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For Uzodimma, Ben Johnson means grace

Published by The Nation on Fri, 11 Sep 2020


Ifeanyi MaduakoSIR: Benjamin Sinclair Johnson (popularly known as Ben Johnson), the Jamaican born Canadian former sprinter came into limelight in the 1984 Olympic championship where he won two bronze medals in the mens 100 meters and 200 meters dash. He came to the apogee of his athletic career when he won two gold medals in 1987 and 1988 consecutively. Even though he was later stripped off the gold medals on the allegation of testing positive to steroid, his name remained a recurring decimal and synonymous with exceeding speed for overtaking competitors.In Ben Johnsons competitive days, his famous style was always a surprising overtaking or out-pacing his competitors from behind to win all the medals he won. The common parlance in the streets of the world then was using the name of Ben Johnson to illustrate either speedy running away from danger or overtaking opponents in any race in whatever form.Therefore, when Governor Hope Uzodimma used the metaphor of Ben Johnson to illustrate how he became the All Progressives Congress (APC) gubernatorial candidate in Imo State and subsequently won the election in less than a year after he joined APC, he was trying to demonstrate or illustrate the grace of God in his life to his audience. Yes, its only the mighty hand of God which would have made it possible for a then new entrant into APC to displace all the formidable structures and tendencies to become its governorship candidate. Before his entrance into APC , there were the Rochas Okorochas structure, the Ifeanyi Araraume structure, the Eze Madumere structure, etc. All these structures were at daggers-drawn to one another. There was no meeting point for all of them. The centre could never hold.Against this background, when Governor Uzodimma told Okorochas appointees who recently paid him a solidarity visit at the Government House pledging their unalloyed loyalty to his government , that he became the governor of Imo State through the Ben Johnson way, he was merely explaining to them that he became the governor through the grace of God . His Ben Johnson way connotation or context doesnt mean that he became governor through a fraudulent means. He couldnt have said that he became a governor through fraud. In any case, no Ben Johnson way succeeds in any endeavor if God doesnt sanction it.Uzodimma came from behind and overtook the several structures and tendencies in the then APC, and became its candidate. He went ahead to win the general election. Uzodimma has abundant grace in his political life because he became the governor of Imo State in just two attempts whereas many couldnt achieve it after many attempts. In politics and life generally, Overtaking is allowed and that was exactly what he did in 2019 gubernatorial election through the Ben Johnson way which means the grace of God.Ifeanyi Maduako, Owerri.
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