Ume Vs Ukairo: Put your sword back in its place, But don’t throw it away, Olugu Ukpai Sues For Peace

(Rejoinder: Chief Barr. Ume Kalu (SAN) Vs. Chief Ukpai Ukairo Esq).

By Ambassador Chief (Dr) Olugu Ukpai

It was Professor Chinua Achebe who postulated: When two brothers fight, a stranger reaps the harvest. I have been following with deep concern the now disturbing altercations between two brothers and eminent sons of Ohafia in their own respective regards. What readily come to my mind were the words of wisdom in Achebe’s Arrow of God: “Have you not heard that when two brothers fight a stranger reaps the harvest”? Achebe was referring to the kind of inner house chat that one’s parents, especially, mothers normally have with their warring children when they fight in public while their enemies watch and clap for them to fight on and destroy themselves so that they will celebrate over them. It’s against this backdrop of the brotherly fight and motherly refereeing vantage point and as an innocent victim of a “gang rape” that I write this rejoinder, drawing on two inferences, and then present my recommendations. It was Stephen Heath who observed that “you study what you desire or what you fear. I desire peace but abhor gang-raping which can be argued and in my personal opinion is becoming a norm in this platform if caution isn’t applied. We are all brothers and sisters in progress. We are leaving this world one day and our children will grow up one day to read all we have been posting on the internet. What legacy are we leaving? Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love.

First, let’s try to understand why sibling fighting may occur. Each skirmish may be set off by something different—say a fight over whose turn it is to sweep the floors or who gets to decide what TV show or movie to watch—but the root cause may be a bigger issue. In some cases, the problem may be a clash of personalities. In others, it may be unresolved feelings of rivalry. For instance, a child may feel like mom or dad favors their sibling. Another child may feel resentful because they think they don’t get to do as much because they are younger. Or one sibling may simply like things to be quieter and calmer while the other one is all about action and adventure. Whatever the cause, it’s important that parents do what they can to foster a good relationship between siblings, and make sure that any conflicts do not damage their relationship.

Second, during the early outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, we had planned a medical mission to Nigeria, Imo State precisely. Following the mounting insecurity, our friends who had committed traveling from India, USA and Canada, etc had to back off and I was pained after investing millions. That was a colossal loss. It pained me not because I was sick and needed the treatment; rather, it pained me because we had raised hope for those in dear need and saw it being dashed by circumstances beyond our control. I was pained. I felt disappointed in the system where the rich continues to jet out on their private jets for medical treatment overseas while the poor keep suffering while little windows of hope are forced to close on them. With this disappointing mindset, I started sharing videos of insecurity across the country. But I shared a particular sensitive video but forgot to add “viewers’ discretion is advised”. This attracted a heavy and violent backlash. It appeared like everyone was waiting for the whistle to start the attack on me. I felt “gang-raped”. The truth was: I didn’t mean harm. I didn’t intend to profane the platform. Rather, like Biblical Hannah, I was just weeping my prayers but Eli mistook her to be drunk.

While the “gang-raping” was raging, only a few people reached out to me to check on me. Among them were: Prof Uduma, Kalu Nkata Emetu, Emeka Kalu, Mr. Emege, Elder Orji Nwosu, Rev Ukpai Osondu and Chief Olugu Kalu Emeghe and others that I can’t remember. After my explanation, they felt my pain and came out to the platform and doused the tension. They further asked me to just apologize and withdraw the content and I did. While Elder Chief Olugu Kalu Emeghe argued that “throwing away the child and the bathtub is not the way forward for Ohafia’s unity”, Elder Orji Nwosu said “He didn’t have bad intent….” Emeka insisted “two wrongs cannot make a right” Prof Uduma said “our pull him down approach is not encouraging to Ohafia’s good people”, Rev Osondu said to me “do not be discouraged, am praying with you” while Kalu Nkata wrote, “I understand your pain…you have lost millions….you are a great son of Ohafia doing and we appreciate all you do for humanity”. It’s based on the above strengths that I make bold to ask the following rhetorical questions:

                                   *RHETORICAL QUESTIONS*

First, where are the Mr. Kalu Nkatas? The Elder Orji Nwosus? The Elder Chief Olugu Kalu Emeghes and Mr. Emekas in the house? Has anyone been able to reach out to our own brother, Barr Ukpai Iro Esq, and hear from him and understand his pains just like I was given the opportunity to share mine? Can two wrongs make a right? Is he not the same illustrious son of Ohafia whom we have praised in the past for standing up when it matters? How can Ohafia throw away the child and the bathtub? Has Barr Ukpai Ukairo been gang-raped? Where are the pacemakers? Where are the great ministers in the forum? Where are eminent Elders endowed with divine wisdom? Where are those great Ohafia sons jostling to be our next political leaders to the Promised Land? Could this be a test case? Is it ideal to call for the ostracization of two brothers just because of simple miscommunication? What examples are we showing to our youths? They are here watching and waiting to take over from us? How can we achieve political prowess without peace? Has anyone reached reassured him of our prayers and support? It may be Barr Ukairo’s turn today, but who knows whose turn it may be next time? Could Barr Ukairo’s position be another Hannah weeping her prayers and mistaken to be drunk by Eli? Peace is fundamental for unity and development. I pray that the enemy will not seize this opportunity to create cliff between two good brothers. Is Kingsley Amis’s book titled We Are All Guilty apposite here? Remember, there are no perpetual political enemies. What face would we have to look at them tomorrow when they shake hands and eat bush meats from the same plate as politicians? “Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me.” (Ps. 25:1). I weep. O wu akwa agu m Ya wuru agwo ya agwo, ha obasi di elu gwezuga ya afa Jisos

Second, are we showing a good example of good parenting refereeing by taking sides between siblings who have misunderstandings? if you have more than one child, chances are good to excellent that you’ve had to referee sibling fighting and rivalry. The fact is, even the best sibling relationships can have moments of conflict and friction. But with a little insight and patience, a much more peaceful home and sibling harmony can be achieved. In this case, this seeming ugly situation can be harvested towards building a stronger and formidable Ohafia political platform, depending on how it is handled. Like the mother- child analogy drew in my introduction, no good parent chastises their children in the public. I am asking: Are we chastising two great Ohafia children in the public? In Onuora Nzekwu’s book,Eze Goes to School, Eze’s parents admonished him to “use his chewing stick in the privacy of his room and use his brush in the public”. Ohafia has great leaders, seated here on this platform. We can still turn the page around for our good. I can see God turning this around for our Ohafia’s good. The Holy Book affirms this: All things worketh for good to those who love God, those who are called according to his purpose.

Third, as both brothers are learned colleagues, let’s apply and convey to them in a language that they understand best: Law. In adjudication, courts are required to abide by the two fundamental principles of natural justice: nemo judex in causa sua (meaning that no one shall be a judge in his own cause) and audi alteram partem (meaning that no one shall be condemned unheard). In Modibo v. Adamawa Native Authority, the court granted an appeal to the accused who was sentenced to imprisonment by a court presided over by the Lamido of Adamawa (a traditional chief) for an alleged offense of writing an offensive letter and personal attack on the Lamido. The court rejected the plea of necessity brought forward and held that since the dispute was over a personal attack on the Lamido himself, the principle that no man can be a judge in his own cause must be maintained. Similarly, in Jalo Guri v & Anor v. Hadejia Native Authority, a procedural rule well- rooted under the customary law/Muslim Maliki law which prevented or denied an accused person in a case of hiraba (highway robbery) the right to question witnesses or defend himself or make any attempt to exonerate himself, was struck down and declared repugnant to natural justice, equity and good conscience.

Finally, Ohafia political enemies are about to cash in, create more caveats and deepen this brotherly miscommunication and celebrate over us, except Ohafia act fast. A house divided against itself cannot stand. An adult does not stay in the house while the she-goat dies of parturition pain tied to a stake. We have the best in the world in this platform if well harnessed. I recommend Ohafia Council of Chiefs, OIU and, Mben Political Assembly to bring their eminent warring sons and brothers, who have represented Ohafia very well in their own regards at various levels under one roof and apply the concept of motherly refereeing and broker peace among the two well- meaning brothers of Ohafia sons This, we cannot achieve on social media platform. On that fateful day, it’s not a day to retell their stories. We have already heard them. Rather, Ohafia should celebrate them and whisper into their ears the words of Achebe: “When two brothers fight, a stranger reaps the harvest” and the words of Jesus to Peter: “Put your sword back in its place”, but do not throw it away because we will need them another day against Ohafia common enemies but not against each other. When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.

Ukpai Olugu
Written by: Ambassador Chief Barr (Dr) Olugu Ukpai. Dr. Ukpai was crowned Ambassador in the Diaspora by the Monarchs of OHAFIA Ancient Kingdom, as Chief Ifunmini 1, of OHAFIA in the Diaspora.

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