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Nigeria’s Unsung Heroes (3): Chief Chuba Okadigbo

Posted by Paul Mamza on 2005/11/14 | Views: 1535 |

Nigeria’s Unsung Heroes (3): Chief Chuba Okadigbo


Intellectualism as a Political Value: The Case of Chief Chuba Okadigbo, Former Senate President

Credit, foresight and quality in values of a political leadership must provide a civilianized maturity and commitment in merit acquisition. Charisma and intellectualism are greater impacting core attributes that bring about public awareness on rights of citizen and emotional attachment to collective responsibilities designed by leadership. Because of information flow and the personality of leadership, spasmodic decline in trust and competence became an object of subjugation.

According to Allison Ayida "A Charismatic leader must fire the imagination of the people and reflect their collective ego with pride". Paul Bell adds that "personality is no substitute for intellect and nor is simplicity. But in a leader, intellect alone is useless without personality and simplicity". When Chuba Okadigbo became the Senate President after the effusions of Enwerem on determining his real name; Evan or Evans Enwerem, many Nigerians were already at relieve of a direction-less Senate - the house of sanctuary in terms of invoking fear of the unwashed, rules for the unfathomable and autonomy of liberties but becoming hunted by inability to create an original word and fearful of it’s personal security due to the uncertainties of exultant shadows.

Chuba had both the intellectual mien and charismatic bull that would make even the American George Washington fame panting. His flamboyance in posture and eloquence in oratory principles depict an emerging colossus in the administration of men, while his intellectual abilities was sending signals for utilization of the nation’s resources that became a festering incident only but a protective lining for disparaging few in the real sense of it.

Recalling the manipulative tendencies of President Obasanjo, Chuba once said: "Sadly, the PDP has been unable to manage victory. The party has burst at the seams and has been in persistent trouble, no thanks to self-inflicted wounds. The problem began in June 1999, when President Olusegun Obasanjo of the PDP induced Senators in the opposition parties, namely, the All Peoples Party (APP) and the Alliance for Democracy (AD) to defeat the PDP candidate for the post of Senate President in the person of Dr. Chuba Okadigbo.

Thereafter, discord between the executive and legislative arms of government began. Next, Obasanjo engineered the ouster of the PDP National Chairman, Chief Solomon Lar, whom he replaced with Chief Barnabas Gemade, whom he again replaced with Chief Audu Ogbeh. Then Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo made it known that he wanted a second term as President. So did all PDP Governors and Local Government Chairmen. The APP and Ad Chief Executives have followed suit.

Now, the Nigerian polity is sick of second term syndrome, a threatening political cancer. Sadly, I must say that the PDP, which had been a big party of the people, is fast becoming a problem party for Obasanjo and his associates, which is run by his sycophantic cronies. They now lie prostrate in the trauma wing of a political hospital. Some good persons have been trying to nurse the PDP back to good health. But Obasanjo and his conies are unwilling to let go, due to their ‘second term’ mania. So, what next? We all know that nothing succeeds like failure. What may happen next can be anybody’s guess. Bearing in mind the fact that success has many friends whereas failure is an orphan". The prediction of Chuba became a reality and Obasanjo/PDP had to force its way for victory. Chuba had the brains to see the occurring danger switching over to the opposition, ANPP as a Vice-Presidential candidate until he met his untimely death at a rally by his party to challenge the 2003 elections in Kano. Politics is about convincing and concurring, about lavish attack at a vainglorious signpost of iniquities through a vacillation mystique-ness, it is about shifting grounds of idea in a brickwork of interplays in dynamism in order to capture a consummate brigade working together for a rational change, it is about parting ways with diabolism miasma which is antithetical to collective will and interest, it is about fabulous explanations with strong ideas, it is about creating high hopes where there is no hope, it is all about man’s management and management of man’s life for a better, it is the ultimate route to secure man’s freedom and liberties, it is infact the intrinsic collection of man’s activities to determine his fate amidst mixed challenges of improvement and dis-improvement. Politics is about creating compartmentalization of missive serials of mistrials, mistime and construed misdemeanors in the cusps of factotum joyride from liberty struggle and patriotic contentions. It is about the ascendancy of knowledgeable course which is the human equivalent of shifting cultivation amidst a distraughtful leadership, it is about rational movement where the flame of passive motion is ignited by figures in the advertisement of despair becomes apparent.Politics is about synthesis of congent ideas on the template of rogued and antiquitious consanguinities of ailing leadership model.It is about timely going without being gone and yet a gone way without actually going , the former is the demonstration of skills in dismantling bad situations and latter is the exhibition of an art of changing hands in search of an abode in a camp of tenancity. That is the politics that Chuba Okadigbo lived and died for. But one politics that Chuba missed in his lifetime is that of understanding and succumbing to the mindset of the renegade political class that grows with corruptive tendencies, propagation of lies even at the sanctum of sacred institutions and deliberate adoption of arbitrariness in an emergent miniscule looming of performance. He was pre-occupied with securing and maintaining the sacredness of legislative independence and preaching the gospel of liberal democracy as a model for civility, which is in non-conformity with normal norms. He was roundly and squarely defeated at the post of on alter of fame dazzle because fame in Nigeria is the crudity of might showing and the namby-pamby demonstration of brutal brute-ness. It is their gain and his figurative loss was metaphorical in a sense, Chuba’s ‘loss’ as exemplified by the present triumph of evil over good is ironically the gain of all discerning minds and civilized libertines, that is why Chuba’s days are synonymous with days of the rising hope and stars in a darkroom of a dark nation at a crucial time of determination, - portrayed and symbolized by Chuba himself. Chuba and Alhaji Umar Ghali Na’aba were the pugilistic pukka in that conquering times but subjugated by a missing troop, a troop that will prefer to be on the side of retreat, and a retreat reinforced by settlement and resettlement.

Even after the show of infamy by some of his colleagues, Chuba showed back an unequivocal equanimity as a sense of maturity believing that whoever that runs away from a battle one day must come back to fight it some other day if the word survival exist. Chuba’s initial elixir spirits though not realized during his lifetime though still a sad story of elegiac narration had set a building block for some other day emancipation struggle, had offered some sense of change. It is a challenging task ahead of the current democracy’s glittering façade – a system that exterminate itself for the survival of one-man in a country of about 120 million people- breeding a one-man democracy -an I dey kampecracy version as an importation of Obasanjocracy. Dialogue-ness of the deaf was Chuba’s period as the Senate President, somebody was talking and nobody was listening.

The era when a blind was leading a country of the substantially the blind, calling an one-eye man to rationality table and charity show – a session prompting complete mismatch of democratic ethos and ethics. He turned out to be an exception because behind his appropriate stand was an intellectual and sound exposure to political dynamism with philosophical conception of the psychology of man and his politics with regards to the efficient and effective management of resources. Rules are meant to be observed with diligent earnestness, so was Chuba’s insistence as a leader. Honour is the fulcrum of purposeful leadership and he had exhibited it. Eloquence is a source of illuminating preparations and he had displayed it. Intellectualism is not a virtue for a fool and he had shown the basis with evident capabilities and abilities. The appropriateness and earnestness of Chuba is a panacea of the dereliction of duty by a psychotic dictator reshaping the ambiguities of a cruel dilemma, which is reminiscent of sadistic restrain for the world to see.

When Chuba was nominated as a Vice-Presidential candidate to General Muhammadu Buhari at the ANPP convention where aspiring Igbo candidates had boycotted and protested for an ideological limitations in the accommodation of full responsibilities of corporate participation, Chuba was reminding the Igbo race of ‘simple arithmetic of politics’.However,Chuba did not say that politics is simple arithmetics, for one needs a study of simple arithmetic of politics to understand politics but obviously politics is not simple arithmetics It is not that the Igbos are not a triumphant coalition as erroneously speculated in some quarters, infact the Igbos are the most promising in approximating generic initiatives but brokers in the Igbo political legion had adopted a kind of a mysterious logic of precise acknowledgements. The Igbo political class after the civil was are already staring at an undefined and unclear tactics as a sorry pass to put them off-track through some deliberate metastasizing rancour. They can be excused on this very note. After all, politics is all about survival and survival in the game must invite relevance. The Igbo race must be relevant in the scheme of politics to survive. Every politician’s dream in the game is highpoints and prominent superiority in contest and hence, it is only a political neophyte that would dismiss Igbo race’s rights as inferior to others. But Chuba’s position was not aimed at despising the race, which he belonged to, rather he was shopping for rational reasoning in the possibilities of values of peculiarities, time and circumstances which was already rushing for unraveling. A political gladiator’s extra skill is the acknowledgement of divisions and eulogies in strategic positioning even within cuts of geriatric ambitions with precise mirrored reality at a precocious stage. That was exactly Okadigbo’s professions at the convention and after the session. There’s no permanence in politics and its magical possibilities in contraries and contradictions of events, it is only when you follow the paths with vigour and rigours of intriguing version that the good cause will present you as an undisputable leader – this time evolving. Chuba was very mindful of this fact in his summarily authentication of Igbo representation in ANPP No matter what anyone would say, Chuba represented the emergent miracle in the continuing capacity for the Igbo race to establish a golden moment in profound identification of leadership in contemporary Nigeria, thereby engineering a revolutionary optimism. Success in whatever field goes with intellectual magic in maximizing opportunities and fortunes even in historic ironies of disadvantages and massive impediments as genocidal climes, for climes are no respecter of person’s fortunes. It is this deep ingenuity of glorious renaissance, which Chuba portrayed that one would rate as defining moment in his lifetime. But just like any fate of a man, Chuba’s biography and history in politics cannot be complete if one did not capture the sharp battles of two; the raid at his house under an official supervision of might in order to snatch the mace-being his noble authority embrace-when he was to be forcibly stripped of his position as a Senate President and his crippling knocking by police security teargas at a political rally in Kano - flapping his ill-health to terminal death. Both events are emblematic of a fall; a fall from power and a fall from life.

However, Chuba’s substantial part of life in politics had been accomplishing and also sending signals to upcoming generations that Nigeria’s political system is still run in an epoch of hostage – taking and bondage. It is the reality Nigerians had to contend with for now, hoping that Chuba’s dreams will one day come true. Born on 17th, December, 1941, Chuba Okadigbo died at the age 61. He attended Trade Economics Blankenburg College of Technology (Germany) in 1963, Master der Philosophie Karl Marx Universitaet,, Liepzig (Germany) 1967, He had Masters of Arts in Philosophy, the Catholic University of America, Washington D.C. (U.S.A), 1972 Post-doctoral Fellow of Politics, the Catholic University of America, Washington D.C. (U.S.A), 1973-1975. He was a Lecturer in Philosophy, University of Nigeria (UNN) Nsukka, 1975-78 and Academic Visitor and Research Scholar (visiting professor), London School of Economics and Political Science (U.K), 1984 – 1987. At the Nigeria Political terrain he was Elected member, constituent Assembly, 1977 – 1978, Deputy National Secretary, National Party of Nigeria (NPN), 1978- 1979, Special Adviser on Political Affairs to the President, 1979-1983 Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1992 – 1993, Chairman, Senate Foreign Affairs Committee 1992 – 1993, Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), National Publicity Committee, 1998-1999, Re-elected as a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, Chairman, Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, 1999, President of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999-2000, Chairman Senate Committee on riots, crises and conflicts, 2001-2003, He was honoured with the National order of the republic of Guinea, 1981. He has written many books and articles in National Dailies and International Journals/dailies.

Amongst the books written by Chuba were; on Hegel’s Treatment of Egypt: the middle – point between nature and spirit (1973), Time for Change (1973), The Mission of the NPN (1978), Power and Leadership in Nigeria (1985), Consciencism in African Political Philosophy (1979), Transition to Transition: A Senate Profile (1987) and Logic for Black Undergraduates. This is Chuba, the philosopher, writer, orator, scholar and a politician of repute not honoured in Nigeria. I present to you Dr. (Chief) William Malachy Chinwuba Okadigbo, the Oyi of Oyi – a living phenomenon as a study of political lexicon in the political development of Nigeria.

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