CAIRO OJOUGBOH DEFECTION TO APC, GOV. OKOWA COMICAL LEADERSHIP, PDP SINKING SHIP AND THE UNTOLD FACTS.

Fejiro Oliver

“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 secretsreporters@gmail.com. Engage him on twitter on @fejirooliver86.

 

CORNUCOPIA: AGONIES OF A TRIBE, AS ARMY PYTHONS SWALLOW SCORES OF IGBOS

Odogwu Emeka Odogwu

Coup d’etat is in the offing in Nigeria.  Soldiers are on the loose. And unless somebody makes a sacrifice to be the peacemaker, Nigeria is in for the worst. My fears though. I may be right. I may be wrong. But, their acts in Abia state of recent have exposed that the Army officers and men are tired of the barracks and wish to take over governance? Civilians appear to them as fowls and non-consequential especially in Igboland.

Hypocritically, IPOB has turned to a dog given a bad name in order to hang it. And all the killings, burning of Churches and other atrocities against Christians and Ndigbo in the North coupled by hate speeches by Arewa youths as well as the numerous killings by Herdsmen across Nigeria, the Army has never deemed them terrorist sect but for throwing stones and the likes, IPOB was branded a terrorist group even when the group could be seen as indigenous people not an organization.

Though Nnamdi Kanu stretched his luck. He insults everybody and misses opportunities of being a better hero if not overstretching his limit with no election in Anambra rather than mobilize to unseat a governor in Anambra and South-East before unseating the President. And with that the narrative changes but I was insulted for suggesting that. Are there strategists around him or he knows it all? His numerical strength in followership in unequalled but he spilt all those respects.

South-East Governors led by Engr David Nweze Umahi of Ebonyi state disappointed me with the blanket proscription of the activities of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), particularly on timing. Even though this singular act would save Igbo youths both within and outside from further annihilation. There was no diplomacy and they have lost Nnamdi Kanu and his boys. The intimidation and confrontation stance was not right. They would have done it since, but without the word proscribe.

Their activities would have been suspended with the request that they channel their grievances through them or Ohanaeze Ndigbo with efforts for all to see they are indeed serious. Their silence on the killings in South East which they summarized as ‘’investigation is ongoing on all allegations of killings , maiming and other unlawful conduct in South-East’’, was alarming. People died and the Governors would have condemned the killings first before any other word but those who died have paid the supreme prize.

But proscribing a group when soldiers invaded them and their leaders’ home , slaughtered some and worse, those on transit with their Biafra insignia, were assaulted, humiliated , shot at and killed at will. The resistance by the IPOB members and the affront when soldiers invaded Nnamdi Kanu’s residence shows that should the group carry arms, the soldiers would have been swallowed effortlessly by people considered rag-tag.

The Babaric attack on journalists in Umuahia is enough to confirm the unprovoked attacks, maiming and killing of IPOB members who took delight in wearing the Biafran insignia and shouting no election in Anambra without even a den gun. The actions of the Nigerian Army against Journalists and IPOB members were not only barbaric, shameful and throwback of dark days of military era that thrives in dictatorship. President Muhammed Buhari may have been provoked by the utterances of Nnamdi Kanu and his request for guns to attack Nigeria allegedly but he should have shown maturity as a civilian President especially when he did worst things to former President Goodluck Jonathan overtly or covertly.

The worst has happened, that IPOB is not a creation of law is enough tragedy and that the IPOB would put resistance is not in doubt. IPOB never sees itself as a terrorist group and never done anything funny unless when provoked by some ‘rats and worms’ in uniform as security agents but without tact and candour as officers paid with tax payers money. Not that I am interested in Kanu’s ego to be massaged because, so many things were wrong in his approach which I did a piece on and got barrage of threats and insults. But the actions of the Nigerian Army disciplined for better civil relations was not only condemnable but totally unacceptable. These are aggrieved Nigerians and not warriors at battle field. What is throwing of stones and cudgels or whatever they call it for the army to use life ammunitions against fellow Nigerians? Mob could do worst things? Why targeting Ndigbo? We have external aggressors at Bakkasi Peninsular and even within at , Plateau state, Taraba state, Borno state among others, yet no life ammunition have been wielded on them aside confirmed Boko Haram killers.  The videos and photos of Igbo boys and girls murdered in cold blood filled me with pains that I can’t believe Nigerian Army could be so callous. Why is 1967 repeating itself in 2017?

Yes! Igbo land is in pains. Her youths are being massacred in cold blood by a set of senseless, brainless, uneducated and uncivilized beings who found themselves in a reputed military, our pride.
These ‘rats and maggots in the army’ derive joy in shooting at sight innocent, impressionable, and exuberant insignia carrying young men who believed they were marginalized and abandoned by a government that ordinarily should cater for them.

Their only crime was their resolve to resonate as much as possible the Biafran spirit lost since 1967 and whether on the right course or wrong course is a topic of another day.

The shocking 2 minutes, 27 seconds video of soldiers brutalizing unarmed Igbo youths simply for adoring clothes associated with Biafra along Port Harcourt road Aba few days the Operation Python dance 11, Egwu Eke started was unbelievable. After thoroughly hitting scores of youths travelling peacefully to unstated destination with their wipes, rods, canes and rifles, they were pushed into stagnant flood water along the highway.

That was not enough, they were asked to soak their heads in inside it under heavy flogging. They turned and rolled over severally in pains to the delight of the soldiers. Some were even shot. When they could not bear the agonies anymore, they suffocated into coma and were brought out spread like fish just from the oven and they died like stock fishes to the relish of their tormentors.
The video is already viral and soon the Army Authorities would deny it as usual but their denials are already known to the international community following the attack on the media in Umuahia, Abia state and the invasion of the home of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Leader, Nnamdi Kanu. Whatever they say is for the dogs! The deed is done.

As Abia boils, Operation Egwu Eke also has a location in Anambra state since 12th September, 2017, precisely at Oba Airport site as approved by Governor Willie Obiano for its military exercise which according to the SSG Prof Solo Osita Chukwulobelu who conveyed the message via a circular ref GH/SSG/SECO/017/2 is to encourage cordial relationship between civilians and the security operatives and deter criminals as well discourage criminality. Complete hogwash and insult on sensibilities of Ndigbo.

In less than a week, over 200 Igbo youths have died and others injured for not saying a word to anybody ascribed as a hate speech like what the Arewa youths did or carried arms into anybody’s abode like the Fulani Herdsmen and their ilk. The Igbo youths were humiliated, tortured and killed for believing in their tribe and carrying insignia of Biafra. They could be members of MASSOB, BIM, IPOB or any of such groups reminding President Buhari on the need to let Ndigbo go whether in euphoria of it or a reality yet to come.

Can I ask God why he created Muslims to torment Christians for nothing and why he allowed Northern Nigeria to be part of Nigeria when their religious belief is all about war, kill and maim without any form of tolerance for a contrary religious view? Why should FRSC, NSCDC, Nigerian police and Nigerian Army assault, maim and kill people from the East for nothing and look the other way when it concerns the North? A farmer coming home with his machete and hunter with den gun would be arrested, paraded and branded whereas a Fulani Herdsmen and other Northerners carry about Jack Knife and AK 47 among other weapons and nobody stops them? Injustice in all angles, yet nobody appears noticing it. What a beautiful country turning itself against itself.

No matter the provocation, the Army would have restrained itself from these bizarre signals it has sent to the world in so short a time. Operation Python dance has overstayed its welcome and should seize for the agitation for a sovereign state Biafra is beyond ruthless killing of agitators and sympathizers without any forms of weapon.
The Nigerian Army is gradually creating monsters with these forcefully approach to civilian issues. And the earlier the IPOB members and others like them agitating for a Biafran state are engaged in a peaceful dialogue rather than this arbitrary radicalization ongoing unknown to many sequel to military confrontation, the better for this country. Let the economy and the polity be conducive and agitations would go naturally.

Joining my stance in the condemnation, the president of the EU commission Mr Jean-Claude Junker insisted the Nigerian Military and other security agencies have acted ill hearted and unprofessional in a democratic nation and have abused rights of its people, insisting that Biafrans have right to self-determination.

Junker said: “It is the people’s right to agitate and make a request from their government, self-determination is a right enshrined in the United Nation Charta.

“The people of BIAFRA have every right to request for a referendum, they have been in this struggle for a while now they have never killed or shot a bullet instead they are the victims of attacks and murder.
“The entire EU hereby condemn the brutal attack on IPOB members and leadership under the pretentious disguise of a military exercise (Operation Python Dance) Nigerian military is warned to adopt democratic tenets in handling citizens.
“The EU will not sit and watch things go undemocratic in the largest economy of the West African region”.

To me, Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai has failed woefully in his duties even if he was coerced into such act? Can the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 82 Division Nigerian Army, Major General Adamu Baba Abubakar, take a bold step as he did in restoring peace between Azuofia Edda, Okpuitumo, Ofomana in Osopong of Abakaliki Local Government Area of Ebonyi state and Ogorude and Ofumuna communities in Obubra Local Government Area of Cross River state warring communities on 8th September, 2017, since some leaders have refused to be just and fair in handling their subjects?

Though Abubakar claimed his efforts were in accordance with the directive of the Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant, General Buratai but I doubt that following the utterances of the Army Chief at the fallout of invasion of Abia state by his men who behaved in most unbecoming of trained soldiers. I can only say why President Buhari? Why Buratai?

Odogwu Emeka Odogwu is a Journalist and Editor based in South East Nigeria. He could be reached via 08060750240 or via email odogwuchampionawka@yahoo.co.uk

THE PARABLE OF THE TERRORIST, THE ZOO KEEPER AND THE PYTHON

DISCLAIMER: The story you are about to read is a work of fiction. Any resemblance between the characters in this story and any persons, living or dead, is either coincidental, a miracle or probably a figment of your imagination.

Ephraim Adiele

Once upon a time, 16 years after the Zoo returned to civil rule, there lived a terrorist named Mazi Kanu and his terror squad, the IPOB. Unlike most terrorists of his time – like Alhaji Shekau who led the Boko Haram sect which ran rampage in North Eastern part of the Zoo, Bin Laden who brazenly attacked Uncle Sam in 2001 and was killed for it years later, Al Baghdadi who ran the show in Syria and Iraq or even the Al Shabaab brothers in East Africa — his terror was mostly verbal. He threatened to destroy the Zoo and lead the Igbo to a prosperous future. To most people East of the Niger, his words were infallible. He had a radio station he had been running for a couple of years from his base in the UK. He spat fire, assuring his hypnotised listeners that the Zoo Keeper will be defeated. He sought to purchase arms to fight the Zoo… some in public places, some in private quarters. To many, the words from the mouth of The Terrorist were law and his cry for war on the Zoo was doctrine. In all this, the Zoo Keeper said nothing.

The Zoo Keeper, a man in the twilight of his earthly sojourn, seemed to be internally bitter and for many reasons: Not only had he just gained control of the Zoo after a long 12-year battle, his camp was getting divided gradually as a result of conflicting interest. Add to this the economy was crumbling with his country heading for recession. Like this was not enough, a new terrorist was in town. He was already battling Shekau and The Avengers but this new terrorist reminded him of something he probably didn’t want to remember. Years earlier, the Zoo Keeper was part of a bloody war against Kanu’s people in which over 2 million Igbos died. So he determined in his heart to decisively tackle this new terrorist. As fate would have it, the terrorist returned home and within a few hours, he was arrested and kept in custody until further notice.

2 years down the line, the Zoo Keeper had become terribly ill. His deputy, Mr. Osinbade held the reins for a while in his stead and was getting the support of the people. In the meantime, IPOB kept waxing stronger, getting new friends and winning the support of some influential people. The Zoo Keeper returned and after another period of litigation, The Terrorist was from his jail cell with several strict conditions. This seemed to be victory for The Terrorist and IPOB as they became even more daring and outspoken in their optimism of a future free of the Zoo’s grip. The Terrorist soon forgot the conditions for his release and continued from where he stopped; threatening the unity of the Zoo and constantly insulting the Zoo Keeper, only this time, he removed the drums of war and replaced them with a cry for referendum. He even assembled a Secret Service and started a mini-government of his own.

Soon enough, the Zoo Keeper was back in good health and returned back to the Zoo after spending over 100 days away. His return did not stop The Terrorist as he kept galvanizing his followers towards the day they face-off with the Zoo and the Zoo Keeper. Without wasting much time, the Zoo Keeper swung into action using his favourite pet, the Python!

The Python, merciless and efficient as always swooped on The Terrorist and IPOB, invoking fear across Igboland. The Python danced its way around, striking whatever was in its way… and an uneasy peace was restored in Igboland.

But the last is yet to be heard from The Terrorist. I say this because the same scenario played out in the Middle East when George Bush warned that if Uncle Sam leaves the region prematurely, he will come back to fight an even angrier enemy. His advice was dismissed and the American army left. Only to return years later to fight an even angrier ISIS led by the blood-thirsty Al-Baghdadi.

A little advice for the Zoo Keeper and the Python: listen… listen to anybody and everybody, please:

Listen to The Terrorist, for although might be loquacious, vulgar and toeing a disastrous path, he has a mightily large following of people who you should be catering to, not fighting against.

Listen to the people… ask them questions because it seems you do not care about their opinion — not even after you spent over 100 days outside the Zoo without explanation. Please drop your pride and conduct a referendum. It’s the only way to know the way forward because the people are very tired of this Zoo.

Listen because it would be disastrous to feel that you have finally calmed the storm. You might have won a temporary battle, but the Python will not always be in Igboland. It is my prayer that you do not come back to Igboland to fight a bigger, even angrier enemy.