- By Eddie Onuzuruike
The entry of Senator T A Orji into partisan politics from his civil service background known for its non-aggressive and non-desperate mentality can well be likened to the Greek odyssey- a situation where the main character survived impossible and unbearable situations and yet triumphed. Issues and non-issues made news then. Some were real and many others were good pieces of fakery. Opponents were like drowning men, crabbing any available straw to be relevant. When they realized the futility of their desperation, it was too late.
Without doubt, their target, Gov Orji was a thorough bred and too strong-willed in taking decisions. He was strict, transparent and played by the rules to the extent that they couldn’t legally fault him. In their desperate thinking, they then invested in other loopholes to incriminate him. Their spin-doctors beamed their lights on his family and relations to grab a foothold. Their confidence was that children and relations of big men and political officeholders will always go astray. They were right in that premise as it is supported in history especially taking inference from the American Whitehouse.
A few examples will suffice. President Jimmy carter, the 39th American President as modest as he was had his younger brother, Billy Carter being caught off guard in many sordid deals and inappropriate behaviors.
One embarrassing situation was his friendship with Moammar Gadhafi, the Libyan Strongman who then had frosty relationship with America at the diplomatic and security levels and for these and more placed on American watch list for championing terrorism in the world.
Billy had negative sobriquets and emboldened these unholy acts through his branded T-shirts with inscriptions like- Ain’t Apologizing, Cast Iron and all. In another circumstance, he was caught on camera urinating on the airport tarmac.
Malik Obama, Obamas estranged Kenyan half Brother and an American citizen too, had an understanding with Trump’s campaign agents and publicly endorsed Donald Trump, a supposed adversary and political opponent. Hugh Rodham, Clinton’s brother in-law was alleged to have collected 400,000 dollars to influence the presidential pardon of a Chinese connection, among other influence peddlings.
Roger Clinton, President Clintons half-brother, a singer and actor who spent a year in prison for cocaine related offences got a hurried state pardon as Clinton was leaving office. Roger, while his brother was in office toured North Korea with his band despite the American stance on the peninsula. Very shocking was the case of Betty Ford, onetime U S First Lady who admitted having alcohol problems and substance Abuse. There are many local examples which may not be palatable for this exercise.
These were circumstances the opponents of Governor T A Orji then schemed to involve our speaker but he was highly disciplined to be caught in such a web, so they manufactured stories and used their powerful rumor mongering organs and channels to make these real like the supermarket and bear parlor stories which never happened.
The Rt Hon Speaker and number three citizen of Abia, owes a lot of apologies to his childhood because he was never a child. By all indications, he was programmed ahead to accomplish great tasks. For instance, instead of jiving all over doing drugs, dancing in exotic nightclubs, awash in expensive champagnes, gambling and engaging in shopping trips abroad, he worked hard on his vision when so many of his mates and notable political sons were exporting women to South Africa and Dubai and all.
He stooped to conquer and in all, he pleaded with his father openly and in secret to allow him to elevate the youths of Abia. When his prayers were answered, what happened in Abia were not covered with bushels but articulated and chronicled at home and abroad. Car gifts became the order of the day, the youths turned to farming and were engaged in the productivity sector, boosting Abia Economy with inflows of Agric loans from the Central Bank and other donors home and abroad.
It could be recalled that as result of these, the former Central Bank Governor, Mr Sanusi and the current President of the African Development Bank, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina were constant guests to Abia.
The youths of Abia were not fooled. They knew these and swore to walk the terrible terrain of politics with the Speaker evident in the results of 2015 and 2019 elections. His emergence as the speaker in 2019 saw an amazing and state-of-the-art form of leadership.
These developments were not only admired by Abia youths alone but ensconced ripple effects that blazoned the achievements of the Young Orji spreading far and wide that the Sun Publishing Ltd in their 2020 awards series couldn’t ignore him but chose him for the Public Service Award.
The suitability for this award was buttressed by the whopping number of those who congratulated him in the Nigerian dailies especially the Sun that spawned over 52 advertorials in congratulatory messages.
Notably, Engr Orji doesn’t play games except with his children. He is gifted and a man in a hurry to change the narratives. Instead of being a curse like many children of the rich as typified in the biblical prodigal son, he is a huge source of blessing to his family and Abians at large.
As one philosopher observed, it is not what you do for your children but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them successful human beings
For pessimists and the negative among us, don’t envy because if you do not have it, you don’t have it. Nature and God are experts in equipping people. According to the bible, no man is left without a talent. Search yourself, one day, you will discover yours.
To our parents, encourage your children to aspire. Do not curse them but pray for them showing them the way with good examples. We are not surprised that Senator Orji has promised to quit come 2023, supporting the not-too-young to Run policy all in line with his penchant for moving ahead.
We thank God for his grace in allowing Senator T A Orji to reap the good seeds he has sown as it is rare for some children in Nigeria to brandish such sterling performances when their fathers are still on the political turf.
To the Rt Hon. Speaker, may you continue to be a source of light and point of contact to Abia Youths and beyond. May they snub the sniffing and inhalation of toxic substances. You have achieved so much for our people that those twice you age haven’t been that lucky.
Certainly, it is not by might nor strength but the design of God. Continue in your trademark humility as we pray that his grace continues to abide with you.