Nigerians may not easily comprehend the theatre of absurdity that has been Delta State these eleven years plus. Moses Kragha would tell you how he soon discovered that he was into a race with hoodlums in political masks. When the 1999 gubernatorial election result in Delta was released upside-down, that gentleman simply chickened out. But then the stage was set for tendencies and actions alien to democracy to descend on a sane state.
And when hooliganism quickly entrenched itself in Delta State government house it was clear we were in for real trouble. And we got it hard and rough! The sort of misrule, profligacy and unrestrained plunge into a people’s commonwealth by political leeches and locusts that we saw is only known to fiction books.
The first four years (1999-2003) was ‘operation totality’ that saw the State treasury constantly emptied, and everybody knew it because it was done blatantly and oftentimes in crude military style; and what can you do! You wouldn’t have thought fellow human beings could go so low. We saw something diabolical about the absurd surge into our common finances. We saw a clique under a spell. We saw cruel synergy between the executive headed by James Ibori (with his cousin Emmanuel Uduaghan as commissioner and ear of Ibori) and the legislature. It was thoroughly nasty. It was the hugest affront that could happen under democracy.
And we shouted to the rooftops. But the more we did the more the siege intensified and hit harder on us. Within months you could see that the poorest member of that legislature, let alone the executive, has become richer than all that Dennis Osadebe had in his entire political life. It was not difficult contrasting real politicians of old with these vampire politicians.
Even when we were suffocating real badly it was apparent that the larger society with their laws and courts could do nothing. We were only hoping on God just as we waited the next (2003) election. And then it came.
Great Ogboru was a candidate this time. The whole state was agog with his entrance. Hope was alive and life bubbled in all Deltans. Apathy and lethargy gave way to sweeping political participation. Ogboru was on all lips. Deltans went to the polls. They went for Ogboru. They went to use their votes to install their darling, whom most of them call the people’s ‘general’. There was no way Ibori could have had five percent of those votes. No way! Only dead consciences, made so by the god of mammon, could have declared Ibori winner of that election.
And to scuttle Ogboru’s legal redress those that stole his mandate turned the Federal Police against him, even declaring him wanted. And the stage was again set for more treasury-looting, but not without first making Emmanuel Uduaghan Secretary to Government. Uduaghan was the scribe over what was to follow. Expectedly, this next four years was no different from the four years before them. The looting didn’t abate an inch; only that the emptying of the treasury was better coordinated this time ostensibly because of the presence of a threatening virile opposition, an opposition which actually ought to have been in government.
When it was clear that the Judiciary would not be forthright and forthcoming with the truth on the case instituted by Ogboru, yours sincerely counseled him to let go and face the next (2007) election which was already then around the corner. He insisted on seeing the end of his case before any other thing. It was soothing that he later joined the race.
Since Ibori couldn’t constitutionally take a third term, and which was also the reason he sided with Obasanjo’s failed third term bid, he thought of foisting his cousin, confidant and ‘able scribe’ on us. But the people knew better even though their votes did not count previously. Ogboru the democrat also knew better, even though his 2003 mandate has just been squandered. When he stepped out again in 2007, the electorate instantly knew their own; and were poised to give their mandate to the people’s general once more. Alas, they were prevented from doing so. Instead, a result was conjured by Iwu’s INEC that threw the most unwanted human being at us. Only the god of mammon that was deep seated in some can do such a heinous thing.
Uduaghan was packaged by Ibori and foisted on us to keep secrets secret, to try to window-dress few things and to put some cosmetics on the Ibori gruesome days so that forgetful beings could quickly forget the atrocities of eleven years. That was why he was railroaded on us. Of course, some soon forgot. They were made to forget the past with crumbs they passed over the table. Pretentious opposition figures soon went for those crumbs. Human beings!
But the actual opposition would not forget realities. The Nigerian press would not forget too. London would not forget either. And above all, God would not forget. And the game was up!
We may have suffocated badly. Now it is, already, the turn of Odidigborigbo to suffocate. He has lost the Nigerian air. He cannot touch down on his native soil. Yet, the arm of the law is zeroing in on him. For how long can the law be an ass of one individual? How long will one man rubbish us and the rule of law thoroughly? How long!
Even now Uduaghan’s ‘stolen’ mandate has been nullified. The centre can no longer hold. We hail this new face of our courts. Now hooliganism, profligacy and sundry garbage that pass for politics and that rubbish our sensibilities but which we have had to acquiesce with this decade plus, will now be done away with. Every vote will now count. In a matter of days from now: The people’s general; a democrat par excellence shall get the people’s mandate; mandate twice given to him hitherto, but twice stolen by crops of ruffians who have brought disgrace to our dear state home and abroad. And now: governance shall be accountable!