There is this story in the Holy Bible about the people of Keilah. The story goes thus in 1 Sam Chapter 23, “Then they told David saying: Behold the Philistines fight against Keilah and they rob the threshing floors.
Therefore, David enquired of the LORD saying, Shall I go and smite these Philistines? And the LORD said unto David, Go and smite the Philistines and save Keilah. Verse 5: “So David and his men went to Keilah and fought with the Philistines and brought away their cattle, and smote them with a great slaughter.
So David saved the inhabitants of Keilah.” Now the story took a twist when Saul, the wicked king of Israel who was helpless when the Philistines were manhandling his subjects in Keilah, learnt about how David saved the people.
Rather than thanking him for what he as the King could not do, chose to pursue after David.
Ironically, when David again enquired of the LORD whether the people of Keilah will betray him and his men, God advised him to leave as the people are a treacherous type. I don’t know His Majesty, Eze Theophilus Ubah, the Oyima of Umuoyima Autonomous Community of Owerre Nchi-ise, nor do I know whether erstwhile Imo governor, Senator Rochas Okorocha consulted with the Almighty before delving into the affairs of the Owerre Nchi-ise people.
But I do know that the people of Umuoyima have been under the yoke of the Njemanze’s until Rochas balkanized the kingdom.
The beneficiaries of this bravery was of course Eze Ubah and his people. I also know that apart from the clan of Umuoronronjo, other clans that made up the Owerre Nchi-ise kingdom were scared stiff to demand autonomy from the ruling family.
What Rochas did, which initially attracted condemnation and at times, insults, later became a Landmark Solomon’s judgement. With the emotions riding high, Ugwumba Uche Nwosu, from Eziama Obarie in Nkwerre LGA of Orlu Zone, took a special interest in the affairs of the young autonomous community.
According to reports, Nwosu bought a Jeep for Eze Ubah, bought another car for his son, and gave employment to many sons and daughters of Umuoyima.
To crown it all, he caused to be made a Commissioner in the Okorocha government from Umuoyima, the first from that area, I was told. Not only that, Nwosu built a beautiful town hall for the fledging autonomous community.
And many more. And naturally, I mean naturally, the people must show appreciation.
What do they have to offer Nwosu? By the Special Grace of God, he was already made.
Apart from politics, Nwosu will never be hungry again.
But the people, characteristic of all Owerri people, from Eziobodo to Imerienwe, from Irete to Amakohia-Uratta, etc, still insist that somebody who have shown this uncommon love for people and community must have something in return. There is nothing bad in this.
They did not give him land or Chieftaincy title, but they unanimously adopted him as their son in whom they were well pleased. And the world clapped for this show of reciprocacy.
And that is how it should be: relationship between the people and the privileged.
And that is why the entire Imo and indeed the civilized world, were aghast at the so-called withdrawal of the celebrated honour done to Nwosu allegedly at the prompting of the state government which the agent provocateur, Uche Onyeagucha, SGI, allegedly masterminded.
I do not know the level of threat, but I believe that Eze Ubah and his people are the least to reward Uche Nwosu with evil.
They behaved like the people of Keilah whom David saved and later betrayed him.
And to further give flesh to this allegation, reports have it that the government of Emeka Ihedioha has further finalized arrangements to compel other Ezes and their kingdoms where Uche Nwosu was conferred “Ugwumba” titles to recant or be meted one form of punishment or the other.
For now, according to reports, most of these traditional rulers are jittery as it is against their traditions to go back to their vomit. But unfortunately, this is what they have made themselves of.
I shudder to think of any governor who will order the Emir of Zazzau, or Emir of Kano or Shehu of Borno, to withdraw an honour which was bestowed on an illustrious son or daughter.
Although Imo people have condemned the Umuoyima treatment of Ugwumba Uche Nwosu, describing it as petty, I wonder what the government of Governor Ihedioha stands to benefit from the whole saga except the government is scared of Uche Nwosu’s rising popularity.
Despite the setbacks at both the INEC’s results and the Election Tribunal Judgement, Ugwumba Uche Nwosu remains the choice of Imo people especially the youths and women.
Sentiments apart, despite his short stint in Imo politics, he has greatly impacted in the lives of Imo citizens across the three zones.
While one had expected this sudden rise to end like a whirlwind, Nwosu’s profile has continued to rise due to his empowerment programmes. Equally going for him is his humility.
Throughout the electioneering period and even now, there is no record of Uche castigating his opponents or elders.
Even when his wife was slapped by a rampaging Jasper Ndubuaku gang, no word came out of his mouth. That is a hallmark of maturity and character.
A hallmark of a great leader. And that is why I believe that he deserved every award conferred on him by Imolites and Nigerians.
And that is why I object strongly the purported withdrawal of the deserved honour by Eze Ubah and his Council.
Eze Ubah and those spurring him to embark on this sacrilegious journey will be doing harm to both the image and the land of Umuoyima that generations after will have to do a great sacrifice to wash off.
Like the laws of Medes and Persians which cannot be altered, I advise him and other royal fathers to resist every attempt to turn their cherished tradition upside down and in disgrace.
If I were them, I would rather vacate my throne than go back to my vomit.
Whatever government want to achieve with this unimportant task, honours bestowed with honesty, can never be withdrawn in the hearts of people – threat or no threat.