Open Letter To Charlie Boy, Area Fada
By Evangelist Elliot Ugochukwu-Uko
What ever led you and the great diva, Lady Onyeka Onwenu, to withdraw from Governor Chukwuma Soludo’s Peace and reconciliation committee, set up amongst other things, to endeavour to restore sanity to the land by getting to the root of the agitation, must be pretty serious, as you have a reputation and pedigree to protect.
Igboland is in dire straits, the centre cannot hold, but the truth remains shrouded in mystery.
Many people were hoping the committee could unravel the hidden truth covered for too long, and actually help clear the debris littering the firmament. The public and even the Government do not know that the war cries and smoke hanging in the air aren’t the last vestiges of a battle just ended, but the birth pangs of a genie, which could be delivered still borne, if the right moves are made, or born rambunctious twins increasing the horror in the land today.
The unpalatable breeze is not over, if mishandled.
Without sounding alarmist, the committee must deliver or disappoint. If it delivers, the orient will not only know peace and stability again, but hard lessons drawn from the unhelpful season of anomy, will inevitably enrich our political and socioeconomic roadmap towards a greater tomorrow.
So many mistakes were made in the past 23 years since the agitation was activated in September 1999 at 22 Ajidedidun street, Agulejika, Lagos.
Erroneous assumptions and bowing to the wishes of external powers complicated the crisis.
Regional leader’s failure to rise up to the challenge and rein in the movement, created room for strange advisers who misled the Government, leading to erroneous application of certain strategies of containment that only convoluted the crisis, deepening the gap for communication.
Hope placed in the Soludo Committee derives from faith people have in the apolitical and non partisan stance of folks like you sir.
You may not know that same characters who out of hubris and greed mis advised Government in the past, may not truly desire resolution and closure. Reason the agitation had dragged on for 23 years, escalating in dimension overtime.
Your image sir, as a blunt, outspoken public figure matters and carries some weight that could help truth survive the antics of murderers of truth, this time around.
If you for whatever reason/reasons exit the committee now, I’m tempted to ask, without meaning disrespect to other members, won’t that adversely affect the reputation and eminence of the committee? Supposing many more follow suit and withdraw? What happens if the crisis in the East isn’t resolved soon?
I plead dear elder brother, that you put behind whatever offended you to the point of withdrawing, and forgive the politicos. Kindly remember that you aren’t doing this for anyone, but for the good of the land.
The great need to deploy dialogue and direct engagement cannot be over emphasised.
Your membership of the committee kind of reassures that the truth may be allowed to see the breath of daylight this time.
The truth that the suffocating unitary structure encouraged and enabled dichotomy and brazen nepotism of an unkind streak, which overtime inspired exclusion, sectionalism, bitterness and humiliating isolation, which in turn, gave birth to anger that led to agitation, remains undebatable.
The refusal to invite, listen to and attend to the grievances of the aggrieved youngsters, deepened the agitation.
Application of only lethal force, as strategy of containment, eventually blew the lid off the already boiling cauldron.
Sincerely engaging with them years ago, would have made a huge difference.
Incidentally, those who made it difficult to engage the agitators long ago, are also part of the committee. If you step aside sir, what happens to truth.
Some of us believe that you speak truth to power, and will positively inspire the report of the committee. We therefore plead you magnanimously overlook whatever offended you and continue with the committee. The search for peace cannot be quantified at this time.
— Evangelist Elliot Ugochukwu-Uko is the Founder, Igbo Youth Movement (IYM), the Secretary, Eastern Consultative Assembly (ECA) and the Deputy Secretary of Igbo Leaders of Thought (ILT)