I just read in Thisday newspaper of today an advertorial by some persons claiming to be Kalabaris wherein they insulted our highly respected elder, father and son of Rivers State, Prof. Tam David West for stating his view on the Soku Oil Well dispute between Rivers State and Bayelsa State.
Going through the write-up, I was convinced that these may not true sons of Kalabari. If they are, then certainly, no matter the offense committed by our elder of David-West’s calibre, they need not insult him in the public. David-West’s opinion remains his opinion. When he made the statements, he did not insult anyone.
May I use this opportunity to call on Rivers sons and daughters to be very careful and mindful the way they handle the ongoing politics in Rivers State. This is because when you insult an elder who could be your father, you incur the anger and attendant consequences of God and our ancestors upon yourself. You cannot escape it! Rivers State is yet to appease God and our ancestors on the too much blood of our people that had been shed on our soil since the killing of Obi Wali in 1993, the genocide in Ogoniland by the Nigerian police and military culminating in the hanging of Ken Saro-Wiwa and co. in 1995, the Choba killings in September 1999, the irrational cult-politics induced killings of thousands of Rivers people in Port Harcourt, Okrika, Rumuolumeni, Ogbakiri, Ogbogoro, Ozuoba, Emohua, Odegnu, Rumuekpe, and the political assassinations of Marshal Harry, Dikibo, etc. Have we really come out of the troubles that led to these deaths?
Mind you, in politics there is neither permanent friend nor enemy. Go and ask Obasanjo and Atiku or Shagari and Buhari or Buhari and Babangida or Gowon and Ojukwu. Nigerian politicians are not worth dying for. We must stop worrying ourselves about what they do because whatever happens to us is none of their business. Let the politicians themselves and their families do the fight while we watch. If we don’t, we will be the losers because at the end, they will always settle their selfish and fake scores over some chilled bottles of wine and we will be the losers.
By saying that our dear Prof. is a “nuisance” and a “desperate” man who “lacks honour and integrity” indeed is unKalabari, unIjaw, unRivers and indeed unAfrican. Professor Tam David-West surely does not deserve any of these foul adjectives. Kalabari children respect their elders no matter the extent of fatherly provocation. This insult must stop. You can make your point without insulting an elder. By insulting an elder, you do not deserve any respect from your younger ones, you do not deserve any favour from our ancestors nor from God. I urge these writers to publicly apologize to Prof. Tam David-West.
Rives State needs elders, but if we continue to disrespect the surviving few, God may be very angry with us. A word they say is enough for the wise.