Come Chop Doctrine

by E. Terfa Ula-Lisa Esq

Democracy is about representation. Representation is necessary for the crafting of policy objectives that benefit the people and bring succor to their daily lives. The officials that run the various institutions whether of the party or as public officials, must also be representative of the people. Sometimes the wishes of the Public officers and those of the electorate, also known as “the common man” do not converge. In the event of the inevitable clash, in a true Democracy, the public official should bow to the wishes of the electorate. That is also what is known as People Power. The experience of Nigeria is summed up in the words of no less a person than the current President at his inauguration on May 29, 1999:

Instead of progress and development, which we are entitled to expect from those who governed us, we experienced in the last decade and a half, and particularly in the last regime but one, persistent deterioration in the quality of our governance, leading to instability and the weakening of all public institutions. Good men were shunned and kept away from government while those who should be kept away were drawn near.”

In the “last decade and a half” mentioned in the above quote, the persons who were in government were: General Abubakar, General Abacha, Mr. E. Shonekan, General Babangida. If they had all failed Nigeria, why would anyone want to support one of them to power in 2007? It was reported that during the consultations leading up to the PDP meeting, IBB was in Ota to visit with the President regarding Ogbeh’s letter; a report that was not denied or refuted by either the President’s over zealous aides or IBB.
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The Cabal

The current Democracy in Nigeria is not run by the people but by a Cabal. When the cabal saw that as a result of their mismanagement of public affairs the country had ground to a halt, and as a result of the annulment of the June 12th election they were losing out, members of this cabal needed a breather; they shopped for a candidate and found one in General Obasanjo, a man from the same political precinct as Abiola whose election the cabal had annulled. This was a palliative to assuage frayed nerves and buy time for strategic planning. One of the foremost leaders of this Cabal, a man whose only qualification to leadership is that he shot his way to power and eliminated all opposition or dissent, and used state money to curry favor of the gullible is at it again. The arrogance of this cabal is that they believe that Nigeria cannot do without them. The cabal was built by public officers and a few traditional leaders on the money looted from the treasury of the Nigerian State, through patronage, cronyism, nepotism insider trading and crass physical conversion of monies from the Central Bank of Nigeria.

It is a matter of public knowledge that OBJ was removed from prison and sponsored by this cabal to run for election on the platform of the PDP, a party he had no hand in the formation or nurture. In fact, when OBJ ran for election, he was an outsider who had no money to buy nomination, so he benefited from deals he had no knowledge of. OBJ had no grassroots organization, followers or people in the PDP or in any other party which was why he did not win in even his own hometown. It is a known fact that organization in the PDP, then as well as now is based on grassroots support. OBJ needed to have some following, which was why he entered into his own deal with the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) whose leader after the death of Yar ‘Adua was Abubakar Atiku. It is the search for a political base that forced OBJ to appoint the leader of the PDM as Vice-President. There are now two deals; one with the faceless Cabal, the other with the PDM whose leader also has political ambitions. OBJ nearly lost the 2003 elections because he toyed with the idea of dumping his vice-president.

Chris Uba Scheme

Chris Uba and persons of his ilk were created by OBJ to generate a collateral power base. This power base needs persons of substance and in Nigeria substance translates to money, lots of money. The easiest way to make one loyal to you for life in Nigeria is to pick someone by the bootstraps and give him/her a voice with government patronage. This doctrine was called IBB Spirit, it is now known as “come chop doctrine” and it bears the name of the architect of the doctrine. Chris Uba may have been empowered with the complicit nod from the party to make things happen in Anambra as well as other states. He may have given us Ngige, Wabara, as well as all the other persons he had exuberantly boasted that he enthroned (because he lacks finesse, being of little education). Audu Ogbeh may or may not have been privy to these arrangements. Informed persons would rather credit the fixer for these arrangements.

Whistleblower Ogbeh

It is suspected that Audu Ogbeh, although not an initial member, may have become a convert to the PDM cause, hence the need to replace him and get one that would fit into OBJ’s scheme under the dictates of the Cabal. As the press rightly speculated, the exchange of letters had something to do with positioning for 2007 elections and the ambitions of a certain not so pleasant character. The more pressing need to do equity in the matter may have prompted the parties to out the letter to stop the reckless impunity with which the Uba Camp were willing to break the law and remain unpunished. Recall that it was also the publicity given to the phone call made to Ogbeh that stopped the so-called resignation. Notice also the similarity in operations of the circumstance of Ogbeh’s grievance, his purported resignation, the attempt at firing him, the peace meetings, the rumors of duress and controversy regarding his volition and his subsequent resignation.

Public Policy Implementation

One of the defining features of the government of OBJ is that all he said he would do at inauguration; he has done the complete opposite. More is the pity that he does not brook criticism or a contrary opinion. Here are a few reminders:

Government officials became progressively indifferent to propriety of conduct and showed little commitment to promoting the general welfare of the people and the public good.”
President Obasanjo May 29,1999

Question is: is it in the public interest of the public good for Chris Uba to be freely walking around showing videos and boasting of how he subverted democracy as a “godfather”? Can any act Chris Uba confessed to be likened to corruption or abuse of power or a crime under the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria?

Corruption, the greatest single bane of our society today, will be tackled head-on at all levels. Corruption is incipient in all human societies and in most human activities.

But it must not be condoned. This is why laws are made and enforced to check corruption, so that society would survive and develop in an orderly, reasonable and predictable way. No society can achieve anything near its full potential if it allows corruption to become the full-blown cancer it has become in Nigeria. One of the greatest tragedies of military rule in recent times, is that corruption was allowed to grow unchallenged, and unchecked, even when it was glaring for everybody to see. The rules and regulations for doing official business were deliberately ignored, set aside or by-passed to facilitate corrupt practices. The beneficiaries of corruption in all forms will fight back with all the foul means at their disposal. We shall be firm with them. There will be no sacred cows. Nobody, no matter who and where, will be allowed to get away with the breach of the law or the perpetration of corruption and evil
President Obasanjo, inaugural address May 29, 1999

You do not need a law degree to deduce that Chris Uba by his own public testimony in diverse places official and otherwise has committed various grievous crimes against the nation. We understand that being of limited education, he may not realize the concept of political office as distinct from the personality of the office holder even if he may have put him there, the President knows all about laws and the constitutional machinery of government. If Uba is not a sacred cow he should be prosecuted even if he is the President’s relative by marriage. For the president not to mention his conflict of interest position shows the quality of analysts he has around him. That is part of what Ogbeh was alluding to. The fact that Ogbeh’s political allegiance to the President may not be as stellar as it used to be still does not change the fact that Uba, the President’s brother-in-law has confessed to criminal and electoral offenses. Now with regard to the electoral malpractices, we leave it to the tribunals who have been bold enough to nullify the results of the president’s home state. Ogbeh may not be a saint but any neutral Nigerian would chose him over and above the likes of Chris Uba any day. We urge President Obasanjo to do the right thing, recuse himself from Uba matters and let the law take its course.

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