|Thursday, March 7, 2019|
very man deserves right to toe a particular line of action. After all, we all cannot flow in the same direction and swim on the same page. But history has taught us neither to oppose a popular cause, such as the Ukwa-Ngwa aspiration to have a consecutive second shot at the number one position of Abia State, nor to support and unpopular one. People who either opposed the cause of their people or support an unpopular cause have ended up in regret.
” A traitor to his people will be a traitor forever,” they told poor David Dion, as they shoved him into the gas chamber before the end of the second world war. David Dion, the renegade Jew, thought he could buy a lifesaving friendship into the German power caste by betraying his people.
The fate of David Dion may not be familiar, but we cannot easily forget Hughes Stanford. Stanford sought to appease the Christian mission which explored the Niger areas (later Nigeria). Stanford poured invectives on Africans only to be keenly avoided by the church leaders who rightly felt that they needed diplomats, committed missionaries and lovers of humanity, not raving racist and hate- monger who would ignite African resistance to their new values. He died without a job and without a penny in the world. But this was a time some more positive colonial agents were building their career in the emerging colonies.
Joseph Goebbel, the German Nazi Party member, paid dearly for supporting an unpopular cause. Goebbel became Adolf Hitler’s propaganda minister in 1933 comes to mind. By exploiting mob emotions and by employing all modern methods of propaganda Goebbels helped Hitler to power. His work as a propagandist materially aided Hitler’s rise to power in 1933.
When Hitler seized power in 1933, Goebbels was appointed Reichsminister for propaganda and national enlightenment. From then until his death, Goebbels used all media of education and communications to further Nazi propagandistic aims, instilling in the Germans the concept of their leader as a veritable god and of their destiny as the rulers of the world. In 1938 he became a member of the Hitler cabinet council. Late in World War II, in 1944, Hitler placed him in charge of total mobilization. Unfortunately, despite Goebbel's propaganda wizardry, Germany lost the war. On May 1, 1945, as Soviet troops were storming Berlin, Goebbels committed suicide.
What of Benedict Arnold (1741-1801), the American hero of the Revolutionary War (1775-83) who later became one of the most infamous traitors in U.S. history after he switched sides and fought for the British .Arnold was involved in several landmark battles for the US such as the capture of the British garrison Fort of Ticonderoga in 175, warding off British invasion of New York at the Battle of Chaplain.
Arnold also played a crucial role in bringing about the surrender of British General John Burgoyne’s (1722-92) army at Saratoga. Unfortunately, Arnold felt he was not adequately rewarded and became a turncoat. He entered into secret negotiations with the British, agreeing to turn over the U.S. post at West Point in return for money and a command in the British army. The plot was discovered, but Arnold escaped to British lines.
After fleeing to the enemy side, Arnold received a commission with the British army and served in several minor engagements against the Americans. After the war, which ended in victory for the Americans with the Treaty of Paris in 1783, Arnold resided in England. He died in London on June 14, 1801, at age 60. The British regarded him with ambivalence, while his former countrymen despised him. Following his death, Arnold’s memory lived on in the land of his birth, where his name became synonymous with the word "traitor".
Even in the Bible, strong opposition from Sanballat and Tobias did not deter Nehemiah's efforts to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem .We may have been offended one way or the other, but the best way to vent our anger is not to become a turncoat by standing against a collective aspiration.
May we not share the fates of David Dion, Hughes Stanford or Benedict Arnold. Let us support Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu's second term. This is the appeal to my Ukwa-Ngwa brothers.