A beautiful woman with bad character is marriageable; an ugly woman with good character is also marriageable - they will both be wives, but an ugly woman with bad character does not live in a husband's house. Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State is an ugly woman with a bad character – incompetent, chronically corrupt and now, through his aides, is threatening to ruthlessly deal with anyone who dares point at his failure. He should have no place in the Igbo geopolitical landscape.
The powerful Igbo proverb, “an old woman is always uneasy when dry bones are mentioned”, encapsulates Governor Ikpeazu’s unease at the mention of unpaid salaries and pension arrears. You don’t need a light to see someone you know intimately at night. Abia citizens do not need a light to see their bad roads or know that Aba is stinking and is one of the dirtiest cities in the world.
Ukpaka is a meal that has a strong odour that attracts flies after it has fermented. Governor Ikpeazu and his aides are like the old woman, who cooks a meal of ukpaka and knows the blind fly. They are worried that the bad odour from the rot in Abia State is attracting the attention of well-meaning citizens. But instead of purging the rot in the Government House, they are taking the aggression to the already impoverished Abia citizens.
Here is Governor Ikpeazu’s threatening message to Abia citizen through his aide: "Look, from today, whether it's about unpaid salaries, bad roads, unpaid pensions, whatever, if you ever write anything about Abia State government, you will disappear to Abuja!"
It is terrifying that the brazenly overzealous aide of Governor Ikpeazu on that recorded call threatened to give the patriotic Abia son what he characterised as 'Mopol' treatment. He said, “If a whole Mopol can be put out, who are you? Does your family have money to bail you?”
The fact that he even reminded the young man how poor he and his family are, was heartless.
When there is a disturbance in the market, the old woman runs to the stall of someone she knows she can beat. Governor Ikpeazu and his aides are like that ugly old woman with bad character. They have seen a small guy they can annihilate and are, thus, anxious for a fight. Shameful.
What are Governor Ikpeazu and his aides teaching Igbo youth that will make future decisions about our democracy? Let the governor and the killer squad that is behind him challenge the demons in the Government House in Umuahia that have prevented them from paying workers and keeping the streets of Aba clean.
Everyone’s true colours show eventually. Governor Ikpeazu’s true colour is clearly showing. His warning is simple; speak up against the corruption and incompetence in Abia State and you will disappear. The governor and his aides smell like the dirt in the streets of Aba, and Igbos, must rise, together and ask Governor Ikpeazu to apologise to the young man his aide was threatening.
The old woman, who provokes a fight but is not pushed to the ground, will provoke a fight another day. Governor Ikpeazu and his aides have just provoked a fight and Igbos should push them to the ground. Governor Ikpeazu is a big mistake for Abia citizens and a terrible example for Igbos.
If you forgive the fox for stealing your chicken, he will take your sheep. If we let Governor Ikpeazu get away with boasting to cause the disappearance of his subject, who is simply asking him to deliver good governance, he will come after the teachers that are asking him to pay common salary. If he gets away with this, he will send pensioners, who he has been starving to their early deaths.
To lead is not to run roughshod over people and the jungle is stronger than the elephant. The citizens of Abia State are the jungle and the elephants in and around the Government House in Umuahia should not be allowed to roughshod the people.
A weaning baby that does not cry aloud will die on its mother's back. Igbos that are under the spell of bad leadership since 1999 should cry out. We should speak up against poor governance or die under the table of these failed leaders. History proves that to encroach on the liberty of one is to threaten the freedom of all. The ugly political actors with bad characters must be confronted.
Let me now remind my Igbo brothers and sisters of one Acholi proverb, which states that old and new millet seeds end up in the same mill. The incompetence, corruption, and impunity in Abuja should, thus, generate the same level of outcry from Igbos as the ones in Awka, Enugu, Abakaliki, Owerri and Umuahia.
What has horns must not be hid in a sack. Let us stop protecting and hiding these embarrassing ugly characters in our backyards. An okra tree does not grow taller than its master. Governors Obiano, Umahi, Ugwuanyi, Okezie and Ihedioha should not be allowed to lord over us with impunity and incompetence. We are their masters.
No one wants to be called fragile. If you are Igbo, and after reading this, you feel that I should stop bashing and exposing Igbo politicians, then you are fragile. You have a low emotional tolerance for discussing the rotten political class in Igbo land that is running amok.
Here is my charge to Igbos: let us take a break from what is going on in Abuja for two years and focus on the rot at our backyard. The vultures, we know would not land at the village in which there is a wise old man. If Igbos will look inwards and apply just 50 per cent of our wisdom to our local politics, the political vultures that have held us hostage for years will have nowhere to land.
Knowledge without wisdom is like water in the sand. If we channel 10 per cent of the energy we dissipate on Tinubu and his Lagos on our governors in the South-East, we will make our states economically viable. If we should stop hallucinating over Rotimi Amaechi and Aisha Buhari for two years, we will force our governors to sit up and deliver good governance across Igbo land.
"Later, later" prevented the toad from growing a tail. The time to stop protecting the incompetence across the Igbo states is now. May the child not die, may the child not die: let it die, and let's see if the day will not break. We are stronger, together.
Unspoken, blame the mouth; unheard, blame the ear. Together, we can.
You can email Churchill at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @churchillnnobi