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JUSTICE MUST EVENTUALLY COME By Erhisode Barrett

March 6, 2012

The fight against corruption and injustice in Nigeria got a killer jab on Friday 2nd of March 2012 at the Supreme Court in Abuja just — days after its health was boosted by the guilty plea of Former Delta State Governor, James Onanefe Ibori, in Southwark Crown Court, London, England.

The man who pleaded guilty to “countless stealing and corruption-like charges” had just a couple of years earlier enjoyed near god status in his home country due to the application of his sudden & questionable vast resources. His purchased charisma had even earned him the moniker “Ogidigboigbo of Africa” usually accompanied by the cheeky refrain of “you dey look am, e dey go” as a testament to his followers belief of his infallibility.

Pundits had shouted their voices hoarse in bids to correct the National error they saw playing out where a thief whose hands were not only stained with the oil from the soup pot but was seen to actually be carrying the pot with him everywhere he went was declared by our ‘faux-judiciary’ to be innocent of the crime of ‘Grand Larceny’.

And now the scenario is being repeated, albeit on a grander scale, with the ogidigboigbo’s hand-picked replacement, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, as governor of Delta State (his cousin, no less) as the centerpiece. Alas though, the limelight is shared this time around with the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the whole of the now confirmedly corrupt Nigerian judiciary and Nigeria’s crime fighting organs such as the police, the State Security Service (SSS) and the corruption watchdog(?), the EFCC.

All of the co-centerpieces mentioned above share complicity in the on-going public duplicity that is rending the hearts of good Nigerians asunder. Is this how justice dies? Does a lie, having been purchased at whatever price and repeated over and over become the truth?

Just days before the Supreme Court ruling on the Delta State electoral tribunal matter, I got wind of moves by some concerned citizens to appeal to “the powers that be” not to interfere with the judgment that was to come and, if possible, to even right the wrongs that had been done to the good people of Delta State over time. The result of their entreaties is now part of Delta State and Nigeria’s shameful History.

There can be no doubt anymore that Nigeria is on a downward spiral into anarchy for reasons that are not contrived by me but in the air for anyone to grab. Injustice was the precursor that birthed MEND (Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta). In a twisted way accompanied by religious chauvinism, Boko Haram also seems to have its birth-roots in ‘perceived’ injustices (real or imagined).

I have furtively entertained a fear since the drama of this electoral mishap began (some blatant scenes which I personally witnessed, by the way) that this whole nonsense could give rise to yet another or other group(s) of disgruntled ‘elements’ working together to seek redress through ‘un-constitutional’ means since the law had yet again literally and practically proven itself to be, ‘lock, stock and barrel’, the proverbial ‘ass’!

If or when such a group ‘arises’, my suspicion is that it will be popular and have unprecedented support despite expected efforts by the “ruling” administration to intimidate and browbeat everyone and widely publicise non-truths as have come to be known as the hallmarks of this administration.

I very much suspect also that it/they will not be named “Liberate” after the Facebook group that the Delta State governor and his minions had previously branded as terrorists for asking pertinent questions about the State’s questionable spending on certain projects which include:

1. ASABA – UGHELLI ROAD DUALISATION (over N19 billion spent to date, and additional N5 billion earmarked in the 2012 Budget). Recently the Commissioner for Work stated that the project will now be completed with about N45 billion.

2. KOKO – UGBENU ROAD DUALISATION (unknown amount spent to date, and additional N2 billion earmarked in the 2012 Budget).

3. EFFURUN – OSUBI – EKU ROAD (unknown amount spent to date and additional N3.94 billion earmarked in the 2012 Budget).

4. TRANS WARRI ODE-ITSEKIRI ROAD AND BRIDGE (over N6 billion spent to date, and additional N5 billion earmarked in the 2012 Budget).

5. INDEPENDENT POWER PROJECT, OGHAREFE (a project started in 2009 and over N24 billion spent to date. An additional N4 billion has been earmarked in the 2012 Budget).

6. WARRI INDUSTRIAL PARK (although a PPP, over N1 billion of State funds spent on master planning, EIA, consultancy etc, and additional N3 billion earmarked in the 2012 Budget).

7. ASABA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (unverifiable huge amount spent to date, and additional N4 billion earmarked in the 2012 Budget for the completion of the Airport. Deltans thought the Airport was already completed according to government propaganda)

8. SECOND RUNWAY AND EXPANSION OF OSUBI AIRPORT (over N1.3 billion spent to date, and additional N8 billion earmarked in the 2012 Budget. Deltans are a bit confused here. How can a government be spending such huge funds on an Airport she doesn’t own? Why get involved in two airport projects, while other critical infrastructures suffer? There are a lot more questions than answers).

9. KOKO PORT FREE TRADE ZONE (although a PPP, N2 billion earmarked in the 2012 Budget, to facilitate the quick take-off of the FTZ project).

There is an aspect of this whole thing that I find even more disturbing (if that is possible) than most others that, though risqué, I see as a “Must Say”. The information in this write-up was not concocted by me. They are all verifiable by anyone anytime yet this kind of thievery is backed by Elders, traditional rulers, religious leaders, federal might (incorporating all the security apparatuses) & certainly not all but a sizeable number of Uduaghan’s tribesmen! Do we have a problem with learning in this country? Was this not how Oghara indigenes backed and are still backing Ibori all the way to his present abode?

I was with a young Itsekiri chap recently whom I was just getting to know and like. He ended up disappointing me terribly when his retort to discovering only one piece of meat in a plate of rice given to him at a wedding reception was “which kind of insult is this? I am Itsekiri (!). I don’t eat like this.” And he is the fifth person that I have witnessed making this kind of statement (verbatim) within the past year. So caterers at weddings should look out for all Itsekiri’s in the house at occasions to give princely platefuls to? Even in far away Akwa Ibom State? Are Itsekiri’s a super-race?

I am convinced that this attitude is an important part of the problem in Delta State and possibly Nigeria, no matter the tribe of the utterer. If you, an “ordinary” citizen of the State, have this mind-set, it is no wonder that the Executive Governor feels that the life and soul of everyone and everything are his to do with as he wishes. If we genuinely want positive change, we ourselves must actively change for good.

The gamut of my message in this write up is adequately summed up in Psalm 73 (for those of you whom scripture turn off, trust me, you want to read this one. I have even gone the extra mile of securing and including it in its entirity. Enjoy):

73:1 Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart.
73:2 But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped.
73:3 For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
73:4 For there are no bands in their death: but their strength is firm.
73:5 They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men.
73:6 Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain; violence covereth them as a garment.
73:7 Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than heart could wish.
73:8 They are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning oppression: they speak loftily.
73:9 They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walketh through the earth.
73:10 Therefore his people return hither: and waters of a full cup are wrung out to them.
73:11 And they say, How doth God know? and is there knowledge in the most High?
73:12 Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches.
73:13 Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency.
73:14 For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning.
73:15 If I say, I will speak thus; behold, I should offend against the generation of thy children.
73:16 When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me;
73:17 Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.
73:18 Surely thou didst set them  in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction.
73:19 How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! they are utterly consumed with terrors.
73:20 As a dream when one awaketh; so, O Lord, when thou awakest, thou shalt despise their image.
73:21 Thus my heart was grieved, and I was pricked in my reins.
73:22 So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee.
73:23 Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand.
73:24 Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.
73:25 Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.
73:26 My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever.
73:27 For, lo, they that are far from thee shall perish: thou hast destroyed all them that go a whoring from thee.
73:28 But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works.

To all of you who have made a career or pastime out of killing people and their dreams, I say clap for yourselves. Your destination is confirmed.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. oritseweyinmi permalink
    March 6, 2012 14:55

    i was enjoying the piece until comments were made about an itsekiri man in reference to a piece of meat,i find that totally unnecessary and childish and a slap on the face of the itsekiri nation.I also doubt if this write up was made by the actor as i know the father to be a journalist.THE ACCLAIMED writer who i know in person lacks the intellectual ability to do such a write-up.

    • Emoghare Emmanuel permalink
      March 14, 2012 07:53

      My friend, Oritshe, I do think u re hasty here. Management frowns @ hasty generalisation. We should try to make our criticism to be constructive. Though, I’m in support of his remark to the Itshekiri guy, but we must keep brotherly love alive.

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