We must not kill our prophet(s)!
Recently, I have read a few posts (write-ups, videos) as well as comments/reactions to posts by some of our people on the social media as regards the characters and performances of some notable Esan sons and daughters who have been opportune to serve in enviable positions in the state and federal levels of government in Nigeria. In my few words, I will try not to sound pejorative because it controverts my views about peaceful coexistence and progressive living.
It is a thing of delight and of course a privilege that I compose this message to our great people of Esanland;
Our dear Enigies and Chiefs in Esanland,
Political and Religious leaders,
Other molders of noble opinions in our great land of the Rising Sun,
Big brothers and big sisters, peers, and young ones,
It is unfortunate that some unusual spirits have crept into our midst to cause division and denigrate us, but this was not so at the beginning. Esan people have soared high on the compactible wings of unity and under the perfect umbrella of cooperation for decades. We excelled and grew from a little spot to dominate in the state and the entire country; exemplifying a rare dominance of a minority over a visible majority. A friend from one of the western states in the country once asked me with all curiosity “Jimmy, what is the secret behind the popularity of the Esan People?” He added “I learnt that Anthony Enahoro was an Esan man, how did he get to the level of deciding Nationhood with people from major tribes and the British as early as 1950s?” You don’t expect me to know the exact answer to those questions, do you? I only knew it within me that I too have always wondered about the same subject. We may not have the logical precisions to explain the source of our advantages as a tribe but reflecting our minds on what we could have achieved if it were completely based on our ability and plans would clearly open our eyes to how favoured we are by the maker of lives and all things. A very good friend by name Osazee has never failed to repeat his question to me, “Jimmy, How did Chief Tony Anenih start becoming the national chairman of political parties, I wonder how as at 1981, he was already State chairman of the National Party of Nigeria and later became National Chairman of the Social Democratic Party and delivered Chief M.K.O Abiola” he would ask “Didn’t they know that he was from minority state?” We produced a foremost Nationalist who moved the motion for the Nigerian Independence (Late Chief Anthony Eromosele Enahoro), we produced a vice president (Late Augustus Akhabue Aikhomu), we produced the first ever Professor-Governor of the defunct Bendel state (now Edo and Delta), we produced a unique political leader whose efforts in stabilizing the political atmosphere were unparalleled (Late Chief Tony Akhakon Anenih), we have produced the most dynamic and best performing Minister of Works in the History of Nigeria (Mike O. Onolenmhemhen, you may do your findings outside Nazareth), of course we can’t mention all, but wishing that they continue to soar high and make Esan people proud, while praying that the souls of those that have departed continue to rest in peace, Amen !
Now that these fathers have gone for their utmost rewards, what is next? Shall we now scatter ourselves like the chicks without mother hens? Certainly No!
The Ugly Character We Must Collectively Erase from Among Us
The “Ogbuwajiole” character is fast rising within us and it is visibly able to stand in our way to collective success, growth and also in our way back to dominance both in the state and in the nation at large. We must take pride in what a fellow Esan man/woman does, we must defend our own sons and daughters and leave the dirty pants to be washed inside the family room. This is what others do. We may establish forums or avenues through which we can relate with our sons in public offices and send our suggestions instead of the public insults we are gradually resorting to. The danger of continuing with this usual trend is that we may never have our persons credible enough to attain big positions, and if we don’t have, the ugly scenario is that we become nobody in our own state and nation. Yes! The question; Does it matter if we have people in offices, when some of our people held big offices and didn’t even answer a single call? O’yes! It still does matter, while will factor our mediums to ensure our persons in government do the right thing, the feeling of having a fellow Esan man in an exalted office could sometimes earn you the respect and dignity you ever needed. Maybe we need to ask ourselves a question, now that we are struggling for a chance to produce an Esan-Governor, if we blackmail all our illustrious sons and daughters and destroy their reputations to the whole state, who do we present when the opportunity comes? We must rise to protect our big brothers and sisters irrespective of the part of Esan, whether from Ekpoma, Uromi-Uzea, Irrua, Ubiaja, Ugboha, Iruekpen etc. All that matters now is that we must make the sacrifice to speak in one voice, to regain relevance. For 8 years now, no minister is from Esanland and even in next regime, we don’t know. We are aware of people from other districts in the state who have started lobbying the frontline presidential candidates. If we destroy our own big names, who will stand to fight those battles for Esan people The use of Social media to rubbish fellow Esan sons/daughters these days is unfair and a style of an Ogbuwajiole. Let us learn to display love and affection within ourselves and project Esan in an enviable manner to the world. We can return to those days when people from other aspects of the state were threatened by our unity and unanimity of approaching issues that concern us. Politics can not destroy us. If we have a reason to prefer one over the other, especially during elections, fine! But we should at least protect the image of the other; he might just be the only option for another position tomorrow, don’t forget! Big names are our strong holds. They are our advantages, if a Bini man tells me how Mike Onolemhemhen didn’t build Benin-Auchi road as a Minister, I will show him Ore-Bini-Five Junction-Dawson, I will show him Aduwawa-Eyaen-Egba, if he asks me about Esan Ministers, I will show him how Chief Tony Anenih as minister of works when the Benin By-pass was built, let them ask me of Esan man as a Governor, I will tell him how Prof. Ambrose Alli built 600 fresh secondary schools, College of Education and AAU, with free education, but these people may not have been perfect, but we must use their best outings to project Esan people. If we destroy our own before outsiders, we then cannot be trusted by the same outsiders. There are some of our big brothers, who have the capacity to struggle for governorship ticket, let us not make the mistake of presenting their weaknesses to the public now, because the same blackmails may hunt all of us the Esans in 2024. So, as elections are few days away, let’s educate our followers that we all have a duty to protect our brothers/sisters who though are supporting a different candidate or in opposition party.
Who ever emerges the Senator Representing Edo Central Senatorial District should please see to it that the Federal Government immortalizes Late Chief Anthony Eromosele Enahoro, preferably with any next denomination of the Nigerian Naira. He is the only nationalist of his class left without such an honour
Written by Jimmy Osejiele Okoinemen firstname.lastname@example.org,
May God bless Esanland!
May God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria