Alamieyeseighagate: A Case for Immediate Action

by Michael Oluwagbemi II

“Corruption is like a ball of snow, once it’s set a rolling it must increase.” (Charles Caleb Colton)

If anyone ever tells you that you have seen everything in Nigeria please call him or her a liar! Nigeria is a country of no laws and I stand to be contradicted by any living mammal, dead or alive. What happened on Monday, November 21, 2005 will go down in history as one of the biggest scandals in our political space, but by many accounts can never be the most significant given that more scandals are on the way like many gone past. In a country with over two hundred and fifty thousand paid policemen, thirty thousand custom agents, fifteen thousand immigration officers, eighty thousand military personnel, and nearly fifty thousand men and women in the law enforcement circles, a common criminal called Governor Alamieyeseigha just strolled in unannounced and to the jubilating arms of a despicable and decadent society!

It is a very sad time in the history of our nation, and I will be deceiving all my readers to say I am not ashamed to be carrying the same passport like this storied jail bird. In the most dramatic twist to the events leading up to his incarceration, release on bail and spirited fight to regain his passport in the British courts, the Governor of Bayelsa state sensing that he is up against a tide that he cannot subdue decided instead to run away from justice. He supposedly escaped by sea entering Nigeria disguised as a woman and using forged documents according to mixed but yet unconfirmed reports.

By any standard the escape of the ‘thief of Yenagoa’ is an indictment of the British law enforcement apparatus. Indeed it is a specific ‘in your face’ to the Nigerian authorities. How did he pass through custom check at both Britain and Nigeria? Who cleared him for air travel and landing in the territory of Nigeria? Who was the designated law enforcement official in Britain, even after a testimony of the Attorney General, allowed this fugitive move beyond his restricted radius? Are Britons safe? If the governor can run away from London what stops suspected terrorist from flying in? To Ribadu and his boys, it creates a very succinct problem since they essentially lack the power to enforce British laws in Nigeria.

All hopes are not lost, however, and what went wrong is definitely fixable. What Nigeria cannot afford is inaction or indifference by this administration that has a history of looking the other way when the all powerful governors of our land break the laws of the land. At least the Sharia issue was one of those cases when the constitution was clearly undermined with the taciturn support of the President. Another one of these incidents was the Plateau issue where Dariye is today ruling a state even when clear impeachable offence was preferred against him while on sabbatical leave at London jails!

The President has four options at this point. One of the options assumes that the Governor remains legally in office and cannot stand trial under our ridiculed constitution that has created the present quagmire we find ourselves. Under this option, the governor should be deported, kidnapped or abducted (whichever name you want to call it) by a high powered security force that should claim total ignorance of who, or how it took place. At least it was God who brought the governor to Nigeria; it is definitely Him that will take him back. Most Nigerians readily suggested this option across internet message boards and as a democrat I totally subscribe to it.

Another option will be to pursue stripping the governor of his immunity by removing him from office. This will involve tabling just one of his many impeachable offences before the state house of assembly. Since he entered Nigeria with a forged document we do not need any saint from heaven to determine that a crime has been committed. If the President want to prove he has balls and he is the true leader of his party (Pindipi as Bola Ige likes to call it) he better marshal those thieving boys occupying the Bayelsa state legislature to immediately commence impeachment proceedings before this generates to an international incident. After his immunity is stripped, he should be allowed to face either the music in Nigeria or Britain. I have definitely lost faith in the British judicial system, but will also like to see the look of his face in handcuffs when he gets back to Heathrow!

The third and the most convenient method for the President is to make life uncomfortable for Bayelsans that have decided to aid and abet this very corrupt individual. Imagine a group of people that cannot muster enough political courage to remove a disgraced man from office. Even the conscience of the people did not stop them from jubilating when their triumphant hero came to town. Indeed, the people of Bayelsa have given credence to the argument of the Northern Oligarchy that they already get too much from the national treasury anyway and they cannot be trusted with more (even though I still disagree with this position). Beyond this however, the fact that stares us in the face is that Bayelsans are a reflection of the larger decadence that pervades our society: the Nigerian society is rotten!

If all fails, then as a concerned Nigerian I think a state of emergency should come to force forthwith in the state of Bayelsa. The National Legislature will take over the functions of the state assembly and the process of impeachment should begin (this tactic is definitely high handed and should be properly considered before this route is taken). This will make the impeachment easier and orderly. Indeed it will remove the dangers of public disorder that can result from a change in government at Yenagoa. Undeniably a deletion of the immunity clause from the current constitution will also be a quick fix to the problem of fugitive governors holding forte in our Government Houses; but I doubt the courage of our legislators to take such radical action.

In addition to any of the above course of action, the noose should tighten around the governor. The federal government should press that his wife remain in jail at London, his ‘corrupt’ relatives should be picked up and all his commissioners charged for varying crimes ranging from accessory before to accessory after the fact. In criminal law, the friend of the criminal is a criminal! If they all know that this man has a warrant of arrest out for him and he still dining and wining with them, then they are all pa

rtakers in his crime. Oronto Douglas for his turncoat behavior since the beginning of this democratic dispensation is my recommended public enemy number one. Oronto has sold his soul for a pot of porridge and he is a disgrace to all activists out there trying to do their best for their cause. A lonely man will either die of hypertension or give up his position: I am sure the governor will make the choice a lot easier for his God if he has any!

It is my hope that while this is ongoing, hitherto educated Ijaws and Bayelsans who otherwise will have sided with the law, but have been previously blinded by the false claims of political or ethnic victimization emanating from Governor Alamieyeseigha’s camp, will see beyond the smokescreen and rise beyond the tribalistic comments that have marked their knee jerk response on message boards and forums across the web space that made them react angrily to anyone that criticized their ‘Governor General’. In reality, Alamieyeseigha is not different from his feudal masters or cohorts from the North, East or West of the Niger. While the drumbeat of madness goes on, we keep our fingers crossed and hope someone of courage does something about the mess the Nigerian elites have created.

Last Line:

“The first sign of corruption in a society that is still alive is that the end justifies the means”

Georges Bernanos

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Anonymous November 23, 2005 - 7:18 pm

Stella Obasanjo is a dead thief that splurged the Niger delta oil monies on vain cosmetic procedures and expensive hotels !!!

I would like her first ladies budget audited along side the Bayelsa governor …lets not forget to ask for Plateu governor Dariye's head too. Stealing is stealing …Justice delayed is not Justice denied…All Political fraudsters who have embeszzeled public funds should be rounded up with Alamesigha and prosecuted immediately. Including the dead first lady !!

Anonymous November 22, 2005 - 6:45 pm

Anybody who has a contrary opinion to the opinion and views of the author should not be in a civilized society i feel so ashamed of my green passport because of people like this there is aproverb that says when the kids behave like kids let the grown ones behave like adults, we all know we have these problems of dishonesty, corruption and even social security but this should not be done by a prominent figure such as a gorvernor is is very shameful.We all know what the Ogoni people have suffered in the past and how many lives have been lost in this stuggle but at the same time likes of KenSaro Wiwa if they were alive i know would definetely condone this kind of digrace to Green-White-Green

Anonymous November 22, 2005 - 5:06 pm

The respondents below have grossly missed the points. Granted that the people of Bayelsa had been negleted for many many years by the then military government is definetly not an excuse for the sensless act of gross irresponsibility and crimininality against the people of Bayelsa State and to every Nigerian all over the world by Gov. Alamie. The effect of the Governor's action is yet to be seen. You wonder why graduates of our institutions are unemployable. You wonder why armed robbery and assasinations prevail all over the country.You wonder why 80 of the population are jobless, You wonder why 25 of the population are HIV positive, You wonder, You wonder, DO YOU Wonder It is the actions of criminals like Almiewhatever that we are where we are. Alamie Ole has houses in Seattle, Washington worth about 4mil, a mansion in the State of Maryland worth about 1.5mil, Was caught at LHR (Heathrow Airport) with 1.8mil British pounds, less you forget that his daughter, a rescent graduate of a Califonia University sold her real estate for 1.7mil.

and do not forget the properties in London, Germany etc. A country with law and order charged alamie with money laundary offences, and he decided on his own volition to jump bail, used forged passport and documents to sneak back to Nigeria, what do you call that, A COMMON CRIMINAL". Do not get me wrong, he is not the only thief (Ole) in government, but his actions with many other thieves are the reasons why we are called the most currupt nation in the world. Truely, any one who condones and abhor crimininal/s is /are also "common Criminal" This man has brought shame to us as a nation. Let the truth be told. Respondents , can you open your eyes and see, can you wonder Good job , Mike.


Anonymous November 22, 2005 - 4:31 pm

Alarm is a common criminal, he is a disgrace to nigeria, a thief that should be in jail,it saddens my heart to learn ,that the people of balyesa celebrated his return, the federal government should do everything within it power ,for alam to face the law ,alam is among one of the corrupt nigerians that has caused untold hardship to nigerians,in fact i detest him,shame on him.

Anonymous November 22, 2005 - 2:57 pm

i support you completely.i am aware that British govt at this instance find themselves inconceivably helpless. As they are busy tightening up their security measures against terrorism.Unknown to them,Nigerians,the acclaimed evil genius of the world are busy innovating anti-security devices.Which the Bible never recorded in its times.nigerians are willing slaves,who wants their freedom but never wantr to pay for it.Otherwise the level of decadence & corruption are enough to result to a revolution.UKgovt can train more sniffer dogs for sex identification,introduce thumb printing as the US govt has done.

I November 22, 2005 - 10:58 am

Have Nigerians gone mad I cannot believe the man is still moving freely in Bayelsa, he should be behind bars (whether UK or Nigeria) as of this moment!!

Anonymous November 22, 2005 - 9:27 am

this goons on here supporting this idiot deserve an answer…hold your fire, Alams is a thief

Anonymous November 22, 2005 - 7:06 am

If there was a lower rating I would have reted you lower than this . The Ijaws are not ignorant neither are they being brain washed . starting from tne Abacha regime they fought for their rights alongside the Ogonis . we lost a lot of young men , but not popular people who could pull the attention Sarowiwa pulled , some of you have even forgotten 8 other Ogonis were killed with Ken Sarowiwa . with that fight we were given attained a 13 derivation , and alamieyesiegha stood for the next level of the fight . The young men that forced Abacha into giving a 13 derivation lost thier lives , lost their limbs and fought against a tyrant without any international support . Most of you are in Europe and America because you lied and got asylum in the place of these brave young men and thier families , and for every mother that lost her son,every child that lost the father, every woman that lost a husband , the fact that Alamieyesiegha had respect for their sons and daughters and continued with the struggle is what celebrating . From Prof.West to Cark, to Diette Spiff , to Koko , and who have you are in support of the struggles . It baffles me beyond every human reasonning that people like you do not even know the position of Bayelsa on the map of Nigeria , who can not tell if the Ijaws are sub-group of "the calabarpeople" or seperate tribe are always to eager to discuss Ijaw issues . The interest of your Belly, OandO , and the other amazons of your tribe ,rather than National interest trobules you . Otherwise you will not call a public office holder that has the same immunity as your president "a common criminal" , your derogative discription of the Ijaws sounds like an eugentic lecture in Nazi Germany .

Anonymous November 22, 2005 - 6:47 am

"Common ciminal" can we be a lot more reasonable when commenting on issues like this afterall he shares the same rights and priviledges with your president.Has anyone of you questioned Mr president´s sincerityWas he found guilty Mind you his presence in yenogoa remains a mystery afteall none can tell if he was release or he escaped.


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