By Kennedy Friday
I had decided not to further get involved in the hullabaloo generated by the appointment of Mr Ossa Andrew Uchendu by Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, but when I came across a note said to be authored by Chief Senator Andrew Uchendu, father of the appointee, trending on social media, I felt that the note was a disservice hence these thoughts of mine.
Since the highly respected Chief Senator Andrew Uchendu or anyone close to him has not debunked the note which has since gone viral on social media, I proceed on the premise that he penned the note and it represents and conveys his thoughts on the gracious appointment of his son by Governor Wike.
The Chief Senator started by regaling members of the public about the training his son has got; the fact that he didn’t train his son to be a robot or an appendage of himself; and that on account of his age (43), experience and exposure, he is highly qualified for the position into which Governor Nyesom Wike has appointed him and that it should never be construed that the Governor has done his son any favour by reason of the appointment.
Those thoughts are very fine by me and I also consider them proper in the circumstances. It is not difficult to decipher that by that note, Chief Senator Andrew Uchendu didn’t want his son’s otherwise well deserved appointment to be enmeshed in the vortex of political conjectures and innuendos or mired in the muddy water of blackmail which flows in endless torrents in the political industry of Rivers APC.
Regrettably, however, what should have ordinarily followed as a pat on the back of his son, or a sincere congratulations to him, or even a word of thanks to the Governor for finding his progeny worthy for the appointment to serve the state turned out to be an egregious undoing of all the beauties in his preceding words.
The Chief Senator said, and I quote, “the underlying purpose (of Wike appointing his son) is to spite me and make you all doubt me”. As if that was not bad enough, Chief Senator Uchendu continued, turning on Governor Wike , “he (that is Governor Wike) has failed”.
If the purpose of Senator Uchendu’s note was to insulate his son’s appointment from the vagaries of diverse political interpretations as I noted earlier, then the later part of his piece not only did incalculable damage to that earlier pretension, but totally emasculated and rubbished it!
For if, it can reasonably be argued, the “underlying purpose” of his son’s appointment by Wike was not because Mr Ossa was an adult, or a professional, or a well trained person who is capable of deciding for himself, but the “underlying purpose” of the appointment “is to spite” Chief Uchendu, then the respected Senator is telling members of the public that in looking at the appointment, his son’s age and qualifications should be jettisoned, and that they should only focus on the appointment from a purely political perspective.
Senator Uchendu clearly made himself, not his son’s undoubted experience, exposure and qualifications, the focus of the appointment.
He is equally saying, invariably, that by accepting Governor Wike’s appointment, his son is party to the design to “spite him and make people doubt him”. Oh, really?
There is no other way to construe what Chief Senator Andrew wrote than this, and that is where my concern lies.
When our politics descends to the nadir where a father and an elder statesman who should ordinarily be very proud that his own progeny has been found worthy to contribute his own quota to the development of the state by offering public services to Rivers people sees that opportunity as one targeted to spite him and make people doubt him, then we are at the apogee of bitter politics and we have to do something very fast about it.
Indeed, it’s paradoxical, that Senator Andrew Uchendu who said that he should be kept out of his son’s appointment (which I agree with) ended up putting his own person and ego in the way of the same appointment in the same note, and concluded that the appointor, who should otherwise be thanked, has failed. What?
It is that glaring contradiction, contained in one short piece, which is also, perhaps, an inadvertent indictment of his own son, for willingly joining in the Governor’s enterprise to spite the Chief Senator Uchendu that we should worry about as a people.
The appointment is very much in order and the father could simply have congratulated his son instead of further miring the whole thing in needless political melee which his note ended up doing.
I conclude by saying that Chief Senator Andrew Uchendu, by publishing the statement he made in a public domain, may have inadvertently put his dear innocent son in a moral quandary.
The Senator said that the UNDERLYING PURPOSE of his son’s appointment by Governor Wike was to SPITE him.
If Mr Ossa Uchendu, the Senator’s son, didn’t know, initially, that the Governor’s intention for appointing him was no more than to spite his father and make his associates doubt him. By his father making such statement public, Mr Ossa Ochendu is now aware and in the know.
It means that for everyday that Mr Ossa continues in his new job giving to him by the Governor, going by his father’s logic as expressed in that statement, he is in concert with the Governor to SPITE his father.
Therein lies the moral burden that Senator Uchendu’s statement has heaped on his innocent young son.
In order to free himself from that moral moral burden therefore, Mr Ossa must repudiate and reject his father’s statement, even if silently in his mind. Otherwise the moral burden will continue to mount.
It is on that note that I conclude that Senator Uchendu’s statement is not exemplary and young politicians must distance themselves from, and disagree with it because it is surely not the way!