How Dishonest Politicians Cause Pains Among Citizens

By Odimegwu Onwumere

The electioneering campaign is on and we gather ward by ward and unit by unit to receive aspirants of political positions in 1999 and hear their manifestoes. They promise us of a better living like good roads, hospitals, qualitative education, constant electricity and other people-oriented need.

{Scene of IPOB protests}

While we listen to them, many of us do not believe their sermonizations. They say that politicians are not honest in the entire global political environment, they are not frank. They say that politicians just speak in the language that they feel will arrest the minds of the people, seeking to engage the people, but not actually to do what they promise after the people must have voted them.

There are today tears and anguish written all over our faces – we are now refugees in our country, christened Internally Displaced Persons (IDP). I look for explanations to define the relationship of politics with the people; it is a strong and importunate relationship of disagreements. The word politics is dirty to people. Nigerians say that politics has become about power and conflict and this explains why many people are especially irrational about politics.

The displaced are victims of politically-motivated insurgencies being carried out by Islamic sect known as Boko Haram in the northern part of Nigeria. The last time I checked, there were nearly 4 million people in the camps where the government provided for them. These people are excluding hundreds of thousands that have been killed since the mayhem started in 2009. We are facing a problem of political foolishness. It is a social problem greater than any crime in the world; politics has prevented our leaders from solving the problems they promised the voters that they would solve if voted for.

We have been having politically-motivated religious wars between the two dominant religions of Christianity and Islam in the country. The United Nations (UN) will always have politics or is it humanitarian services to play in such crisis whereas it is very hard to see a country that is united with each other across the world. Politics has divided countries and peoples. Yet, we hear that in the last 20 years alone, the United Nations (UN) has presented electoral support to more than 100 countries. However, the drums of wars and rumours of wars in diverse places, being brewed by politics continue to skyrocket.

We once saw Palestine on 1 June 1946 to 15 May 1948 where people lost everything they had due to political conflict. I have heard of the Russian Revolution of 1917, the decades of dictatorship under Ben Ali and his predecessor Habib Bourguiba of Tunisia, where Tunisians gnashed teeth in their experience of bad governance, dearth of liberty and poor panoramas. They later engaged the government of Ali in December days of 2010 and on 14 January 2011, they achieved their objective and the government was ousted. By then scores of people have been pummeled to the soil. All boiled down to politics and the people.

I’m looking for the truthful person who will engage us actively. I would have joined politics but one has to know how many millions of dollars that he or she has, hence politics isn’t for people, but for the capitalists, who have for centuries been transforming in circles from the times of lords and feudal and found themselves in democracy. Around the world, I’m seeing a lot of people who are not engaged in politics and policymaking, due to politics.  Yet, over the years, you hear of politicians, clerics and opinion leaders advising more people to join politics.

Hardly can we explain political decisions and hardly can journalists be given freedom of information. We saw Zambia in 2011, when for the second time since independence in 1964, Michael Sata from the Patriotic Front vanquished the sitting president and was elected to the country’s presidency with the highest choice, after three unsuccessful endeavours. This makes politics boring to me and it has created long distance with voters. We have sentences like German sociologist Max Weber stating in his capacious sociology of religion in 1920, that the direct problems with the world people are material interests which come first, followed by mental interests, and not ideas.

We perceived that the earlier European colonization relegated the Aboriginal peoples to abysmal political approaches that contempt or pay-no-attention-to Aboriginal peoples’ cultural rights. There was the Queensland Aboriginal Protection and Restriction of the Sale of Opium Act 1897, regarded as the most heinous, geared towards pointing out where the natives should live, who they should associate with or even marry. It is politics that drove more than a million migrants and refugees crossed into Europe in 2015. The last time I checked, 135,711 people got to Europe by sea since the start of 2016. In 2015, Germany received more than 476,000 asylum applications. More migrants made the journey on land through Greece and the Western Balkans, and sought for asylum in Hungary, which had 177,130 applications by the end of December 2015.

We heard the International Organization for Migration (IOM) saying that more than 1,011,700 migrants entered by sea in 2015, and about 34,900 by land. More than 3,770 migrants were reported to have died while on their expedition. We also heard and saw the crisis that it sparked. Many countries were literarily held hostage by the flood of people. Europe nearly divided over decisions to handle the menace. Many migrants drowned in the seas and many arrived by seas to their respective countries of refuge.  We saw that Turkey and Albania didn’t rest.

The conflict in Syria drove many citizens away with the violence in Afghanistan and Iraq, molestations in Eritrea, poverty in Kosovo, compelled people to leave. They were looking for better life elsewhere due to political issues in their countries.

But upon how politics has treated the people, we are still struggling to be like Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, the First indigenous President of Nigeria; Fidel Castrol of Cuba. You see Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President (non-U.S.1954–).  There is Hillary Clinton, Government Official, U.S. First Lady, Women’s Rights Activist and once presidential hopeful in 2016 (1947-). There was Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister (1925–2013). There is John Major, Prime Minister (1943–); Mary, Queen of Scots, Queen (1542–1587); David Cameron, Prime Minister (1966–); Alexandra Feodorovna, Princess, Tsar/Tsarina (1872–1918) and a host of others.

{Scene of IPOB Protests}

Notwithstanding, we heard a former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan says in 1998 that democratization gives people a stake in the society. Its importance cannot be overstated for unless people feel that they have a true stake in the society, lasting peace will not be possible and sustainable development will not be achieved.

Odimegwu Onwumere is an award-winning journalist based in Rivers State. Tel: +2348032552855. Email: apoet_25@yahoo.com

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The Stinking Gap Between Politics And People

By Odimegwu Onwumere

I was youthful when the military took over the political affairs in Nigeria on December 31, 1983, lasting till 1998. Killing of civilians and hounding of activists that were opposed to the whims and caprices of the military, were the first impression that I had about politics, likewise many of my ilk. Nothing more!

Many Nigerians fled the country for their dear lives. I saw a country that was moving backward, yet preaching to us pubescent as the leaders of tomorrow. I saw radical elders who did not blink before their wards in showcasing their political impoliteness, whereas young people were involving in political conflicts.

Some sane minds were afraid that we the youth then were erroneously influenced; saying that what influences a person build up his or her future. Those in this line of thought were worried that we the youth were learning radicalism from the military and there might not be respectability and rule of law in the country, even if the much touted democracy was finally achieved.

Upon democracy in 1999, I’m among the many Nigerian adults today that are asking for who destroyed the country economically, socially and politically, especially between 1999 and 2016 that we attained democracy. I’m among the adults who are dropping patriotism to question reality: The country has not moved forward from where the military left it.

The writer in me has propelled me to ask many questions in my articles pertaining to mis-governance in our country, but the answers I have gotten are not what we collectively bargained. One may think that our country is Iraq in 2002. I see cynics everywhere, not by their making, but the hardship in the country has caused some persons’ neurons. People are going gaga. Most times, I have to go miles to charge my phone with electricity generating sets in the houses of those who can afford buying fuel at the exorbitant price of N145 a litre. Electricity supply in the country is seen by the authorities as luxury, not a necessity. No one is talking about government water. The roads are sorry tales.

I’m aghast that scarcity of fuel, kerosene and diesel is endemic in a country that is characterized among the 10 producers of crude oil in the world. Police are on their part collecting tips on the road, transport fare is on the increase, people are being sacked from their jobs everyday and there are no job opportunities in sight. The present government that promised change during its party’s electioneering campaigns in 2015 and was embraced by Nigerians in the Diaspora as well as the international community, is giving excuses like governments before it, why it cannot reform and transform Nigeria over two years it mounted the saddle of leadership.

The resultant of this is the hunger I see written on people’s faces in the name of democracy, more than it was in the military era. Functional education, hospital, road, and every dividends of democracy are all mirage. Yet, politicians are joining politics everyday to make money. Service to the people is not in their agenda.

There is insecurity everywhere. One wakes up every morning to note from news some hundreds of innocent people that have been killed either by insurgents that have taken killing as an occupation in the northern part of the country or Fulani herdsmen from the north massacring numbers in the south for the purpose that their cows must graze in the south. Kidnapping is rife and issues of judiciary and corruption are on the increase.

These heinous acts without doubt are the extension of what we learned from the military and today, our leadership (as leaders of tomorrow then) is not in moving the country forward, but in extending what we learned from the military that has left us poor.

The Federal Government is recently, politically proposing a grazing bill in all the 36 states of the federation for northern cattle owners. But the southerners are objecting the agenda. They are saying that they do not see how that will translate to national development, but owners of the cows who are supposed to man how their cows are fed.

Against this backdrop, politics has made some of our people who returned from overseas to feel that they are ‘repatriates’ or tourists, because of the sordid conditions they left many years ago, have not been solved when they returned, many years after.

Every year, we clamour for change. But change has remained elusive, not minding that the project of our country should be taken seriously. The economic system is down and citizens are scampering for safety without hope.

Observers say that more than 70 per cent of the citizens are very poor. Just on July 17 2016, the Deputy President Yemi Osibanjo affirmed this in the national broadsheets, saying that 110 million Nigerians are poor; whereas the population of the country was estimated at 170 million. Imagine!

Like many of my ilk today, who were not born in 1960 when Nigeria got her independence from the British colonialists, everything is moving backward 55 years after. Our country has not learned from the woes of the past. It keeps taking backward movement and repeating the same old things that have not made us develop like the so-called developed countries of America and Britain.

A large population of our countrymen and women believe that the country has been backward due to the charlatanic approach of the political class. Against this influence, I’m thinking if there is a correlation between politics and corruption. Everyone is saying that our political elites are severely corrupt and pay just lip service to national issues that should matter.

It was politics, like in our country, that compelled the Arab Spring of 2011 that saw to the ouster of Libyan revolutionary, politician, and political theorist Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi, commonly known as Colonel Gaddafi.

Our leaders are yet to learn from the political conflict of the Middle East in late 2010. From Tunisia, it spread all over the region in 2011, all-through Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, Libya and Syria.

Born June 7, 1942, al-Gaddafi was politically killed on October 20, 2011. It was the same politics that saw to the death of the fifth President of Iraq, Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti. What killed al-Gaddafi was what I saw in 1990s when youth-spawned political upheaval brushed the former Soviet coalition like East Germany, Georgia, Lithuania, Kyrgyzstan, and Serbia.

Across the world, politics has destroyed many conditions that include social ecology, basic resources, social networks, safety and security. Hussein was killed by a kangaroo judgment on December 30, 2006. Born on April 28, 1937, he served in his ability from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003.

We saw Bosnia in the 1990s, when young people did not understand the political situation around them and that borne emotional and shared scars of ill-treatment. The youths moved for violent struggles for the social good.

That was coming after the Palestinian first intifada of the late 1980s and early 1990s. In Syria, this is the fifth year that youths have engaged in politically-motivated war, ignited by a display of foreign intrusions on the side of government and Free Syrian Army.

More than 300,000 people have been killed and millions driven from their homes in this war regarded today as the world’s bloodiest civil war. Look at the ruins created by politics in Sudan. I still remember the Nimery’s notorious September Laws in 1983, which ushered in Sudan’s route headed for Sharia Law and the equally villainous Article 152 that bullies pants-wearing females with whips amid prejudiced sentences and shrewdness.

There is politically-motivated madness in our country and this has made a lot of people to mind their businesses and, they are naive. We have been experiencing crackdowns on opposition political parties and their members.

The authorities think that the laws they enact would shape our lives, but while we most often embrace social path and decorum, the authorities don’t. Today, liberals in the Americas are calling for political fairness, while the conservatives wink. Our backwardness as Nigerians would have been averted if politicians think that politics is related to the entire masses, not only to them. Politics is life.

Imagine where government decisions that were supposed to affect the generality of the people just affect only a few opportunists. Politicians have turned politics to where people take their destinies into their hands.

Nevertheless, no matter the shoddy sides of politics to people, the world will still have Martin Luther King Jrs., who will take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, to challenge the atrocities of politicians against their people, because conscience, not politics, tells them it is right.

We will continue to have Theodore Roosevelts, who will tell the world that in politics, it is not oppositions that count, but those unsung heroes who fight, whose faces are marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strive valiantly; who err, who come short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who do actually strive to do the deeds; who know great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spend themselves in a worthy cause; who at the best know in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if they fail, at least fail while daring greatly, so that their place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

Odimegwu Onwumere writes from Rivers State. Tel: +2348032552855. Email: apoet_25@yahoo.com

Our Injured Mentalities In Political Choices

By Odimegwu Onwumere

“We have given politics a substantial impact on the direction of our lives. No wonder it’s so important to so many people!” shouted Aaron Ross Powell and Trevor Burrus, research fellows at Cato Institute, an American libertarian think tank headquartered in Washington, D.C, USA.

Powell and Burrus’s insight on politics in their discourse of September 14, 2012, with the designate – Politics Makes Us Worse – was the aftermath of my fears about politics in the 80s. They appended that political choices matter greatly to those most affected and the interest in political parties manufacture problems that never existed.

I came to understand what that meant: Our mentalities have been injured as a result of political choices. Buttressing this point, they enthused that for those who do pay attention, politics consistently leads in newspapers and on TV news and gets discussed, or shouted about, everywhere people gather; politics can weigh heavily in forging friendships, choosing enemies, and coloring who we respect.

Politics As A Dicey Affair

At our aboard in Oyigbo, Rivers State, Papa had told my younger brother, Henry, and I that there is an axiom that guides politicians: In politics, no permanent enemy or friend, but permanent interest. Incessantly, he shouted it into our ears that politics is a dicey affair.

Not minding, Henry showed interest in politics, but I never did. I hated politics following history accounts of how people kill and have been killed for politics and its offices. I detested killing and my bother never liked it, either, but he wanted to be a politician.

Powell and Burrus were worried why politics plays a major role in people’s lives with decisions by politicians determining what the people should do and should not, what the people’s children should learn in school and what they should be taught, how the people should eat and socialize, how they should even marry the people they love and sundry.

The highlight of that buttressed my worst fears which were on December 31, 1983 when many lives were lost to a coup for group mentalities, for political choices. The democratically elected government of Alhaji Shehu Shagari was overthrown by Major General Muhammadu Buhari in a military coup.

The same was applicable on August 27, 1985, when General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida overthrew Major General Buhari in a coup, and stayed in power until August 27, 1993.

In that coup, many lives were lost, too. As a maximum ruler, people wailed and were bullied for wailing, because of group mentalities, political choices.

Hence, there was a long struggle to attain democracy with the help of international community. When democracy was gotten in 1999, we thought that democracy would help us when a retired Army General, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo was elected President Federal Republic of Nigeria in 1999.

But like the military regimes, I noticed the government sending out the Nigerian military on a largely Ijaw town of Odi in Bayelsa State, on November 20, 1999 and they massacred a people in a circumstance over indigenous rights to oil resources and environmental fortification.

Nigeria experienced a lot of politically motivated killings from that year to 2007. Dissenters to the views of the government were hounded and in 2016, democracy has not helped the people, either. All boils down to group mentalities, political choices.

Imprint Of Politics On People

Later, Papa told us of how politics of Nazism hypnotized Germany in the 20th Century. We read in the newspapers of how democracy and politics have made India to be on the index as the world’s largest population of poor people; oh! South Africa was ruined by apartheid of decades which was a sorry tale.

Across Asia and Africa, politics has imprint of woes in diverse places. Papa had told us that from 1974 when autocratic regimes gave way to democracy in Greece, to Spain in 1975, to Argentina in 1983, to Brazil in 1985, to Chile in 1989 and a host of others, politics has traumatized the people.

Soviet Union with a people living harmoniously was disintegrated by the politics in central Europe. My phobia heightened on noting that monarchical government was fad in the 19th Century and people fought against each other for dukedoms.

While peoples all over the world were fighting and hoped to gain in democracy, yet, nascent democracies collapsed in Germany, Spain and Italy in the first half of the 20th Century.

Politics Connects People With Woes

More than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, were mobilized in one of the largest wars in history known as First World War, or the Great War, that originated in Europe and lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918.

Over 9 million combatants and 7 million civilians died in that politically motivated war. This number excluded victims of a number of genocides. Because of politics, came Second World War that lasted from 1939 to 1945.

It was regarded as the most widespread war in history, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. There was the Holocaust (in which roughly 11 million people were killed).

An estimated 50 million to 85 million fatalities were recorded in the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. There was the Third World War where countries in extensive divergences indirectly showed their grievances.

This was christened Cold War or the War on Terror leading to the formation of the United Nations (UN). Psychotherapists observed, ‘United Nations’ was first coined and used by the then United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the Declaration by United Nations of 1 January 1942, during the Second World War, when representatives of 26 nations pledged their governments to continue fighting together against the Axis Powers.

Whichever, I could not have believed much in Powell and Burrus’s pose – on how badly politics can make a people worse or influence them in a democracy till the government of General Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria came on board on May 29 2015, now as a democratically elected president.

Sharing Baked Breath In Politics

In Nigeria, the members of the two political parties – All Progressives Congress (APC), and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) – have shared baked breath under Buhari government except a few persons ‘sharing’ the largesse of the government.

Nigerians at large are crying wolf since the inception of this government and I will tell you how. Politics like this has made a lot of people not to vote across the countries of the world.

For instance, many young people in America do not vote during an election. This does not mean that they do not want to be heard, but, because of how the older ones have made them to feel and see a tooting gap between them.

In 1992, Mr. T.B, then a 19 year old student, refused watching the 1992 Presidential Debates because he didn’t see how that responded to the many isolations he was facing in school.

I could remember a Chris Weinkopf, associate editor of National Review, saying, “I think both of them are really just paying lip service to young people in the way they address issues.”

Weinkopf said this “when speaking about how Bill Clinton and Bob Dole are talking to young voters.” Many people believed that democracy would be the most political idea when the idea started in the 20th Century, but politics has posited itself to be afar from the people, even though that people play the politics.

In February 2014, I was astonished of how Ukraine politics was overturned by protesters, all, in a quest that there should be closer relations with the European Union (EU). The much solicited for by the protesters was for the closer relations to end Russian interference in Ukraine’s politics.

The world saw a people that took a stand against what they knew and termed “corrupt, abusive and autocratic government” of President Viktor Yanukovych.  Powell and Burrus sniveled, saying that even if we try to ignore politics, it influences much of our world.

Nigeria Politics

My brother is today in politics, but I’m yet to see any change that the people have made with politics, or politics has made in the people.

Just in June 2016, the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, (CDHR) cried out, saying that the All Progressives Congress, APC-led government has failed Nigerians who voted for them.

Both Buhari, who was once a military dictator and his party, the APC, have been said that they displaced signs of incompetence during electioneering campaign of 2015.

I read from a source, saying, “The APC presented Nigerians with a glimpse of Eldorado even when they were aware that they lack no the capacity or intellectual ability to fulfill even 10% of their promise. To mask their disability, they shielded General Buhari and Prof Yemi Osinbajo (his deputy) from every form of political debate. Instead, they resorted to prepare speech-making in Chatham House, London(UK), and padi-padi town hall meeting where participants, who are their party sympathizers and paid agents would discuss pre-arranged questions.”

This is my phobia about politics and the people. People hide under politics to perpetrate heinous things against the people. It is saddening that many people are committed to their different political parties for politics than they are committed to the general public. This is what psychologists have forewarned: People will grasp group mentalities for politics and will be antagonistic.

Odimegwu Onwumere writes from Rivers State. Tel: +2348032552855. Email: apoet_25@yahoo.com

Wike: Rivers APC Fighting A Lost Battle Over Assumed Jonathan’s Comment

By Odimegwu Onwumere

A great man or group is not destroyed, defeated or deterred by the past. But this is not the same with the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State since it lost the much hyped 2015 gubernatorial elections in the state, of which it had anticipated would be in its favour. Since then, this defeated political party in Rivers has been clattering clandestinely irritating songs of destruction, defeat, and determent in order to cite the public against Governor Nyesom Ezebunwo Wike.

{Wike During 2015 Rivers Guber Campaign}

Only those with discerning spirit would understand the depth of self-political damage the Rivers APC has been going through, yet it does not want to own up. This branch of the bungling political party at the federal level that has stranded Nigerians today with its hoodwinking ‘change’ mantra has been biting anything on its way like a wounded dangerous snake on the run. This glaring ham-fisted political party in Rivers has been sounding like a derailed one that has lost focus but still wants people’s attention with irrelevance it has been dishing out against Wike.

The Rivers APC recently made a remark against Governor Wike and former President Goodluck Jonathan. The remark has however shown that the APC in Rivers State is either ashamed to accept the trampled of its life that Governor Wike gave to it as the then Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) governorship candidate in the 2015 gubernatorial election in the state. The APC barefacedly accused Jonathan while he was of late commissioning the Nkpogu Bridge in Port Harcourt, as part of the second year anniversary of the Wike administration, saying that he imposed Wike as governor on Rivers State as against the wish of the residents.

On the contrary, this is fictitious and blatantly nuisance oozing out from the abandoned and proud APC that came with ‘change’ mantra at the federal level but has held Nigerians and the entire world spellbound with misleading and counter-misleading features not expected of a sound democracy. The APC if perchance had won the Rivers guber elections, would have plunged the state into inglorious affairs just as its parent body is doing at Abuja, the seat of power, with mis-governance and turning democracy into a hoax. It was the Rivers APC Chairman, Chief (Dr.) Davies Ibiamu Ikanya who replayed what he heard that Jonathan said at the event in the media. Nevertheless, some of us who know Ikanya and had related with him on a personal ground, would attest to the fact that he was a gentleman, soft-spoken and a self-acclaimed cleric. Then again, his stance politically, saying that the Jonathan’s comment has exposed the APC’s somewhat earlier stand that the residents of the state didn’t vote for Wike, makes him (Ikanya) a scriptwriter against the wish and application of the Supreme Court of the country that acknowledged Wike governor of the state against all odds that the APC wanted Wike out as governor.

{Amaechi and Jonathan}

We could remember that before the January 27 2016 victory of Wike at the Supreme Court, the Ikanyas had on May 30 2015, when the matter was still at the lower Court, saying, “We remain confident that the Election Petition Tribunal will do the needful and sack him (Wike) accordingly in view of the materials submitted to them, in view of the immorality associated with his occupation of the Government House and in view of the outcry of the people of Rivers State that he does not have their mandate to serve as their governor.” But the Supreme Court on that faithful of January 27 2016 judgment sent the Ikanyas packing with the statement pointing out that Wike was denied fair hearing at the Appeal Court, which had on December 16 2015 affirmed the judgment of the Rivers Governorship Election Tribunal against Wike. With this, it’s not surprising that the Rivers APC celebrates shame the same way divorce makes headline in the recent times. If not, Ikanya would have lacked the locus standi to accuse Jonathan (only that Ikanya was acting on emotions) and note that upon his accusations that Jonathan made Wike governor against Rivers residents’ wish, yet, Wike won the Rivers APC in the APC-controlled Rivers State under the ex-Governor Chibuike Amaechi government, Wike won in the APC-controlled Supreme Court and, Wike won in the APC-controlled Federal Government of Nigeria.

If Ikanya was insinuating that Jonathan apparently used the federal might during the Rivers guber elections for the emergence of Wike as governor, is the Rivers APC which Amaechi is the leader and Ikanya, the chairman, not ashamed that it could not oust Wike in the APC-controlled River State under Amaechi then and now, under the APC controlled Federal Government? If Wike had won at the Supreme Court in a PDP-led federal government, Ikanya would have been saying that Jonathan influenced the court. All the same, before 2014 that Wike and Amaechi had fallen out, the later who was Chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum had vowed that Wike would not be governor.

Amaechi even swore with the matrix, “Over my dead body”. Amaechi gave his preposterous defense, saying that Wike who was then the Supervising Minister for Education and he, belonged to the same ethnic group. Yet, Wike defeated Amaechi upon the swank and upon that Amaechi was Governor of Rivers State. Therefore, Ikanya should stop saying that Wike has become a disaster since “Jonathan made Wike governor”. Maybe, Ikanya wanted us to note that with the political precedence between Wike and Amaechi in the state, the former has become indestructible, upon all the perceived plots by the Amaechis to outsmart Wike. But if Ikanya meant ‘disaster’ in the true meaning of the word, we shall come to that.

The truth is that APC is dead in Rivers, a hard truth that the Ikanyas are finding hard to accept hence their extraneous tantrums against Wike. Well, before Ikanya would paint Wike black, let’s take a little retrospection on Amaechi whom Ikanya would at all cost defend as a saint when he reigned as Governor of Rivers State and now. Amaechi ruled Rivers State with unprecedented unedited words and flagrant exposition of his rascality laced with his un-anticipation of becoming who he is today given his once desolate and inconvenient family background. If at all Wike has become a disaster in the state, his would never surpass Amaechi’s, who brashly took the then PDP’s flag from the then acting National Chairman of the party, Dr. Bello Mohammed, to contest in the April 26 2011 guber elections, under controversial circumstances.

When the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) in Rivers State was crying that the April 9 2011 National Assembly (NASS) elections in the state were marred by massive electoral fraud, and called for the cancellation, Amaechi and the likes of Ikanya were dancing alanta against the crying party. The Amaechi’s ‘disaster’ continued as his men were declared winners of all the elective positions in that year. In the 2011 elections in Rivers State, Amaechi saw the then Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega as a good man whereas no one listened to the APGA that was shouting that Amaechi was playing the Kangaroo in the politics. Tamunosisi Gogo Jaja, running mate to Sir Celestine Omehia, Rivers State APGA’s gubernatorial candidate in 2011, addressed newsmen and was disappointed by what was called ‘peaceful elections’ in Rivers State, by INEC and Amaechi.

Ikanya should remember that Amaechi and Jega refused to investigate the Rivers 2011 elections, even when Gogo Jaja said that it was saddening to say that electoral irregularities took place in Anambra Central Senatorial Zone, Bayelsa and Delta States, compared to what played in Rivers State. And Jega investigated these mentioned places, without Rivers State.

Ikanya should also remember that Mr. Jerry Godfry and Mr. Precious Barido, who were the state chairman and secretary of the APGA complained in a statement both of them signed of police brutality and criminal intimidation by Amaechi-led government officials during the elections, even as Jaja insisted that the April 9 2011 NASS election showed that the then Amaechi-led Rivers PDP had the highest rigging propensity in the country. Yet, Amaechi continued with his alanta dance ignoring whoever.

What else is the meaning of ‘disaster’ under Amaechi as governor? Ikanya should remember that the INEC said in that 2011 that Amaechi polled 1,178, 529 votes to ‘defeat’ his opponents in the gubernatorial election. The candidate of the APGA, Celestine Omehia came ‘second’ with 112,528, while the ACN, Abiye Sekibo ‘got’ 60,240. Declaring the ‘results’ in Port Harcourt, the Returning Officer in the state, who’s also the Vice Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt, Professor Joseph (Ajienka), said that 1,401,464 votes were cast, 141,4064 were valid and 27,995 were rejected.

Yours Truly had written after Wike won the 2015 guber elections, saying that: Even though that Wike may not be a better option for Rivers State, it behooves on all residents of Rivers State to advise Amaechi to cover his face in disgrace and stop crying foul. Amaechi is no longer dancing alanta because he feels that someone who knows the game better than he had thought he knew has outsmart him and took the trophy.

{Davies Ikanya}

If the ‘disaster’ that Ikanya meant was about criminal gangs we hear of their activities in some parts of the state, we might revisit how they operated in the state under Amaechi as governor. The truth is that Amaechi as governor, whom some of us supported and criticized, lost touch with residents of Rivers State and became the Lord of Manor that must be venerated and worshiped. Wike nonetheless saw this in 2014 and had to buy the minds of the residents while addressing newsmen during the commissioning of his Governorship campaign office in Port Harcourt, and the APC in the state was afraid to present a guber candidate because of Wike. Although Wike defeated all the governorship aspirants at the PDP primaries in November 29, 2014 through a controversial means. But all of that have been quashed by the Supreme Court. The Ikanyas have shown that they do not respect the Supreme Court, when they continue to say that Jonathan imposed Wike on Rivers State as against the residents wish.

Odimegwu Onwumere is the Coordinator, Concerned Non-Indigenes In Rivers State (CONIRIV). Tel: +2348057778358. Email: apoet_25@yahoo.com

Corruption {POEM}

By Odimegwu Onwumere

We have become the haunted

In their elusive fight against corruption;

The corruption we did not elect them for,

Or they rigged themselves in to indulge?

Our wailing is deafening

And no parameter can measure our tears

Caused by their self-inflicted peril on us

As every commodity skyrockets in the mall

Just as money to have them saunters.

We watch them fight corruption

With our physique compressing in hunger

And they deafen our ears with white-lies

That we would soon get out of the self-inflicted peril

Whereas the hope they raise is nowhere in sight.

©Odimegwu Onwumere; March 18 2017.

Kogi Politicians Should Let Gov. Bello Be

By Odimegwu Onwumere

The Executive Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello may be in for another set of distraction after the Supreme Court on September 20 2016 upheld his election as the rightful winner of the gubernatorial election in the state held in 2015. It is perceived that some politicians in the state are working round the clock in making sure that the governor suffers a setback in his administration.

{Governor Yahaya Bello}
{Governor Yahaya Bello}

Recently, they accused the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of keeping eyes right in their call to investigate Bello for whatever reason Nigerians are yet to know. This was coming after they had written series of petition to the body. But the EFCC seemed to know better – that there might be the hand of Jacob but the voice of Esau in their petition – making their petition null and void.
The other time, there were speculations that he was pelted with pure water sachet while coming out from the Mosque, after a day’s prayer. If true that he was pelted, political observers know who to hold responsible. And if he was not pelted, the same people know who to hold responsible for circulating the message of defame.
Most politicians hire crowd for an event, the same way they hire street urchins to cast aspersion before the public, on the personality of their prey. However, Nigerians of good will cannot sit down and watch Alhaji Yahaya Bello, the young and youthful Governor of Kogi State be brought to disrepute. We are yet to read that he associates with mischief, except as some politicians in that state want us to believe.
Unlike some persons who allow some heights they have attained in life to influence and control them, the last time we checked, Bello still respects elders and is ever ready to learn from people. While he is doing his best to bring any person or group that has been politically squabbling to make peace with each other, some of the politicians are throwing tantrums. Sad!

No matter what they might be doing to plunge Bello into the murky waters of disgrace, the governor seems not perturbed as he goes about his official duties to uplift Kogi State, putting much effort on rural and urban development. He believes that after developing this area, it will attract a lot of potentials.

With his New Direction Blueprint, the governor has vowed to take education to the next level in the state. Any doubting Thomas may ask the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Petra Onyegbule. With the state’s rich mineral and natural resources, although many are yet to be tapped, Bello has said he has the youths at heart in his development priorities.
While working to raise these youths, the governor has reiterated the need for technical education while people are pursuing the secular education. Nonetheless, many Nigerians might be crying over the lame-duck governance of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the federal level, but Bello has shown that he has a New Direction Blueprint: A promise he made when he went to pick Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms of the APC in company of chieftains of the party from the three senatorial zones in the state.
Governor Bello pledged to overturn the high level of crimes in the state. The party leaders conversely knew that he would not disappoint in carrying out his official functions when they stopped the thought of any other candidate as the party’s typical bearer. The unwavering Bello filled out the form, signed by a Commissioner of Oath, and returned to the APC National Secretariat, in what political pundits said was affixed to a letter of nomination sent to INEC on Friday November 27 2015, by the National Chairman of APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun.
The party perhaps knew that Mr. James Abiodun Faleke might not do better than Bello, hence Falake was asked to be Bello’s running mate. But Faleke refused that offer and insisted on Abubakar Audu/Faleke ticket, which the party gave the duo before Audu suddenly died on November 22, 2015. It will be pertinent to say that with the aggressive policking against Bello in Kogi, if the state fails, it will concern everybody in the state. But it will not fail with Bello!
So, Governor Yahaya Bello should be left without distractions to earnestly fix the state to attain his dream state, where there will no longer be pot holes in front of the Government House, educational system will never be horrible again, Kogi children will not be taught under the trees, teachers will not be discouraged; the potentialities of the agriculture sector will not be undiscovered, and infrastructure will not be in totters.
Odimegwu Onwumere can be contacted via: odimegwu@journalist.com

See Why Gender-based School Is A Hoax

Greetings. I have just put up an argument that same-sex school is detrimental to a child’s growth with emphasis that the school has no scientific, academic, social proof or benefits backing its formation. It is my optimum wish that you read this short, but incisive article, and drop your comments in the comment-box below the article. Thanks. Click the following link or copy and paste on your browser to read the article: http://www.nuhafoundation.org/2016/adult/see_why_gender_based_school_is_a_hoax/o_onwumere#.V6HkI-avczU