By Protus Uzoma
According to Aesop the great philosopher, “a goat was straying in the vineyard and began to browse on the tender shoots of a vine which bore several fine bunches of grapes. ‘What have I done to you’, asked the vine, ‘that you should harm me thus? Isn’t there grass enough for you to feed on? All the same, even if you eat up every leaf I have, and leave me quite bare, I shall produce wine enough to pour over you when you are led to the alter to be sacrificed.’”
It is obvious, in accordance with the principles of Hormic Psychology, that behaviour is characterized by purpose or a tendency to seek goals. Goal-seeking behaviour is motivated by propensities that are instincts or sentiments. We all know that instincts are innate propensities such as pugnacity, curiosity, acquisition and self-assertion. According to William McDougall (a great Psychologist) “all instincts are describable in terms of their three fundamental characteristics or attributes-cognitive, affective and conative.”
Following the above assertion, all instincts have a sensory, a motivational, and an emotional component. Instincts, therefore, may be modified into sentiments, such as love, jealousy, or patriotism, which are combinations of instincts and through experience, become associated with complex stimulus situations. The point here is that every behaviour is characterized by purpose and goal-seeking. The influence of sentiments has greatly affected many people who sincerely wish to achieve a particular goal. People can kill out of sentiments occasioned by jealousy.
I am not trying to take you to my lecture room in order to educate you on Hormic Psychology which lost its ground when behaviourists attacked it, rather I am by virtue of the above alluding and inferring that the allegory of the goat as was highlighted by Aesop the philosopher was influenced by envy and jealousy to harm the tender shoots of a vine, which bore several bunches of grapes.
The reader of this article could recall that I have written several articles out of patriotism and aimed at giving the present administration of Imo State, led by Chief RochasOkorocha a good sense of direction, as he appears to have lost direction a long time ago. But, he has completely ignored my advice and, like the goat in Aesop’s fables,gone ahead to browse on the tender shoots of the vine after the goat had complained. That’s just the wayOkorochahas continued to treat Imo State.
To start with, Imo economy is in very bad shape. Now, I am still calling on him to sit up to enable him deliver democratic dividends to Imo people but all he does is shrouded in deceit, which explains why his political destiny and whoever he is to anoint for 2019 would be likened to that of the response of the vine to the goat as reflected in the fable.
In Igbo cosmology, when someone sees or senses a rabbit in the afternoon (an omen), it signifies warning of the danger in the future. In such a situation, the man begins to arrange on how to handle the situation in sincerity. The western scholars call it ‘superstition’ which is a derogatory term to vilify the cultural cum spiritual orientation of the African society. However, the Igbo man has a way of understanding his own world. Every Igbo man who sees the handwriting on the wall will certainly know that Gov. Okorocha’s political time is up. The omen is here and there, yet he does not want to see it, which informs the traditional philosophical saying that “whom the gods want to kill, they first make blind.”
If truly Okorochais a man of wisdom, he would have used the ancient wisdom to discern what is going on now. He could see clearly that Imo people will reject his candidate in 2019. How could he say that in Imo State, no one can match him politically? The Igbo are known as people of wisdom but I do not see any wisdom in all your political scheming and manipulations.
I have called GovRochas three times in this article, which means a lot to any Igbo person. A similar scenario played out during Christ earthly ministry when he called Peter three times indirectly prognosticating the future in a loving manner and language depicting warning. Jesus said to Peter, “…Simon son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? Yea, Lord…feed my lambs…Andsaith to him again the second time, Simon son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, yea, Lord…Feed my sheep. He saith unto him the third time, Simon son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time…” John 21:15-17.
Following the above, Peter’s exasperation was informed by the repeated manner in which Christ asked him a single question which he already knew the answer. In the same vein, I am not calling Gov. Okorocha because of what he does not know. He knows why I am calling him and Imo people know that Okorocha’s government has failed to deliver the dividends of democracy simply because he has no respect for virtue. In the words of Shakespeare, “Our life is short, but to expand that span to vast eternity is virtue’s work”. The virtue of a man ought to be measured not by his extraordinary exertions, but by his every-day conduct.
Confucius, one of the greatest Chinese sages, was asked if he knew a secret for happiness. He answered that he did not know any. Then a disciple asked, “Do you know any secret to ruin a country?” “Yes”, Confucius replied, “When the rulers do not accept criticisms”.
Criticism cannot be stopped through the art of violence, which informs why Voltaire infers, “Really to stop criticism they say one must die”. Destructive criticism is dangerous because it wounds a man’s precious pride, hurts his sense of importance and arouses his resentments. On the contrary, constructive criticism does the opposite to a man of virtue and value. This, however, is not the case with Imo State government.
Gov. Okorocha has never loved me, because beginning from time (I saw his posters and hand bills) in 2011, I took it upon myself to inform the Imo people of the danger in electing him as the state Chief Executive. Today, all my predictions about him have all come true. Though, when he was declared the winner of the supplementary election, I started advising him through my various newspaper columns as a patriotic Nigerian but he completely negated all my admonitions.
As a social critic, I continued my work and assignment under the slogan of the present administration ‘Imo must be better’. Imo cannot be better without constructive criticisms because those who clap for Gov. Okorocha in error are mocking him now that his failure is conspicuous. Some of his aides have left him; he is in court with some too. He has failed Imo people. We need another messiah in 2019 that will not be anointed by Rochas.
Prof.Uzoma, a social critic, writes from Owerri, the Imo State capital.