THE 'GENTILES' OF ANAMBRA STATE
IN November 2004, during the may-hem at which parts of Anambra State were burnt down, it was difficult for me to believe that people from Anambra could inflict such violence on their State. But have we not seen brothers committing fratricide and sons committing patricide.
By the nature of man, especially when he takes off his reason, he could be an animal in no metaphorical sense.
Reading the interview granted to some newspapers by one Prince Onuigbo, one was thoroughly scandalized. He is one of such characters that do violence to the State under the guise of politics. He is a sad reminder that the Igbo man is still either very far from understanding what politics really is or has deliberately decided to make perpetual mockery of himself. What did the Prince do?
In the interview, the said Prince said, among other things, that Governor Peter Obi did nothing towards the victory of President Goodluck Jonathan. Clearly, the man was out for some mischief. I became thoroughly amazed when the man reeled out names such as that of Chris Uba, Andy Uba and Eucharia Azodo as deserving of praise in discussing the affairs of the State. You know a person by the company he keeps.
I may not be a fan of Governor Obi, but I have followed the man's politics. If I have not learnt anything from him, I have come to appreciate the virtues of consistency and integrity which he has in large supply. In him, I see a politician who believes in something and has always endeavoured to make that belief the cornerstone of his politics. We can point at him at any given time and say he is for this or that.
As the Chairman of the South-East Governors' Forum, the body endorsed President Jonathan for president over a year ago before serious political activities started. They vowed to work for him. Under his leadership, they followed it up by building alliances for Jonathan with other parts of the country. Thus, they visited the South-South, the North Central, the North-West, the North East and other critical segments of the country.
At the time Obi was leading others to engage in all this strategic networking, the Prince, or whatever he calls himself, was either nowhere to be found or lost his voice.
I understand it was Obi who coordinated the South East delegates which nominated President Jonathan at Abuja at the party's congress. He did so much for Jonathan that at the rally in Holy Trinity Field, Onitsha for Jonathan which he bankrolled, Mrs Josephine Anenih openly paid tributes to him as one of the best governors in Nigeria and acknowledged his singular contributions towards the efforts for the emergence of Jonathan.
If you have followed Obi's politics, you would have discovered that the man believes in campaigns because he is anti-rigging. When other politicians kept their money to invest in rigging, Obi campaigned vigorously for APGA candidates and for President Jonathan who was APGA's candidate in that election.
It is a pity that an unknown quantity like Prince will open his mouth and talk pure, unadulterated nonsense. 'Obi did not do this or do that', can he confirm if it is true that Obi single-handedly sponsored over 50 billboards of the President scattered all over the State, as well as his posters that were everywhere? Did he know those behind the traders' rally in support of Jonathan?
Gov Obi's biggest problem is that he is not a showman. He is not in the mould of characters that will shout from the rooftops their support for Mr. President. He is not given to intemperate use of language and he does not believe in bragging.
Clearly, the likes of Prince should be closely watched for their nuisance credentials. My only prayer is that Jonathan would have the presence of mind not to believe the gentiles of Anambra State, those who did nothing for the emergence of Jonathan but now want to reap where they did not sow. In fact, such characters should be viewed with suspicion precisely because they are dangerous.
Pastor AMBROSE ONYEKWELU wrote from Enugu.