Joe-Martins Uzodike’s confetti of lies, malice and cheap propaganda that he circulated on social media on Tuesday, November 29, 2016 is a tragic disappointment on so many fronts. It fails to deliver on its core mission of bending the minds of readers against its target for obvious reasons. One is that Uzodike offered us a rehash of the same piece he had published in April last year under the plagiarized heading – Obiano: The Face of Wickedness. By the way, someone should have told Uzodike that describing someone as “the face of” something has since lost its freshness after it was used to announce the crisis of identity that toppled the former Speaker of the House of Reps, Alhaji Ibrahim Sanusi Buhari, sixteen years ago. So, if Uzodike wanted to copy, he should at least have copied more intelligently. But I digress.
Now, the other reason that Uzodike’s tirade is a colossal failure is that it failed to offer a new insight into the silent disagreement between Governor Willie Obiano and his predecessor Peter Obi. I had personally hoped that after alluding to the curious N7bn campaign debt allegedly owed Mr. Obi by Governor Obiano on live radio programmes, Uzodike would have the courage to write that assertion down in his pathetic piece. Sadly, that was not the case. So, let’s wait until he musters enough gumption to engage that incubus! In the meantime though, who would have thought that someone who postures in the public as the quintessence of virtue would be demanding such an obscene amount of money from the coffers of the state he ran for eight straight years in a super-healthy economy! We may mull this over, but then again, I digress.
It has to be said though, that it is deeply disappointing to note that the only difference between Uzodike’s current hate piece and the one he wrote in April last year is the allusion to that farcical incident at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu where Uzodike and his colleagues made a despicable attempt to incite the people against Obiano by claiming that he had chartered a private jet belonging to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar for a trip to Abuja. That was a tragic slip caused by an unbridled ill will and desperation to rake up bitterness towards Obiano. But perhaps even more important is the fact that the incident showed how sadistic Obi’s Media Team has been for such a long time as it carelessly ignited needless mistrust between the former Vice President and the former governor. News actually got out that the former Vice President was not pleased by the unnecessary controversy raked up by Uzodike and his boys around his private jet. What a mess!
And while it is still a wonder whether the prolonged campaign against the governor hasn’t run long enough, Uzodike opens a rather pitiable pathway to rancour and prejudice in his puerile piece; stirring up parochial sentiments that might prove virulent in the coming years. For instance, it is appalling that Uzodike, a supposedly experienced lawyer adopted a contemptuous tone in telling his heavily flawed story. It is doubtful whether he knows that in certain kinds of communication, tonality is everything. Uzodike’s tone is extremely derisive and condescending as he kept using innuendoes that suggest an outright denigration of an entire political zone. A good case in point is his uncouth suggestion that no one in Anambra North has enough resources to seriously challenge for the governorship of the state. Such cavalier comments are landmines that will blow up some day. Isn’t it rather distasteful that an elderly lawyer should gleefully celebrate the notion that the possession of money should be the highest qualification for the governorship of Anambra State? Should someone with Uzodike’s presumed level of enlightenment make a swansong of the absurd philosophy which says that onye ji igu ka ewu n’eso? Where is Uzodike’s expected moral compass; his sense of outrage against the rapid slide of our politics to the dogs, with all kinds of people whose only qualification for a political office is Uzodike’s famed “resources?”
In fact, Uzodike’s epistle is so empty of meaning that there is actually no real benefit in picking it apart, point after point. Since it is a rehash of an early article, it is not only laborious but unwise to engage him line by line. Yet, there are many instances when he comes across as someone who needs guidance and one feels strongly obliged to offer one. A good case in point is his seeming fixation with the blatant lie that Governor Obiano could not afford his own return ticket when he was coming home from America and that he had to be fed and given pocket money during the last gubernatorial campaign in the state. Silly as these lies sound; Uzodike quickly contradicted himself moments later when he declared that the same Obiano who could not afford a return ticket to Nigeria was enjoying himself in a swimming pool in the US when he received the call to return home. Pray, what does Buzuzu want us to believe here…that Obiano was rich enough to enjoy a poolside lifestyle in America but too poor to buy his own flight tickets? These lies are not convincing at all. When a tongue utters too many lies at once, it breaks in mid-sentence. Uzodike should advise himself soon enough before he suffers the indignity of a broken tongue!
One does not begrudge Uzodike his obsessions and hero-worship. But sometimes, he preaches the gospel of his benefactor with child-like innocence. At such times, he elicits profound pity from wise folks who shudder at how an adult could idolize another man with such fetish devotion that seems to suggest that he innocently believes that governance began and ended with his hero. It certainly is bemusing but we must indulge Buzuzu on this one. We must all humour him.
However, we may not be so kind in asking him hard questions on some of his wild allegations that indicate either a knowledge gap or character deficiency. We may not be so affable to ignore his preposterous claim that “Governor Obiano lobbied intensely, with state finances, against the appointment of Peter Obi as a Minister of the Federal Republic.” It is cringe-worthy how Uzodike, a man from whom you would ordinarily expect a degree of circumspection on issues of this nature gleefully levels charges after brazen charges against his opponent without adducing the slightest shred of evidence. Sadly, this is one wild charge that cannot stand because Uzodike cannot prove it. Being a classic beer parlour talk, it is unproductive to hope for any hard evidence from him as proof. So, one has no option but to treat it with the same incredulity that one treats the endless schemes that are usually attributed to the wily tortoise in moonlight fables.
However, his fable in which he claimed that he lost his job because he stood up to Obiano offers us another insight into his inconsistencies. One wonders just how many versions of the fable exist. In a long and hateful jeremiad published in April last year earlier referenced here, Uzodike offered a totally different explanation for his sack. I take the liberty of reproducing the relevant paragraph of it here so that anyone can see the deliberate mischief in his latest attack. “When eventually I was invited to a radio programme and I was asked if Obi’s leaving APGA was of any consequence, I said yes, since he was the backbone of the party for 12 years. I also called for support for Jonathan and attempted correcting a jingle confusing people on how to vote for Jonathan during election. However, the next day I was relieved of my position.” It therefore beggars the imagination how Uzodike who claimed in April last year that he was sacked for his own indiscretion on air could turn around in November this year to cite his display of a non-existent Dutch courage as the reason for his sack. From this evidence, it becomes crystal clear that his assertion that “I lost my job with the Obiano administration for insisting that he was wrong in his modus operandi for governance, especially in his relationship with Peter Obi,” is just one of those inchoate moments in the devious narrative of a besotted hero-worshipper who takes liberty with facts.
Uzodike continued on his trajectory of lies when he reeled out a whole barrage of it; claiming that Obiano snubs his predecessor at public functions and worked against his invitation to speak at the United Nations. On their face value, these claims are just plain ridiculous and undeserving of serious scrutiny. They are pretty much the same as the claim that Obiano sponsors petitions against his predecessor to the EFCC. Where are Uzodike’s facts on these claims? Indeed, since he left his political office last year in a haze of alleged gross insubordination, Uzodike has continued to act in a manner that gives close friends concerns. A case in point is when he wondered aloud in the article under review why elders in Anambra State had not joined his demented pursuit of vendetta and undisguised campaign to pull down the government of the state. This is evident in the following statement; “What is most confounding about the state of affairs in Anambra is that not one elder of the State is speaking out.” It is obvious that Uzodike is either tone deaf or unable to discern the language of the elders who have all been unequivocal in their support for Governor Obiano and his commitment to a peaceful reconciliation with his brother and friend.
The telling irony here is that while his fellow elders are suing for peace, Uzodike is perpetually spoiling for war. A good instance is the vitriol he spewed on Odenigbo FM and Minaj Radio a few days after Governor Obiano’s public apology to former governor Obi at the burial mass of Fr. Tagbo in August this year. It is disheartening to recall that while the entire state was enveloped in the afterglow of Governor Obiano’s display of rare humanity, Uzodike went on air to pooh-pooh it all and brazenly declared that until Obiano settled his curious N7bn campaign debt to his predecessor, no public apology would lead to peace.
And pray, who does Uzodike think he is actually deceiving when he claims that Obiano is sponsoring attacks against Obi? Can he please enlighten Ndi Anambra on who funds faceless characters like a certain Stanley Chira who disguises himself as APGA Alaigbo on Facbook and whose very existence depends on how many scurrilous attacks he generate against the governor per day? Can he tell us whose interest Chira was serving when he posted that thoughtless story and photographs claiming that Obiano had chartered Atiku’s private jet for a trip to Abuja?
Let us just say that Joe-Martins Uzodike is free to continue with his lazy intellectual peregrinations that verge on an empty cult of personality. But he should not imagine that we are all blind enough to follow him into that dark, pitiless hellhole where everything that has colour is ascribed to one man and one man only!