Opinion: Hard Facts Lost On Many
By Elliot Ugochukwu-Uko
In my region, “owners of the universe” are in a quandary. They lost the Southeast Presidency to Tinubu and Atiku. They also lost the Vice Presidency slot. They are uncomfortable with the third alternative powered by the younger generation. A movement they can’t control, a movement they don’t think much of. The world is watching closely.
Some of them still believe the younger generation are merely wasting their time.
These old school warriors, active since NPP/NPN, UPN days of the Second Republic, still live in the past, sadly. Moreover, certain hard facts remain lost on them.
Help me tell them if you run into any of them, that time changes everything. Tell them that the awareness in the orient was ordained by God.
Tell them God raised people who played key roles in watering the ground by creating awareness that triggered the renaissance they see sweeping the land. A renaissance that could be brilliantly managed to produce positive results, a renaissance that could also be sadly mismanaged and ruined. An awareness that certain smart politicians are hustling to take advantage of and appropriate all the gains.
Committed activists and agitators who created awareness that led to a huge renaissance in the orient over two decades ago, through deliberate sacrifices, seminars for Igbo youths, conferences for Igbo traders etc, watched as one adventurous politician appropriated the template 20 years ago, into a partisan political movement by successfully registering a political party.
The originators of the renaissance were dutifully ignored. From the good Friday conclave at Engr. Chris Okoye’s residence to the adoption of Ojukwu as the Presidential candidate to the great revolution that led to the pulling down of the gate of the Owerri Stadium as Ezekiel Izuogu campaign kicked off, to the tsunami that swept successfully through the orient, but viciously crushed by regional leaders through mindless rigging, two decades ago. Sadly, the founder of the party was soon after blackmailed and sidelined.
Those who took over the party couldn’t expand the frontiers of the party at least within the region, as Tinubu did in the Southwest. They were only interested in maintaining one single Southeast state.
Again, another hurricane agitation erupted in the orient six, seven years ago. Again smart politicians are harnessing the movement to make themselves appear as the face of the renaissance. Again, originators of this second wave renaissance are dutifully blackmailed and sidelined.
Questions are, are these politicos going to stay the course? Are they going to sincerely build on the gains for the greater good of the land? Are they going to jump ship midway? Will they be humble enough to carry every one along? Harnessing the anger in the land for political gain is one thing, not disappointing the excited youngsters, another thing.
The scheme to cleverly connect the regional anger to the general frustration all over the land, is a brilliant move. But the fundamental question is: Will the dream to rebuild the land bear fruit under the current unitary structure? Do the current drivers have the courage, clout and sagacity to restructure the country?
And will the conservative forces in the land fold their hands and allow a vote count that will remove the straw from their mouths. Will primordial sentiments such as ethnic considerations and religious bigotry evaporate from the body polity in 2023 polls.
There are certainly very many hard facts lost on our excited youngsters. But we must encourage them even as we pray the PVC revolution bears positive fruits.
If they are shocked and weep profusely in February, eight months away, we’ll gently welcome them to the reality club. And kindly explain to them that the heist was possible because the unkind unitary structure enables it.
And that the first thing in salvaging the country should be: to reconstruct the polity back to true federalism and devolution of powers.
These hard facts lost on many, both exploiters and the exploited, will be laid bare for all to see in less than eight months. We hope and pray for peace.
— Evangelist Elliot Ugochukwu-Uko is the
Founder: Igbo Youth Movement IYM
Secretary: Eastern Consultative Assembly ECA