Its clear by now that the world’s equation of power and the very art of national survival has undergone a major ratification in recent times by some celestial parliament. As my grandma would say, the world has turned over on its head.
So every nation is now struggling to find a new balance- we know what worked, but what still does, we are not so sure. Suddenly, the very existence or annihilation of a whole nation can depend on something as small as a punctuation or lack of it, in a government white paper, a shade of inflection in the pronunciation of an item of faith or a slight change in trade winds.
The world being a global village means, nations are now global streets. And fortunately or unfortunately for Nigeria, ours is a street that speak in excess of two hundred local dialects interwoven in a mosaic of cultures all cemented with two major religions.This is indeed a concoct that breed issues more than a swamp breeds mosquitos; this is our reality. Although it may be argued that this is not normal, it’s not easy to prove what “normal” is, for surely we may have “typical” and “common”, but there is nothing normal!
As a street in the global village our peculiar experience has shown that we have so far scared development by believing, by our actions, that our national elections produce gods and not mere leaders of men; mere men who are in themselves nothing more than flesh and blood. So the result is that, we have steped out of our side of the seesaw yet still expecting the god- leader, to keep things in perfect equilibrium-the way they used to be! Regrettably, we have come to see our political institution as a cask, holding a Divine balm to all our national wounds, thus the Nigerian project is now a spectator sport with about one hundred and seventy million spectators. Our highest national honour is now, “public commentator”. As from the sidewalks we give a blow-by-blow account of the engagements of our political gladiators; where they have failed, where they are failing and where they are yet to fail.
In other words, we are yet to understand the rocket science that every member of a nation is critical to it survival and overall prosperity, the different fields of human endeavors being hues that make up the full spectrum. We are yet to open our eyes and see in full colours, or daring to add the ones missing.
It’s the realization of this that draws attention to Dr Ifeanyi Ubah, the chief executive of Capital oil & Gas Ltd, who is fast becoming a whirlwind of public admiration. Granted that the intricacies of politics or vagaries of business are not street knowledge, what is clear and abundantly so is the fact that this Nigerian has proved to be an exception to the rule and a breath of fresh air, by consistently, in the face of dire personal consequences, asking himself the question “what can I do to help?”. At times of great national distress when the closest the rest of us come to acting is asking, “what are the politicians doing?’ At these times when the favorite sport is the blame game, Dr Ifeanyi Ubah has demonstrated clearly and unwavering so the ideal on which our national salvation must hang, if we are to have a nation at all. One does not have to look too far for instances, they abound in recent memory.
The first I wish to mention here is the national fuel crises of late last year, when the oil cabals entered into an unholy alliance to fleece the Nigerian state, that is when capital oil open it pipes to water the Nigerian economy with 700000000litres of crude oil, which effectively saved the nation from disaster and ensured that the joys of Christmas was not postponed or dried up. To put things in perspective; we shared dividends from a company in which we do not own shares! That decision was not borne out of economic convenience, in fact, it meant that that capital oil lost millions of dollars, or better put, Capital Oil donated millions of Dollars to keep the wheels of the Nigerian economy churning. What Dr Ifeanyi Ubah did then was acknowledged by all and sundry, was like preparing meals for the whole neighborhood during the wake of a vicious storm, even though one was also affected. it’s a rare spirit of nationalism.
In a move that threaten his personal fortunes, he gathered the stones thrown at him to stop the flood he did not cause, just as the rest of all of us, the spectators, stood on the other side either analyzing the economics of the politics or the politics of the economics, while the economic refugees in-between, counted their losses.
The second instance is the decision of the colossus to wade into the dollar crises currently facing the country. From the last time I checked, Dr Ifeanyi Ubah was not the CBN governor or a financial market regulator, but as my feeble mind might ask, if the sun refuse to shine would we not light our candles even though we know they are poor replacements? For just as the importance of raising a question in a public square lies not only in getting the “right” answer but also in getting wrong ones, and the different shades in-between, this one resolution by this Nigerian has open to us a gamut of possibilities. It has turned the whole nation into the hallowed chamber of the national assembly and each and every one of us, a senator, in matters of urgent public interest. His example is showing that while the arguments of the distinguished senators rages on, simple ordinary Nigerians can fixed the matters they are capable of. Suddenly, it is now palpable that everyone can do something about something, or at least make an attempt, no mater how feeble. What is the results? The Dollar has shuddered at the courage of this true-born and bulged before our very eyes. This indeed, is a lesson in progress. None knows how this will end, but we have already shoveled in lessons in buckets. We are learning that our myriads of national headaches still exist because hitherto, we have allowed just one man to paddle the boat and bail out the water. By his naked audacity, Dr Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah has shown us that our dyed-in-the-wool problems still exist simply because we refuse solve them as individuals, for power belongs to the people, not the government, as sixty years of the Nigerian experiment has shown. This is the Ifeanyi Ubah phenomenon!
From the foregoing, it’s evident to even a casual observer, that through whatever lenses one looks at this interventions embarked upon by this great Nigerian, what would be discovered is that it’s evidently an unnecessary inconvenience on the part of the industrialist. The comfortable, Nigerian thing to do is to say and do nothing except to point fingers: the very reason why we have made progress backwards since independence. This is what will keep us a paper tiger- a great event that never happened.
The Ifeanyi Ubah Phenomenon if allowed to spread, will help fix bad roads before the federal ministry of works is even aware of their existence, it will provide teaching aids to the local primary school and improve ante-natal care before the national budget is successfully born through the Cesarean section of high wired politics. It’s about a shift in perception to more of responsibility sharing and less of resource control and revenue allocation. Its about private- private partnerships for the public good. it’s means complaining about a problem by fixing it. This is the the Ifeanyi Ubah phenomenon, in principle, the most practical way of asking, what can I do for my country instead of what can my country do for me?
The Ifeanyi Ubah phenomenon is a force of nature, the revolution we need. For if every part of a nation exist for the survival of the nation, then in a time like this of economic sinking sands, if our great and mighty stand and do nothing, then of what use is their acclaimed power, renown, sagacity, influence and wealth? Any part of a fish that does not contribute in helping it survive trouble waters should be considered vestigial. Even as the good book recorded, that when the Jews in babylon faced extinction at a point in their history, and queen Esther was required to risk her life and save her nation, she was reminded that its perhaps for such a time that she was raised in the first place.
If Dr Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah, the chief executive of Capital Oil & Gas lived to pass to Nigeria a new national awareness “THE IFEANYI UBAH PHENOMENON”, then he has lived right. And any one of us who accept not this lesson is obviously vestigial.