Thank you Rotimi Amaechi…

There is hardly anything that cannot be a political instrument for the politician. To a Politician, life is a bag of tricks. Do not therefore invest in the politician who cannot play games with his wife, children, parents or friends, even over their lives or prosperity. Such a charlatan has no business in politics. In a word, politics rarely breed honourable men. Among political ranks we have excellencies, distinguished and honourable men. We also have statesmen. But, I will say that those sublime titles are meant to prevent us from calling them their true names to their faces. William Shakespeare was a playwright and perhaps that is why he, unlike the politician, said “ I am not covetous for gold, but if it is a sin to covet honour, I am the most offending soul alive”.

I watched Barak Obama on television the other day delivering the well crafted homosexual message to poor Africans and I shuddered with awe. Many questions have bugged my mind from that day. I have followed him since the eve of his first term election and had dug into his path to glory and I am convinced that he is an exceptionally brilliant man who does not need advisers to know the problems of this continent. I know he knows that although we are poor and hungry we are not stupid, yet he had the effrontery to insult us that much. Homosexuality is not our problem, it is theirs. If they have found a solution to it, good luck to them. Right now, the relationship we crave with the West is not one of boundless moral larceny but one of economic possibilities. A sincere Obama would have orchestrated a sincere intercourse on how African- American relations can become mutually beneficial. His official records should have shamed him regarding the poor and spiteful state of the economic relationship that America has had with Africa over the centuries. But like Clinton, brother Obama will wait to leave office before he comes to lecture us about how Africa can be adopted or integrated into the mainstream economy of the world.

From the way I have just expressed my viewpoint, you’ll know I am disappointed in our brother, Barak Obama. But I respect him as a politician. He was voted to office once more, on the promise that he would be a gay evangelist. Where else can he spread that message if not in Africa? He cannot go to the Vatican, or the Russians and deliver to them the new found sexual orientation that can save the world from itself. He was just being the opportunistic politician that he truly is.

I cannot honestly say that I covet honour as much as our dear Shakespeare but I habour an instinctive dislike towards politicians because I believe that without them, there would be no Boko Haram, no wars, no racism or religious intolerance. The world would have been one fun- filled village. This is one reason in fact why I do not like attending occasions that are graced by political big wigs who dominate the occasion and make everyone else look or feel insignificant. I do not like forgoing my little kingdom for some politician. That was why I nearly turned down the invitation of Basorge Tariah Jnr’s wife when she told me that Governor Rotimi Amaechi would attend the surprise birthday party she was planning for her husband last year. To me, birthday parties are for fun and not rostrums for politicians. But then, Barsorge had always been a dependable friend and no sacrifice for him can be too much. Secondly, governors are not a breed of promise keepers, it is uncommon for a governor to attend the birthday party of a friend, who himself is not a big time politician or the son or relation of a person in power.

So, I attended the party. The first thing that struck me when I got to the venue of the party-a sizeable hall at the Civic Centre- was that the list of the expected guests was displayed and Kate Henshaw was fastidious about ensuring that only those on the list were allowed to enter the hall. I was taken to my seat and fortunately for me the person sited beside me was Zig Zulu Okafor, so, I had good company. I looked around and noticed that the hall was populated by people in the entertainment industry. I was not surprised. Barsorge is a doyen of the industry and has paid his dues.

Less than 10 minutes after we were all seated, the Millionaire boy, Frank Edoho announced the arrival of the governor. I adjusted myself into my seat expecting a flurry of hustling and bustling. I was, however, surprised to see the governor entering with a couple of aides. There was not a single police man around him. He was ushered to a seat close to mine. I sized him up without appearing to and noticed that he was relaxed and at home in that environment. He exchanged hugs and talked with all those who walked up to him. I also noticed that he was young and confident. He did not bother to draw any attention to himself or urge anyone to hurry up. Like a faithful worshiper in a cathedral, he sat there enjoying himself. Barsorge and wife did not make extra effort to make him feel special, the program was not altered to suit him and no language was censored for his comfort. Mid- way into the programme, I was convinced about his true friendship for Barsorge. To him, he was with his younger brother and his younger brothers’ friends were his friends.

He won my respect with his humility, however, it was his frankness and down- to- earth nature that made me love him. Barsorge had made the occasion a special one for his special friends. It was an auspicious occasion for him to thank those who had touched his heart in an unforgettable way. In tears, and with a rare oratorial rendition, Barsorge acted out the story of his life. I almost shed tears, when he told the hall why he valued his relationship with me. But it was the story of how Governor Rotimi Amaechi saved him from a strange illness that stole the day. He had been struck by a life threatening ailment. Being a public personality, it was difficult for him to relate his predicament to the public and yet he needed help. Summing up this tale, he related how Governor Rotimi Amaechi, his friend and brother, did not waste time or hesitate to ship him to the United Kingdom, where our Barsorge was quietly treated. I left that venue with the conviction that one act of charity teaches us more of the love of God than a thousand sermons. Today, Barsorge is hale and hearty and until now this story has been out of public domain, because it is not in the character of Governor Rotimi Amaechi to go to the public with his private good deeds.

In summary, when I met Governor Rotimi Amaechi, I was, in the words of an anonymous writer, looking down. When I left him, however, I was looking up. Besides the notorious or infamous aftermath of the election that justifiably retained him as the Chairman of Nigerian Governors’ Forum, news of Governor Rotimi Amaechi’s sense of humanity and love has filtered in very recently.

You will recall that the social media was awash with the life-threatening story of our own OJB. The youngman, easily one of Nigeria’s most talented music producers, needed $100,000 for a kidney transplant. Not too many responded to his call for assistance with the requisite altruism and selflessness as this is uncommon with us. Many of us used his predicament as a platform to launder our images. So instead of helping, we were making matters worse for him with the various self-serving slants we gave his situation. Some of us who I believe he takes as close- confidants have to bury our heads in shame, because in all honesty, we didn’t feel the matter needed to leave our ranks and leak into the public domain. But that tortuous moment was just a cloud before the silver lining for our dear OJB, as without prompting, Governor Rotimi Amaechi quietly walked in and took our brother’s problem from the public shelf by providing the needed amount. I have not read anywhere, that he had announced that godly action, rather, he is going about his business, praying that his love and effort will be a potent catalyst f

or the recovery of our beloved OJB.

Written by
Sam Kargbo
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