and various groups have continued to express anger over the verbal attack by professor Charles Soludo on Mr. Peter Obi.

As gathered from the Vanguard Newspaper of November 19, 2022, in an analysis titled, “Verbal attack on Peter Obi: Ndigbo descend heavily on Soludo”, former Imo state President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Professor Chidi Osuagwuin his reaction said, “Soludo is a clever person but unwise. He has not shown wisdom. Many people who have made career success in Nigeria are people of questionable character. People should not take away that from their minds when accessing characters. Even now everybody is talking of the Igbo in 2023; I am not surprised that this statement is coming from an Anambra person. The Igbo must take note that the Anambra people are self-promoting too much. Other people should not see it as different; it is like what is happening between Osinbajo and Tinubu. But even within the Imo state the governing people, selling their people for personal aggrandizement, for self-promotion are people who have come from within the Anambra border”.

Reacting in a similar vein to Soludo’s outburst, Chief Jerry Obasi, a former deputy governorship candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), in Ebonyi state described Governor Chukwuma Soludo’s outburst against Obi as baseless and unwarranted. Obasi said that Soludo shot himself in the foot with his outburst against Obi and wondered if the former governor of the Central Bank actually thought about his feelings for Obi before going public.

Insisting that Soludo harbors bottled-up anger against Obi, Obasi stated that the right thing for the Anambra governor to have done was to support his party’s presidential candidate and ignore Obi.

He said that Soludo has a huge task to match the records Obi made as Governor of Anambra state, stressing that no propaganda or bitterness can erase the fact that Obi saved money and made huge investments for Anambra state.

His words: “You can see the level of public anger and criticisms against Soludo. Such an outburst was unwarranted and could only show anger and bitterness against the Labour Presidential candidate. The right thing was not for Soludo to start contradicting Obi, especially when he had no facts. Obi handed over to a successor whom Soludo took over from. So, if there was any issue, Soludo needed to ask the man who handed over to him,and not to dance naked in public by attacking Obi.

At this juncture, permit me to address His Excellency, the governor of Anambra State, by reminding him that if Mr. Peter Obi has at any point in time offended him that he should forgive him, and sincerely begin to support him in his race to become the president of Nigeria, come 2023.

The reason for making this plea in this context is that such a reconciliatory effort on the part of the governor would be beneficial to him; spiritually and health-wise as notforgiving him is dangerous. In fact, there are benefits that are inherent in the act of forging others when offended. After all, there is a wise saying by Dr. Nelson Mandela of blessed memory that goes thus: “Not forgiving someone is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”

It is difficult to grapple with the fact that not forgiving others for the offense they committed against us is poisonous. But it is a fact that has been authenticated by well-learnedand informed psychologists as well as clergies. In fact, it is hard to imagine that there are benefits of forgiveness when we feel hurt and angry. Forgiveness becomes even more difficult when there is no apology or even an admission of guilt. Little wonder it is a spiritual condition in Christendom for a believer to ask God for forgivenessbefore offering his prayer, praise, or worship to Him.

Paradoxically, the difficulty in forgiving can often be our view of forgiveness as a gift to the offender. However, it is actually a gift to ourselves. When we choose to forgive, we reap the benefits of forgiveness.

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) 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."