FEATURE ARTICLE

Sunday, December 23, 2018
Nna2ijomah@aol.com
New York, New York, USA
ABIA STATE AND POLITICAL REFLECTIONS THIS CHRISTMAS

et me begin this write-up by extending my heartfelt Christmas felicitations to not only those who have over the last 4 years dutifully followed my writings, some annoying, provocative and partisan, others reflective, informative and inspiring but also to the entire Abia populace. Thank you for the privilege of your readership. Let me also extend my sympathies to the thousands of pensioners and many categories of civil servants who regretfully will be celebrating the holidays without the payment of their salaries and arrears of emoluments promised by the Governor a few months ago. I, however, want to ask them to hang on and stand strong for there will be light at the end of the tunnel come May 2019. The last four years of the Ikpeazu administration has no doubt left the Abia people adrift amidst flotsam and jetsam of an increasingly dysfunctional administration. Thousands of our young people are jobless, many civil servants have become homeless due to their inability to pay rent, businesses have gone bust due to the lack of patronage, pensioners once confident of a monthly pension check have died from penury, heartbreak, despair and undue suffering-yet in this climate of what can be best described as "moral deprivation" the Governor who undoubtedly has no moral compass will be feasting on sumptuous delicacies and the best wines and spirits that can be imported from abroad not to mention his amoral proclivities. Which begs the question, where is his moral decency if ever he had one?

There is a popular saying that, "you never learn anything from the second kick of a mule", which is to say no one who has once suffered the pain from the kick by a mule needs another kick to learn not to go near a mule a second time. You learn from the first kick. The Abia people have for the past four years suffered the pain and hardship occasioned by the wickedness of the Ikpeazu administration hence it will be foolhardy for them to re-elect their tormentor-in-chief before learning their lesson. Anyone who thinks this Governor if re-elected will act any different is living in self-delusion. The obvious truth is that "a pig is still a pig no matter how much lipstick you apply on it". The point being that no matter how disingenuous the Governor's campaign lies become, no matter what next levels of fake promises he makes , no matter how many false claims of accomplishments he propagates, no matter his protestations of ethnic entitlement to a second term etc ( hence "our turn" is not a manifesto like someone recently observed in a Facebook posting) Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu will still be the same person, a heartless, lying, clueless, visionless and corrupt servile puppet to his hopefully soon to be incarcerated political godfather, Ex -Gov T.A Orji. This is a Governor who continues to lie to the Abia people because he wrongfully assumes that a majority of his supporters are as ignorant as he is. His lies have assumed such proportion where the serious meets the absurd. Yet I worry about his supporters, people who have an aversion for facts and a preference for falsehoods. People to whom like robots nothing makes sense except pre-installed programs. So, my appeal to those who continue to support him, either people whose seeming insufferable obstacle has been that of fitting their rose-colored view of his performance in office with facts and reality is to use this Christmas holidays to reflect on their delusions and wake up to the reality of their ignorance and ethical mortifications.

As I've written often times before, "freedom is never given. It has to be taken". Anyone who thinks to remove this Governor is going to be a cakewalk has no appreciation of the power and advantages of incumbency. The truth is that this hill is not going to be an easy climb not with the president refusing to sign the electoral bill which would have made the card reader a legal voting instrument. Besides we will be dealing with a group of political deviants for whom violence, thuggery, hooliganism does not have an off switch. They dial it up as high as they can as the voting day approaches. They do not turn it off. This is not going to be an election anyone who desires change in Abia state can afford to be a bystander and it is the reason why I hope as people celebrate this Christmas holidays they will seize the opportunity afforded by the festivities to talk to family and friends, impressing on them the need for everyone to make concerted efforts to vote on the day of the election for Dr. Alex Otti, the only candidate who has the capacity to bring about the change needed in Abia state.

There is this belief in political circles that anger and outrage generate more political participation in elections than public contentment and satisfaction. The fact that there is nothing to be satisfied or be content with during 20 years of PDP rule, one would have expected the Abia people to be raving mad and itching to vote out this Governor but then you find some people showing no interest in the political happenings around them and you begin to wonder if they are living in a different planet. You wonder if the pain and suffering abound everywhere in the state do not affect them and why a mass of people are not as outraged about this administration as they should be. Which reminds me of a story recently posted on social media by an American motivational speaker, Eric Bailey in which he said, "most people in life don't fail because they aim too high and miss", rather he said, "most people fail because they aim too low and miss". He then proceeded to relate a story about a little boy who went walking with his father when they came across an old man sitting on the verandah of his house with his dog sitting beside him moaning and whining, prompting the boy to ask the old man what was wrong with his dog. To which the old man responded it's okay he is sitting on a nail. Confused, the little boy asked again, why don't you help him up and the old man said, it's easy it's not hurting enough for him to get up.

The moral of this story is that for too long the Abia people have been sitting on all kinds of nails- financial nails, food deprivation nails, non-payment of salaries nails, poor education and healthcare nails, youth unemployment nails, poor infrastructure nails, poor sanitation/garbage pile up nails etc. Just name the category and size of the nail and the Ikpeazu administration will produce it to the exact specification. The Abia people have been forced by the past three successive PDP administrations to sit on very painful nails which begs the question, how much pain do these nails have to cause us before we as a people sit up and scream, "We've had "ENOUGH", we can't take it anymore?. Why are we politically docile? Why can't we turn our outrage, anger, disillusionment, and frustrations into political activism and vote out the Ikpeazu administration come March 2, 2019? It is said that the norm in politics is that people turn out in massive numbers to vote when they are angry and scared of the future. Regrettably, it's only in Nigeria and indeed Abia state that this norm has been turned on its head hence we have repeatedly either failed to vote, voted for our oppressors or unwittingly allowed them to rig themselves to power.

As we celebrate the Christmas holidays, we must come to the realization that oppressors care nothing about the oppressed and neither do they favor promoting the oppressed community as a whole hence they prefer and cater to the selected elite, the monthly "blood tonic" distributions as a case in point. The truth is that by preserving a state of alienation, they hinder the emergence of consciousness and critical intervention. Studies by Paulo Freire in his book "The Pedagogy of the Oppressed" informs us that it is difficult to achieve unity of the oppressed class without intervention hence the harmony of the oppressed can only be possible when its members are engaged in the struggle for liberation. That critical intervention is what Dr. Alex Otti represents with his candidacy for the Governor of Abia state in the coming election. The struggle for liberation is now upon the Abia people. It is time for us to be energized by the outrage of this administration. It is time for us to rise up from our political slumber and perform our due diligence by exercising our once in a 4 -year chance to pick leaders of our choice. I for one have over the past 4 years resolved to speak up as I cannot let my silence or acquiescence to civility mask my outrage. It is for all the aforementioned reasons that I urge every Abia citizen to use the opportunity offered by this holidays to sensitize their friends, their communities, family members, age groups, social organizations about the coming elections and the need for them to vote on the day of the election. We have watched this train wreck for 20 years hence it's time to have someone who is a better train driver at the controls.

Let us not be convinced or confused by the lies that this Governor cannot be defeated because he has amassed billions of stolen money to be spent on his re-election effort rather Let us be conscious of the power of the mind hence we are most often stuck in the mental prison of thinking certain actions are impossible. There is an African proverb that says, 'when there is no enemy within, the enemy outside can do us no harm". The only door locked as it relates to the coming election is in our minds. The reality outside is that it is open. As in our daily lives and existence, we have the ability to change anything we don't like within ourselves and outside ourselves to the extent that we are determined to do so. Victory is not only possible but is within our reach if only we can reach out and seize it. Like Napoleon once said, "If you are going to take Vienna, take Vienna". Let us aim higher than the Governorship. Let us also take all the Senatorial, House of Rep and State Assembly elective positions. Let this election be a clean sweep and let us eradicate the PDP, their dreadful performance in governance, their mindless destruction of the state and consign it to the garbage bin of our political history. I will end this write up with these words, 'The future is not out there. The future is here, so let us seize it not just for ourselves but also for our children, future generations and for posterity. Dr. Alex Otti is that future. Let's seize the opportunity" for "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH".


NEWS SECTIONS