IT is aptly said that the gate to heaven is narrow while that of hell is conspicuously wide and mundanely attractive. So, with each passing day, we get closer to those gates. As we approach the gates, going through either one will largely depend on our activities now and in the future considering the brevity of life. Perhaps it may be ideal to ask a couple of questions to elevate the consciousness of people concerning the legacy they want to leave behind.
In other words, what are we doing today to foster love, peace, unity in our respective communities? Have we chosen to be harbingers of destructive activities hoping that we could eventually avoid the gate of hell? I pose these questions in an attempt to conjure up the conscience of our leaders everywhere, particularly those in the Igbo community in the Dallas metropolitan area, who have stood still and quiet in the face of toxic and destructive campaign that is tearing our organizations apart.
The savage campaign reached its lowest point when it is alleged that a lawsuit is in the offing. That allegation was made public by what Engr Sunday Omenihu referred to as the “Minutes of KingMaker’s Meeting.” Engr Omenihu ([email protected]) wrote, “Ndigbo: Wow!!! At the conclusion of the Kingmaker’s meeting on Wednesday, November 1, 2017 in which they were properly briefed that the votes are not there for their candidate to win on November 18, 2017, rather than absorb the news as reality, they resolved to implement their plan B.
They humbly encouraged “Eze Elect” to file restraining order to stop the election on November 18, 2017. Whether the election holds on November 18, 2017 or not, election will happen between November 18, 2017 and December 31, 2017. Ndigbo will respond adequately to any challenges to 2017 election and no wishful thinking or empty treat will change the outcome of the election.”
Interestingly, the warped campaign for who will succeed Chief Festus Okonkwo as the president of Igbo Community Association of Nigerians (ICAN) in Dallas-Fort Worth area, Texas has stirred up unbridled passion in a community that was cohesive a few years ago. Remarkably, the deep chasm in the Igbo community in the United States unwittingly ensnared by the upcoming election on Saturday, November 18, 2017 is widening with incessant incendiary comments perpetuated by a few individuals in the community.
Before discussing some of the electioneering statements, let me introduce the principals. Sir Ogbogu Achonwa, the establishment candidate, is the current vice president of ICAN, DFW. At his corner are the mouthpiece of the campaign, Chief Sunday Nnonyitum Ejesieme, Nze Nasa Madumere, and Chief Festus Okonkwo, the current president. His opponent, Attorney Edwin Nwokocha, a successful legal luminary, is the candidate of change, who was the former assistant legal adviser for World Igbo Congress. At his corner are Atty. Austin Uke, Chief Johnson Ihemeremadu, and Engr. Nnaerika Okonkwo. ICAN-DFW is an affiliate-based organization with 45 parochial organizations with Old Orlu Progressive Associations, Owerri Peoples Association and Idemili Foundation, Inc. each with 12 delegate votes out of a total of 220 delegates.
The two candidates are fine people, but the incendiary campaign by Chief Sunday Nnonyitum Ejesieme on behalf of his candidate literally drowned the positives of a candidate who was at the cusp of being crowned the next president. Sadly, Chief Sunday Nnonyitum Ejesieme opted for a slash-and-burn campaign.
Unfortunately, his claims have attracted unwitting accomplices. Other people are disappointed about his unsavory strategy to stop other Orlu indigenes from running for other positions in order to ensure victory in the quest for the presidency. The risk, therefore, means if he is not successful in delivering the presidency, there will be no Orlu indigene in the ICAN-DFW executive for the first time in many election circles.
That would be unfortunate. The seeming arrays of concomitant consequences could take a very long time to recover from in the Igbo community. Consequently, the loss of the aura of Orlu political hegemony in the United States would make Orlu powerhouse inconsequential in the scheme of things here.
Well, going back to the details of the campaign, regardless of how loud the mantra for change is harped, the hubris within the establishment camp continues to permeate its message. The two camps have capable people disseminating their messages thereby making the election look tight.
Lately, the sentiments for a meaningful change appear to begin to cause a groundswell that may likely widen the difference between the two presidential candidates. Echoing the sentiments is Chief Ben Nnawuihe who said, “This election is all about transparency.
We don’t want things done behind closed doors any more. Ndi-Igbo want transparency and accountability. That is what the fight is for. It is about who between the two candidates will usher in transparency based on credible antecedents.”
Nevertheless, this election has once again brought an ugly part of the community—dirty politics that could devastate a community to light. In fact, nowhere in the United States is more fertile for Igbo disunity than in the Dallas metropolitan area. The Igbo community in Dallas breeds enough discord for itself and others living in other areas. Thus, the architects of Igbo disunity in the United States reside in the Dallas metropolitan area.
The conflict in the World Igbo Congress was caused by people in the Dallas area. I could recall the WIC election in Houston a few years ago where some of these characters could not get their wish. They resorted to a clandestine activity that resulted in a fake election in room 201. The architects of the mischievous activity came from Dallas.