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Great Ogboru: When Greatness Beckons!

By Sunny Chris Okenwa, Abidjan, Ivory Coast – Jan. 7, 2011 – Chief Great Ovadje Ogboru came into the national limelight and reckoning after the failure of the late Major Gideon Gwaza Orkar-led coup d’etat against the then dictator Gen. Ibrahim Babangida in April 1990. In the aftermath of the coup’s regrettable failure to achieve its laudable objectives, one of which was to violently topple (and if possible kill) the military dictator in power then Gen. Ibrahim Babangida. And the other was to excise some states up north from the federation. The failed coup attempt exposed Babangida’s follies in power, his homosexuality, his high-wire corruption, settlement syndrome, murder propensity and diabolical disposition.

Chief Ogboru was alleged to be the civilian who bank-rolled the military operation and when the effort failed spectacularly he beat a quick escape using the famous ‘NADECO route’ like the articulate Lt. Col Tony Nyiam and Major Saliba Mukoro implicated in the failed coup bid. Today these gentlemen are all alive, by the grace of the living God who does not condone injustice, having returned from exile. In an interview with ‘The Guardian’ newspaper back home in Nigeria in the year 2000 Mr Nyiam was responding to a question on how they were able to mount an audacious escape in the middle of the military melee that fateful bloody night that saw the killing of IBB’s ADC Lt Col. Usman K Bello. According to him: “In summary, the mystery and experience of this body and mind talking to you and Mukoro is only but a demonstration of God’s power.”

Though one does not support the violent overthrow of a democratic government it is imperative to declare here that Gen. Babangida came to power through the barrel of the gun in 1985. So if another set of young officers frustrated by his unpatriotic policies as a military despot decided to remove him by the same way and means he came in then it was welcome! The late Gideon Okar meant well for the corporate existence of the nation and if the coup had succeeded Nigeria would have since become a better place governed by decent men. Today the same IBB in retirement is still giving us a hell of problem by his anti-democratic tendencies and threatening our corporate existence as an independent nation.

So the heroism of the killed officers who had wanted to effect a revolutionary change and the surviving gentlemen like Great Ogboru (who supported the move through his financial logistical contribution) ought to be recognised here and saluted. It takes a man convinced of his manhood to be part of a revolutionary change especially the violent version that could turn to failure. May the souls of the gallant officers crudely executed continue resting in peace!

Great Ogboru was in the news internationally few months back after the Court of Appeal sitting in Benin City invalidated the ‘election’ of Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan as the legitimate Governor of Delta State. The case against Uduaghan was instituted by the Democratic Peoples Party’s 2007 governorship candidate, Chief Great Ovadje Ogboru. Dr Uduaghan’s dismissal was a victory for democracy and all things being equal his re-election bid will hit the rock this week.

The Court of Appeal that annuled the poll that brought Uduaghan in ordered for a fresh gubernatorial election within 90 days. And ever since the former Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly Prince Samuel Obi has since been sworn in as the Acting Governor of the oil-rich state in accordance with the constitution. The Ibori ’empire’ in Delta state is fast crumbling with Dr Uduaghan out of the government house in Asaba.

And the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) led by the radical Prof. Attahiru Jega has since announced January 6 as the date for the guber poll in Delta State. And candidates like the dethroned Governor, Chief Ogboru and few others have been officially recognised by INEC as the contestants. The stage is thus set for an electoral ‘war’ that will make or mar Delta state depending on the ability of INEC to organize a credible poll devoid of manipulation and PDP rigging intrigues.

The gospel truth is that there was no election in Delta state in 2007. The embattled ex-Governor James Onanefe Ibori just imposed his Itsekiri cousin on Deltans, someone who would cover his looting tracks. Now that Ibori has been found to be one of the biggest looters among the set of Governors that served themselves under the Obasanjo presidency (with his wife, mistresses, relatives convicted and jailed in London) it is to be seen how Uduaghan could win back the government house without his godfather pulling the strings.

The Ijaw leader Chief Edwin Clark  has already taken a radical position saying that Dr Uduaghan was a goner. The old former Minister of Information declared that the purported election that brought Uduaghan to power was ‘fixed’ by Ibori in order to ‘escape’ justice after ‘stealing’ billions of Naira from Delta State as Governor for eight solid years. So it has been established beyond doubt that Uduaghan never won any election but was ‘selected’ by a power broker to replace a departing ‘sinful’ godfather.

Late November last year Chief Ogboru directly accused ex-Governor James Ibori and Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan who succeeded him of wasting over N800 billion that accrued to the state between the year 2000 and last year! He thundered that the fund was simply diverted to private pockets while projects such as the IPP and the Asaba Airport were used as conduits to siphon billions of naira from the government vault. No one was shocked by that allegation because Delta has been in the wrong hands for years.

The guber poll in Delta will be very tough and toughly contested in a level-playing field for all aspirants including Great Ogboru. The Acting Governor, a fellow PDP partyman, does not seem to have any sympathy for the ousted governor as he has since dissolved the state executive council. From all indications Uduaghan may not return to his former executive position simply because the Ibori factor will definitely play itself out. How could the electorate reconcile the fact that Uduaghan was covering up Ibori’s grand larceny in Delta state by even helping him to obtain frivolous court injunctions in Asaba that tended to deflect his trial in Nigeria by the EFCC?

Now that the poll has officially been fixed for January 6 the people of Delta state must mobilise themselves for an electoral battle ahead. This time there is no room for any rigging of any form or any godfatherism as epitomised by Ibori and his cohorts. Ibori is having his days in court and in the fullness of time he will pay dearly for his 8-year looting spree in Delta state. Whether the ‘Odidigborigbo of Africa’ goes to jail in Dubai, in the UK (like his mistresses and partners in crime) or in Nigeria is secondary; what is significant here is that Ibori is not allowed to enjoy his loot in peace!

Unlike what had happened in 1999, 2003, 2007 gubernatorial elections in which Ibori and his gang of electoral riggers torpedoed the sovereign will of the majority the January 6 poll will hopefully give back power to the people by allowing them to choose in peace who they want to govern them in a transparent election devoid of any ‘mago-mago’ and ‘Iwu-ruwuru’. A new dawn is imminent in Delta state and I feel the Ibori bandwagon will be rewarded with an electoral disgrace by the voting Deltans. While one laments the electoral dispossession that took place in the past the future opens up new horizons with the coming poll.

For Chief Great Ogboru therefore greatness beckons as ex-Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan fights for his re-election amidst opposition from within the PDP, his misgoverning ruling party. And when greatness beckons it is only fitting for the ‘Great’ one to sieze it with every political muscle he can muster. With him in full command at the Asaba government house there is hope for Deltans who only hear or read about the richness of their ‘oil-blessed’ state on the pages of newspapers, radio and TV. Delta shall be great again with the man whose name is ‘Great’! So from Asaba to Warri, Sapele to Oghara let your votes give power to the ‘Great’ one!

Long live democracy in Nigeria!

SOC Okenwa

Short URL: http://newnigerianpolitics.com/?p=1931

Posted by on Jan 7 2011. Filed under Articles, Columnists, Delta, State News, Sunny Chris Okenwa. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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