Posted by News Express | 30 July 2016 | 2,079 times
You know the fast lane: the extreme corner of the road where drivers throw caution to the wind and challenge the speedometre of their automobiles. The fast lane, beyond the expressway, is also a metaphor of action and behaviour. It has transformed into a social construct, with meanings that signify a man and a woman in a hurry, and in desperation. Uche Ogah, President of Masters Energy Group and the protagonist in the failed Abia ‘civilian coup’, has suddenly thrown himself into the fast lane. I doubt if he will come out without regrets.
The fast lane, precisely, is a stereotype that conjures negative imageries. Therefore, it is hardly a compliment for one to be described to be on the fast lane. An unassuming gentleman, Ogah was never known for the fast lane. Save for some criminal charges bordering on fraud and forgery in Lagos Law Courts, which have dented an immaculate reputation of the soft-spoken gentleman of the oil-wealth fame, Ogah has never been identified or associated with the fast lane of life. Until two weeks ago, his reputation spoke of a man who carried himself with so much respectability.
For instance, after he lost out in the December 2014 PDP Primary Election, he walked away gently and later made a donation of N5 million to the Okezuo Abia Campaign team. He enjoys a soaring reputation in Abia as a philanthropist. And in his Uturu community, he transformed an otherwise rural clan into a modern estate, with boulevards and landscaping. On one or two occasions when I met Ogah, I fell in love with his calm demeanour and humility, and saw a future leader in him. Given the compatibility of his humanely nature and his wealth, I was convinced he will be able to display the rare attribute of remorse with power - the hallmark of leadership.
But, all these propositions shattered last two weeks when Ogah suddenly jumped unto the fast lane. Why has he suddenly developed a maddening desperation to become governor? Why has he chosen the path of infamy in his pursuit of power? It is very unfortunate to imagine the harm that has been inflicted on Ogah by those who led him on this dangerous path. Those who urged him on this mission have deliberately ruined a very promising political career and damaged a very great reputation that was ahead of this kind gentleman.
There is what the Igbo call aruru-ala. I do not know how to translate it in English and capture the disguised treachery in a seeming goodness. This is the harm that has been inflicted on Ogah by those who led him on this desperate ambition. It will take only a few insightful people to understand and appreciate my drift. Only a precious few with a discerning spirit will look beyond the veil to see the enormity of harm inflicted on Ogah. In a few months time, when the spell of inordinate ambition would have cleared, Ogah would look back to understand how he had been deceived and sabotaged by the people who seemed to mean well to him. In a deep moment of introspection, when the wool had left his eyes and the aphrodisiac evaporates, he will be able to see clearly the harm that has been done to his future political prospect.
Why do I argue thus? I say so because among the top political gladiators in Abia North today, none can match Ogah in terms of goodwill across the state. None can match his general acceptability across board. None can match his wealth, both in cash and in emotional investment. He has not stepped on toes and has no liabilities of political traducers. He is coming to the stage clean and unbridled. And, above all, he has age going for him and belongs to the new dispensation. Thus, at the appointed time when power returns to Abia North, Ogah would have, indisputably been the best and most popular choice.
Ogah would have had friends and followers across the length and breadth of the state. But, today, he has hurt a large segment of the state, a strong homogeneous bloc, the Ukwa-Ngwa, who are having their first shot in power since the creation of the earth. He has also disappointed many good men of conscience from the other parts of the state who believe in equity and social justice. By attempting to distort the Abia Charter of Equity, upon which framework the PDP zoned the governorship slot to Abia South, Ogah has also transgressed against the party. And because justice is of God, he has also transgressed against God and contravened the cosmic law of cause and effect. He has broken a very formidable reputation: a broken skull heels faster than a broken reputation. Indeed, this is the tragedy of the fast lane. It is an underground lifestyle that keeps you perpetually in anxiety and under the prying eyes of the law. And it makes you an unwanted friend to the men of the Intelligence Bureau. Those who succeed flaunt their wealth publicly to the envy and admiration of us all. The unlucky ones remain slammed behind bars and languish for years in jail. They live the later part of their lives in pain and regret. The fast lane, therefore, is not the best of options.
Indeed, it is painful to contemplate the enormity of the aruru-ala meted out to the fine gentleman. He did not think twice and prayerfully too. He did not weigh the options against his future prospect and realise that all he needed was patience. He was so much driven that his ambition became worthier than the blood of Abians that would have been shed on that fateful Thursday, and in the following days. Any action of man that is capable of distorting the order of peace can never be ordained.
Today, I feel for Ogah. I am touched that he is a victim of aruru-ala. I think about how a great reputation can easily be destroyed.
•Adindu, whose photo appears alongside this piece, is President-General of Abia Renaissance Movement.
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