Thursday, February 1, 2018
TO AYIRI EMAMI AND DELTA APC: OKOWA IS YOUR GOVERNOR TILL 2023
My dear Chief Ayiri Emami, I found the rejoinder to my publication, WHY DELTANS MUST NOW CLOSE RANKS TO SUPPORT OKOWA FOR A SECOND TERM, COME 2019, which was signed by the publicity secretary of the All Progressives Congress, APC in your constituency, Warri South-West, a fellow who also happens to be one your personal assistants, to be rather disappointingly typical of you. it was typical because such is what I would normally expect from your quarters, it was nevertheless disappointing because I had expected much better conduct from your end in the light of your recent elevation to the chieftaincy of the Ologbotsere of Warri.
If I may ask, do you even have the slightest idea what a chieftaincy is all about? If I should be gracious enough to educate you, unlike many Nigerians who think of it merely as an honour and entitlement to privilege, chieftaincy is actually an appointment to office by a traditional ruler. It is, by definition, a recruitment of someone deemed to be specifically worthy into the position of high office and in that capacity of a chief, and as such, an officer of the king’s court, he apprehends his appointment as a call to traditional duties which must be discharged with focused dedication and utmost decorum by such title holder.
A chief is not a thug, a hooligan or a buffoon. He certainly cannot legitimately be a nitwit, a clown or a total and profound embarrassment to his king, his family, his fellow chiefs or his tribe. A chief is neither entitled to bring shame to the palace in which he is, to all intents and purposes, a high official, nor denigrate the traditional institution to which he belongs.
Needless to say, it is most unbecoming of a traditional prime minister or chief of similar seniority to decompose into a complete court jester.
Your elevation to the traditional office of Ologbotsere was opposed by most Itsekiris starting with members of your own ancestral family. You are the traditional prime minister of a tribe that does not recognise you and many of whose members cringe with shame, dread or discomfiture at the prospect of your preeminence in their midst. Yet, interesting enough, ever the optimist, I had actually hoped that your appointment to high office would serve to correct your dislocations and manage to set you on the right path, going forward. Unfortunately, you apparently have no interest in growing up, much as you disclose little bias in favour of your own progress in life.
As for the laughable rejoinder you induced your pathetic minions in Warri South-West to write to my article, I am flabbergasted that not even once during the entire two full-page piece did they even as much as make even the slightest attempt to address the issues raised in my own piece. To exacerbate your misery, I will reiterate and indeed, reinforce them here.
1. An APC candidate for Governorship from Delta North cannot be trusted to agree to do only one term of four years in office.
2. In that case, if such person were to become Governor and insist on doing two terms amounting to eight years, when you add that to Okowa’s current tenure, Delta North would end up doing a total of twelve years when Delta Central and Delta South only got to do eight years each.
3. There is no Nigerian politician that can come and tell us that he will only do one term in office. When the time comes, they begin to sing an entirely different tune and as such anyone coming to tell us an APC candidate from Delta North will only do one term is just trying to scam Deltans.
4. However once we insist that it cannot make any sense for Delta North to rule for twelve years thereby robbing the Urhobo of Delta Central the opportunity of returning to power in 2023, then we cannot at the same time prevent Delta North from ruling till that same 2023 by robbing them of their just and equitable second term come 2019.
5. My logic is simply that if you insist that your neighbor has no right to cheat you, then you too cannot claim a right to cheat your neighbor.
6. If Delta North must not cheat Delta Central, then Delta Central must not also cheat Delta North.
7. Since Okowa already has one term in the bag and constitutionally can only do one more term of four years to complete Delta North’s eight years, then he is not just the best bet but indeed the only viable option for 2019.
8. In light of this fact, our best bet in Delta Central, and indeed across Delta State, is to engage him, ask him what he has for us, negotiate with him and then proceed to own his ambition and return him to Government House, thus making ourselves solid stakeholders and participants in his second tenure.
Instead of squarely facing these the arguments I made in my piece, your substandard assemblage of supposed writers completely skirted them and proceeded to pretend they were responding to my article while entirely avoiding its core argument!
Do you people not know the meaning of a rejoinder?
The proper process is as follows: you read my arguments, assess them, and if, for some reason, you find them logically untenable or otherwise unsatisfactory, you then proceed to tell me how anyone is a better choice than Okowa for 2019 with respect to the issues I raised or at any rate in spite of them. That is how writers write.
In any case, you are not entitled in the name of a rejoinder to declare someone an enemy of a state. That amounts to a criminal offence called incitement. I would accordingly advise you to start consulting a lawyer forthwith.
Now I don’t know the professional backgrounds of your writers but I am a lawyer, evidence is my religion and logic is my methodology so when you choose to engage me, you had better come fully prepared for an intellectual showdown rather than playing to the gallery with ridiculous lies and outlandish fictionalisations to the effect that Okowa has not performed or that some saint of a predecessor somehow bested him.
If I am to start in my constituency of Okpe and Sapele, for instance, Okowa is a superstar of a Governor and the best we, the Okpes, have had since 1999. Projects, programs and initiatives that none of his predecessors, especially his immediate predecessor never bothered about have either been completed or are vigorously ongoing in both local government areas. To mention just a few, the road from Amuokpe to Sapele, which no previous chief executive ever gave a second glance is being dualized by Okowa.
In Orerokpe, the headquarters of Western Urhobo, the ancient city has received a facelift from Okowa, the likes of which has never been witnessed in its entire history. The same can be said of hitherto abandoned areas all across the state and some pathetic dunce is talking about nonperformance!
We Urhobos say it is who calls you a person that you call a person. Okowa is presently recognizing a lot of persons that have hitherto been ignored and in return, they will be calling him their personal person come 2019.
Ayiri, you and your oga who couldn’t complete Osubi-Eku Road or Ughelli-Asaba road can pretend that Okowa is doing nothing but to Deltans all across the state, you must be speaking Arabic.
Despite about 700 billion in debts left behind for him to inherit and service by this angelic predecessor your minions kept touting in their watery piece, Governor Okowa has managed to keep the state afloat while concentrating on widespread projects that immediately and directly impact the lives of the common people.
The penchant for wanton lying on the part of Delta APC is most disgraceful. Just the other day, I heard someone talking absolute balderdash about Okowa supposedly not having landmark projects to boast of.
What is a landmark project by the way? The ultra modern market in Orerokpe, the dualisation of Amukpe-Sapele Road, the dualisation of Cable Point Road Asaba and sundry other projects are what, if not landmark projects?
What should Okowa have done? He should have built a white elephant of an airport in Asaba in which planes cannot land or take off beyond certain times during the day? An airport that hardly anyone in Asaba uses or even appreciates and that is mostly patronized by a handful of businessmen from Onitsha?
You build a semi-functional airport and then you proceed to level anthills around the airport with billions of naira and that is your conceptualisation of a landmark project? Where did you people go to school and what caliber of teachers taught you English Language? Did you people even bother to research the meaning of “landmark project” in any dictionary?
You are a Governor in Delta and you build a shapeless airport that your citizens did not request and do not appreciate? Who did you build it for? For the citizens of a neighboring state? Are you their governor or you don’t know the boundaries of your own state or what? And that is your landmark project? You people desperately need to repent for there is something dreadfully wrong somewhere.
And then the pompous, ridiculous fellow who was talking crap about landmark projects completely forgot that his own landmark project is an abandoned power plant that is yet to power even a single light bulb after billions of naira spent and he wants to be whose Governor and in whose state? You are truly a bunch of disgruntled jokers and disgruntlement will continue to remain your portion going forward.
I thought I had already sufficiently taught you a lesson in the past not to mess with me. So I write an article and you are the one with the boldness to reply me? O’tega Emerhor, being the crafty tortoise that he thinks he is, did not respond. Great Ogboru, who claims to be a general without a uniform, did not reply and you are the one, who lacking the requisite maturity for someone in your traditional position, could not control yourself and then you gather you dimwitted minions together, and it takes them a full week to pen a lifeless, colourless, tasteless rejoinder to my article? I’m sorry but you will just have to suffer for that insolence.
You should have understood by now that even with the money you have and the funds at your disposal, you are pitiably not in any capacity or condition to engage in a media war with me or win an intellectual contest with someone of my background, worldview and orientation. In fact, Ayiri, as far as any contest between us is likely to turn out, you are a complete nonstarter. You can go and hire a hundred writers to write two hundred watery articles for you. From my meager resources, I will assemble my widow’s mite and with just one article, I guarantee you, I will make you look like a little school boy. It’s all about talent, Ayiri, and talent is a gift from God and it is something you can never find to buy in any market place.
So you are a member of APC? Which APC? The one you joined the day after Buhari was declared winner of the presidential election? Why didn’t you join like those of us who joined long before then, when no one gave APC a chance of winning the election? You wait until someone is declared winner of an election and that’s when you decamp to their party? Is that how to join a political party? You are truly an interesting character of humongous comicality!
Having been elevated to the high office of a traditional prime minister, had you not been the proud and arrogant youth you are, indeed a young man who wants to turn his elders into his errand boys, you would have had the good sense to consult widely with those more knowledgeable than yourself for tutorials on the fitting and proper conduct becoming of a traditional official of your status.
Just next door to you in Okpe, you could have sought the wise counsel of your very senior colleague, the Otota and traditional Prime Minister of Okpe, a retired Justice who not only does not vote but is not even registered to vote, just like his principal and monarch, His Majesty, Umogu, the Orodje of Okpe and, indeed, Her Majesty, his wife, also!
In your capacity as Ologbotsere, being the most senior chief, you are not entitled to participate in partisan politics for what emanates from you may be unjustly imputed to your king and boss, Ogiame, himself. Ologbotsere is an office demanding exceeding maturity, presence of mind, sense of history and preparedness for the complexities of traditional administration. Sadly, these are all qualities you pitiably lack, thus pathetically rendering you, uniquely unfit for the enormous role that has been placed on your rather infantile shoulders.
I pity you and your political oga. At a time at which you are being relegated to the background and eclipsed into political obscurity, it has pleased God to raise others of his children into dominion over you. You can come to your senses and acknowledge whom God has placed over you or you may, in ignorance and arrogance, continue to rebel and be further diminished into utter irrelevance.
Like it or not, Dr. Okowa is your Governor till 2023 and I solemnly assure you, young man, there is just nothing you are in any position to do about it. Oof course, you can feel free to come to repentance, Ayiri for the umbrella is big enough, even for the likes of you.
If today you are not fighting the Ijaws, then yesterday you were fighting the Urhobos. As for your fellow Iitsekiris, they have become your latest targets in your utterly irritating penchant for endless strife, needless acrimoniousness and pointless belligerence. You are for me, a peculiar mess of a case study in precisely how to misuse the blessings of God.
The truth about kings is that they are fathers to all. A king is under obligation to accommodate his subjects to the best of his ability and to carry them along with expansive open-mindedness. Where better intellectually equipped citizens distance themselves from the palace, yield their place to intellectual inferiors or howsoever allow utter brigands to marginalize them at court, a king generally has little choice but to work with what he has and forge ahead, however best he can for his people.
It is time for the Itsekiris we know and recognise to please stand up, rise to be counted, rally round their king and take back his palace from the rascally elements that have invaded the place and are presently treating the entire tribe to an overdose of truly excruciating embarrassment.
It must not be said of my lovely Itsekiri neighbors that a clown of a man, who was roundly and stoutly rejected by his own ancestral family has now become an overlord over a noble race.
Believe me Ayiri, anytime I see you with Ogiame, I cringe in disgust and irritation at your juvenile desperation to hug the limelight, annoy your betters, infuriate your elders and overshadow your own king.
You call yourself Ologbotsere; do you even know the history of the noble Itsekiri race? Is it people of your orientation and pedigree that earned Itsekiri a place in the history of our region? Have you even ever bothered to undertake any degree of research into the historicity, provenances and milestones of the Itsekiri past?
It recently occurred to me that an Itsekiri man, Olu Dom Domingo, no less, is very probably the first university graduate in the whole of West Africa! I am yet to encounter, in all my researches any other West African who bagged a Western university degree before that remarkable Itsekiri monarch. Is it such noble heritage you would proceed to denigrate with your comical antics and rather intellectually impoverished posturing?
From one Christian to another, I really feel you need to be touched by the Holy Spirit. While I realise you have no interest in the things of the spirit, as your senior, I will nevertheless continue to pray for you in the hope that it will please Heaven to bring you to your senses and somehow miraculously make of you, a pride to your family, your king, and your tribe. However, you would do well for your own good to humble yourself before God and to come to the sober realisation that where you are today in life is entirely by the grace of God, wherefore you ought to be extremely grateful to Him rather than flying off the handle at every opportunity, seeking to subordinate your fellow men to your ignorant will.
All I did in my article was to point out to Deltans the perfidious lies of the APC, an already miserably discredited platform of killer herdsmen and economy wreckers. I was not holding brief for Governor Okowa but merely explaining to Deltans that he is still their best bet for 2019. You had absolutely no entitlement to then proceed in the name of a rejoinder to my article to induce some urchin to pour invective on your Governor.
As much as you keep disrespecting Okowa, may God retain him as your Governor through 2023.
Barr. JESUTEGA ONOKPASA,
178 Sapele/Warri Road,