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Orji Should Lead With Integrity

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"If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all." - Romans 12:18.

Skimming over the happenings in Abia State, it is surprising that there is no peace in the state. This, without doubt, is only experienced where there is underprivileged leadership. Putting the principles of leadership into practice requires integrity, and Governor Theodore Orji of the state seems not to be compelled to insulate integrity. If not, how could he be fingered to be sentencing his critics?

The first step to leadership is for one to tell truth to himself or herself. Juxtaposing to that, it is a known fact that Orji is not telling himself the truth about Abia State. And without these, whatever legacy he might be claiming in the state is bunkum without honesty.

As a leader, he cannot beat his chest tomorrow and say that he led well when he cannot be generally be vindicated by truth today. One Renee Bledsoe, in Addiction Alchemy, said: “The Light is more than some abstract, unknowable energy force. Light is Truth. If Light is truth, then darkness must be lies. Each and every lie we tell to ourselves and others casts the shadow of separation upon us. Every time even the most minor deception is revealed and the truth is made known we are re-united with the Light. So, Let there be Light. Those are the words by which you can create your own magnificent world.”

Yes, Light! The call for Orji to reconsider his position as governor was hinged on the notion that if he tells the people the truth today, the truth will make him to be happy after, because it takes the multiplication of lies to defend a lie. If he can lie for himself, he can lie against another. Let him come to the acknowledgement that life needs to be lived with integrity, and not witch-hunting personalities in the state. One wonders what happened that he has taken the good-natured Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu as his arch-enemy. Is Orji just after the ensnaring of prominence and affluence without counting back how he got to the position he is today?

He forgot to embrace the truth that Kalu is a shinning star in whose light he will follow in the years to come, because Kalu has been demonstrated as a mode of conduct, a standard of bravery, authority, resilience and integrity. It is because Orji built the foundation of his government without integrity that the state is bereft of reputation of integrity. He forgot that a government that doesn't tend to preserve its integrity is bound to be unstable. Ayn Rand said: Achievement of your happiness is the only moral purpose of your life, and that happiness, not pain or mindless self-indulgence, is the proof of your moral integrity, since it is the proof and the result of your loyalty to the achievement of your values.

Abia people will never have confidence in Orji without him showing some traits of friendship; it is not about being a governor that matters, but the ability to govern the people well is what makes a governor garner reverence from the people.

It is easier to be a governor in Nigeria but not easy to govern Nigeria, because some people like Orji cope with bad conscience and reputation in the course of governance. They compromise and make integrity look sharp whereas its original state is blunt. Anything blunt does not compromise.

William Shakespeare: Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.

In the The Philosophy of Despair, David Star Jordan warns that wisdom is knowing what to do next; virtue is doing it. So, Orji must go beyond political precision and go all-out for human rectitude. He should understand that character is doing the right thing in secret, the other is eye service.

The key to success is in character, and Orji must imbibe the character of reconciliation. Reconciling with Kalu will be more than simple honesty. It will be Abia's fortune to good governance in order to have the ability to pull everything together, to make it all happen excellently in Abia no matter how challenging the circumstances are today.

In The Soul of Man Under Socialism, Oscar Wilde warns that selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live. Orji must believe in anything herein simply because it was written. Ndi'Igbo would say that somebody does evil enough when he or she does nothing good, and that there is no head support so yielding as a clear conscience. Orji should succeed in Abia State! He should avoid being a man of success instead of a governor of success.

Odimegwu Onwumere writes from Rivers State. Email: [email protected]

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Odimegwu Onwumere 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."

Articles by Odimegwu Onwumere