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Chukwumerije: shall we continue venerating the dead without their deed?

By Segun Balogun
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The Afenifere Renewal Group would like to commiserate with the family and associates of the late Senator Uche Chukwumerije.

The late Senator did well for himself, family, friends, and the Taekwondo sport community. It appears he also did well for his Abia State and for the Igbo ethnic nation as a senator and we would like to commiserate with them for their loss.

However, a cursory look at the encomiums being poured on the late senator as a nationalist cum statesman calls for sober reflection because there would be no motivation to serve one’s fatherland patriotically if people like the late senator continue to get the tribute deserving only of statesmanship.

The truth must be told that late Senator Chukwumerije played a significant role in frustrating the June 12 mandate, for no plausible logic, thereby lending himself as part of the forces that sought to deny Nigeria a democratic experience.

Perhaps, had June 12 stood as the Nigerian people wished it, Nigeria would have started its nascent democratic experience on the strength of two strong national political parties and what was achieved in 2015 could have been accomplished since 1993.

The anti-June 12 forces denied Nigeria a 20-year worth of democratic progress and late Senator Chukwumerije was partly responsible for this retrogression. Ironically, the late senator ate the fruit of the tree of democracy, the seed of which he fought to uproot; he reaped where he did not sow and profited from the sweat of other pro-democracy activists.

Against this backdrop, it is absurd that the Nigerian senate that could not properly honour the late Black Scorpion, Benjamin Adekunle, with a minute silence is the one that suspended its session for one day to mourn late Senator Chukwumerije.

This statement would be misinterpreted, no doubt, in some quarters but the ARG believes that the society’s collective memory gains nothing from venerating every dead person, especially those who served in public office, in a way that discounted their true deeds while alive.

The ARG means this to be a lesson for leaders who are still alive today to contribute their quota to human development and leave a legacy that will be remembered long after they are gone.

Kunle Famoriyo
Publicity Secretary, ARG