By Odimegwu Onwumere
"The task of leadership is not to put greatness into people, but to elicit it, for the greatness is there already,"…….John Buchan.
Showers of tribute are still being disbursed to the late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu who was interred in his ancestral hometown of Nnewi, Anambra State, on the 2nd of March 2012. Nigerians have shown and are still showing that Ojukwu deserves unfailing love, which he even showed magnanimously to Ndigbo when he was alive. His commendable life has shown that it is better for a man to be poor than not to walk his talk; and a rich man who does not walk his talk is invariably also poor.
Ojukwu walked his talk and practiced what was written in the book of Mark 8:35-37. This verse of the bible tells whoever that what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and loses his own soul? Ojukwu was more careful of his conscience than of what he was going to get from the Nigerian state. He could not be bought, even though that some persons might have sold him for their selfish reasons without his knowledge.
It is on the foundation of selflessness that The Sun newspaper should be commended. The Sun has shown that it is not a ferocious wolf in sheep clothing. Rather, many people have been this wolf in the sheep clothing during the pragramme heralding the sending of Ojukwu on his eternal journey. A lot of people showed their quest to wear the Ojukwu’s shoe by bloating their contributions towards the final home call ceremony of the deceased on the radio and newspapers. But The Sun Newspaper has been calm in singing its praise towards its own quota in making sure that Ojukwu was given a befitting burial.
After the befitting burial given to Ojukwu, Thank You messages have been sent out by numerous companies and individual to the people and groups they perceived should be thanked that in their own thinking made sure that Ojukwu was given the befitting burial. But surprisingly, hardly has any thanked The Sun and Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu for their own selfless contributions to this first of its kind epoch funeral.
This laissez-faire with which people treat malaria for typhoid fever in this country when they want to score cheap political gains is not good. This is why everybody must watch out on Matthew 7:14-16, for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. The Sun is prudently compassionate.
Investigation reveals that The Sun newspapers had dedicated over 47 pages in its different editions for the death of Ojukwu, which approximately will cost the firm about N25, 000, 000 (Twenty Five Million naira) going by N500, 000 (Five Hundred Thousand naira) per page, since on 26th November 2011 that Ojukwu gave up the ghost in London. Yet, hardly is The Sun making noise for spending that monstrous sum of money or has anybody made out the time to Thank this unconquerable newspaper in the Nigeria’s news market.
By this involvement to our collective contribution in making sure that Dim Ojukwu was sent home, The Sun and Kalu have proved Augustine of Hippo right when he said that a good conscience is the palace of Christ; the temple of the Holy Ghost; the paradise of delight; the standing Sabbath of the saints. While a Bishop Robert South is telling those who are making political givens out of the Ojukwu’s burial ceremony that all deception in the course of life is indeed nothing else but a lie reduced to practice and falsehood passing from words into things.
As if the book of Ezekiel 22:27-29 had some of these political demagogues at heart, it said: Her prophets whitewash these deeds for them by false visions and lying divinations. They say, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says'-when the LORD has not spoken. This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. Adding, Jeremiah 23:15-17, said that they speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD.
While Nigerians know in earnest those who speak visions from their Lords, some of the people today masquerading as fosters of Ojukwu did not go to his beck and call many times he was financially incapacitated. Kalu was the man who never abandoned Ojukwu when he was alive to writhe in pains. The records are there. Did he not incessantly give him monetary and material gifts of which one of such gifts was a Jeep? Kalu was not only the rich person and politician, but such act of his showed that he had a meek heart and that he’s not a man of questionable character. He is a man who always recognizes that all hands are not equal. As such, poor people should not be discriminated in the lead. What The Sun and Kalu did concerning the wider publicity of Ojukwu’s demise without anyone hearing their trumpet shows how good people can be to their own.
This goodness goes farther. Any fervent reader of Orji Uzor Kalu Leadership Series will agree with this fact that Kalu dedicated over five full page articles to Ojukwu. Some people who have been reading would attest that he is a thrilling and outstanding columnist. He is courageous, daring and vivacious. He is one man who has a stanch conviction in the Igbo course, extending to Nigeria. He is not on a course for tribalism, either.
One observer captured Kalu recently in this language: “Like Ojukwu, you are a realist. Like Ojukwu your solid personal achievements speak for itself. Like Ojukwu, you possess the trademarks of a leader namely Serenity, Courage and Determination. Like Ojukwu, you are currently sacrificing. Unlike your many colleagues who jumped to the senate as a panacea for political relevance, you rather chose to commit your resources for Ndigbo… Like Ojukwu you are an embodiment of the Igbo trinity of adventure, enterprise and of accomplishment.”
A selfless politician, showcasing Igbo people in the best light, people have to put Kalu in their prayers for God to continue to assist him to do more for other people. Thank you, The Sun, for your clandestine, though open contribution to the burial rites of Ojukwu, who said the truth about the bane of leadership in Nigeria over four decades ago. There are so many on this burial ceremony who pretend they are for the stability and progress of Ndigbo, while in actual reality they are for their own belly and their own pocket.
But Kalu and The Sun never benefitted materially directly or indirectly from the course of Ojukwu burial arrangement. They were purely on benevolence, defending the actions of the man who never allowed the further impoverishment of Ndigbo. Keep up the good work, The Sun and Kalu.
Kalu and The Sun will soon take the pinnacle of their rightful place in their careers. Their inputs have shown that there is a difference between a servant and eyeservicer. They did their own thing without minding that there would be plenty money for the politicians, media men and contractors during the committee to harness how Ojukwu would be interred.
Thank You The Sun, for your efforts in reporting about the passage of Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu till today. To Kalu, if Nigeria has many more of his kind, being a brother’s keeper will never be that despairing.
Odimegwu Onwumere writes from Rivers State