By Olaniyi Olanike
The politics in Abia State is taking different dimensions by the day. Political demagogues and those in the corridors of power are doing everything, not only to criticize dissenters, but, also, to pummel their reputations.
One man that these gangsters called media aides of the government in Abia State have taken as a hobby to slur, because of his truthful standing and uprightness in highlighting what the government in the state has failed to do, is Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu. The other day, they circulated their misleading treatise that the enigma known as Kalu was only criticizing the government in his home state of Abia for the sake of popularity.
I could not but laugh out tears from my eyes. I wondered which popularity they thought that Kalu was looking for when at the age of 19 he was already a millionaire and had headed many appointments before he was 27. Before 40, he had accomplished virtually everything that a man ought to accomplish on the mother earth.
I am still wondering which popularity they thought Kalu was looking for, when he is even popular than the sitting governor in Abia State: a governor that would not want to hear the voice of opposition political parties in the state.
The governor of Abia State would prefer to refer to them as defeated punch of old politicians. The Abia State government would also go to as far as describing politicians as moribund and ghost politicians, simple because they told truth to power.
It always seemed so ridiculous to me, that the government in Abia State would always take on Kalu in order to be popular, because Kalu has a name. But my surprise is that the government always picks its issues based on colour instead of taste.
No human being can drag Kalu down, except he permits to drag himself down. Kalu is one man who has self and the public. I remembered Kalu while reading one William S. Burroughs sometime ago. Burroughs tells us of the courage and zest some persons could have in the world.
Burroughs says, “I am not one of those weak-spirited, sappy Americans who want to be liked by all the people around them. I don’t care if people hate my guts; I assume most of them do. The important question is whether they are in a position to do anything about it. My affections, being concentrated over a few people, are not spread all over Hell in a vile attempt to placate sulky, worthless shits.”
Perhaps, the government in Abia State is tackling Kalu because when you have only one fearless and sane person in a city, those who are insane look at him or her like the only insane person. The government in Abia State is today looking at Kalu as the only insane person in a state: where those who ought to speak out have compromised or cowed to chicken out.
I must say that between Kalu and the government in Abia State is like a book divided into two ranges: the book of the hours, and the book of all Time. Kalu is like the book of all Time, whereas the other is like the book of the hours.
Kalu remains a man of the people and can never look for popularity, because there are many deeds of his that have made him popular to the people of Nigeria and across the world. He does not desire to be famous, because he has numerous people he has affected their lives positively out there desirous to take his name to the West End if that was what the government in Umuahia meant by that slight, that Kalu was looking for popularity by telling truth to the saddle in Umuahia.
The government at Umuahia should stop making stupidity its companion and should stop growing tired and restless. Even though that the world over has known that it is government that is conceited and excels in matters which are unimportant, hence it has bitter bile in saying things that are not printable against the personality of Kalu. This government should remain shy since it cannot alleviate, but, alienate, the wellbeing of the Abia populace.
Olaniyi Olanike lives in Umuahia.