The Dave Umahi Metaphor, By Chooks Oko
The joy was palpable. The resplendent signs of loaded anticipation and a certainty of an assured place in the society was unmistakable, as was the tinge of pride of an uncommon sense of achievement. The young lads cannot be wrong. They were strolling into the future riding on the fulfilled dreams of an evidently uncommon mind. The scene was the maiden matriculation ceremony of the wonder King David Federal University of Medical Sciences, Uburu. Uburu is in Ebonyi state with a strong claim to motherhood of some of the nation’s best. Today, it plays host to one of the world’s wonder, this medical university that will assuredly dominate the medical space in no time. It is at once both a school and a centre of medical excellence that is sure to rival John Hopkins in the United States. John Hopkins university is a similar institution thought to be the world’s best, but the Baltimore, Maryland facility will take a bow to King David in terms of the most modern equipment, study environment and the addition of medical technology nay production. King David is a dream whose realization keeps you thinking you are still dreaming. It is a human wonder planted in the most unexpected place, Ebonyi state, the new conscience of Igboland. To understand the quantum of the project, its scope and vision is to try to understand the dream bearer, David Nweze Umahi, the governor of Ebonyi state and frontline contender for the APC presidential ticket in the just concluded primaries.
The project is deep, wide and an all encompassing solution to Nigeria’s medical tourism dreams. With the most up-to-date medical facilities in vital areas, the world will come to Uburu. With the manufacturing plant for dialysis consumables, the only one in Africa, the world will come to Nigeria. To understand the making of this dream come true is to understand the Umahi metaphor, one whose understanding will leave you wondering if you understood anything at all. The metaphor is audacious, bold, determined, focused and practical. It is compassionate, combative and consumate all at once. Umahi is a solution when all efforts seem wasted.
The Nigerian media through its various bodies attest to this. The quality of projects he embarks upon and completes will burst the average brain. The prudence with which he does it leaves you gasping for breath. Little wonder Ebonyi state is the state in Nigeria today with the least loan profile! Yet, it is the first in completion of world class projects and the state with highest number of projects executed within the same time with its peers. The Umahi metaphor is a magic when all logic has failed.
The metaphor has strengthened the Ebonyi persona. It stands the Ebonyi man out from the pack. Trustworthy, honest, sincere and truthful, the Ebonyi man will not sell his brother for any price. Ebonyi is the salt of the nation, the Umahi metaphor has ensured that it is now the conscience of Ndigbo, one you can do business with without fear of betrayal. The PDP and APC presidential primaries brought the Ebonyi character to the front burner, the Umahi metaphor is poised to raise it to the zenith.
Nigeria will certainly look for this metaphor some day soon, it needs it already.
Oko writes from Abakaliki, Ebonyi state.