By Collins Onuoha
ONE of the tragedies of the market place of ideas concept is that individuals who ordinarily should not hold opinions take liberties undeserved to foul the air in the name of exercising their right to freedom of expression.
What can pass as the biggest gaffe in the new year was an interview published by the Independent Newspapers of Thursday January 14, 2010 in the politics column where one Ziggy Chibuzor Azike whoÂ claims to be a lawyerÂ decided to display crass ignorance by claimingÂ that the officials of Imo State Government are sponsors of kidnappers.
What sane person can make such wild and spurious allegation?
If Azike is the lawyer the paper credited to him, then, he may have learnt nothing in the law school and if he ever pretends to have, then something must be wrong somewhere.
It is either that the paper misquoted him (which is doubtful) or that he must be one of those politicians the EFCC helmswoman, Mrs. Farida Waziri recommended for psychiatric examination.
From the content of the interview, he obviously has some scores to settle with his kinsman, the Governor of Imo State, Chief Ikedi Ohakim.
But instead of attempting to sound believable, he displayed terrible psychological fixation only common with people with warped mind.
As a lawyer he should have known the legal implication of his assertion, which he even tried to justify in the most banal and despicable manner.
At a time when most human rights crusaders the world over are campaigning for the stoppage of death sentence, Ziggy found it fashionable and comfortable to make wild allegations against Governor Ohakim forÂ withholding assent to a bill on death sentence for kidnap offence in Imo State.
A respectable lawyer like Femi Falana would definitely puke on reading that a supposed colleague of his in the profession of the wig and gown sees everything criminal in a campaign against death sentence, which he had stridently mounted throughout West Africa.
IsÂ Ziggy really in tune with modern thinking about death sentences?Â Could he have been held hostage by the buccaneering mind set of a vulture politician that feasts on anything dead, real or imagined?
This same Azike known more for his merchandising attitude to politics must have been suffering from a grandiose illusion of self-edification when he claimed that the people of Imo State have been clamouring for him to come and take over the governorship of Imo State which he said Ohakim has wasted.Â Which state, what people?
ZiggyÂ happens to be one of those politicians that believe that Imo people can be taken for a ride and that what it takes to be recognised and acknowledged is to abuse people in authority.
Is he really qualified to hold opinion in a modern society where logic, decency and positive thinking define the terms of engagement?
See his warped logic.Â Because Chief Ohakim withheld assent to a bill that recommends death sentence for kidnap offences, then he must be a patron to kidnappers.Â That is the thinking of a man who wishes to drive the affairs of Imo State simply because he feels governance is for anybody to have a take on.
Azike contested for the Senate seat of Okigwe Zone against Ifeanyi Ararume in 2003.Â Okigwe Zone is made up of six local government areas, and he could not secure a win in his ward let alone make any reasonable impact, yet he believes that a dramatic turning point has been made in his political career as to put him in a good stead to run for the governorship or even challenge a councillorship candidate in his LGA.Â One would not any way begrudge anyone trying to â€œset up jobâ€.Â We know many do that.
In 2007, he tried his usual media contest for the governorship under the ANPP and as expected, he failed woefully. What ground breaking things have happened around Ziggy since then that warrants this sudden call for him to deploy his messianic endowments to save Imo State?Â Tell that to the marines!
When certain characters who know their cultural inhibitions and psychological setbacks grandstand as if all is well, one begins to ask, what imprudence?
As one who comes from the same senatorial zone with Ziggy, I am sure manyÂ would be amazed that I could waste valued time and space to respond to his gaffes but since ours is a system where wolf crying draws undeserved sympathy and attention, it is important people get to know the ignorance displayed in Ziggyâ€™s outpouring.
How could it be said that anyone from Imo State would claim that the road to the Governorâ€™s village is impassable.Â Haba! lawyer Ziggy.Â One can now understand why some clients lose cases owing to the incapacities of some so-called legal practitioners.Â If a man who prides to be a successful lawyer could be this economical with the truth, then the legal profession must be sanitized.
In the first instance, the people of Okigwe Zone are grateful to Governor Ohakim for addressing the problem of access roads in the area early in the life of his government.Â This fact can be verified and that puts a lie to the claim by Ziggy that the Governor goes to his village through Mbaise road.
If he is a man of honour let him deny soliciting for appointment for himself and some other cronies from Chief Ohakim? Let him deny too that he secured briefing to handle Imo State bond legal consultancy and was thrown out when he could not deliver after six months. True to character, he later went to court to stop the bond claiming that Imo State will be in bondage because of the bond.Â What a volte face!
Anyone that knows Ziggy understands that he suffers delusionÂ and in a bid to be perceived as important and connected, engages in names-dropping and grandstanding.
As a successful legal practitioner he claims to be, let Ziggy mention one single matter he handled successfully in court or a single deal he concluded in the corporate world.
How has he been paying his bills over the years?Â People like Ziggy that carry baggage of failure in their private and public life should be seen and not heard.Â One had thought that Ziggy has outgrown those his old tactics, antics and style of engagement.
For him to turn round to insultÂ Ohakim is the height of indiscretionÂ and ingratitude. What happened to Ziggy when he contested for the Okigwe Senatorial Seat in 2003?Â Â He couldnâ€™t put up a feeble punch.
Characters like Ziggy should hide their faces in shame knowing that they lack what it takes to be a critic of any hue.Â Â Assuming that he did not opt to feed the unwary on diet of lies, one would have at least taken it as a credible opposition trying to be relevant.Â Â But in this circumstance, Ziggy exposed his lack ofÂ courtesy and decency in public commentary.
Secondly, the reason why the Governor refused assent to the bill making kidnap offence punishable by death sentence is known to many in Imo State, including the House members.
Thirdly, contrary to what Ziggy wants the public to believe, he did ask for appointment in a letter dated June 1, 2007.
And he even sent a business proposal that couldnâ€™t fly in another letter dated June 1, 2007. TheseÂ are legitimatedemands anyone can make on a government though, but the factÂ is that Ziggy decided to go into theÂ trenches because a legal consultancy given to him over the Imo State bond was terminated when it became obvious that he could notÂ drive it with the proficiency demanded of a professional.
Should a government be held hostage by individuals that cannot perform in the name of political patronage?
Must the Governor and indeed the government be ridiculed simply because it refuses to be taken in by sentiments that border on filial relationship?Â Is that the kind of leadership Ziggy would offer the people of Imo State if he were the Governor?
With characters like Ziggy having tall ambitions they cannot sustain, one needs not search far to understand why this country is beset with political turncoats parading as leaders.
A man who could be this stingy with the truth and displays such unsteady character must be watched. Ziggy Azike should think of other ways of being relevant but definitely not by displaying lack of capacity to manage his complex.
Collins Onuoha Wrote in from Okigwe