Achebe’s funeral yesterday accorded the various gubernatorial aspirants the opportunity to make a mockery of the whole essence of celebrating the Iroko. They jammed everywhere with ludicrous and outlandish posters and flex boards. Promising all sorts of things, “the hope of the youths”, “the future of Anambra”, “hope is back”. Looking at these, one wonders if they are serious or just clowning. All sorts of branded executive looking buses, vehicles and SUV’s were packed recklessly in the narrow usually sleeping Ogidi town. And from their various loudspeakers they kept on blaring rather loud and obscene adverts. A season of despair has descended on Anambra State and Igbo land. The mixed motley crowd of deaf, ignorant, obtuse and often Crooked men and at least I saw a woman amongst them, prepare to harass the senses out of the people. In the coming months they would desecrate the land and people they claim to want to liberate like they desecrated that ground upon which lay the immortal soul of Ugo na Abo.
Is that Politics? Not at all. It’s simply a fair of Vanity oozing from vain and inglorious minds. Their various hired hands and hungry followers took to shouting and dancing and chanting along the narrow strip. None of them could drive or walk in there alone. They were escorted by grim looking and heavily cladded security agents whose sole aim isn’t to protect them but to frighten the living hell out of the people who should be close enough to interact with you. Trouble ensued at some point when two of such intending Governors arrived at the gate at the same and comically some of their fierce looking aids started voicing stuffs like protocol on who should go in first. The two un-gentlemen never even breathed any greeting to each other… signs of what to come in the coming weeks.
The values of our people are fast been eroded. The complexity of leading us is compounded by the naiviety of the pretenders. How many of them I wondered had ever read Achebe or listened to his various stories. I felt then that the Anambra electorate should judge them by the dictum of two of his works “A man of the People” and “The trouble with Nigeria”, the terse but invaluable treatise on governance any aspiring politician should read; and extract a promise on. The bizarre wealth on display yesterday was absurd and sickening. We should guard against that. On the whole, Anambra just like the rest of the South East is living on borrowed past and creating no new paradigms. On my way to the funeral, I tuned in to the local radio station and an advert singing the praise of Anambra greatness was on… at the end of the song a voice started listing Azikiwe, Chike Obi, Ekwueme and some others as an example. Indeed it was an illustrious past, enviable to say the least; but what dose the present hold and the future foreboding?
Driving in from Imo State, Anambra is condensed. Pressed together in an unarguably the most populated piece of real estate with the highest density per square meter. You can do 10 minutes without entering a different community with its distinct culture, traditions and character imprint. The place is rife with potentials, creativity and ingenuity. But beneath these are boiling cauldrons of violence waiting for some rascal with a little change to stoke… and stoke it they would shortly.
I Sincerely wish Anambra well. And hope that my fears are unfounded. Judging from the things I saw and heard yesterday… Things might indeed fall Apart in November in the great Muse’s home State.