Nkwo Tuesday 02 February 2021:

Blessing Eleke is a Nigerian footballer called the black idiot by his own coach.

The professional footballer is plying his trade in a country called Slovenia, located in the defunct republic of Yugoslavakia.

But he was called this name for his feat in equallizing at the 92nd minute and celebrating wildly much to the displeasure of his coach.

This derogatory remark was an emotional outburst borne out of the coach’s desire to win the match. He expected the forward player to go for the killer, knowing fully well that their opponents were then demoralized.

But the black player, acting true to type, opted for a wild celebration, running round the field in a frenzy while time was ticking away. That was what pissed the coach off.

So what would have given the lad a pat on the back, turned sour and became an opprobrium. Instead of a blessing, Mr. Blessing received a curse.

Even though the Management quickly disassociated itself from this racist, and declined to give him the boot. They forebore to disengage him because according to them, the young coach has a bright future ahead of him.

However, what has just happened to this Nigerian player is nothing but an oversight. His crime is that he was celebrating when it was not yet uhuru!

Had it been that he was businessliike until after the match, he could celebrate from Belgrade to Beijing, and nobody would have cared.

But this incident is not an isolated case. It occurs often, even in politics. Now that of Uwazuruike and Nnamdi Kanu are a case study. These are men whose popularity is a happenstance.

For the Igbo people have a proverb that applies to them. And it says, if a man who least expected to be inducted in the prestigious Ozo institution, becomes a titled man, he would adorn the immaculate wool not at the ankle, which is the rightful place, but at the knee, so that all and sundry will not fail to notice it.

Both men least expected fame but suddenly they got fame-cum-power like a bolt out of the blue and it got into their heads.

They are now as reckless as a trigger-happy police man. Their word is now law. They can command and every business in Igbo land would close shop.

Even though the business men are doing so out of fear of reprisal attacks, but the duo is enjoying their new found status.

They are celebrating like the black idiot because it is not yet uhuru. The people they claim that they have come to liberate are still in fetters, so what are they celebrating?

And from these two self-acclaimed freedom fighters, we move over to Professor Wole Soyinka who also celebrated when it was not yet uhuru.

This activist was a political asylum seeker during the Abacha regime. Now at the demise of the dictator he made a come back to father land.

Nigerians in their numbers trooped to the airport to welcome him. He saw the spectacle and was overwhelmed.

The behaviour of the Nobel Laureate after his return from exile leaves much to be desired.

He wrote a book about his return to fatherland and the tumultuous welcome he received at the Lagos airport. And in a bid to make his image larger than life, he cleverly added a lie to it.

In the din, according to him, he saw Arthur Nwankwo far off, struggling to come nearer to him, gasping for air, and at a time he passed out!

Meanwhile, Arthur Nwankwo is a fearless and prolific writer he had admired over the years. This was an ample opportunity for him to rubbish him.

The man who is the owner of the 4th Dimension Publishers at Enugwu has threatened court action against this defamation. The publisher, up till his death last year, cannot come to terms as to what Soyinka stood to gain with this false narrative.

But that is the exponent of The Man Died’s way of elevating his own status. If the world believes that Arthur passed out wanting to touch his raiment, that alone is a great plus.

Soyinka had thrown a sucker punch at his fellow writer. He had used the skull of Arthur to break coconut as the Yorubas would say.

And he was relishing his new status as a tin god in Africa. But Nature has a law called the Law of Retributive justice.

You cannot smear an innocent man with mud and get away with it. For this law which the Orients call the law of Karma must surely catch up with the person.

But Soyinka had thought that this law was ineffective and was celebrating himself until he came face to face with one ugly incident that happened in an aircraft.

Just look at how nature works. He boarded a plane and sat by the window. And the young man he sat on his seat came in and asked him to stand up.

Being a ‘tin god’ he had expected the youth, on seeing him to say ‘Baba kee’. But the irate young man despite all entreaties dislodged him from his seat.

Soyinka was crestfallen, what usually happens to people who celebrate when it is not yet uhuru!

Karma is indeed at work in the affairs of men. Soyinka rubbished Nwankwo at the airport. That was the place where he was rubbish too by a Yoruba lad.

Arthur Nwankwo should not take recourse to any court of law for the Lord has fought his battle for him.

That said, another form of premature celebration is the one exhibited by Igbo women in Owerri during the time it seemed Nnamdi Kanu was missing.

They were protesting against the Federal govt, to give them insight to the whereabout of their folk hero.

But the Police quickly rounded them up and locked them up for days. When they got reprive, they started jubilating to the chagrin of all!

They were denied their freedom for days, was that why they were celebrating? I had expected them to come out of the cell with stiff upper lip.

But the reverse was the case. Number one was what they were protesting for was a nullity. Nnamdi Kanu was never in govt custody. So they were just playing to the gallery.

Finally, out of the four cases I mentioned above only that of Blessing Eleke illicited my sympathy. For it was borne out of naivity and childlike innocence.

But that of 112 Igbo women locked up at Owele Police station drew my ire. They were stupid, senseless and a disgrace to the Igbo nation.

Finally, that of Soyinka was not so different from that of Uwazuruike and Nnamdi Kanu. The trio are power mongers.

They are celebrating but they will celebrate in vain!

Chudi Okudo
The Teacher of The Igbo Revolution..

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