By: Kingsley Onwumere Okoroafor
“For at that time they came to David day by day to help him, until it was a great army, like the army of God.
All these men of war, who could keep ranks, came to Hebrew with a loyal heart, to make David king over all Israel; and all the rest of Israel were of one mind to make David king
And they were there with David three days, eating and drinking, for their brethren had prepared for them. Moreover those who were near to them, from as far away.., were bringing food on donkeys and camels, on mules and oxen. 1 chronicle 12:22,38-40.
To respond to the above question in this discourse is to draw the attention of our Governor elect, Dr. Alex Otti to the categories of persons that contributed to his victory ,the return of democracy in Abia State. And there are four personalities he has come to serve. Yes he won ,the inscription is written on the faces of the Abians as soon as he was decleared , He won overwhelmingly.
The sources of his victory hence, he owe them allegiance. He is now a debtor and I will propose the means of offsetting his debts.
1. God Almighty: Now it happened in the process of time that the king of Egypt died. Then the children of Israel groaned because of the bondage, and they cried out, and their cry came up to God because of the bondage. So, God heard their groaning and God remembered His covenant… and God looked upon the children of Israel and God acknowledged them. Exod. 2:23-24.
Israel spent roughly four hundred and thirty years in Egypt. It was not long after the death of Joseph, that a king came on seat. This king began with oppression. Israel entered into bondage that threatens their existence. Abia state have found herself into bondage since the return to democracy. Many opined that the last 24 years of the lives of people in the state have been that of agony, suffering and bondage. our Governor elect needs to note that like the ancient people of Israel, Abians have been crying and wailing, no deliverer was in sight until God looked unto them, remembered his covenant and acknowledged it. At this point, God alone initiated a plan to prepare a Moses for a rescue mission. When it seemed impossible, God pledged HIMSELF to Moses. If God be with you, who can be against you. It is to the credit of God that this Moses, a servant of his, after series of rejections both from the king’s palace and his brethren, won the battle and rescued Israel. One thing was sure: the only reason that made Moses a winner was simply that God stepped into the scene not necessarily for Moses but for the people who have been laboring under the bondage of Egypt for a long time, crying out their eyes. They worked like an elephant but ate like an ant. Their oppressors milked them dry. Their oppressors will be marrying their beautiful daughters off, while slaughtering their sons in order to destroy their generation. Abia State has had enough, a fair share of bondage yet nobody could help her until God decided to show mercy. Sir note that your victory is an act of God. It can only be God. On the strength of this, your first loyalty MUST be to God and this will be without apology to anyone. Sincerely speaking, nothing would have broken the yoke of the PDP off the neck of Abians except God. Nothing would have destroyed a 24-year old political structure (just like that) except that a divine hand played a role. You cannot afford to wish this away. Our dear incoming Governor, don’t allow anything in between you and God. God is equal to any task. call upon me in the days of trouble and I will answer you, God declared. You mandate is of God and to Him, your first and primary loyalty and service must go to.
2. The Abians: this may look simple but it is an obvious fact. Abians are the next category that accounted for your victory. When you look at our leading scripture above, you will notice that the ONLY reason God came on rescue mission was because the people cried and wailed. They didn’t hide their feeling of frustration. They sought frantically for help from everywhere. When it was not forthcoming, they helplessly looked above to their maker for deliverance. It was their cry in unison that disrupted the peace of ever peaceful God. He needed to look down by Himself to confirm their seriousness. Sir permit me to inform you that Abians have suffered and cried out their eyes over the years. All manner of prayers have been invested to see that things turn around. Even non church (or religious) people have designed fantastic plans, approach, and method to escape what came upon them, yet no remedy was in sight. Civil servants, public servants, artisans, businessmen and women, ordinary people and even religious men have cried for their God to come to their help. They went on strike, no result. CITIZENS carried placard, it made no sense. These facts should not escape your attention sir. You are a product of the cry of the people. You are what God sent as an answer to the people. In answer to Israelites of the Exodus, God sent a MOSES, in answer to the people of Judah in 1chronicles, God sent a David. In answer to Abia citizens and residence in 2023, God sent an ALEX OTTI. Sir, if I have opportunity to speak, I will simply say that this is where your loyalty should lie.
It’s interesting to note this line again: All these men of war, who could keep ranks, came to Hebrew with a loyal heart, to make David king over all Israel; and all the rest of Israel were of one mind to make David king.
This is exactly what happened on 25th March, 2023 during the governorship election and the days that followed. CITIZENS mobilized on their own. People who you may not likely meet in your life came out with a singleness of heart to make ALEX OTTI king (governor). Citizens from different religious persuasions, even from far away states agreed on this one thing: ALEX OTTI must be governor. Sir this is where your loyalty lies and you should have no apology for this. Abians will not afford to lose you to power mongers. We have firm believe that once your commitment to God is settled, the next is the people of Abia who against all odd chose to elect our dear governor.
3. Generals: I decided to baptize this group – Generals, because of heroic roles they played to ensure that you were elected. In this category lies your uncompromising loyal friends who stood by you in thick and thin. They were the type in the story above who came with a loyal heart to make David king. They were with him in difficult times. They gave him water when his throat was dry.
Others in this category include the uncommon courageous FUTO Vice Chancellor – Prof. Nnenna Oti who stood firm in a bid to ensure free, fair and credible electoral process. This is the process that threw up your victory. Such heroic acts can be a reference point. Her uncommon commitment to see that the will of the poor, helpless citizens stood, even on death threat, and as against the Established political superpowers, is not something that any serious-minded person can wish away. Prof Oti has set a record that her counterparts will find difficult to attend. Hers, has become a principle that can encourage anyone who want to do well.
Worthy, the common does not ignore the labour party leadership that provided the platform. Sir we believe that the principles set by these Generals should be acknowledged and encouraged. They made things happened and as well hindered the devil from turning the tide against Abians. Nevertheless, you have to be careful to avoid praise singers, who come with high sounding words.
4. DR ALEX CHIOMA OTTI himself: To have concluded this epistle without mentioning the man of the moment will be like telling the story of THINGS FALL APART without mentioning Okonkwo. It will be like telling the gospel of St John without mentioning Jesus. The reason we had a thunderous uproar when the governorship election that held in Abia State was decleared was simply because a man called Dr. ALEX CHIOMA OTTI contested and won an election. This is the man that broke the jinx. Sir you must be loyal to the values that have distinguished you. I believe these values formed the bases why you have continued to fight for the liberation of Abia State. Now that victory has come, you cannot flag down. It’s also to your account that you won the election. Your unwavering commitment to see a working state event after years of set back and discouragement, is a great treasure to be kept. Sir we are of firm believe that if you pledge your loyalty and commitment to these four entities, these personalities, these ideals and others that God will be revealing to you, it will not be long the story of Abia will be heard in high places.
WHAT THE COOMON MAN EXPECT
One common challenge that majority of Nigerian politicians has is that they generally concentrate on themselves, amassing for themselves what should have been available for others irrespective of societal status. By this, you see our governors and other elected leaders running a government of the elite, by the elite and for the elite. That is where you see a politician who is already an elephant bringing out his heavy leg and pressed in pieces to death a commoner and still think that He is doing him a favour. I had an unforgettable experience some years ago when my office was in Aba (St Michael Road to be precise). A young man drove a posh car and ran into an average man. This man fell and blood was gushing out from his mouth. What shocked me was when the young gorgeous man pulled through his car to a corner, instead of rushing to attend to his victim, he checked his car if any damage, went to meet some of his friends in a corner there and then started gisting as if nothing happened while the elderly man was dying in the pull of his own blood. I made a little enquiry; I was told that the young man is one of the big sellers (or perhaps importers) of Cell phones while the elderly man was contracted to sweep the business environment. Unfortunately, he seemed not to have any known relatives. This is a general experience of the helpless citizens in Abia and Nigeria. People are not held accountable for their actions.
Our governor, please reduce the oppression. Let our lives count.
The common man may not understand statistical figures when it is been read on TV screens, however, once he can travel from Azikiwe to Ariaria through Faulks road without pulling up his trousers or pulling off his shoes during raining season, he believes that Government is working.
I was once a teacher from the late 90s before moving on in life for higher callings. To be fair to Orji Uzor Kalu, the then governor, in the 2000s, teachers’ Leave allowances were paid around September then. Also, December Salaries were paid before 25th. I know those days have gone. Our Dear incoming governor, this is one of the ways the common man believe that the government is working.
Does it not sound incredible that a community like Ozara in Isiukwuato local Government Area have never seen light because nobody has shown interest in connecting them to the national grid. I thought it’s something I could do, started making effort. Alas! It was a project beyond me. OZARA is calling for a light to see like other community in the state even as it is not such a long distance from the state capital to the community.
My little experience shows that Abia State has talented and hardworking young people who are left here and nobody is harnessing them.
Our Dear incoming Governor, God who created you and gave you leadership opportunity will lead you to success. His counsel stands and no man can counter it.