Fred Ezeh, Abuja The Archbishop of Benin City Catholic diocese, Most Rev. Augustine Obiora Akabueze, has been elected the new President of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of Nigeria (CBCN). Also, the Bishop of Umuahia Catholic diocese, Most Rev. Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji, emerged the Vice president of the conference, while the Bishop of Ikot-Ekpene diocese, Most…
“People of the Eastern Nigeria, I am Dr. Chike Obi, Okunagba Ozala, Leader and Secretary-General of the Dynamic Party – the workers’ and common people’s party. I greet you all…. The NCNC suffers from squander mania and from its consequences, namely inefficiency, dishonesty, hooliganism, heartless exploitations of common people, greed, block-headedness, planlessness, stupidity, avarice, selfishness, treachery, etc.”
•Prof. Chike Obi, ENBC Broadcast to the people of Eastern Nigeria, 1961
Prof. Chike Obi was the first mortal without the aid of computers to solve the century old mathematical Fermat’s Last Theorem. By plain brainwork, Prof. Chike Obi, gave scientific proof to the 361-year old mathematical puzzle. Like Olaudah Equianno, from Isseke, Chike Obi whose father was from Onitsha and mother from Umuezei Asaba, was multi hyphenated; a political activist, Socratic teacher, Human Rights crusader, scientific artificer, an illustrious citizen of the world.
Elsewhere, the Nigerian Parliament was in full session in Lagos that Monday morning, April 4, 1960, when the gavel sounded inviting Prof. Chike Obi to address the Parliament. He had entered the House on the platform of the NCNC after winning a bye-election held in Onitsha in March to fill the vacant position created by Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe’s appointment as President of the Nigerian Senate.
The maiden speech turned out to be a bombshell. He accused the Federal Government of squander mania, and called on the Prime Minister to dismiss forthwith three of his Ministers – Chief Festus Okotie-Eboh (Finance), Alhaji Inua Wada (Works and Survey) and Dr. M.A. Majekodunmi (Minister of State for the Armed Forces). As a further cure of Nigeria’s ills, the NCNC legislator asked the Prime Minister to do a number of things:
•Cut the salaries of all his Ministers and legislators;
•Appoint a judicial inquiry into the activities of all Ministers;
•Explain the issue of Lombard (Nigeria) Limited and the United Dominion Trust Company which were invited to take over car advances to legislators and civil servants;
•Recover Nigeria’s N439 million invested in gilt-edged securities overseas.
He predicted that from October 1960, certain forces will be unleashed to the consternation and confusion of the International money lenders and dupes…. “Young men will take over the running of the father land as the day follows the night; we repudiate all unjust treaties. Young men who will preserve with their blood if need be the freedom that has being dearly won for us, long live the father land!”
Before Chike Obi, there was in 1952 an election to the House through an Electorate College to elect members for Eastern Nigeria. The Awka Division was to elect three members and the Awka District Union invited the following, Prof. Dike, Awka, Osita Agwuna, Enugwu-Uku, M.C. Agwu Aguata, Chief Anyika, Aguata, Ojiakor, Adazi, Amanke Okafor, Awka, Alfred Onyiuke, Nimo and Okechukwu Ikejiani, Agukwu Nri. They were given 15 minutes to address the people at the Court hall, Awka. Osita Agwuna then Deputy Editor to Daily Comet explained to the voters that, that election was as a result of the Zikist movement belief that self-determination was the right of the people. He told the voters that the theme of his speech, The Call for Revolution, October 27, 1948, led to his incarceration by the Colonial Masters. The next Speaker Mr. Agwu told the voters that he built the New Bethel College at Onitsha, but set up “study by credit” for any student from Awka District who got admitted but could not pay school fees. He added, “Jonathan Okeke, from Agukwu, ojelu akwukwo na New Bethel nuzo credit. Tata obu chif clerk na Warri. (Jonathan Okeke is from Agukwu. He studied in New Bethel by credit. Today, he is chief clerk in Warri.”) He received the biggest applause when he detailed more names of Awka indigent students that benefitted from his credit scheme.
The next candidate to address the Electoral College was Anyika from Aguata. He began by saying that he was a ruler in his area and whether the voters voted him or not, he would continue to be a ruler. He said that “the first person has talked about Zik as if he was the only follower…. we are all followers of Zik.” He then exploded, “if Zik comes to Aguata today, whose house will he go to first?” The Electoral College voters thundered in unison, “Yours!”
The next Speaker was Prof. Kenneth Dike, the first black Vice Chancellor, University of Ibadan. He spoke about the need for Awka District to send candidates to the House who would understand how to move the country forward towards independence. Next was Okechukwu Ikejiani, who told the voters that on his return in 1948, he bestowed to Awka District, two scholarships from two Universities in the United State of America. Those scholarships went to Drs. Otue and Okpala. Amanke Okafor and Ojiakor spoke next. Then came Chief Alfred Onyiuke, who told the voters that when he finished from Kings College, he came to live at home and joined the Local Government to build roads, post offices, etc. He asked the voters to look outside and see the cars of the other candidates, “without us, these cars would not be able to reach their villages.” After his speech, it was over. Onyiuke, Chief Anyika and M.C. Agwu of the New Bethel College were elected based on what they had done for their community.
To the wire and few more days to the end, we beckon to the UN Diplomat, the PDP gubernatorial Candidate, Henry Obaze, the Candidate we believe has the intellectual ascendancy, urbanity, to wrestle the entire state politics from the perennial stranglehold of the byzantine buccaneers. Down to the wire, with so much cosmopolitan gifts, Mr. Obaze is yet to free himself from the debilitating presence of Peter Obi, Ekwueme and the PDP morbid politics. Why is the Candidate engaging in the type of politics that has over the years brought Anambra to the gutter. We expect him by now to draw the lines and demand the end of the deforestation of Anambra State. Anambra State as of now has no more equatorial forests as a result of erosion prone apian roads constructed for the benefit of Governors and unschooled contractors. The peoples’ ignorance of what is development has led to serious uncontrollable debauching of nature’s green forest. Without the forest, erosion takes over the land! What is the Candidate’s view on the waste and pillage of government by the atrocious thousand and one P.A appointments by Governors? Why are our states and more especially Abakaliki appointing house boys into the State Cabinets?
Without a deep Cabinet, the Governor is on his own an asshole in government. What are the UN indices in analyzing the correct health standards for a given community? One Doctor for some 500 citizens! Whatever happens in the end let the UN candidate thrust, signal the end of the Obinnas, the Ubas, the Arthur Ezes, Okonkwos, the Oduahs, the Ekwenifes etc…. Anambra political gladiators who when the future history of the political times of our era would be written, the Chroniclers would put it down as per their contributions; they came into the political firmament carrying bags of gold and desecrated the golden path of our golden political history.