Mariam Ba is known for her power of correspondence as her own novel,SO LONG A LETTER, is built around a long letter written.Former President Olusegun Obasanjo is also designated for his skill and passion for letter-writing, particularly when he is bothered by some burning national issues.Late Professor Jp Clark had long declared that he was the letter-writer for his characters and the fact that his letters witten for his characters are strikingly poetic and philosophical reflect Clark’s genius in letter-writing.I know no other person who is a passionate letter-writer than these personalities until the first epistle from the deputy governor of Delta State stormed my table convivially.
The epistle from Otuaro was a parcelled letter with the legend on the lower edge of the envelope: ‘His Excellency Otuaro’s First Epistle’.It was the first time I have ever had the honour of being written a letter to by a deputy governor.The letter reads thus: ‘Dear Deltans, I feel this is the best of time to communicate with you now that I have just opened my campaign office in Asaba on 15 March 2022 followed by categorical declaration of my governorship ambition in the 2023 Delta State Governorship Election.As a governorship candidate with a vision for the developmental transfiguration of Delta State, I feel obliged to share with you my thoughts on justice and peace in relation to the quest for a better world in which Delta State would feature as an integral part of it.
There is no state that can survive in a world without justice.A state thrives best in a world that recognises justice in agitating for developmental transfiguration in different dimensions.It is a matter of justice, equity and fairness that Deltans have increasingly become aware that there is zero-zoning of the Delta State governorship and that Governor Okowa is clearly situated as a neutral player in the 2023 governorship matter, having resigned himself totally to the supreme ruling of God on the appointed day.The agitation for zero-zoning of the Delta State governorship is an echo of a quest for justice in microcosmic communication when compared to the justice-consolidated quest of Gandhi and Martin Luther in their varied conceptions.
Always be told that the society we find ourselves is an inert force; it is powerless and dormant. The society does nothing on its own lane because it is a breathless creation or shell, but it is full of injustices, indignities, cruelties and stupidities heaped on man every day. Society only becomes meaningful and goal-driven when it is powered by human forces carrying positive philosophy and agenda on their shoulders and lips. Society needs people who can create ideas and theories envisioned and tailored to remove the injustices, indignities and cruelties which threaten the happiness and progress of mankind anywhere on earth. Clearly, this is a re-echo of Martin Luther King, JR. when he says: ‘The thing that we need in the world today, is a group of men and women who will stand up for right and be opposed to wrong, wherever it is’ (32, The Autobiography of Martin Lather King, JR).This is why I have decided to test my development theories and ideas in Delta State in 2023 as the governor of Delta State if democratically mandated by Deltans because I can always stand up for Deltans with my positive philosophy.
Great ideas and theories created by man are required to confront wrongs and injustices in this world. The tireless efforts of man towards the detection, arrest and elimination of man-made injustices and wrongs are the reasons behind why intellectuals labour to create theories and ideas as a counter-force to the existing injustices in the world – economic, educational, religious, theoretical, scientific, philosophical or political. To create theories and ideas to better society in its varied dimensions is a positive step or initiative but the modality created to make these theories meaningful to society is of paramount importance. The greatest theory of man may fail and become a burden on the society when the modalities created to pursue the theories in practical terms are incorrigibly and irredeemably deficient.The man Otuaro is armed with the best modalities created to pursue his development theories in Delta State in 2023.
There is no factual basis to argue that our society or world is besieged by injustices in varied colours and society can never be placed on the progressive lane except these injustices are tackled and uprooted. To uproot these injustices through corresponding counter-theories and policies without a resultant backlash or reprisals from the same process, non-violence approach should be the recommendation or the best approach; and this nonviolent modality must be sufficiently accompanied by love because, by conception, like Martin Luther King JR, ‘I believe firmly that love is a transforming power that can lift a whole community to new horizons of fair play, good-will and justice’ (63, The Autobiography of Martin Luther King,Jr).Here the word for Deltans is Otuaro because Otuaro is synonymous with boundless love for all Deltans which must be reflected in developmental projects programmed to be executed in 2023 when the sought mandate democratically mandates His Excellency Otuaro.
Political, economic, theological, ecclesiastical, social and sociological injustices found in any place in this inert world should be vigorously fought and uprooted using the Mahatma Gandhi’s revered philosophy of nonviolence. That Indian Gandhi for whom ‘love was a potent instrument for social and collective transformation’, must be one’s guide and reference point when the focal point is that of nonviolence theory in agitating for justice in an injustice-filled world.With this Gandhian model appropriated, Delta State will be the haven of peace and attract untrammelled development in the hands of the man fondly called the white eagle.
We do not need a special discovery and knowledge to know that the Niger Delta region is still a victim of developmental injustices in varied forms but these injustices don’t require or merit violent approach as a problem-solving modality or methodology. Any attempt made to uproot the injustices in the Niger Delta region anywhere in the world should be guided by the philosophy of non-violence in agitation because it has the highest possibility of success and target-achievement. This must be grafted unto Delta State in the agitation for a zero-zoning formula in the 2023 Delta State governorship matter.
In the bag of the philosophy of non-violence one can see pacifism, a ‘nonviolent resistance to evil’ (26), and peace-sustainability, a guarantee for peaceful co-existence needed for unimpeded growth and development in the society. The philosophy of nonviolence in agitation against varied deprivations, admirably used by Mahatna Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr to attain their desired ideological wars against injustices and deprivations in their agitation days in India and America, ‘was one of the most potent weapons available to oppressed people in their quest for social justice’ (p 32).The governorship candidate with the pacifist blood and orientation would be the best choice for Delta State in 2023.The one they call Otuaro the white eagle is a pacifist.
A casual look at the social and ethic-based theories of Locke, Mill, Hobbes, Rousseau, Aristotle and Plato emphasise and confirm the potency of the nonviolence theory. It was with the theory of nonviolence at their command Mahatma Gandhi was able to agitate and attain independence for India in 1947 without bloodshed; similarly, Martin Luther King JR was able to win the war against segregation targeted at the negroes in America without shedding blood of the white. What this implies is that the visible injustices in the Niger Delta region can be tackled using the philosophy of non-violence because this had been used in the Western Countries with amazing success and result. Any group or individuals anywhere in the world should use the non-violent method if they have genuine goals to achieve in their quest for justice.What Gandhi ideologically thought for India is what Otuaro is thinking for Delta State in microcosm.
Based on my conviction that the nonviolence theory moves society forward, I have carefully formulated the theories of Otuaro-Gandhism and Otuaro-martinilutherism to propagate the philosophy of nonviolence in agitating for justice in the world. For all these various groups agitating against injustice in various forms in Nigeria, they should be nourished and guided by Otuaro-martinilutherism and Otuaro-Gandhism because these two theories of propagation are rooted in Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of nonviolence. An inert world or society schooled and enriched by the Gandhian philosophy of nonviolence is a society on a progressive lane because the philosophy has not failed any agitator or reformer who has deployed it as an indivisible part of their quest for justice. Non-violence is the best path for any agitator or reformer who wishes to be remembered historically.Otuaro is the magic wand for peaceful co-existence and the resultant developmental transformation in Delta State.
The non-violence theory is a very potent one.Even with the potency buried in the theory of nonviolence, some diehard anarchists may be persuaded to spread and perpetuate the lie that violent approach to the pursuit of justice is more productive of the desired result than the non-violent strategy. For these morbid unbelievers and anarchists, Carlyle is always there to conscientise them to the fact that ‘No lie can live forever’ (33) as Martin Luther King, Jr had long disproved them in their chronic misunderstanding of the nonviolence philosophy and in their faulty understanding of the potency of violent resistance.The man called Otuaro is prepared to pattern himself ideologically upon Martin Luther King,Junior in his great thoughts for Delta State.
Truth and potency in non-violent resistance to injustices and indignities can never be trampled upon and be reduced to nothingness or insignificance no matter the machinery used because Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Junior had demonstrated their practical positive potentials in the past , and this reiterates William Cullen Bryant’s view that: ‘Truth Crushed to earth, will rise again’ (33).Otuaro’s thoughts for Deltans in 2023 are not different from the great thoughts of Gandhi and Martin Luther for their people at different times in the past.
The whole world knows that I am a pacifist by principle. However, even as a pacifist, peace ambassador, built around the theories of Otuaro-martinilutherism and Otuaro-Gandhism, I wish Nigerians, particularly great Deltans, to take this home: Always with love in the background and principle in the foreground centred on the philosophy of nonviolence, be ready to prove your ‘somebodiness’ and opposition to injustices anywhere in your environment because this is the only guarantee for a progressive and developed society. Evil and injustices must always be ‘militantly’ resisted but always within the organised framework of nonviolence as a philosophy because the man Otuaro has come to reinforce your positive positions in the society, particularly your historically verifiable conviction that there is no zoning of the 2023 Delta State governorship to any senatorial district and that Governor Okowa is impressively neutral in the 2023 Delta State governorship matter’.
Epistled honourably as a pedestrian animated by genuine desire to walk on the honest lane of believability, I dare confess here that what I thought was a letter from His Excellency Otuaro is indeed my meditation on the developmental theories and thoughts of His Excellency Kingsley Burutu Otuaro in my moment of intellectual and philosophical reverie now that the Delta State Deputy Governor has verbally signalled his readiness to eagle into Osadebe House in 2023.At this time it is natural for thoughts of Otuaro to roam the mind epically and audaciously claim sole proprietorship of its creative processes and channels and commandeer it willy-nilly to thoughts of imagined epistle from the deputy governor of Delta State.To all implacable lovers and believers of His Excellency Otuaro’s 2023 governorship ambition, cheers from the bottom of my heart!
By: Ekanpou Enewaridideke
Writes from Akparemogbene, Delta State.