Edo shocking and breaking news: Don’t mess about Oshiomhole
By John Mayaki
I woke up to a shocking news rather than breaking on this Thursday morning over a harvest and massive arrest of alleged cult members who undoubtedly have painted our dear state in lurid colours and presented it to the world as an unsaved haven. I am scandalized. However, I have a shocker for you. The number one man in the state, the Chief Security Officer and First Citizen is a no non-sense man. That’s not enough shocker yet. I can assure you that he will not have anything to do with you, when caught in any illegality, wrong-doing, corruption or anything connected thereto. I mean Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. He will simply announce you on the mountain top or the popular Ring Road around Oba Market Square, now renamed Oba Ovoranmwen Square. Don’t mess about.
Wait a minuute. Did you read the Vanguard Newspaper this morning with a headline: Four Edo Government officials arrested over cult activities? The news saddened me and soured my day. That they were arrested, I am pleased but that we have such people as junior officials working with the Committee on War Against Indiscipline, I regretted. I couldn’t help it. I tried my best to avoid a commentary on the issue but being a victim of armed robbery, kidnappers and cultists, I couldn’t hold it back. I am still in my hideout for the past four months. Unknown gunmen had on Sunday, the 9th of February 2015, bailed my wife up, at the Deeper-life Bible Church where she worships, and made away with her Toyota Highlander. And, to add salt to the already festering injuries, I personally received a text message right inside the Church, during a Monday Bible Study, same Venue at the GRA District of the Church, and precisely one week after my Mrs. ordeal, that he (the hired killer or assasin) had been contracted to kill his enemy. The jobber sought for my cooperation to pay some N2 million into an account which he provided, promising to pardon me afterwards.
First, I reported to the police, the incident of the stolen SUV immediately it was stolen at the nearest police station with the help of some brothers in the church while to the State Security Service (SSS), the death threat. I also availed the SSS, the account number, where the money would be credited. Just as the security agencies were on the heels of these dare-devils, I disappeared from the radar with my only daughter and wife. My pains, experiences and anguish, I do not wish my worst enemies whom I don’t even know. This narrative is for another day.
Since I left, I only read in the papers, of reported cases of assassinations, kidnappings, armed robberies, among others. In all these, we do not hear of unreported other cases which of course, are daily occurrence.
The most worrisome of them all, was the Benin Protea Hotel incident, in which case, the police played a major role. I mean the yet-to-be-understood death of a 28 year old boy, Mr. Chibuike Edeh. I have also seen, in broad day light, when policemen would provide escourt to cult group during public processions in the streets of Benin and even right at the city centre, whenever they want to pay their last respect to any of their fallen prominent members. Sincerely, the police cannot extricate itself from this anomaly and shame.
Nigerians have never trusted the police, if there are, am an exception. The death of Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde, the former Principal Private Secretary to the Governor is a pointer. But, I suddenly raised my hopes, when the new Inspector General of police, Solomon Arase was reported to have dispatched a crack team of policemen to Edo state to stem the nefarious tide of criminals and hoodlums. I said to myself, maybe, I would return home.
During this time, especially under our out-going President, Goodluck Jonathan, most Nigerians, to be specific, myself, wake up daily to see a bleak Nigeria with her unsafe citizens, famished and poverty stricken while corruption crawls on four. But, change came. Before the coming of Arase was Buhari, the President-elect. The name alone, cures corruption as we are already experiencing before swearing-in. He made a statement on insecurity and political killings, and among the states he promised to focus on, Edo state made the number. Shortly again, police made themselves proud by the arrest of those dastard armed bandits who robbed First City Monument Bank in Lagos two months ago, when President Jonathan was in Lagos. And Governor Raji Fashola, another no non-sense Governor simply assured Lagos citizens that they would be arrested. I am glad that today, those bandits, ruffians, unscrupulous elements and lazy boys have been arrested and cooling off in the gulag.
Back to the shocking news. Government officials in Edo State? Where Adams Oshiomhole is Governor? Damn it. You simply can’t mess about here. He will not only wash his hands and feet off it and allow the police do its work, there are possibilities, characteristics of Oshiomhole that he would announce your sack and ask the police to see to the end of the matter. In fact, if you get bail, the Oshiomhole that I know, will get the state Ministry of Justice, the office of the Solicitor-General or Director of Public Prosecution, to make sure there is no compromise until the case was logically and legally pursued.
The Oshiomhole that I know has done it before and he has the tendency of doing it again especially now that there is change and not when a Governor, especially opposition Governors were being harassed and stopped from flying or driving into a Federal Government interested territory such as Ekiti State; period where state agents were controlled by politicians and police Commissioner would undermine the authority of the Chief Security Officer of the state such as Joseph Mbu would boast of being a tiger or lion against Governor Rotimi Amaechi. Its a shame.
Like I said, the Nigeria of today, and Edo State, don’t mess about Oshiomhole. He will bring upon you, the full wrath of the law and heavens wont fall. When he was President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, he lured one of his family member to the police station and handed him over to the Divisional Police Officer and drove off. How many Nigerians can do that? And, like I said, Oshiomhole will do it over and over again.
As Governor, Oshiomhole would not succumb to public outcry over the arrest of his party man, and member of the state House of Assembly. No. In fact, Razaq Momoh, popularly known as Star-Black is from his Etsako Local Government Area but Oshiomhole told the police to exert the full wrath of the law on him when he was arrested with illegal arms. That’s it.
Dont forget Major Oloye, the now permanent secretary Ministry of Environment. He was once in bounds; hands in chains in the city centre of Ring Road, and on the orders of the no non-sense Governor and locked up. Not until he was cleared of the allegations for which he was arrested did he regained his freedom. Again, don’t mess around the Comrade!
Did he sack former Commissioner for Public Private Partnership, Dennis Idahosa? The man who was said to have corruptly enriched himself before he was appointed commissioner, got the boots sequel to so much weighty petitions aginst him. And, the man who hires and fires is not distracted even when it was electioneering period. Permanent Secretaries have had a fair share of their dose, just as teachers.
This one will shock you and its not funny. The Governor personally raised the alarm that money had developed wings in the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) and the members were sacked just as the Commissioner, Mr. Ekpenisi Omorionmtonwan of the Ministry of Secondary, Technical and Higher Education. However, upon a second and meticulous perusals of the books, he announced himself again, that nothing was amiss, as money cannot develop wings. He has an allergy for corruption, and all such vices including cultism and kidnappings.
Particularly for kidnappings, the Governor has the political will to sign a bill prescribing death penalty for convicted kidnappers into law in 2013. In fact, the Governor was more furious about their activities when he decalred that the penalty applies to all stages of kidnapping; whether the victim dies in captivity, the process of being kidnapped, or while being rescued.
As a foot note, I am not confident that any government can completely eradicate this menace at a fell-swoop because it has become endemic. Politicians (not all), use cult groups for elections just as they are members and financiers of their activities. Policemen are members of these cult groups, they are there as church members and pastors. They are in the mosques and Universities. They are in the market places and several communities. While it is hard to believe, this is the reality.
It has become a means of survival. Human hostage taking and kidnapping in Edo, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa-Ibom among other states has gone beyond Niger delta youths trying to make their voice heard and force the Federal government to treat them as they truly deserve, by giving their community a fair share of the economy’s return as their land produce most of the country’s natural resources. Kidnapping is now a major national security challenge in Nigeria.
For an already crestfallen nation, the added burden of insecurity created by ongoing cult wars, armed robberies, kidnappings among others, transcend subliminal trauma. For most Nigerians, the fear of being a kidnap victim is real and palpable. One thing the police and other security agencies must have in mind in this fresh arrest is that there must be thorough investigation with clear professionalism into the issue, and if possible, arrive at the real culprits and not a mere allegation or frame up.
Conclusively, we are encouraged and proud, on all fronts, that Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has upped the ante in Edo State. However, and to be honest, the task before the Governor, which former Military Governor Samuel Ogbemudia have always worried about, is the sourcing of the right successor to Oshiomhole. The man who will continue and complete the on-going work and of course, compliment the in-coming change agent, General Muhammadu Buhari at the centre. With time, Nigerians will have cause to sleep with both eyes closed. This, we pray will come to pass. Amen.