The theme of the article catches attention as to why the writer chose such a difficult topic for public discourse.
However, it is not out of place to cite that every killings, violence and commotions that happen in today’s society are caused, instigated or necessitated by provocative words of supposed leaders.
As a Media and Public Relations expert, I have silently used my profession to settle disputes that if left to remain fallow, would have hitherto metamorphosed into full blown blood shed in the state.
Rising from the happiest moment of my life, I have decided as a matter of urgency and for the sake of our dear state, to render intellectual solutions aimed at solving disputes, crisis and supposed wars considering how highly tensed the political system appears in Imo state. But the songs of war oozing from the mouth of Secretary to the State Government, Hon Barr Uche Onyeaguocha is indeed quite condemnable.
The movements for social change are products, producers and resolvers of conflict. By joining together to bring about change, their members affirm the positive, creative role that conflict can play in calling attention to injustices, applying pressure to support needed social changes, reinforcing progressive values, halting censorship and retaliation, and resolving the chronic, systemic sources of social conflict.
Yet these same movements are often plagued with their own internal conflicts, which are routinely handled in negative and socially regressive ways.
Internal conflicts in social movements are commonly resolved using a range of highly destructive methods, including avoidance, apathy, accommodation, screaming, suppression, enforced silence, personal insults, mass resignations, gossip, ostracism, unnecessary splitting, sectarian behaviors, angry denunciations and public humiliation, none of which maintain unity, encourage principled opposition, or demonstrate an ability to solve larger social problems.
From the inception of the present government in Imo State, accusing fingers had pointed at the Secretary to the State Government, Hon Barr Uche Onyeaguocha which are mostly in the negative.
The inciting words that gingered the Chairman of Recovery Committee, Hon Jasper Ndubuaku which suddenly led to his unholy manhandling by unknown thugs loyal to the former Governor was said to have been instigated by the SSG and the striping of Uche Nwosu of his ‘sonship’ of Umuoyima, in Owerri Municipal was also traced to the SSG.
It is also on the record that the purported announcement that HRH Eze Prof Amobi Uwaleke of Obibi Urata is not a recognized Traditional Ruler wherein it was disclosed that he got his staff of office and certificate of recognition in 2018 was allegedly traced to the SSG.
The recent rumoured ‘banishment’ of Elder Sam Onwuemeodo by a select of Mbaise Traditional Rulers in concert with the Interim Management Chairman of Aboh Mbaise and the unceremonious removal of former Rector of Imo State Polytechnic, Umuagwo was alleged to have been perfected by the SSG.
In view of the above, one is left to ask if the SSG, Hon Barr Uche Onyeaguocha has hijacked Governor Emeka Ihedioha to decide virtually everything that happens in the state, if yes, who elected him to perform the functions solely reserved for the number one citizen in the state?
We can also left to enquire if SSG, Hon Barr Uche Onyeaguocha, having contested and failed severally as Governor is utilizing the opportunity of his appointment as Chief Scribe of the state to function as Governor by proxy?
Certainly, the emotions that occur naturally in the course of these conflicts are frequently repressed partly in deference to a higher goal, political ideal or principle, or immediate practical priorities; partly out of disrespect for subjective weakness, which can be seen as a form of political vacillation; and partly out of a fear of cooptation and capitulation.
Personal needs are then equated with selfishness and self-indulgence; or a lack of commitment, or identification with opposing political interests, so that toughness and insensitivity can come to be regarded as positive attributes, and essential accommodations to the rough-and-tumble of political activity.
Internal conflicts are endemic and natural to progressive political and social movements, in part because it is difficult to agree on how to define and change highly complex, volatile and evolving social problems.
As a result, over time, different definitions of the problem and perceptions about the nature of those who defend and represent it result in radically different notions about what needs to be done to change it.
Moreover, these alternately reinforcing and contradictory definitions and ideas are not fixed in time, but fluctuate dramatically with events, shifting perspectives, hardening or softening commitments, and an evolving, uneven understanding about the kind of organizational structures and decision making processes needed to overcome the obstacles that are periodically placed in the way.
For this reason, debates over means Vs. ends and goals Vs. process are a part of the history of all social movements, which are simultaneously fixed on achieving specific goals or demands, and at the same time searching for principled ways of achieving them that do not replicate the worst of what unjust and alienated social practices have created.
At the same time, maintaining unity in the face of an organized and repressive opposition as against what the SSG, Hon Barr Uche Onyeaguocha is exhibiting is of paramount importance. In decisive moments, everyone understands that nothing is achievable in the absence of unity, and that everything is possible with it.
Internal conflicts, if handled incorrectly owing to the incessant instigations and with-hunt as perpetrated above will unnecessarily undermine this unity.
But how exactly is unity formed? One type of unity derives from having a common purpose, goal, vision, idea, or source of inspirational energy for the state, that means, the progress of our state must be our primary objective and not vindictiveness. We can think of this as a unity of substance or content.
A second type of unity emerges from affection, community, struggling together against great odds, friendship, or empathy. We can think of this as a unity of relationship. There is also a third type of unity, which we can think of this as a unity of process, that emerges from open and honest communication, dialogue, circles, and other collaborative processes.
Unities of content are fleeting, limited, conscious, intellectual, future-oriented, and externally directed. Unities of relationship are enduring, unlimited, subconscious, emotional, past-oriented, and internally motivated.
Unities of process are situational, transformative, largely unconscious, intuitive, present-oriented, and group inspired. Each of these impacts the others, and is able, even in tiny, unnoticeable ways, to strengthen or weaken them.
In any movement or organization that seeks to strengthen its internal unity and capacity for common action, it is critical to build all three, and move, wherever possible, from the first, which is widely acknowledged, to the second and third, which are largely ignored. In political movements, it is especially important to rescue the principles of human affection and collaborative process from the demands of political expediency and abstract content.
There is a historic tendency among political groups to dismiss concerns with relationship building and collaborative process as unnecessary and time consuming, or as diversions from political substance, or “touchy-feelie” and bourgeois in nature.
Each of these judgments could be accurate, depending on the circumstances. Yet to regard relationships and processes in general as secondary or unworthy of concern is to ignore their extraordinary impact and transformative power.
Process encodes relationships and recapitulates content. The process of bowing to a monarch or saluting a superior officer reveals and reinforces their hierarchical content. Whenever people stand in line or sit in rows before a speaker, or dance on tabletops, relationships are created through process that reinforce relational and political content.
Similarly, if ideas are expressed using mathematical proofs, footnoted pages, oil painting, ballet, or rhymed poetry, different kinds of content will emerge from each form.
The same idea extends to political organizations and their approaches to resolving conflict. It makes an enormous difference whether a group acts in lockstep with the will of its leader, or by majority vote, or by consensus. And it matters equally whether internal disputes are handled by silencing dissent, mass expulsions, power struggles, avoidance, acrimonious debates, mediation, or open dialogue.
Progressive organizations have a particular interest in encouraging the use of collaborative, relationally constructive methods of resolving internal disputes that do not recreate the same negative, adversarial techniques that characterize the unjust, internally divided societies they seek to improve.
Once it becomes permissible to treat allies and internal members in the same ways we treat external opponents, the movement has taken a huge step backward and diminished what it will be able to achieve.
To succeed in creating more just societies, we need to begin with ourselves, and encourage not only substantive unity regarding core ideas and political principles, but the caring relationships and collaborative processes that are needed to support them over the long term, by improving the levels of skill and understanding in these areas.
Every conflict takes place not only between individuals, but within a context, culture, and environment; surrounded by social, economic, and political forces; inside an organizational system, structure, and technological setting; among a diverse community of people; at a particular moment in time and history; on a stage, milieu, or backdrop; within a relationship.
None of these elements is conflict-neutral. Each contributes often in veiled, unspoken, yet significant ways to the nature, intensity, duration, impact, and meaning of our conflicts.
And each element, depending on circumstances, can play a determining role in the conversations, interventions, and methods required to settle, resolve, transform, or transcend it.
Every conflict, no matter how petty, therefore possesses hidden social, economic, and political elements that inform and influence its evolution and outcome. More critically, social inequality, economic inequity and political polarization raise the intensity of even the least significant interpersonal conflicts, and these forces are experienced personally as conflict.
Nonetheless, it is rare that any of these systemic background elements are noticed, analyzed, discussed, or subjected to problem solving, negotiation, or conflict resolution by those whose daily activities bring them into existence.
In addition, social, economic, and political dysfunctions trigger or aggravate interpersonal and organizational conflicts, and these conflicts contribute to the maintenance of oppressive, social, economic and political systems, in part by generating chronic conflicts, and with them, a culture of avoidance and aggression, and a set of adversarial attitudes and behaviors that limit the ability of individuals and groups to work together to improve their lives.
We can identify a number of sources of chronic conflict throughout history, and among these are social inequality, economic inequity, political autocracy and environmental change. Therefore, every effort to end or ameliorate these sources of conflict by individuals or movements for social change can be regarded as a form of conflict resolution.
To solve this menace, first, can we become more skillful in preventing, resolving, transforming, and transcending conflicts in social movements by addressing the systemic, contextual and organizational influences that trigger or aggravate them?
Second, is it possible to apply conflict resolution principles to the inequalities, inequities and dysfunctions that fuel chronic social, economic, political and environmental conflicts as ill managed by the SSG?
We shall continue to learn to interact with each other socially, economically, politically and environmentally in more humane, compassionate and collaborative ways, while uniting to bring about social change with considering our political affiliations.