There are slavish souls who carry their appreciation for favors done them so far that they strangle themselves with the rope of gratitude. Friedrich Nietzsche
I can’t remember when last I saw the former Governor of Delta State, Emmanuel Uduaghan or spoke with him on phone, but there is hardly a week that his name is not brought up in discussions that I’m engaged in. There is hardly a week that documents concerning his regime do not come to the news desk and my question to most of my top sources is “The man has left power, why must we bring him before the media for trial when most of you were not bold to speak while he was in power?”.
As much as possible, I have refrained myself from digging into the past except there is something that the public deserves to know and certainly there are many, but that is not the matter that woke me up from bed to pen this down.
In one of the meetings I had this week, one of the issues that arose was who benefitted from Uduaghan while he was in power. Almost everyone present tried to wash away facts that he helped persons. While we were discussing, I flipped through my Facebook and the memories of June 5th 2015 was shown to me. In one of the memories was the former governor personal reply to a report done by me that he owns the uncompleted Asaba Hilton Hotel, which he denied, as well as other things he wrote.
And then, one of us in the meeting asked “who Uduaghan really help? Then a narration was made of how some persons saw him in a party and suddenly dressed a man and packed foam in his buttocks to look like a lady with big ass. They will look at Uduaghan and shout “who he help” and someone will hit the ass of the man whom they made to look at the lady, meaning he only helped lady with big ass in the state forgetting his fellow men.
Conscience has friends and I am one of such. Who did Uduaghan really help? If anyone can be credited with making Asaba a capital city today with modern houses in it, the sole person to be credited with it is the ex governor. Among these set of politicians who got into power in 1999, he was the first to build a house, while the rest were coming from Benin to work. His action spurred the othet appointees into buying lands and building the palatial houses that floods Asaba today. If the question of who he help is to be answered, the answer is “Na Asaba people he help make their village become a true capital city”
I visit Elomaz Hotel owned by Joel Onoawkpor, the former Chairman of Delta State Board of Internal Revenue whenever I am in Asaba and I see workers all over the place. Until Uduaghan brought in Joel and made him who he is today, he was practically a nobody. This will explain the undying loyalty Joel has for Uduaghan. If you work in Elomaz Hotel and get paid monthly to feed your family and the question of who he help comes up, look into the mirror and answer truthfully “na me he help”. Did he just help Deltans through Joel? No, for Nigeria is a beneficiary of Uduaghan favor to Joel. If he had not brought Joel into the Internal Revenue Board and he did well because he was given free hand, the country won’t have picked him due to his wealth of experience to be the Federal Board of Internal Revenue Service (FIRS) coordinator for three South South States.
The former Secretary to State Government, Ovuzorie Macaulay is a mentor to many Isoko people today. He has helped to set many of them up in business and sponsored many to schools. He’s a very corrupt man, no doubt, but we will leave that for another time, when he will be facing the EFCC. He owns Swiss Spirit Hotel with many workers who pay their bills through it. If you work in Swiss Spirit or have been sponsored to school by Macaulay or have a business set up for you by him; know this day that it was all the effort of Uduaghan who picked him up, made him powerful in government that he acquired the wealth through which you benefit from. So when next you hear people ask who he help, take a look at the mirror and answer honestly saying “na me he help”.
Have you been to Memories Super Mart in Sapele? Take a trip there and you will think you are in a shopping mall in Paris. It’s owned by Ben Ibakpa, former Commissioner of Transport under Uduaghan. He didn’t make his money plucking it from the tree. He made it under the former administration and many Deltans have become successful through Ben. If you work in Memories or have been empowered by Ben, but you still ask the question of who he help; let your brain remind you that if it was not Uduaghan, Ben would not have had the financial muscle to set up. So when they look at Uduaghan and ask who he help, answer them saying “na me he help”.
Ok, that aside. Maybe you do not know, but you deserve to know. If you are in this Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s government, and you are also asking who he help, then your brains need political formatting. During Okowa’s Senatorial election, he was not wanted by Aso Rock, as Mariam Ali was preferred but Uduaghan tactically deceived Goodluck Jonathan and he handed the party’s ticket to Okowa. When Ned Nwoko seized Delta Broadcasting Station in a broad daylight coup, ordering the news house to declare him winner, it was Uduaghan who sent security officials to dislodge him and that Okowa be declared winner. That some persons worked with Okowa as a Senator is because Uduaghan dared the powers that be. Forget about the guber race where interest differed, but look at the past that shaped the power of the future. So when they ask who Uduaghan help, courageously look in the mirror and say “na me he help”.
Ayiri Emami may rant, insult and dare anybody in the State but for careful observers, it will be noticed that he has never spoken against Uduaghan. The reason is not farfetched; for when James Ibori left, Ayiri’s little wealth grew courtesy of Uduaghan who appointed him Chairman of Delta State Waterways as well as gave his businesses enabling environment to flourish. For those who know the young billionaire, loyalty is his hallmark and he has remained loyal till date. Thousands of Deltans including those in the All Progressive Congress (APC) today are beneficiaries of Ayiri’s goodwill and are still benefiting. When next you are asked who Uduaghan help and you have benefitted immensely from Ayiri’s wealth and still benefitting, boldly answer saying “Na me he help”.
The Delta State University Teaching Hospital (DELSUTH) is currently in coma as there is currently no money coming as subvention from the government due to the oil crisis. Under him, there was free maternal health care and other health facilities which the current government despite meaning well may not be able to achieve, which is not the governor’s making. If you worked in Teaching Hospital and had free healthcare under Uduaghan and they are asking “who he help”, and you cannot answer that “na me he help”, then you need to go for confession in a Catholic Church for lying openly and to yourself.
I will not mention men like Solomon Ogba, Victor Ochei, Orezi Esievo, Reuben Izeze, Omawunmi Udoh, Michael Akpobire, many Journalists in and outside Delta State and hundreds of others whom he directly help thereby indirectly helping others under their chains if command. For those people he helped and who in turn helped you, have you shown gratitude? Do so first and fufil Aesop words that “gratitude is the sign of noble souls”
Yes, he may not have helped the State enough as Babatunde Fashola did to Lagos and Godswill Akpabio did to Akwa Ibom, but if we go by the definition of help that has to do with individuals, then the question of who he help should be laid to rest for he has help just almost everyone of you EXCEPT my reporters and I, who refused to have Secret Reporters on the side of his government
These little things matter…
Fejiro Oliver is Editor In Chief of Secrets Reporters News, Investigative Journalist, Media Consultant and Activist can be reached on +2348022050733 (SMS ONLY) or firstname.lastname@example.org. Engage him on twitter on @fejirooliver86.