But for the Indomie generation, the majority of us are conversant with the old African folktale “The tortoise and the drum”. But I will encapsulate the story in a few sentences for want of time and space.
A famished tortoise came across a palm tree that had plenty of palm kernel fruits. The fruits looked juicy and ripe to eat. “If only I could have one to eat,” wished the tortoise. Finally, providence smiled at the expectant tortoise but, unfortunately, the fruit fell into a hole occupied by a spirit that had begun to munch on it before the tortoise got there.
“That’s my palm kernel,” the hunger-stricken tortoise exclaimed. Touched by its plangent shriek, the spirit gave it an unusual drum in exchange. The tortoise beats the drum on getting to its habitat and feasts appeared in surpluses for its ilk.
The sumptuous repast happened steadily for a while until the drum, regrettably, got broken. So, there was a need to replace the fragmented drum. Expectedly, the insatiable habitué returned to the place it all started but, on this occasion, manipulated the process.
The same scenario almost played out, and the spirit opted to give the tortoise another drum in exchange. However, propelled by rapaciousness, the tortoise went for the biggest of the drum. Howbeit, the gamble backfired as bees savaged the old trickish tortoise and its ilk already seated for the banquet.
In this narration, the old trickish tortoise represents the Chief of Staff, Dr ACB Agbazuere, while the drums represent his numerous government appointments. The palm tree and the spirit represent our past/present governors and their various governments, respectively, while the feasts represent his hatchet jobs that had paid dividends in the past.
The chronicle goes thus: the hunger-stricken tortoise (Agbazuere) shook a palm tree with juicy fruits, (criticised Orji Kalu) only but for selfish purpose. His message (palm kernel) got to the spirit (government) that eventually rewarded him with an appointment (drum).
His nifty sleight of hand on the drum (skills in doing hatchet jobs) had paid dividends (feasts) in the past. These include the dismantling of the OUK’s political dynasty and enthronement of another, the concoction of falsehood through fictitious petitions against the mavericks to have them unjustly incarcerated.
The demystifying and sacking of the Abia State almighty female Chief Judge (A.K.A Obiara mba ka mba) through his adroitness was one great feast too many, relished by his ilk. What seemed impossible then (food) was achieved with ease by the tortoise with a nifty nimbleness of fingers (beating the drum). Little wonder the tortoise became relevant in the scheme of things in the animal kingdom; it (tortoise) was achieving the impossible (providing the animals’ food).
However, as the story goes, the old tortoise was caught in the web of its craftiness when it deceptively received the biggest drum (Chief of staff position). The expectations boomeranged as bees savaged the old trickish tortoise and its ilk already seated for the banquet.
In the juxtaposition of these two scenarios, the tortoise caused the kingdom irreparable damage which overshadowed its past results. Dr Agbazuere was probably relevant in the past to some of the governments but not anymore. His actions are proving prejudicial already to Ikpeazu’s administration.
Aside from exposing Ikpeazu’s government to critical opprobrium (using Barr Emperor Ogbonna’s incarceration as a case study), Agbazuere would have damaged Ikpeazu’s chances at the poll had he any chance of re-contesting for the governorship in 2023.
His letter to the PSC made the governor a villain and Dr Otti a hero; thanks to his repulsive obsessiveness with Otti. In other words, he made it clear that Abians would have been Ikpeazu’s captives if not for Otti’s intervention. Wow! What a way to present, one’s boss a misanthropist.
I don’t know if I was the only one who saw it differently, but the letter looks like an open courtship of Otti in 2023 in case of any eventuality. We know him as a political prostitute, so, it won’t be a surprise if he jumps the boat in 2023 if there’s a paradigm shift.
In the African folktale, the tortoise worked for his selfishness and elevation not necessarily for the interest of some folk. The tortoise would have been the king of the animals had providence smiled at it at the acquisition of the bigger drum.
Suffice it to say that Agbazuere is working for his selfishness and elevation not necessarily Ikpeazu’s. The last time I checked, other states of the federation have Chief of Staff too. Why aren’t they usurping the statutory responsibilities of their elected governors and deputies?
When last did you hear the name of the Abia State deputy governor since the appointment of Agbazuere as COS? O bata Osu! His style of leadership shows that he is an anachronism that should not be part of the 21st-century government set up.
According to Michael Bassey Johnson, “Great and pure thoughts cannot be deposited in minds accumulated with rubbish.” At least, you now know the reason for ACB Agbazuere’s many gaffes.
To be continued.