Misinterpreted Kindness: The Tale of Edward Onoja and the Prostrating Man

619
By Alex Adeiza.
The picture of Kogi State’s Chief of Staff, Edward Onoja and his kinsman prostrating before him has continued to be circulated on social media with an unfounded and false narratives weaved around it solely to malign an honest benefactor.
If a picture is worth thousands of words, the tale of Edward Onoja and “Alhaji APC,” the prostrating man proves that a picture is also worth thousands of meanings, especially for both the naysayers, and the yea-sayers. But then, there is always THE FACT, and only investigations could unearth it.
“Alhaji APC” is a name to reckon with in the grassroot politics of Olamaboro Local Government Area of the state, and a firm believer in the Yahaya Bello led administration, but had met with stiff taunting from a rival politician who got the gift of a ram for Sallah celebration, and challenged Alhaji APC to present his own fruits of excruciating labour for the government of Yahaya Bello.
Fortunately, the Chief of Staff, Edward Onoja was in his hometown to celebrate Eid-El-Fitr with his people, availing himself the Sallah holiday as an opportunity to reward youth organizations and party faithfuls, and Alhaji APC found solace in the gift of a motorcycle. As against the spinned story making the rounds, the man who belongs to the same age grade as Onoja, but have been overwhelmed by the realities of life, could not hide his joy.
Despite the unrelenting efforts of Edward Onoja to restrain him from his exuberant celebration and expression of gratitude, Alhaji APC could not be stopped by anyone, because to him, Edward Onoja favoured him in the very time of discomfort arising from his political rivals. The cameras clicked, and the picture emerged a malicious tool in the hands of his detractors.
Whereas, Edward Onoja was benignant on the same day, such that in an unconventional but predictable manner, he turned the Eid celebration into a gifting spree to youths, women and party leaders across Igalaland, a misconstrued picture turned out to be the fad.
However, Edward Onoja also left his hometown with a proceed from his harmonization with his people; “Enemuneme,” a slogan which outrightly nips in the bud reasons for fruitless strides to put his image in bad light before the right thinking members of the society.
The slogan which literally means, “a stranger that is better than the familiar ones” says much about the singular sin of Edward Onoja for which he is being defamed at all cost; supporting his non-tribesman in becoming the first non-Igala to govern the state.