THERE is a story of an old man from Burma whose
lovely young daughter married a handsome student.
The old man was worried about his daughter’s
future with such an impractical husband. He felt his
son in-law had no sense of how to make his living
in this world. The young man was an alchemist. He
was certain that if he studied long and hard enough,
he would find the secret of turning base material
into gold. The old man knew better and finally he
thought of a way to address the problem.
One day he invited his son in-law to his home.
As soon as his guest arrived, he made a show
of carefully locking the doors and closing all the
windows. Then he said, “I understand you are an
alchemist” “Yes, I am” his son in-law answered. “ I
am too” said the old man. “And I have found the
secret you are looking for.” In confidential tone he
went on to say: “on the bottom of the banana leaf is a
fine silvery powder. But in other to get this powder,
you must first have banana leaves. You have to scrap
off the powder until you get five pounds. It takes
a long time to gather even an ounce, yet you must
have five pounds before you can turn base material
into gold.”
The young man couldn’t wait to get started. He
went off to plant banana trees, and as they grew,
he very carefully scraped off the silver dust from
the bottom of the leaves. Many years later he came
with his wife to visit his father in law. “I’ve got five
pounds of the silver dust,” he announced. “Very good,” the old man said. “But what did you do with
the bananas?” “I sold them so we could live. I sold
them all these years, used the money wisely, and
managed to acquire this bag full of gold’’ the young
man answered putting a bag on the table. The old
man smiled saying, “ You see, you’ve turned base
elements into gold”
Imo people today are like the young alchemist.
Chief Rochas Okorocha , the governor of the state
is planning to rule Imo for a third term. He is
plotting to install his son-in-law as his successor in
2019. Imolites wants to stop him. They have started
shouting ‘oma mme n’ Imo’. They want to make
the big leap but like the young alchemist, they don’t
know how. So far, no plan is on ground that can
stop the third term plot. Unless someone like the
old man comes to help them back into balance, then
they may be wasting their time with the oma mme
chant. Okorocha has wrapped the entire state up,
confidently put it away in one of the folds of his
wrapper and retired to an oxygen bed for a long
sleep. Honestly if things continue this way then
“omechala tinye jara”
Who will be the man, the God –sent that will help
to deliver Imo from this one man empire? Imo State,
a beautiful state blessed with fertile and productive
landscape no doubt is now “in chains. The state
today is Okorocha only. It is a popular allegation
that if you are not a member of the governor’s
family you won’t get a job, contract or appointment
in the state. Over 80% of Imolites at the grassroot
are suffering. The teachers are suffering. The civil
servants are suffering. Business men are suffering.
Even the traders are suffering. What we have in
Imo is the more you look the less you see.
The old man from Burma in the story delivered
the young alchemist. Sometimes a single act by a
God-sent individual at a propitious moment could
change the fortunes of a nation or state. This was
precisely the case when the dreaded disease of
Ebola found its way into Nigeria. It is on record
and has been widely acknowledged that the swift
and accurate diagnosis of the index patient by Dr
Stella Ameyo Adadevoh and her firm decision to
hold him in the hospital against his will contributed
to the early containment of the disease. Nigeria
had never had an Ebola case before so it was an
impressive piece of diagnostic work that was a
testament to her competence , dedication to duty
and powerful intuition. From the devastating
losses that Ebola caused to the lives and economy of
some other West African countries it was clear that
Nigeria was indeed very fortunate to have escaped
a similar fate. Dr Adadevoh who paid the ultimate
sacrifice by putting herself at risk for her country is
acknowledged to have been God-sent by Nigerians
and has been widely accorded heroine status.
Where is Senator Hope Uzodinma? Where
is Senator Samuel Anyanwu? Where is Rt
Hon Goodluck Nanah Opiah ? Where is
Hon Onwubuaria Obinna? Where are other
honourable members of the national assembly like
Ezenwa Onyewuchi, Jones Onyereri, Nwawuba
Henry, Bede Eke and even Raphael Igbokwe.
Who among them will be the divine agent? Who
among them will contemplate on the spiritual role of humans in creation and be divine agent for the
total liberation of Imo state? This concurs with the
inspirational admonition in the Holy Bible which
says “you are the light of the world. A city located
on a hill can’t be hidden. People don’t light a lamp
and put it under a basket but on a lamp stand and
it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same
way let your light shine before people in such a way
that they will see your good actions and glorify the
Lord in Heaven”
The fortunes of medieval France was turned
around by a mere teenage girl born around 1412,
named Jeanne d’Arc (Joan of Arc). She believed that
God had chosen her to lead France to victory in
its long running war with England and Burgundy.
With no military training, Joan convinced the
embattled crown prince Charles of Valois to allow
her to lead a French army to the besieged city of
Orléans. She achieved a momentous victory over
the English and their French allies, the Burgundians.
The plans to deliver Imo should start
immediately, for now nothing is on ground. Yes,
now is the right time to draw the map. We need to
look back and reflect on our journey as a State. It has
not always been like this. Imo started off on a very
promising note; our state held so much hope. Since
2011, things have gone so bad. We know where the
rain began to drench us. We only need to do the
simplest thing: re-strategize and trace our way out
of the bush