There is something mystical about names including aliases. This explains the reasonable carefulness of parents employ while naming their children. In the belief systems across ethnic divides across Africa, names guide and guard their bearers. From the biblical times, names mattered much thus the meaning of those names bore expectations of hope and good will.
The focus of this write up is on our workaholic representative Hon. Benjamin Kalu but it is not about his name as we know it but his name as people have christened him. All manners of names and acronyms are borne by him courtesy of his appreciative constituents but two of those names stand out to define him few months to the 2023 electoral contest.
The ‘Tribal Chief’ and ‘Mr Projects’ are very instructive as names. What meaning does ‘The Tribal Chief’ convey? While ‘Mr Project’ is probably discernible, the former required some level of intellectual retrospection to crack. I can only fathom a guess being not the owner of the idea but many will agree that the Bende export has popularized Bende as a constituency and his area the number one national constituency.
It was not a mistake he move the first motion in the 9th Assembly but it is instructive that the content of that first legislative intervention is now a visible product before our eyes. The Nkpa ecological intervention has become one of the biggest federal government interventions in the annals of southeast political history since 1970; the biggesst so far being the second Niger bridge. The projection of Bende and the etching of Bende conciousness on the minds of Nigerians should earn him a superior Bende chieftaincy cap which verbally the Tribal Chief’ appellation represents.
I was moved to using this appellation to describe him in my last intervention on Abia politics last week. I failed to credit the creator of the name because I do not know him and the idea was not mine. The second name, ‘Mr Projects’ is evident even to the blind but in all of these, one thing is certain, Hon. Ben Kalu is working for his people and they appreciate his efforts.
But are these names of any effect or impact? My response will be this: for him that is praised by his people for doing good, resting will not be attractive but a distraction for he desireth to do more’.
I reckon myself a political prophet and I wish to volunteer one prophesy free for Bende people. Hon. Ben Kalu will be supervising his Projects’ even in the heat of elections. Reason being that he surely will detest any abandoned project in his name; the same reason his constituents would want to re-elect him in 2023.
Very many qualified and quality people will do well to challenge him soon in electoral contest but I have sampled opinion of some folks who volunteered free info that these aspirants may be good but they came at a wrong time when a Performer is glued on the seat.
Thus, the reality of time and timing is Central to what will unfold shortly is in their disfavor. Will my prophesy happen? Again, time will tell but one advice I overheard a mentor give his mentee last week was ‘wait for your time, God will remember you’. The question that readily comes to mind will be this: did Ben Kalu wait for his time and did God remember him? While many will say the answer is blowing in the wind, I can affirm that your guess is as good as mine.
Written by Prof. Victor Ukaogo
Department of History and International Relations
University of Nigeria, Nsukka