Was it not the Holy Bible that said ‘when the righteous is in authority, the people rejoice? The same Bible identified several individuals whose righteousness begat them death and tribulations. Many therefore ask ‘why’? The answer like they say is blowing in the wind. This paradox aptly applies to the current spokesman of the HoR, Hon. Ben Kalu fondly called the ‘Oracle’ of the 9th Assembly whose representation of Bende federal constituency has become a story for posterity to record.
I will be unable to put forward all he has done in the constituency in less than 4 years for want of space but by popular imagination, the standard he has set will be punishment for whoever replaces him whenever he chooses to upgrade his political ambition.
For the past few days, social media has been awash with bizarre allegations against Hon. Benjamin Kalu by no other persons than enemies, haters and proxy fighters from within. With a multitude of crimes bordering on home breaking, these envious bunch with pathological fears of being outdone in generosity, performance and goodness allege that the Oracle has become a devil, destroying homes, expropriating, and alienating fellow men of their legitimate marital entitlements. I refuse to be drawn into contestations on the veracity or otherwise of these killer allegations given my feeling of shame whenever or should ever my wife publicly disown me for sundry reasons of bullying, violence and insincerity. I will be permanently clothed in shame all my life thereafter. So I excuse myself from such contemplation.
Given the desperation of politicians in Bende and elsewhere especially as 2023 beckons, I prefer to place on record that the traducers of Hon. Ben Kalu are people from within who are not pleased by his rising political profile. It might be generalisation taken too far to affirm that his brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers in Bende are complicit; purely depicting the Igbo analogy of the house rat informing the Bush rat of the sumptuous fish meal in the kitchen. I was felled by surprise and laughter when a friend opined that given Hon. Benjamin Kalu’s legacies in his constituency, no person or persons will want him out of the parliament so soon. But he was wrong as all these allegations are tailored to unseat Abia’s most vibrant export to Abuja.
Admittedly, the Oracle remains the most awesome discovery and performer of the 9th Assembly but that is exactly where his problems started. I can tell anyone for free that envy by the little and the mighty are central to this orchestrated campaign of calumny against him. Now, let me shock you, In one dark corner in a Bende community; a big community with 3 or 4 wards, a prominent mother confessed to a youth that she must bring down Ben Kalu as she has the support of some ‘elders’ and ‘masquerades’. However, the analogy of the tortoise who threatened to kill a pregnant woman in the market place and got arrested the next day when a pregnant woman died in the market might soon play out in Bende or what looks like it. Or how do you interprete the activities of a father or an uncle whose professed intentions are at perpetual variance with his expressed actions? Some of the ‘elders’ and ‘masquerades’ in Bende might just not be comfortable with the rising rating and profile of the Tribal Chief hence the calculated option to bring him down using spurious allegations as those of an individual whose homefront has become a furnace of sort. How can it be interpreted that a supposed personal lawyer and confidant of an accused throws open his client’s private discussion to the one who is prosecuting him? No hired good lawyer/friend can so brutally harm his client. Pardon my resort to the abstract but it won’t be long before the truth to comes out even as darkness and light cannot cohabit.
But in truth, Hon. Benjamin Kalu does not in any conceivable way deserve this media plot against him. It remains a ‘shamefully orchestrated but poorly executed agenda to put a stain on his hard-earned and well- applauded legislative achievements’ as rightly reasoned by Comrade Chikodi Eze.
As this plot sgainst him thickens, I am tempted to further bring to light possible reasons why Ben Kalu’s jugular bears an attractive medallion for daylight robbers. If he had not adorned his neck with such ornaments and finely knitted embroidery, no one will be so attracted to stretch his claws to grab him. Did I hear you say self-inflicted injury?
Hon. Benjamin Kalu departed from the evil ways of his predecessors footnoted by greed and itchy fingers to begin to ‘do a new thing’ in the land of his birth. In a wrongly perceived dispensation where lawmakers do not build roads, he built roads across the length and breath of Bende and provided water, solar lights, rebuilt and equipped schools, opened rural roads, built solar power grids, ICT centres, empowered idle youths, built bridges, provided motor cycles, tricycles, hair dressing equipments, built and equipped health centres and deployed tools of empowerment like generators, sewing machines etc to the constituents. Benjamin Kalu courted their anger and drew their ire when instead of sharing the constituency allowances amongst these famed ‘masquerades’, he deployed them to the benefit of the people. He provoked them to more anger by refusing to be a bat; not being a bird nor an animal, he refused to eat with two hands but considered one seen hand better than two unseen hands, choose to be inclusive than exhibit DNA-driven clannishness, admitted standing on a known line than perching on the fence and above all preferred speaking truth to power than deceiving his followers with falsehood without remorse and with a large dose of pretensions over time.
I want to liken this uncommon legislator to the famed Egyptian president Abdul Nasser whose bravery and capacity to tell colonial powers the truth made him the target of the inglorious Muslim Brotherhood terror group. Ben Kalu has become the soft target of ingrates and purveyors of dynastic inclinations. I may not know or be a close associate of the Oracle but even from afar, i can see that his grace is deep, the radiation of his intellect has become a bullet proof, his focus and strength of purpose encourages an assumption that martyrdom in defense of his people will not be an impossible sacrifice. It will only be good if Bende people disregard this proxy war against their performing son and see the plot for what it is – a proxy war of attrition that must be extinguished.