On My Father’s Memorial: As We Lool Forward To Another Year

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Orji Uzor Kalu

It’s exactly ten years since my dearest father passed on. He was a quiet, peaceful and a private man; and, his fond memories shall always be lived by me.

I hope and pray we do not experience the pains and short-lived glories that accompanied 2020; a lot of them were torturous, but like the resilient human and Nigerians we are, we endured and continued to move on.

I was a beneficiary of some of those pains and the glories.

Did I ever bargain with fate that I would step into prison and come out and still moving on?

For more than a decade I fought against that injustice, but fate was different; it disregards our struggles and fights because it must always play out.

In my quiet, unknown life as a businessman, little to nothing was known about me until my foray into politics.

Nevertheless, I don’t regret joining politics. Rather, I see my prison experience as, perhaps, the most interesting aspect of my life with fate and the understanding of the working of the human minds.

I have been called names; many untrue, yet many half truth and even more of the name callings unproven without the callers making the effort to investigate to confirm. But it is a part of the pains and the gains.

Then, too, while my father who lived a private life-that single man who I shall ever be proud of for all the making of this man who I turned out to be- passed on, I was again called names.

The most painful aspect of all these is that when these stones throwings are coming from your very own, those you hold so dear; those you are willing to run and walk the roads to protect with the depth of love one can only wish for.

But who are we to question or perhaps rationalise the quality of human thoughts and reasonings?

As I went home only recently with those who I want to believe love me and share my dreams and visions for a better humanity, to remember a father who shall continue to be dear to me, reminiscence surged in: all those things he inculcated into me; many of which one is: Do not ever betray the trust of humanity placed on your shoulders.

There were times, while not in the least with the attempt to betray that trust; I have thought if it was worth the pursuit.

Indeed, it is worth the pursuit. It gives me the greatest of joys to continue to pursue it. And I shall continue to pursue it.

I helped formed the PDP, I left to form the PPA and later abandoned those two to pitch tent with the APC. The name callings continued in a society and polity very complex for the man without ambition and aspiration to understand.

But they were all lessons to be learnt and I have been enrichly benefited by them.

Since my entrance into politics, jeopardising my privacy and a large chunk of my business, what have I learnt all these years?

That in spite of the unrest, agitations and seemingly impossibilities that surround us as a people and a country still grappling with our nationhood, that Nigeria and Nigerians are the most possibility waiting to happen.

Maybe Nigeria remains the complaint we are graced with presently because it is yet to be considered as a business and to be run as such, because for me, every business must be run for the sole aim of profit making taking into consideration the quality of products put into the market to attract the best buy and the turnover of the most profit for the benefit of all.

2020 did expose us all to our human failings as a people, and if there is anything, we must use these failings to address our entering into 2021.

In doing so, leadership must be readdressed and redefined such that everyone of us must participate and feel the impact of governance and the enabling and prospering environment that governance can bring about for the benefit of all.

Here, the Nigerian youths must matter.

The *#Endsars* protest, which did not only speak of the perceived and outright true brutality of the people by those employed and paid to protect them; but went beyond speaking to our consciences the failings of our humanity; must be looked into if we do not want the apoplectic reactions from the youths to continue.

I have been there, I have agitated and protested and suffered rustication because I thought and felt my progress, development and success in society were being rubbished by the refusal of society and the constituted institutions to make the necessary impact.

Before a politician, business was my first love. I know what it takes to run a successful business. I know that success is always driven by stable and right intellect, the right energy and dynamism which cannot be taken from the youths.

May 2021 be most productive and beneficial to all.