Nigeria Matters

Delta’s N1trillion and Sweeping Poverty, Horrible Criminality

Since 1999 when monstrosity enthroned itself in government in Delta, the State has had about a trillion naira which in the main (some say 90 percent actually) has been mismanaged, wasted and carted away to sundry places home and abroad. In a 32page document: A-Z of Delta State Sorry Story published December 15, 2010 in this writer stated that nothing suggests that 15 percent of that money is here with the masses of Deltans in any way imaginable. But we have ex and current this and that living as though they inherited Bill Gate-like estate from their fathers. You really cannot represent on paper the evil that has reared its head to Everest in Delta. Mephistophelian elements are in the saddle here while the generality of Deltans are pauperized.

But give what Ibori-Uduaghan had for 12 years to a democrat (like Great Ogboru), one who truly believes that democracy is government of the people by the people and for the people and see what becomes of Delta State: A marvel par excellence like Dubai that the Iboris would like to holiday in. Warri City, a town that should today tower in status like Dubai City given its commercial, port-city and oil-city status before one James Ibori and his cousin hijacked governance in the state is wasting away twelve years after. We have much to say about Warri as we progress. Since the pair of Ibori and Uduaghan and their cohorts’ surged into our commonwealth and smeared politics badly things have fallen apart, and the centre has refused to hold. Things are bad, real bad! And this is why Deltans have unbendingly desired a change in government these many years, and which is also why they see Great Ogboru, the unbending and unyielding figure despite a monstrous clique stealing and frustrating his mandate severally, as the catalyst for that change.

With the amount that came the way of the state or Deltans these twelve years there is no reason on earth while Delta should not be a piece of marvel. Many African countries don’t have that much within the same period. And really, Obafemi Awolowo would not need more than that within the same period to transform western Nigeria, the area known today as South-West and Delta State. With the same amount there is no reason why Warri which was already an oil city, port city, commercial nerve centre of old Mid-West/Bendel, and a place of global reckoning before Ibori-Uduaghan strayed into politics should not become a Port Elizabeth or even Dubai twelve years after; there is no excuse why Asaba, Sapele, Ughelli and Agbor which were already burgeoning urban centres before Ibori-Uduaghan laid siege on our very rich commonwealth these twelve years should not be centres the international communities should be hobnobbing and fraternizing with twelve years after; and there is no reason why each of the local government areas in the state should not attract government presence as Oghara, Ibori’s home local government headquarter. The fund we had masterly put into gainful use could, with its multiplier effect, secure us all of the above and more.

Something else happened to our monies. And so, the pair of Ibori and Uduaghan created ‘ghettoes’, shanty towns, purlieus, shabby areas and slums of these already established cities and towns before they railroaded themselves into mis-governance and mismanagement of our resources. Meanwhile poverty is biting real hard everywhere in the face of plenty. And crime is become normal. As we write there is no new foreign or indigenous private sector investment of note across the whole state these twelve years. That means no security since investors do not invests in insecurity; and that means no jobs, and so hunger. As we write there is no town or place of enthralling tourist attraction or inviting holiday resort started and completed these twelve years.

See what Lagos became in four years under Babatunde Fashola: That is governance! See what Adams Oshiomole is doing in Edo State under two years with his very lean resources, resources not quite up to a quarter of Delta’s within the two years period. That is government! Ibori-Uduaghan had and still has another agenda in government. The pair has no clue whatsoever as to how government runs or the heart that benefits the electorate; and we don’t expect them to have these after twelve years. The effect of Ibori-Uduaghan misgovernance in Delta and on Deltans would make as many volumes as Shakespeare ever made.

The Mafioso style of governance with the sundry evils it multiplied in the state is what Deltans have prayed and wished never to see all the days of their lives. But they saw it, and it refused to abate. For twelve years the state lost the meaning of governance. It is so because ‘area boys’ became ‘honorables’; thieves became commissioners of our exchequers and free ladies (birds of the same feathers) that could offer some orgy equally became ‘honorables’ and, or went home with huge contract projects. Rotten is the word. The whole place is rotten!

The newly posted Commissioner of Police to Delta the other day bewailed the criminality and state of insecurity in the state and actually spoke as if he has not seen it so bad elsewhere. Yet, security is supposed to be one of the three items Emmanuel Uduaghan, the usurper-governor of Delta State, promised. Don’t query me for the huge sum ‘spent’ in this regard. If robbers of the peoples’ mandate had allowed the owner of the mandate (that is, Ogboru), who incidentally has been promising zero tolerance in crime and corruption in the state to mount the saddle, the new Police Commissioner would have been talking relaxingly today. The crops of people there at Asaba state house do not have any moral credential to command compliance and obedience to approved societal norms. If there is anything it is to foster the contrary. What they really are, starting from Ibori down the line is already in the public domain. These twelve years anybody connected to government is a god. It is more so with those among their numbers who have extended their hands to the cults (and many hands indeed are stretched out). They overturn anything. Except the new Delta Police boss is man enough he may soon swallow down his outrage. There is so much money from our common treasury in few hands they use to ‘do and undo’. Our courts and their justices may know what I am talking about here. How wonderful and soothing therefore that the judiciary is now putting out a new face!

Mr. Commissioner may also want to read what I wrote about six years ago. In Warri, her Churches and Criminality published in the Daily Independent of Thursday, September 16, 2004 I wrote that “Warri is a shameless society with perverted minds and shackled consciences on the loose. The capacity for crime is nonesuch. That is a city where crime busters newly posted there promote criminality within minutes of arrival else you are made to be either sent away to some other work stations by networks allegedly connected to very high places or go for a burton. Crime towers highly in the low and high, male and female, and young and old”.

May I recap a story I did there: During one of the many curfews imposed on the city on the heels of equally many crises that were already adjusting the place to the Hobbesian state of nature, this writer who was in one of his regular visits saw what was simply baffling to the mind, knowing he was seeing a human being in action. Curfew! Three A.M! Suddenly: Ole, ole, ole (that is, thief, thief, thief)! And you are up! And peeping through your window you saw this boy, who has already either punched his way from inside the store of his prey to the roof top or got there through a narrow opening in the gable between the eaves tangential to another lower roof, sailing to and fro atop the roof-well descending and rising intermittently in the process. All of that was attempt at reaching a corner of descent with the least waiting spectators and potential

captors to disembark from before taking the intended race of his life.

By the time he was through with his vain attempt at escape, he had punched scores of undesired skylights and dormer windows on the roof, leaving a roof crying for urgent replacement. And before he finally came crashing down he had given himself punishment enough; enough to ‘discharge and acquit him’. But the 3A.M crowd eargerly waiting below saw it differently. The first glimpse I caught of our friend after his descent to jungle justice was deformity occasioned by rare barbarism, which again Warri is not wanting in.

Scenes such as this are normal occurrences in Warri and Delta, sadly though. That boy I saw on the roof top that day and the thousands like him in Warri and Delta, and that mob on that day like the many in Warri and Delta would know a personally different story when government is in place. Today, Delta State and Warri in particular is home to societal leading vices: prostitution (immorality); riotous culture; bank robbery; ritual killings and kidnapping with instant jungle justice when culprits are caught; racketeering such as oil bunkering, drug trafficking; sea piracy, drug addiction and so on and so forth as if there is no government in place. Glance through copies of the Vanguard this past thirty days for instance and see the captions on these subject matters, and you will know how menacing government and governance is in Delta. The place of poverty and uninformed governance in all that is of course not far-fetched.

When people run with un-mandated rule, unaccountable service is what you have; and brutish tendencies, as is the case in Delta State and Warri, would be the result. Yes, these things are everywhere in our country. In terms of degree, endemic sweep and the ravages of these no place like Delta State in Nigeria. Before we properly tie everything up two more short treatments of these sorry matters may still be instructive.

In Warri, prostitution (immorality) fiercely advertises itself everywhere – from her streets, homes/offices to here and there including the worldly churches. At the instance of Satan, girls and women are simply on “rampage’. While those decent days of putting on lingerie before normal clothing appear to be gone, dressing without underwear may be a common place as their tight silky wears advertise their contours. At other times some can just no longer conceal what we grew up to know are called private parts, and so must be half, even two-third exposed. They see in these already messed up parts motif given them for body decoration. Like graffiti not meant for confinement but pasted out for every reader’s consumption, so these people want the essence of their womanhood to be seen everywhere their feet are seen. And it is normal! What remains, perhaps, is for them to walk stack naked. You say, ‘what has this got to do with governance’? Let one of those so-called women start the completely naked walk on our streets with only shoes, hair and lips make-up’ with a bag on; and let her be free from Police arrest that whole day or two: In a matter of days that will be the fashion of multitudes.

Can you see how governance comes in? Besides that when our laws are working; when governors and their lieutenants are living exemplary lives rather than promoting the damning lifestyle we here write about; when the girls are well educated and gainfully employed who does not know that all of these will scale down to barest minimum? When there is no government in place rot is what you have, and Warri and Delta have enough of it.

Today, Warri has towered far above Lagos in riotous lifestyle and I-will finish-you-today scrimmages. Whatever Wilmer bus stop, Ajegunle was infamous for in the 60s and early 70s is the culture all over Warri today, yet some say they are leaders only because they love to plunge into our rich common treasury and empty it dry; and will therefore not want the people’s mandate repeatedly given to Great Ogboru who they see as a rescuer to materialize. Meanwhile, crowd-pulling and peace-disturbing fighting can replicate itself within each square mile every one hour in Warri. And it is knifes, daggers, bottles, sticks, chairs, iron rods and stuff like that. It is a go for the kill. Warri appears to know no other form of combat. With many of them with guns stocked away, the story can be anything anytime. And whenever they are so sponsored by Satan, government officials or others, they, in much surliness and with indecent Warri patois to employ, quickly get into frenzies, gyrations and spirals in search of tools of war which are put into effect in commodious places that can allow their free use and enlarged audience. At the end of the brute outing what you see is not shame but a hoity-toity sway, uninformed air of pride and posture of a grandee as if that, again, is the normal thing to do. Why? The want of good governance!

In Delta and in Warri in particular, very heinous crimes are normal. You really can go on and on and create a classic from the faux pas that Delta and Warri have come to take over leadership in these twelve years of Ibori-Uduaghan siege on society. With that siege came the siege of poverty and crime! It is a very sour tale.

No wonder the people have consistently voted overwhelmingly for Great Ogboru. But the robbers of their mandate will not let that be, even though they are starkly ignorant of the working of government besides the fact that they are not really out to govern but to transform themselves into multimillionaires and billionaires which monies they are using to help transform Dubai and other world cities while Warri, an oil city and commercial centre of Delta State before their misadventure in governance, languishes and perishes! But this will now stop by the grace of God. Ogboru’s case in court would restore to him the mandate Deltans gave him in the recent gubernatorial rerun. And if that comes late, that is, before the next April elections and it is hoped it won’t, then he is again sure to cleanly sweep the April governorship election. LEFT or RIGHT Deltans can now hope for a clean sweep in Delta and a dumping of the sweepings far away from governance.

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