By Ori Martins
It was a great American of global repute, the iconic and irrepressible John F. Kennedy who sensationally drew his people’s attention thus: “The torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans”. It was a part of his inaugural speech which brought hope at a time Americans of all walks of life were facing depression, dejection and hopelessness of the worst proportion.
There are striking similarities between the legendary Kennedy who pointedly urged the citizenry of his time not to ask what America will do for you, but rather ask what you will do for America., and upwardly mobile Akuta, the publicity secretary of Imo State APC. At the time Kennedy assumed the herculean task of America’s presidency, he was just 43. Akuta is not yet 43. He is not even 41. Yet, both individuals’ energy and sense of job appreciation are infectious.
Kennedy was a Catholic just like Duke Akuta. The late American president had two most reliable allies: his younger brother, Robert who at the era under projection, was only 35 years old, as well as his wife Jacqueline who acted as his undercover General Adviser. Akuta’s most admirable personage is the redoubtable business mogul and political exponent, High Chief (Dr) TOE Ekechi who is also the South East Representative in the North East Development Commission, NEDC. Of course, Ceejay, as I call him, insists that hard working and knowledgeable Barrister (Chief) Enyinnaya Onuegbu, groomed him in the political nursery bed.
Both Kennedy and Akuta belong to the school of political thought which believes that, as the assassinated president put it “If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich…And let every other power know that this hemisphere intends to remain the master of its own house”. The import is that both men admire peace, freedom and security. However, they equally, separately, in their various avowed article of leadership, had stood down vicious odds that confronted them as challenges.
Remarkably, it is written that when Russians built the Berlin Wall in August 1961 to stem the flow of emigrants from East Berlin, Kennedy rejected pieces of advice to smash it down with force. Again, in October 1962, Kennedy became an internationally acclaimed leader when he diplomatically handled the Cuban Missile Crisis, refusing to return fire – for – fire. He also shocked even his admirers when he signed the Peace Treaty with Russia in 1963 thus reducing tension and fear of war against Cuba or USSR.
On the other hand, Akuta is a man of peace who sees things from the light of orderliness, rule of law, constitution, constitutionality, humanity and humanities. He hates quarrels but will readily give them to you in ten folds if you bring them to his threshold.
From being a Mr Nobody in the recent past, Akuta worked assiduously and ingeniously, not necessarily seeking for attention, but was rapidly sought after by the current APC state actors who appointed him the director general of the party’s media centre. A professional inclined to challenges, Akuta delivered the goods and services and his diligent dedications never went unnoticed and that is his progressional matrix.
As a reward for his honest meritorious services, the powers that be at APC challenged him with the position of the publicity secretary of the party in Imo State. So far, Akuta has been “Macula Non Est inte” – immediate, without blemish!
As he is being welcomed in a civic reception at the Central School Play Ground, Nguru Umuaro, Ngor Okpala LGA, with the secretary of Imo State Government as the chairman, MacDonald Ebere billed as guest of honour, Prince Alex Mbata scheduled as the special guest of honour, the occasion promises to be filled with frills and grills.
Yet, I have two pieces of advice for my good friend who has been my benefactor for more than seven years now.
Number one: Ngor Okpala has the rare privilege of rearing publicity secretaries of big parties in Imo State, especially PDP and APC. It does appear there is a lull after they serve out their respective tenures. Verify!!!
Number two: Senator Rochas Okorocha emerged Imo State governor primarily on the back of Ngor Okpala votes ditto the supplementary election of 2011. Sadly, those who gave Okorocha his worst and most unforgettable political fight were Ngor Okpala politicians. Today, Governor Hope Uzodimma is receiving his biggest support in Owerri zone from Ngor Okpala, may he also not receive his worst political experience in 2023 from Ngor Okpala.
And finally, just as Kennedy led the invigoration of America’s fight against racism and equity, may Akuta’s reception and political uplift, be the springboard for Ngor Okpala to produce a deputy governor, governor, senator, ambassador, minister (which she has never had) in the nearest future. Kudos Akuta. I am proud of you!!!