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[Resolved]  Ohakim — Ohakim

GOV. OHAKIM, BEATING A REV. FATHER?

Prof Nathan Uzorma Protus (JP)

The Reformer ([protected])

Every new story is old to an ancient mind. To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child. History is the witness of the times, the torch of truth, the life of memory, the teacher of life, the messenger and harbinger of antiquity and the mirror of reality. In the words of Samuel Johnson, “All history, so far as it is not supported by contemporary evidence, is romance”. In addition, this romance is within the soul personality of an entity.

Humility is pure honesty. Honesty is an attitude of accepting reality as it is. It demands the acceptance of one’s own goodness as simultaneously God’s gift and one’s own responsibility. It demands also the acceptance of one’s limitation as a reality in which God’s goodness can be expressed. Honesty as a truthful acceptance of one’s total dependence on God and one’s personal value does not stop with one’s own personality. It teaches beyond oneself into the community. Honesty appreciates the value and ability of others. It accepts others for their own value and is willing to contribute to the growth and development of those with whom one lives. One of the great writers C. Simmons authenticates, “True honesty takes into account the claims of God as well as those of man, and it renders to God the things that are Gods as well as to man the things that are man’s”.

Justice is the very basis of honesty. Justice renders to each his due, to God as well as human beings. In justice, our honesty makes us deal fairly with friends and foes without causing an imbalance that creates envy, violence and revenge. Without good assurance from the divine of its reward, honesty can easily become next to impossible. The good question of conscience comes again, how can anyone be dishonest with a loved one? How can a leader be dishonest with the led? The love that comes from God embraces everyone, even those who have been dishonest with us. Only God’s love can make us leap the hurdle of human weakness and break the vicious circle of mutual dishonesty. According to Thomas Carlyle, “Make yourself an honest man, and then you may be sure that there is one rascal less in the world.” Horace Greeley concurs to the above thus, “The darkest hour in the history of every young man is when he sits down to study how to get money without honestly earning it.” While Gorge Berkeley concludes, “He who says there is no such thing as an honest man is himself a knave”.

From the foregoing, it is obvious that honesty is the best policy because the only disadvantage of an honest heart is credulity. As a philosopher, I find it very difficult to believe easily, as I regard it a taboo to be respected and honored on the account of my grandfather’s glory and labour even when I don’t deserve it. The great Greek Philosopher Plato confirms the above assertion thus, “Nothing is more disgraceful than for a man who is nothing, to hold himself honored on account of his forefathers; and yet hereditary honors are a noble and splendid treasure to descendants”.

Honesty is a function of character and you know very well that character is not in the mind rather in the will as Mahatma Gandhi would say, “A man of character will make himself worthy of any position he is given”. Jackson Davis subscribes to the above thus, “Truthfulness is a cornerstone of character, and if it is not firmly laid in youth there will ever after be a weak spot in the foundation”. The above assertion which is in profound tandem with the esoteric law of karma empowers man to reap whatever he sows as the great scholar Jeremy Taylor infers, “Sow an act and you reap a habit, sow a habit, and you will reap a character, sow a character, and you reap a destiny”.

The recent development in Imo State between Governor Ohakim’s security details and Rev. Fr. Eustace Okorie has generated mixed reaction from the general public. It will be recalled that on Sunday, 8th August 2010 at about 6:30 pm a Roman Catholic earthly Priest serving in the Owerri Archdiocese was said to have been manhandled by security details of Governor Ikedi Ohakim for allegedly obstructing his convoy. This incident has generated a lot of problems for the Governor. The story is not new and having investigated it as a Catholic Priest (not Roman Catholic please), and as a core critic to Governor Ohakim’s administration, my approach is simple as the State Chief executive must not be held culpable in the quagmire.

The tintinnabulating story is that Chief Ohakim beat up a Roman Catholic priest. Dear reader, this is not true! As a dispassionate ‘observer’ I am aware that the Governor may not have been aware of the incident until the next day. I had a similar experience during Chief Achike Udenwa’s administration. His security details broke the side mirror of my car and consequently embarrassed me for not yielding the right of way to them on time. Chie[censored]denwa was in the convoy yet was not aware of the incident. I am being honest and not exonerating Chief Ohakim for any selfish reason. In the words of Grenville Kleiser, “Wealth, influence, position, power-these are of little value without character. Grandeur of character is moral principle in practice”. We all know how over-zealous our security operatives can be particularly while on duty. Anything would have happened without the knowledge of the Governor. He is not to be blamed.

St.Augustine observes, “Pride changed angels into devils; humility makes men into angels”. James Alberione concludes, “In humility and confidence, we have to go forward without pause. Humility is our left foot, confidence is our right. Let us use both of them to walk properly”. The confidence and humility hitherto demonstrated by Chief Ohakim on this matter has truly turned him to an ‘angel’. Notwithstanding the fact that he heard it the following day being 9th of August 2010; he mobilized his cabinet to pay an apology visit to Arch Bishop Obinna and the Roman Catholic Church. That was a bold step influenced by humility, love, sincerity and responsibility. A step which Christ and the Christian creed applaud! A good life of simplicity which was captured by St. Vincent de Paul thus, “The function of simplicity is to lead as directly to God without heeding human respect or our own interests. It makes us speak frankly and from the heart; it makes us act with sincerity, without hypocrisy and pretence; and finally, it keep us far from every sort of double dealing”. Yes simplicity of character hitherto demonstrated by Ohakim, is the natural result of profound thought. The Governors apology attests to the fact that he is accountable to the actions of anyone working in his government.

After the said apology, there was a high level of collective conspiracy against the Governor, the good people of Imo State were jolted by a paid advertorial in THISDAY Newspaper of Tuesday, August 24, 2010, page 16, where a group ’Catholic Mother Forum’ drew the attention of the president Goodluck Jonathan on the issue already resolved. That the Arch Bishop disassociated the Catholic Church from the combative inclinations of such group is a core demonstration of maturity and love which in the words of Anne Landers is, “the ability to make a decision and stand by it, maturity is dependability, keeping one’s head high in times of crisis”. This is further re-authenticated by Harry Overstreet thus, “The characteristic of mature person is that he affirms life “.

Upon his return from the United States of America an open apology was again demanded from the Governor. This has unalloyedly rendered to the entire Christian world on 4th of September 2010 which is a moral justification for his responsibility. The question is, should Governor Ohakim be kept busy apologizing to Imo people for this single mistake? Like one Pope would say, “To err is human, to forgive divine”. Mahatma Gandhi enthuses, “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong”. Forgiveness is a way of living. Forgiveness is showing mercy even when the injury has been deliberate. I am aware that the Roman Catholic Church is in the business of forgiving sins like other churches.

The Arch Bishop should implore the clergies to stop castigating the government during their sundry mass. After all, the security detail responsible for the dashed act has been re-assigned to calm frayed nerves. The Governor has hitherto demonstrated the highest level of love in all his apologies. In the words of St. Augustine, “There are many kinds of alms, the giving of which helps to obtain pardon for our sins; but none is greater than that by which we forgive from our heart a sin that someone has committed against us”. Those using this as political weapon should bear in mind that he that cannot forgive others breaks the bridge over which he must pass himself; for every man has need to be forgiven.

Ohakim
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Complaint marked as Resolved Aug 13, 2020
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