Chukwu and Otedola
Who is my neighbour? That was what led Jesus Christ to render the parable of the Good Samaritan, a story which every Christians could tell heart. But let me recount it for the benefit of the non-faithful or those who may have forgotten the lines.
On one occasion, one of his traducers described as an expert in the law, intent on pinning him down, stood up to test Jesus, by asking: “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?
Reading his mind, Jesus replied: “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” The man answered: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind and, love your neighbor as yourself.”
“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” But man wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
Then Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.
But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him.
The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have incurred.
Then Jesus asked the learned man: “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “the one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
You certainly must have heard the din that engulfed the entire Nigerian public space just a few weeks ago. It seems to have died down now substantially, because the major vector that spreads the desease, which was the 2019 general elections, seem to have shifted to another level.
Surely, you could not have missed the high octane diatribes spewed everywhere in terms of how the Yoruba man hates the Igbo and vice versa. You could not have missed the high-voltage bombardment of Adeyinka Grandson and his Igbo counterpart or that of the alleged unnamed Igbo opposite, who claimed he had bought the matter to eliminate the Oo’dua nation campaigner. But, if you missed any of the videos, you would not have missed much if you ever ventured into the social media at that time.
Well, if nothing happens from now on, wait a little while until 2023 turns around for another round. Then you will hear how the entire Igbo race have to be exterminated or at best, return to their own part of Nigeria, for the rest of the country to enjoy their heavenly bliss or why, it only requires the amputation of the hands of the entire Yoruba nation or make them drink hemlock to ensure mass death for the Igbo to take their rightful place in Nigeria and move it forward.
Now, you may have heard about the case of Christian Chukwu, Captain of the Green Eagles squad that gave Nigeria the first African Nations Cup trophy in 1980, who later rose to coach the Super Eagles that came out of it.
A few weeks ago, news broke that the legendary footballer was shopping for $50,000 to travel abroad to get help for a medical condition, which had weighed him down and confined him in a hospital in Enugu, the Enugu State capital.
You may wish to forget about the denials by both the Rangers International Football Club, whose Management, quickly rose to claim that Chukwu was never in want at any time, as all his medical needs were fully provided with both the club and the Enugu State Government, footing the bills completely. You may also ignore that the state government came out smoking, whilst the story was still fresh, and obviously embarrassed by its implication, sought to take it out on the man that spread the story.
Well, choose what to believe. But what might not be out there in the public space is that the man identified as a good friend of the ace footballer might not have spoken without being at grasp with the full details of his friend’s condition.
Chukwu, the gentleman he is, in and off the pitch, might be in the know that he needed better treatment that he was getting in Nigeria and even if he did not expressly ask his friend to seek for funds to take him abroad, his condition might have evoked a loud approval.
Chief Jim Ifeanyichukwu Nwobodo, former Chairman of Rangers, did not mince words when after visiting the man called Chairman by his fans and admirers, told the whole world that he (Chukwu), needed immediate medical treatment abroad, even though the former Minister of Sports, is not a medical doctor.
Pray! Who is that man or woman in Nigeria today that would prefer to be treated in Nigeria, where wrong diagnosis sent the likes of the famous Gani Faweihinmi to their early graves to a place where millions of people seek and flock everyday, including the President, who had to spend a better part of his tenure in medical tourism? Answer that question and you would be close to the choice between what Chukwu would want and what you were told he needed.
Interestingly, it was in the midst of the debate of whether Chukwu needed treatment abroad or not that Mr. Femi Otedola, a Yoruba man, came on the scene. Now the distance between Enugu, Chukwu’s birthplace and Lagos, where Otedola was born is 564.2kilometres. Apart from Enugu, blessed with many moneybags, you would treverse through Anambra, arguably the state with the highest billionaires in Nigeria, home to men and women who could spring $50,000 from their drawers and dole out same without blinking to each of 10 party officials at ago just to get tickets for some elections they may not be sure of winning.
So, the next question is where were (are) the Igbo billionaires that it would take a man from a tribe with utmost hatred for the Igbo race to rescue one of their own, right under their nose. What is it that Otedola stands to gain from his intervention, albeit, unsolicited? You may even be sure that the oil mogul may not have met Chukwu in person.
I once wrote about how, during the campaign of Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, I accompanied him to the palace of Odezurigbo Nike, the late Igwe Edward Nnaji and hear the monarch himself recounting how the late business mogul, rebuilt his burnt palace, several years before he even thought of running for presidency.
So, if the question is asked today, who, between the Igbo billionaires and Otedola, is Christian Chukwu’s brother, what would the answer be? If not answerable now, it will certainly crop tomorrow by the time the din reverberate once again.
The bottomline is there are many Otedolas somewhere in places we may not readily observe. Go to Alaba International Market today, and see so many Yoruba people as apprentices to Igbo traders, who would eventually be settled and helped to stand on their own just like their Igbo counterparts. It will only take that Yoruba boy to imbibe utter discipline and add it to his business attitude to be the next great importer.
Go to the ministries, and hear for yourself many stories of how a Yoruba or Hausa man promoted Igbo men and women, on whom their files were sat on by their kinsmen for years or vice versa to know that there are as many wicked men in Igbo land, as there are in Yoruba, Tiv, Hausa-Fulani or indeed any other tribe or race across the world.
That will help you know where to stand when the next round of war begins. For it will surely come, if not now, when the political warlords return to plot the next set of battles.