“Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.” Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Disclaimer: I do not write for anyone in this piece as I have never met the principal character of this article in person or ever spoken to him before. This is not a paid piece by person(s) close to him but a personal contribution to put to rest the raging political inferno that the defection has caused, for Deltans and Nigerians to decipher why certain things happened.
Last week Saturday, the mother of all defection in Delta State happened as the illegal former Deputy National of the factionalized Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Cairo Ojougboh packed his belongings, both human and intellectual to the All Progressive Congress (APC).
When a source called me on Wednesday of same week that something big will happen in Ika through Cairo, I thought it was just a normal gathering and even when another source squealed to me that he was defecting, I still didn’t take it serious, until they began to send me the pictures of the event.
As usual, the PDP and Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa’s kindergarten Executive Assistant Media aide, Mr Fred Latimore and the infantile PDP publicity Secretary, Ifeanyi Michael Osuoza went ballistic, pretentiously crying on how Cairo’s defection is a big relief to the state and the party. What a shameless bunch of creatures.
Rather than keep quiet and watch things fizzle away as experience media aides behave in sane clime, Latimore went for the jugular by attacking personality instead of dealing with the reasons posited by Cairo for his leaving the party. Instead of keeping sealed lips and allowing the State PDP Publicity Secretary to issue a response since it’s a party affair; the overzealous aide who cannot differentiate between a Governor’s media man, Government Spokesperson and a Party Spokesman decided to fool himself again.
The very loquacious aide in his wild goose dismissed the defection as irrelevant since Victor Ochei, Ovie Omo-Agege and Ogboru did not come. For a defection that has the Ibe Kachikwu who’s the Minister of Petroleum, Otega Emerhor and the South South Party Chairman and blessings of the three persons he mentioned, no other confirmation is needed that this was an orchestrated plan from above. When we all thought that Ifeanyi was going to be more professional in his reply, he still went crude, attacking the defector than the issues he raised. I will take on each of the paragraph as I wish, to expose the many lies in Ifeanyi piece titled ‘Cairo Ojougboh: A political chameleon’. Okowa should take out time out and check comments made by Deltans on the facebook walls of his media aides on the defection and judge for himself.
In 2014, when Fmr Gov. Rotimi Amaechi led six other governors to defect from the party to then opposition APC, the party bade them farewell as good riddance to bad rubbish. The National PDP and President Goodluck Jonathan media aides attacked them as persons with no political relevance to winning the 2015 elections. Today we are all witness to how the PDP is struggling to play the role of opposition in the country and how Olisa Metuh as PDP Publicity Secretary was silenced till he was finally kicked out, leaving the job for Gov. Ayo Fayose, Gov. Nyesom Wike and Fani Kayode. Even his successor is yet to find his feet.
How do you describe a situation where a party got victory through the instrumentality of the Supreme Court and decree amnesty for the other faction members that lost? Are they militants or criminals that deserve pardon or amnesty? They are party members who felt aggrieved and decided to have their own faction pending the determination of the Supreme Court, but rather than treat them equally; they were made to look like outcasts.
No single form of reconciliation was done. Not a single move for harmonization was done; rather the Non Elective Convention chaired by Okowa systematically ostracized them. No sane politician will stay in such party and be further humiliated. No politician worth his salt will stay in a party where they are seen as ‘Osu’. Not even a baby politician will stay in an already struggling party and allow his ego to be further bruised.
The step then is right by Cairo to pitch his tent with any party and if he feels the APC meets his political interest and aspiration; it’s not worth attacking his person for. What the Governor should do rather than folding his arms like President Jonathan and be listening to lies, rumors and blackmail stories against people like he has turned himself into, is to look into the grievances of party members and woo them to the party. But No, he has chosen to maintain the ‘siddon look na dog name’ posture and allow his new baby Executive Assistant on Communication and party secretary to throw shades at men whose shoes they cannot unlace politically.
When Chief Paulinus Akpeki defected to the APC, the government and his crèche media team termed him as a spent force who have lost political relevance. But as soon as he was wooed back to secure strategic victory for the Governor in 2019 in Sapele LGA following his cold war with the former impeached Speaker, Rt. Hon. Monday Igbuya; they hailed him as a Daniel come to judgment. Today, he’s the government Chief Strategy Officer! What manner of people are these, without direction and purpose of existence? Like liars and bad losers that they are, they brood over every strong politician they lose, but rather than keep quiet and make silent moves on how to bring them back, they turn to blackmail and names calling.
Cairo listed the wasteful spending of the Paris Debt Fund as one of the ills of Okowa that made him decamp, but the PDP publicity secretary want us to believe that the money was judiciously spent. I will not play the role of the opposition APC to follow how money is spent in the state. Cairo may not be far from the truth as the breakdown of the N10 billion is the most ridiculous and unintelligent I have ever known in all my years of studying mathematics. How the State Commissioner for Information broke down the details and not a single kobo was left in the bank’s account needs immediate auditing. We challenge Okowa to allow the citizen bring independent auditors to audit how the N10 billion was spent and zero Naira was not found in the account it was lodged.
It is most pathetic that Ifeanyi who has good prospect politically started off worse than Lai Mohammed of the APC by brazenly lying on how Okowa has engaged citizens on how the money accrued to the state has been spent and constantly engaged Deltans in townhall meetings. No Sir, the so called townhall meetings were subtle form of campaigns for second term and no one asked question on how our money has been spent. All the questions asked during the wasteful townhall jamboree were all programmed!
For Ifeanyi to lie before his creator and man that Okowa enjoys “overwhelming support and understanding of our citizens and indeed their decision to invest their trust and confidence in the capacity, capabilities and the honest, transparent leadership of Governor Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa” is most uncharitable to him and Deltans. I hope he’s able to look at the mirror after writing the speech and smile at himself? I hope he’s able to pray that God runs his life the way Okowa has run Delta State and say Amen to it? I really hope he can forgive himself when posterity opens the book of records and he finds himself among the sycophants that are leading Okowa to his Gethsemane.
Ifeanyi, Esiso and Okowa should disguise themselves and walk the street of Asaba, Warri, Ughelli, Sapele, Oghara and even his own Agbor, to ask question on his street credibility since he came into power, and compare it with 2014/2015. If he gets 5/10 as his score, I will publicly organize a rally where I will apologise to Deltans and then quit journalism for life to go into farming, just like Okowa advised Delta youths, even when his brothers are not farming but enjoying the state commonwealth. I dare Ifeanyi and his EA on Communication to take up this challenge within one month!
While we cannot wash Okowa’s laudable project in many area, Ifeanyi and the State party goofed by leaving his area of strength to focus on where the governor can easily be punched. According to his write-up, Okowa has “created over forty two thousand direct and indirect jobs, through the YAGEP, STEP, PPSP, Micro Credit Scheme and its Agricultural Initiatives”. Pray, where are these jobs?
We only know the names of such initiative but there are NO success stories attached to any of them. What Okowa has done is to create new set of Ika millionaires to man the Job Creation Office. Simple! The party and government should show us just REAL hundred persons who were trained and empowered by these programmes and are doing well and have employed other persons through it, and I will point out two thousand persons who are currently regretting going for such programme and have been impoverished worse than they were; before they were deceived into applying for it. I have the proofs.
From all that we saw in the Ika defection, it will be self defeating for Okowa and his party to pretend that all is well. From Patani to Warri; from Ughelli to Agbor; it has been loss of popular politicians leaving the party for a safer haven and leaving the party to Okowa who wants to run a one man show and never tolerates dissenting voices. Woe unto him who deceives himself when the worst form of deceit is self deceit. Like we say back then in the University, “He who do he, do he”.
The real Chameleons are Okowa’s aides who praise you today once you are with them and curse you once you leave them, only to hail you as a juggernaut in your field when you are back to their fold. Those who will never sing the songs of sycophancy are quickly issued ban from Government House and any Government premises with instructions to SSS to arrest and charge the person for ‘wandering’ (Only heaven know where such laws come from) whenever they are seen in Asaba.
Cairo Ojougboh has gone, but the real blow is yet to come. During Ovie Omo-Agege’s campaign, one of his slogan was “you dey look am, e dey go”. This is currently the nemesis of Okowa who instead of winning back aggrieved members who left like Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom is doing, Nyesom Wike of Rivers has done and still doing as well as other governors; he’s chasing away the few ones left. It is such a shame that it happened in Okowa’s backyard, right in Ika where he comes from. He has lost every moral justification to tell party leaders to hold their members together when he could not hold his from defecting.
This is the crux of the matter; this is the reality on ground for “Reality denied comes back to haunt.” ( Philip K. Dick).
May his lot not be like Ex Gov. Emmanuel Uduaghan who as a Governor of a ruling party could not influence the emergence of his choice successor. Ise.
These little things matter…
Fejiro Oliver, an Investigative Journalist, Media Consultant and Human Rights Activist is also the Co-Convener of Coalition of Human Rights Defender (CHORD) and can be reached on +2348022050733 (SMS ONLY) or email@example.com. Engage him on twitter on @fejirooliver86.