—By Ifeanyi Amanze
It was always going to be the case that Alex Otti’s foray into the politics of his home State would unsettle not a few persons who have benefitted from running Abia State aground and who watched as the once commercial epicenter of the South East region of Nigeria became an environmental and economic eyesore.
When Otti left a comfortable Bank job to declare he was running for the position of Governor of Abia State, the sorry establishment and old order in the State quivered and quaked in their boots. Casts of hack writers complete with pseudonyms were immediately assembled to give vent to the apprehension of the old order. Their mandate was simple: pelt Alex Otti with all the bad press and opinion pieces you can muster. Uncouth in his poorly laced writings, Madubuko Hart was born.
It is not the fact that Hart spews his gibberish from a beer parlour that riles. It is the fact that in striving to live up to the billing of his paymasters, he often swerves into the realm of lies, half-truths and outright mendacity. “Otti is making political thieves with his unguided utterances and these would haunt him for a long time”, Hart spewed uncontrollably in his latest piece he titled: “Otti’s political mortality”.
Let’s make a detour from the fact that Hart doesn’t even realize that it’s “unguarded” and not “unguided” and examine the next couple of paragraphs from a piece that makes a complete mockery of the basic rules of logic, reasoning, grammar and proper writing.
“It is evident that Otti is suffering from amnesia when he said that Abia State hospitals are in different stages of decay and no one can get proper medical care therein. It was Robert A. Heinlein who said that, “A dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness. Bad manners. Lack of consideration for others in minor matters. A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than is a riot.” These qualities are the excesses of Otti.
“Like a madman he is, he has been looking for excuses where none exists in the first place. Biting like a mad dog since he lost focus of his governorship ambition, he said that he singlehandedly sponsored a survey of the health sector in the state and his findings were that Abia State has very high rate of maternal and infant mortality than other states in Nigeria.
Pray tell, when has it become “rude” to say that the healthcare system in one’s State can be a lot better? When has it become a “mad” trait to carry out surveys and focus on the issues in the run up to elections? So, it is “mad” of Alex Otti to draw attention to the sorry state of healthcare in Abia State but “sane” for Madubuko Hart’s paymasters to have driven the healthcare system in Abia State into a coma?
“Otti whose political career died on arrival has forgotten that life is short and that there is always time enough for courtesy. There is good governance in Abia State, but Otti said that he is seeing a different thing”, Mr. Hart wrote. It is amazing that anyone will devote so much time and energy aiming one vitriolic piece after another at a candidate whose “political career died on arrival.” If Otti’s career is dead on arrival by Hart’s submission, why does he go ahead to admonish that Otti should realize that “life is short and there is always time enough for courtesy”? Isn’t that an admission that inside of Hart’s troubled mind, he knows Otti is a factor who is well on his way to winning the Abia Governorship elections? If “there is good governance in Abia State, but Otti said that he is seeing a different thing”, is it Hart’s place to do the showing or the people’s? If Otti doesn’t see a different thing from the shoddiness that passes for governance in Abia State, should he still be canvassing for votes across the State to wild celebrations and welcome from his people? Abia State has been badly run; which is what Alex Otti sees and intends to correct. It isn’t Hart’s place to try to force the eyes of Ndi Abia or Otti to the “good governance” that even high powered electron microscopes have been unable to glean.
In a previous piece titled “Otti is a better puppet”, Hart wrote: “I’m not sure why Otti is so desperate for power that he has blindfolded himself and has decided not to see anything in Ikpeazu even as majority Abia people and those not from the state are clamouring that Ikpeazu remains the best candidate in the 2015 elections.”
This would have been ludicrous if it wasn’t so pitiable. Majority of Abia people are clamouring for the same Ikpeazu who had to duck from a torrent of sachet water hurled his way from an enraged electorate in Aba? The same Ikpeazu who is being derided across Abia State as an unwilling stooge of the departing Governor who failed spectacularly in his task? And why should Otti “see something good” in his opposite number in a race? Is politics about “seeing something good” in your opponent or outlining his flaws before prospective voters? Is something seriously wrong with the character called Madubuko Hart? What have they been spiking his drinks with lately?
It is a shame that before this piece finds its way across the cyberspace and mainstream media, Mr. Madubuko Hart would have stepped into one noisy drinking joint in a corner of town to pen another claptrap or drivel. But the bigger shame is that he is still on the payroll of his taskmasters who are hell bent on extracting the last ink dripping with foolish writing from his pen. Madubuko Hart shouldn’t be writing. His pieces should not be dignified with rejoinders if one wasn’t mindful of the misinformation he could be dispensing around town.
Alex Otti is the candidate to beat in Abia State. He is head and shoulders above Okezie Ikpeazu whose only claim to prominence is an endorsement from an equally incompetent godfather. It is little wonder that Hart and his likes are quaking in their boots and churning out watery pieces all over the place. There is nothing anyone can do to help them here. But while they write, Otti has been busy discussing his plans with Abians all over the globe and they are warming up to him like they have never warmed up to any governorship candidate in the State before now. Hart and his ilk may be nearing an apoplexy in the days ahead. For that, they may have our sympathy.