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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Owukpa: Throne destroyed by pride, community humbled by sentiments

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By Ali Adoyi

Don’t say I did not tell you. Unless the heavy burden of pride and sentiments are removed and we begin a search for a fresh path, Owukpa will remain in this endless wilderness.

Owukpa, a community with patriotism, solidarity and oneness as its bedrock has never been so divided as it is currently.

When the trend is towards a more united global front, our home front is completely bastardized and shattered by pride, sentiments and hate.

No wonder, we cannot maintain a united front against political actors manipulating us and our interests. This, of course is the reason we have been yearning fruitlessly for years amid underdevelopment.

For several years, our attempts to attract development to our land have yielded no results. It has continued on the feeble path of the superstition that we are under a curse. A conjecture not close to fact. The supposition has put us in a position where we often justify our ineptitude as a community.

Do not misconstrue this fact; Owukpa people are well schooled and can be found in different fields doing very well, but there is a covenant with primitive idea of individualism rather than staying together as one.

Regrettably, this has left us with a heavy blow. Owukpa is currently one of the few communities in both Ogbadibo and Okpokwu still stagnantly positioned without good roads and electricity. Attracting portable water to the community appears like a utopian dream. It looks almost impossible to even sink boreholes in the absence of power. We are completely stuck with no way out.

Agreed that we are a proud community, but it is good to be proud in the collective sense, but not to pride in arrogance, selfishness and hate.

In our various homes, majority of us suppress our wives. Who are they to argue with us? Who are they to state and take a position. They are to be seen and not to be heard. We see our wives as not close to equal, but we hear ‘nwen’ when we have a none-Owukpa as a wife. We succumb to her desire and submit to her wishes completely. Some of us even go the yonder after overlooking our tradition in the name of love. Some of us play the slave to a wife from another tribe or community. We even accept the second fiddle. But we tend to look down on the one we pick from our home. We strike like vipers when they refuse to wipe our anus. They are seen as puns not to fondle but to bundle. Nothing more. Our pride is to show superiority at home and not to fight for a place in a nation with so much opportunity in order to better our lives. This is all we can do. We treat our home with disdains and flaunt it out there.

Where is our missing stool?

These things have kept us down for too long. And the “Oga Kpatakpata” of it is the current state of affairs where we deliberately refused to form a viable front towards returning our missing stool.

Yes, the stool is missing. We have done all sorts of things to desecrate that very revered throne. Today, it has become a subject of perjury and falsehood. The throne has now been subjected to manipulation and diabolism. Some are ready to knee-jerk when there is a knock. There is no consideration of the consequences. Life means nothing so long as we satisfy our egoistic indignity. Shame! Owukpa shame!

Shame to those taking us 1000 years backwards. Shame to those who take delight in divisiveness and have continued to suppress truth and justice. Shame to you; self-imposed leaders, yet abhor peace and love. Shame on you for seeing Ehaje as a strange land and Itabono as ‘Idalogo’

This is what happens when you are arrogantly proud and selfishly sentimental – war, divisiveness, bitter politics and underdevelopment. Truth is that I’m proudly Owukpa, but I can’t be proud in disunity. I must know my brother and I must know that once the game of owukpahood’ becomes bloody, then there is no need for living together in the first place.

Our slogan as Owukpa is commonly “one father” (ADEYE), but today our relationship with one another is worse than communities with different fathers. History has traced our origin to one father, but we have refused to respect that. Yes, brothers disagree and even fight, but how can they fight until dawn? At the end of the civil war, true reconciliation took place. Even if we are at war, there must be a time for retreat. Owukpa! How long will you thread this path? How long will you stay without a throne?

One critical irony is that those frustrating the installation of a new leader appear bold, and take pride in their retrogressive actions. Little do they know that history will remember them for failing Owukpa in their time.

The fact they hardly acknowledge is that they failed in their time. The community handed over to them by past leaders collapsed under their very eyes and instead of burying their heads in shame, and giving our young people the mandates to revive that which they hacked away, they constantly beat their chest in boldness “We are the stakeholders. We decide what happens.”

Wisdom seems to have eluded them and they have no idea that the stake is now high and they can’t hold the youths down.

The caution is that when the army of youths who understand that these old men have no positive intention rise, they can install their leader. This is possible.

Our young men and women should do well by ignoring the fainting voices of these haggard ones whose agenda is simply to divide us in order to remain relevant in their pride and arrogance.

Install your leader and move Owukpa forward. These men have served their time and have nothing more to offer.

Some of them have vowed to ensure that peace continues to elude us and the new date fixed for the resolution of the age-long dispute remains a facade. To them, nothing good will come out of it. But they are yet to realize that very soon posterity will begin its judgment. Owukpa youths will wake up, snatch it and reinstall it. Enough is enough!

Ali Adoyi writes from Odokro forest and can be reached via ali.adoyi@gmail.com.

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