The Peace Overture in Anambra

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Oliver Okpala

The recent amiable encounter between the Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano and the state’s former Governor Peter Obi during the burial ceremony of a former Principal of Christ the King College (C.K.C), Onitsha, speaks a lot about the statesmanlike disposition of Obiano.

The remains of the former Principal of C.K.C Onitsha, Rev. Fr. NicholasTagbo, a foremost teacher, educationist and theologian, was laid to rest on that occasion.

Both Governor Obiano and ex-governor Peter Obi are by the way, renowned ex-students of C.K.C. Onitsha.

At the funeral obsequies, Obiano seized the opportunity of the encounter to apologise to Mr. Peter Obi “for whatever wrongs he could have done to him, if any at all” by his singular action. Governor Obiano in his action portrayed his good upbringing, strong Christian background, uprightness, piety, strong Christian virtues and unsurpassable leadership skill.

Our political space in the country today, is filled with some politicians who are notorious for their poor public relations, crass insensitivity to the plight of the governed, contrived aloofness and exhibition of empty airs and graces.

Some of our leaders in the recent past have, by their un-political behaviour and comportment, distanced themselves from the people whom they are meant to serve.

This is the bane of our politics today and that is why the political space for moment is suffused with, inefficient and purposeless leaders who are not on the same page with the people.

Many years ago, the late literary guru and legend, Professor Chinua Achebe identified the problem of this nation as squarely that of bad leadership. There is no gain saying the fact that unqualified leaders who regularly mount the high horse cannot appreciate what their constituents need and desire. They will be far from the people just as the people will not be in a position to access them.

This gap will deprive the leaders of the benefit of cross-fertilisation of ideas between the leaders and the people they are leading.

The lesson and morale of Obiano’s gesture to Mr. Obi is that a leader must be humble. A leader must acknowledge mistakes and remedy them. A leader must be able to take stock and forge ahead.
Governor Obiano’s action reveals what has for long been in the public domain to fact that Obiano is a great leader with a large heart. It shows that Obiano is the man truly suited to be a leader as he is not blinded by the pomp and pageantry and other paraphernalia of office.

He is not one who is carried away by the aura, attraction of others.

It has now been shown beyond any shadow of doubt that the Governor has all the qualities and attributes of a leader. Little wonder, then, that in so short a time in office as Governor, Chief Obiano has been able to achieve so much and has radically transformed Anambra State.

The most important ingredient of successful leadership is peace. Peace is pivot for the development of any politics. It is when there is peace that dividends of democracy can be distributed across the state. Peace is indeed the catalyst for development and transformation.

Obiano has demonstrated that he is a peaceful man and that he loves peace. Anambra State can only forge ahead in an atmosphere of peace devoid of spite, blackmail, discrimination, bitterness and spite. All Anambrarians must unite and stand solidly behind the peace-loving governor of the state so that together we can access the land of promise.

By this singular show of courage and absolute commitment to peace, unity and oneness of all, Obiano must be a man with a pure heart, a broad mind and a true Christian. He is the man who should steer the ship of Anambra State to a safe anchor. The olive branch which he has extended to the opposition must be accepted in good faith. Anambra State needs peace to trudge on and to continue to exist. The only way to move the state forward is by a deliberate effort to create peace, unity, and stability in the state. Politicians should sheathe their swords and embrace true peace in Anambra State. This is the surest path to the development of Anambra State.

It is well that the governor as the number one citizen in the state has set the ball rolling. All other leaders should key into this and ensure that politicking in the state is devoid of immorality, political bigotry and bankruptcy.

The political space is large and big enough to accommodate all and sundry. There should be no bitterness in politics. The driving force for politicking in Anambra State should be service and more service nothing less will do.

Anambrarians can only accept leaders who have burning desires to take the state to the next level. Anambra needs leaders who are humble, plain and ready to sacrifice everything, including their ego, to ensure improvement in their welfare.

Obiano fits the bill. He is a great leader who has sacrificed everything to improve the welfare of Ndi Anambra. Anambrarians should stop at nothing to support him for the peace, unity and progress of the state.

.Prince Okpala, a political analyst wrote from Awka