The Phoenix is the mythical bird, the only of its kind that gathers a pyre, dies on it and rises from its ashes to begin another round of life. It dies only to rise again. Nothing kills it, it dies on its own and rises from its ashes.
It has become a metaphor for a never die person, a simile for a strong bounce back from dire situations, a deep strong and resolute never die spirit.
It is good and important to remind ourselves that Japan in Asia has its nickname as the Phoenix. It has to do with its resurgence from the atomic bomb that was used against it during the Second World War by America.
Indeed, Japan is the only country that has been bombed by the atomic or nuclear bomb and the effect of the bomb against it has formed the basis of the deterrent the world has against the bomb. It is quite remarkable that Japan has bounced back from the effects of this bomb and it has risen to be the fourth largest and biggest economy of the world.
It is without doubt that Senator Dr Demenongu Iyorchia Ayu has risen from the ashes like the Phoenix serially and severally. When he won the Senate Presidency during the transitional maze of President Ibrahim Babangida, a transition that was booby trapped for failure, his conduct was impeccable.
Indeed, he stood up to the tricks Ibrahim Babangida put in the way to make sure the transition failed. As a matter of fact he displayed uncommon courage by questioning how Babangida would annul an election that has remained a water shed in Nigeria’s democratic experiments. He was pushed out of the Senate leadership and he was not sullied by the odious contraption of the Ernest Shonekan interim leadership.
When late Sani Abacha pushed away Shonekan after Babangida stepped aside, it was fitting and proper that Dr Iyorchia Ayu was made a minister of the federal republic. It was the time to look for people of character during the trying period of nationhood and Ayu stood up to be counted. The Senate experience served him as combustible material for his pyre and for his metamorphosis.
When Moshood Abiola’s stolen mandate was to be restored as national atonement and Olusegun Obasanjo was allocated the presidency, the choice of Dr Iyorchia Ayu as a minister in the cabinet of Olusegun Obasanjo became natural and it is on record that his name was given three times to stand for the three nominees from the state.
No other person has enjoyed such exalted privilege in Nigeria from any state. By his proven pedigree, his choice for positions has always received overwhelming support and it is quite fitting that the People’s Democratic Party will require a Phoenix to help it rise from its own ashes to reclaim its lost glory.
It must be redeeming for him that he has remained in the People’s Democratic Party in spite of its dwindling fortunes. He had joined Atiku Abubakar to escape the haunting of Olusegun Obasanjo when space was constricted to deny Atiku support for his ambitions but he came back to the party to occupy his exalted position and it has proved his mettle as a reliable anchor in the troubled waters of Nigerian politics.
His candidature was accepted by the country as no contrary opinion was received across the country. This is very unusual in politics of this country and it simply translates into positive vibes for Dr Iyorchia Ayu.
And prior to the days of the convention, he was quoted expressing pristine views on his pedigree and expectations for his would be actions as the National Chairman of the PDP. He did not carry on as an anointed candidate. He expressed himself as a consensus builder and bridge builder.
This is remarkable and it gives credit to him as a cerebral person. After all, he is the first university teacher to head a major political party in Nigeria and all eyes will be on him to walk the talk and a Sociology teacher to boot.
Finally, all politics is local and Dr Iyorchia Ayu has to prove a point of raising local human character to positions of influence in the Nigerian state.
There is a dearth in this regard. It is not enough to raise people who are already up there. The thing to do is to plant seeds in the country and they will grow to become oak trees and offer shelter and all to other brethren. And such seeds so planted must be quality to ensure longevity. A prebendal approach will not do.
To whom much is given, much is also expected.
Congratulations to Dr Demenongu Iyorchia Ayu. May God Almighty and Ayatutu bless you on your elevation.