Doing what is right could be wrong. Saying the truth could be sinful. The “honest truth” is not always honest. It depends on how it is said and when it is said. Saying the right thing at the right time in the right way is to avoid being wrong when doing the right thing.
The trending video of Apostle Kassy Chukwu of the Oracle of nation ministry and the writeup by Rt. Hon. Sokonte Davies are examples of saying the right thing, the wrong way.
In his video, Apostle Kassy Chukwu reacts to Pastor David Ibiyeomie’s curse on yahoo boys while Dr. Sokonte Davies in his piece, reacts to the upcoming Kalabari Civic Reception for Governor Wike. In doing these, both men got it wrong while saying what is right.
The anger of Apostle Kassy Chukwu is that in placing a curse on yahoo boys, Pastor David Ibiyeomie did not address the root cause of the problem. He says that yahoo boys are the products of an uncaring society created by corrupt politicians. He is angry that Pastor David Ibiyeomie was merely plucking leaves instead of uprooting the trees that produce yahoo boys. Apostle Chukwu says that the easiest way to kill a snake is to cut off its head. “Why not curse the politicians who cause joblessness and produce yahoo boys”, “the problem of Nigeria is the president, governors, Senators…” he says.
But Apostle Kassy Chukwu says the right thing the wrong way. He pours filth all over and blurs his message. He is abusive and threatening. In the end, he creates the impression of a person seeking relevance. He comes across as someone trying to shore up his profile by taking on a person that is far his superior.
In his case, Dr. Sokonte Davies writes against what he calls the deception by Kalabari PDP members. He says that they are portraying the upcoming Civic Reception for Governor Wike as a Pan-Kalabari event whereas it is an event “of PDP by PDP and for PDP”. He accuses the organizers of usurping the Kalabari common heritage to pursue their personal political aspirations.
Like Apostle Kassy Chukwu, Dr. Sokonte Davies says the right thing the wrong way and in the wrong time. There is no doubt that sycophancy and eye service are the cankerworms destroying our society. As a sitting governor, Peter Odili was honoured with the chieftaincy title of “Dein Piribo of Kalabari” – the harbinger of peace – even as communal crisis swept across Kalabari land. There are indeed too many Yes Sir Men out there.
Dr. Sokonte Davies worries that the Civic Reception for Governor Wike by PDP members could give the impression that Kalabari loves Wike. He doesn’t want such narrative because it could anger the Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi. It could become the excuse to deny Kalabari the 2023 APC governorship ticket.
Again, Sokonte Davies is right but he is saying it the wrong way and in the wrong time. The Kalabari PDP members want from Governor Wike what Kalabari APC members want from Minister Amaechi. If the PDP have chosen to honour Governor Wike in a grand Kalabari Civic Reception, nothing stops Kalabari APC to express their love for Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi in a similar or better fashion. To come out against Kalabari PDP, the way he did, is to create a wrong impression. It is to play into the hands of those singing the song of Kalabari disunity as the reason for denying them the governorship.
If the Civic Reception for Governor Wike does not qualify as a Pan-Kalabari event because it is organized by PDP members, what then makes Dr. Sokonte Davies’ ‘disclaimer’ Pan-Kalabari? Did the Kalabari Council of Chiefs ask him as an APC member to write a ‘disclaimer’ on behalf Kalabari? Not at all. He is only exercising his right as a Kalabari man.
Governor Wike is governor of Rivers State and not governor of PDP. Prominent people and senior citizens are expected at the civic reception. Non-PDP members will grace the occasion. Persons sympathetic to APC will be there to mingling with PDP members.
Contrary to his misgivings, the Kalabari Civic Reception for Governor Wike will strengthen and not weaken the chances of Kalabari in 2023. Sokonte should be happy that his brothers in the PDP are working hard to be in Wike’s good books just as he is working hard to be in Amaechi’s good books.
In the end, it is obvious that Dr. Sokonte Davies and the organizers of the Kalabari Civic Reception are all looking for the same thing in 2023 and they know that we wish them well.
We are waiting for them to declare formally so that we can engage them alongside aspirants from other ethnic groups.