Ike Ekweremadu, before you think I was writing about Jim Iyke, is a ranking senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. By the special grace of God, before the current interregnum, he was its immediate-past Deputy President. A position he occupied for three unbroken tenures. Therefrom, you must agree that his name shall only be conspicuous in absence when the annals of our not-too-nascent current political dispensation dues for reconstruction.
However, rather than the accolades that ought to follow him for the achievement, he has mostly been paid back in the negative in recent developments. First, he was refused the juicy prop of running as Vice President in the last presidential election by his party. Then, as though to rub salt into the simmering injury, elements of his own very Igbo people gave him a roughing up on an overseas trip.
Anyway, to worth one’s avoirdupois in honour, one must of needs undergo trial(s). And to make the notch(s) he must, also, surmount them. Sure the world does reserve spaces for dead heroes whose blood(s) water revolutions. But oftentimes the accreditation process takes late. In doubt, ask the Kenyans how it took them so long to honour Dedan Kemathi. That is withstanding our own MKO, if the authorities here won’t mind.
But Ekweremadu had it coming. Ostensibly he had journeyed to faraway Nuremberg in Germany to celebrate the Igbo New Yam Festival. Notwithstanding whether his hometown in Enugu State had performed the obsequy, he should have been a little more circumspect. It’s without doubt that such dalliances come with repercussions even they be unpremeditated – like hand balls in FIFA’s VAR.
Was it not Chinua Achebe, the late novelist, that had years ago warned of the wrath that awaited whomsoever engaged in such tomfoolery. And not minding who the judge would be in the last of days, it does appear that charity may start from where it ought. Oughtn’t it? This means that to denigrate the mores of your people because of newfangled belief can never fly. Be you convener or guest speaker. Yes, those the gods want to kill must first go mad with self-glory.
Regarding those that raised their hands at such an anointed one, we can only but be empathetic. But though the gods are often to blame, the human beings that saw out their wills are often left to bear the brunt of their demeanours’ sanctions. Judas in the Christian New Testament, for instance; and Okonkwo in Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, for another. If all we have achieved since evolution is to waylay ourselves in foreign lands, a la the Israelites in Egypt, then it’s high we fashioned us some new commandments.
The big bug, however, remains who it is that will carry the onus. It does appear that there is no Moses anywhere to ascend the mountain to bring them on. Like it stands, our political office holders like Ike are long out of it. As well as our religious leaders; there being so many fractions in the whole to make them count. Of course, the leaders of our socio-cultural organizations have since been rendered persona non grata over the years.
Perhaps the time is ripe for an entirely new beginning. While the old has a role to play, the should never be thrown away in their bathwater. There should be a general consensus that none can go it alone without miscarriages. But foremost should an alignment to reality. Nothing has ever been achieved via violence that has not turned round to consume the people it ought to have benefited.
*Uzoatu the author of the novel Vision Impossible lives in Onitsha, Anambra State.