Hon. Sokonte Davies violated a grand norm of political ranting- those who live in a glass house should not throw stone because of the boomerang effect and political self-exposure. Hon Sokonte Davies engaged in a very dangerous public relation stunt – a stunt with a risk that can exhume and call into question everything about him- albeit twist the truth against him, question his stay in the RUST; how he left that institution, when he left, his national service- place and time, when did he stowaway to Russia, Australia to earn a master, degree, a PhD, if his PhD is a Toronto invention? Under, what circumstance, with a PhD degree, was he the quintessential “servant “to Mr. Uche Secondus in the PDP secretariat as a MS Words operator? At this point nobody cares for the truth- the veracity of facts. What counts is hate stunting for hate stunting. Propaganda for propaganda. Hate trite for hate trite. Troll for troll.
The people will invent clever insinuations and bad news that It is a payback for docility and lackey subservience rather than political dexterity and deftness of a PhD that made Mr. Uche Secondus to cornered the Degema/Bonny federal constituency ticket to the national assembly on the platform of the PDP for him. If not for his opposition and partisan nuisance, against the Kalabari people and the PDP in their civic reception to honour Gov. Wike; they are not interested in interrogating any body’s credentials or past. But in the prism of political ranting in Nigeria there is a maxim; if you Dabo me, I will Tarka you. There is even a customized version of this prism in Kalabari of the poaching woman from Tombia and the male owner of the fishing mesh called bala in Kalabari; the great Kalabari joke star-comedian Tex Kalabari (RIP) joked; “gi tolo balam, ma tolo otule gi’ (broken igbo language). This could be vulgar but the inherent political wisdom is beyond ribald vulgarity- actions and reactions are equal and opposite.
Kalabari and the PDP are central to his meteoric rise to political stardom. But for Hon, Sokonte’s politics of opposition, hate and distractions, these two entities should be inveighed, denigrated, destroyed and shamed because their civilo-apolitical action to showboat Governor Wike in a civic reception and thank you investiture did not assuage his pervasive political whims. Matters arising;
‘’The trans Kalabari Civic reception was carefully thought out by the traditional institutions of the kalabari kingdom in appreciation of the Governor’s love for the Kalabari kingdom and his efforts in the Kalabari kingdom, especially the trans –Kalabari road project’’- Hon. Enemi Alabo George
“The event is strictly of PDP, by PDP, for the PDP and those who sympathise with them. A cursory look at the signatories and promoters of the event will further confirm it and expose the lies and deception therein. The organisers are looking for a cheap platform to further their political aspiration which they believe the event will help them actualise”- Hon. Sokonte Davies Ph.D. This is a crass hate reaction in any point of view.
The self-contradiction; “everyone is free to honour those he wants to honour. Everyone is free to go about how he or she wants to achieve a set goal or aspiration. -Hon. Sokonte Davies Ph.D.
“So, it is a “shame” for any group of persons to gather to honour him ( Gov. Wike) in the name of Pan-Kalabari. The general public is hereby informed to take note”- Hon. Sokonte Davies Ph.D.
I have never seen such a self-destruct contradiction in neophyte political triting and impish ranting. He declared the universal right of aspiration and association to achieve set goasl –including political and social goals and repudiates the Kalabari common heritage for which he is now the custodian? For using that common heritage in association with the PDP to achieve set goals of Kalabari governor 2023 and the completion of the trans- Kalabari road and other ongoing projects in the kalabari Kingdom. Hon Sokonte Davies shamed his governor, his deputy governor, his Kings, his chiefs, invited guests, even members of the Kalabari caucus of the APC who graced the pan-Kalabari apolitical event and the Kalabari people who are the customers of Gov. Wikes legacy projects thus; ‘it is a shame for any group of persons to gather to honour him (Gov. Wike) in the name of Pan-Kalabari’. Hon. Sokonte Davies, please recant and apologize to the Kalapari people and your governor. This is a gross abusage of opposition politicking and political triting that can easily backfire. This is hate speech of the worst order.
INTRODUCTION: Let me quickly take you to an epoch in kalabari political history in the first republic- civil war opposition politics in Kalabar land. It is in opposition politics that the conflagration that consumed your Tombia till this day can be located. I hope this will be a beneficial lesson to you on politics of opposition and its dismal consequences in Kalabari society. Its carcass has defied time and interment as it keeps playing up itself in the rants of neophyte Kalabari nihilist opposition politicians especially in the social media. It is a dangerous Frankenstein that has always hunted our politics. But you if follow me to understand the political history of our people beyond the everyday pecuniary strata of politics and engage in contemplative, contextual -historical and contemporary analysis of the debilitating consequences your brand of opposition political atavism has had on our people, my article will add pedagogical value to your understanding and political intellect. Just patiently follow me.
BACKGROUND : After Nigeria’s independence from colonialism, political parties came in to form the new government in an alliance since none of the parties won the required seats in government to form the government. In this order; The NPC- Northern people congress and the NCNC formed the government. While the Action group –AG formed the opposition. However one political event led to the other and the country was plunged into a civil war. These parties- NCNC and the Action Group-AG played out their opposition to each other in our land as mortal enemies thus; It is significant to note that in Abonnema, Two blood relations led both parties; the Action group (AG) was led by Chief Wenike O. Briggs- a Kings colledge Lagos and Oxford educated lawyers and core believer in Awolowo and Awoism- True federalism and free education. He won election to the house of representative in the federal parliament on the platform of the AG in the Degema province in the 1953 elections beating the NCNC candidat-the home party. His cousin, Chief Vincent Oruwari Briggs was a NCNC maverick and led the NCNC in Abonnema. But they were so diametrically opposed to each other in opposition politics that Chief Winike’s Briggs son had just informed me that his father escaped to Lagos by the last flight otherwise the NCNC in Abonnema would have given him out to Biafra to be shot as a rebel. This is the type of enmity and hate that opposition politics brought into Kalabari land. (The story here will be developed further).
The interplay of political forces in Lagos and the consequences there from in 1966-67, seeped into our land and led to something of Tectonic shift dimension that shook the existential survival of the Nigerian nation and the Kalabari people. Schools were closed, I was in primary two and pupils were admonished not to pick toys or fancy object as those could be bomb. It was demonstrated to us as civil knowledge how to take cover during bombing raids. For me that was the official declaration of the civil war and we are now citizens of a new nation called the federal (Unitarian) republic of Biafra. Immediately, social and political relationships were altered along preexisting opposition and partisan lines-the NCNC and the Unitarians for Biafra and the now amorphous and mostly fugitive Action Group – AG members became Nigeria and federalist in absentia and exile. In actual sense, ideological positions were too complicated and confusing for local politicians to comprehend so they brought these ideologies down to their level as Biafra or Nigeria. The conflict between these two nations so much influenced our political development and social relations because political party relation in opposition politics had already prepared the ground for the horror that is to visit our land. It took me year of avid reading and analysis to connect the dots and contextually connect the past and the present.
Politics is a Leviathan, a tentacled beast of, hate, bitterness, rancor, vendetta in the pursuit of allocation and control of scarce resources and modernity. And there arose conflicts and contradictions expressly in opposition politics that echoed in the isolated Kalabari ‘Islands of despair’ and we became sacrificial the collateral damage- first were political parties- Federalist AG, Read Awolowo’s ‘ My thought on the federal constitution”. Also read the NCNC’s resistance to the creation of the COR state in the Akanu Ibiam’s addresses to the Eastern minorities. If you read the Ihiala declaration of Biafra’s independence and Ojukwu’s speech after the surrender of Biafra that appeared in Time Magazine, you will see that it was Unitarian in content and intent. That is why no mention was made of the minorities- this was core NCNC regional policy. This was the extent of NCNC’s vice grip and influence on Biafra. This is just to explain the policies of the political parties and what the Kalabari people latched on to ignorantly inflict genocide on themselves in the name of opposition politickin. This is the background to the historical consequence of political opposition in pre-civil war Kalabari land.
Still on the background, when Biafra seceded, it was unconsciously usurped by the NCNC political structure and the civil service of eastern Nigeria. As such NCNC members gained so much ascendancy in politics and civil service and to consolidate that advantage it hounded and labeled members of the AG and NPC as federalist rebels and saboteurs. This pattern so prevailed in Kalabari land from Kula to Bakana. The NCNC became so notorious in expression of support and loyalty to Biafra that members of the NPC and member of the Action Group became fugitives in self-imposed exile gallivanting from creek to creek to save their lives. Even those who went on self-exile had their relatives arrested on vicarious allegations and finger pointing of being saboteurs.
The NCNC as the regional majority party was notorious and inebriated with majoritarian politics. The party developed a conspiracy literary patterns of apologia instigating inquisitions, witch hunting and rewriting the histories of eastern Niger Delta Communities to appease the whims of her members mostly involved in Kingship and chieftaincy wrangling in exchange for their support. Members of the NCNC were a government of their own. For not liking your face or having any flimsy issues of philandering differences, they label you a rebel to the Biafran soldiers. Most of our people that were arrested and taken to the Biafran hinterlands never returned. It was Brother against brother of fratricide and fratricides. What started as party opposition politics and petty hate and rivalry in the first republic soon crystallised to genocide in Biafra and later Nigeria.
May 1967; As kalabari towns started to fall to federal troops the tide of horror turned. The battle cry changed instantaneously from “go to Niger’ or “ga Niger” to Oshobe! Commando de Boro ; Oshobe! Commando de Boro, Oshobe! One Nigera. The advantage of Politics and its opposition hatred changed hands as Action group and NPC member who have fled on account of hate and bitterness arising from opposition politics came in as federalist and liberators. The federal troop was not an army of liberation but punitive measures. It ushered in new regime of brazen bloodletting and gory decapitation of the Kalabari humanity on the coursed alter of rancour and divisions at which background is the politics of opposition- the type Hon. Sokonte Davies is preaching against his former benefactors and primary constituency by inciting the general public to shame them to world.
Just like the NCNC; as Kalabari lands fell to federal troops of the 3rd marine commando; a federalist ideology was quickly trumped up by the Action group and NPC members who have embed themselves into the federal troops as scouts and informants through the creeks. A more gruesome regime of blood bath, looting, hate, rape (capture women) was unleashed to eliminate all Biafran supporters whose bulk were NCNC members; to recount the orgy of Killings against NCNC members, for reasons of brevity I will recount just few instances ( these are abridged excerpt from the manuscript of a book I am putting together):
Mbe Ha#ilton (Ucle Ha#milton). He was not a usual face on the Young Jack section of the water front in Jack’s compound Abonnema. He was one of the few Easterners who escaped the pogrom against Easterners in northern Nigeria only to meet the most despicable cold blooded death in his Father’s house- compound in Abonnema. He was hiding from federal troops and some family members of the AG and NPC gave him out to federal troops to be shot as biafran supporter. His crime? No fair hearing, no rule of law, the only judgment was death instigated by hate from political opposition. I am still traumatized to this day by the fate that befell this uncle. I was playing war games with other children at the Lawson Jack water front. He was wearing his trademark brownish khaki short nicker, a yellow short sleeve shirt, gold frame glass and brown clerk sandals. He looked well groomed with average education of the time. His Children looked well groomed with good middle class looks that came home from ogonoju-the north. He was a Biafran civil defense. The only Biafran uniform I saw him put on was khaki face carp as a civil defense. I am giving these details because his innocent and elderly mien did not match the fate that befell him just like others to follow. Before me he was held by a federal soldier and led to the slaughter as sheep and he openeth not his mouth for just being a NCNC member and a Biafran Civil defense. This trend of killings has nothing to do with the civil war or liberation as it is now an extension of first republic local politics. A new and invasive authority has come as Nigeria with a marauding army of looters ever ready to waste human beings and our people have become informants to give our people out to be slaughtered. His daughter about my age has told me the full story but that will be fully captured in my book.
Sia* (Madam Biafra) She is the one that they said gave out her lover, uncle Joshua to be taken to the Igbo hinter lands and murdered. Joshua is related to my uncle’s wife. I was going to their compound to see my cousins and in the narrow part (opokuru) leading to their compound, I passed two Biafran soldiers taking Joshua away. That was the end of story for Joshua. He never came back to Abonnema. The story (inume-the rumour mill) circulated the rumour that Joshua was buried alive by Biafran soldiers in the igbo hinterland. Those who called her madam Biafra were very apt. Even as a child of seven now her backedside could not escape my notice not for erotic reason as they looked abnormally protruding as both half seem to be trying to out compete each other as she walk pass you- she cut rather a comical figure. On the day of her slaughter, ironically just the way the two Biafran soldiers walked past me with uncle Joshua in the narrow path (opokuru) so a Nigerian soldiers also walked pass me playing war games at the very sport that uncle Ha#milton was also led to the slaughter. On the day of her slaughter she was putting on what ladies this days called leggings- black coloured- with a sky blue T-shit. The legging really revealed her backside. She was also led to the slaughter and murdered. Her offence? NCNC supporter and Biafran defense, the Khaki face cap and rumors (inume-them say) of giving out or lying against her lover to Biafra for cheating on her.
Opu Dekema VS Kaladekema (Isokun) It was blood for blood. A well-mixed sizes of human blubbers (floating dead bodies) and drifting with the tides responding to the tidal forces of planetary movement on the sombrero river. Sights like this were very familiar of the times only that these time the number was immense- beyond counting; the toxic byproducts of politics of opposition, hate and man’s inhumanity to man. The sombrero river was littered with decomposing human blubber as lumps of meat in pepper soup. These particular bodies were in pack or herd drifting across, first drifting across the Sombrero River from Dr Afam Degema across to Abonemma, towards the Atlantic- it is a six hourly rituals- coming and going with the changing force of the tide. A body count was not possible- the herding blabbers were too many but there was one blubber right in the center of the herd more pronounced and looking regal even in death. The blubber was decomposing with gaping wounds at the back as it was lying prostrate on the sombrero river- That blubber was the King of Opu- Dekema elders immediately recognized the body with the fact a genocide has taken place in Dekema. The people of Kala-Dekema- as petty fedralist have given out their brothers of Opu-Dekema to federal troops as Biafran supporters and there is a genocide on the fields of Degema. A mass massacre of even women and children. At the center of the drifting blubbers is the Amayanabo (king of Dekema). He was putting on a white singlet and tying a print wrapper he must have been shot point blank from behind with gaping wound. Offence? They were all NCNC supporters. But in like manner we were told the king also gave up the the people of Kala-Dekema and the surrounding villages to Biafra as Nigeria supporters and Biafra wiped out the people of Kala-Dekema and the surrounding villages- including my maternal great grandfather’s plantation- Idimina Iwo ama were burnt down. My mother’s cousin just informed me that he was the only survivor of that Biafran pogrom. He said, of the more than hundreds of them that were arrested he was the only one that survived. He said a Biafran soldier that was his junior student in secondary school identified him and set him free (his story will be developed further).
The fall of Degema to the federal troops began an era of revenge and vendetta, blood bath occasioned by the emergence of local petty federalists in alliance with brigand federal troops and the King and people of Opu-degeme paid in blood for their previous sins of treachery against their brothers of Kala-Dekema purely along partisan lines of NCNC against the Action Group. Now, this is what the NCNC members are paying for in blood and flesh.
But there is a polar semantics of diametric opposition in the affixes ‘Opu’-big and ‘Kala’ Small, little. It is these affixes that their neighbours the kalabari people used to capture the politics and geography of the Dekema people. This is to mean that from the point of view of their kalabari neighbours, there was an unsettled traditional political divide, antagonism or feud and hate that predates first republic politics of opposition and the emergent new nation of Biafra- NCNC and now the federal troops-AG. The former and the latter were just a ruse and facade – the Opu (the big) and Kala(the small, little) brothers used to tell the world their actual size in fratricidal bloodletting. My point here is that nitwit opposition populist should note the prospect of horror as derivable that face us all when they are so intolerant with people with different political views as to shame a governor, a people, a political party and their supporters to the world. And there are many politicians like them in Kalabari land of today.
The barefaced fratricide of Iju Polo- Jack compound: There is no space to fully capture this story in full here. This story touched my being. My mother never recovered from this brazen fratricide till she left this world; My God father was a towering man. My mother’s hero and mentor in trade and church. I had my childhood being in him, his wives and his children. I was always in his shop for candy (jwein switi or the paddle candy). Of a sudden I started seeing my godfather with Khaki face cap and heighted activities of movement and Biafran soldiers around him and I was no longer getting my usual patting attention and candy from him- new sights and sounds around him I could not comprehend. Owusara was closed after the first strafing of the market with machine guns from the air by federal jet fighters ( researches have shown the market was not bombed like the second bombing of Abonnema). And because there is now a war of mostly fratricide, filial and political attritions contrived by blood relations with the false pretense of opposition politics of the first republic offloaded into Biafra. Unfortunately, my mother lost her only brother, my step mother and my father took me to put up with them. My step mother is my godfather’s half sister so this afforded me the opportunity to still see him in his house despite the closure of the market. He never parted with his khaki face cap- the insignia of loyalty to the new nation of Biafra and her civil defense. Abonnema fell to the federal troops and he was arrested and declared a Biafran supporter (NCNC member they actually meant).
The arrested Biafran supporters were incinerated in the Duke compound hall. The routine was corporal punishment of the worst order in the mornings and evenings. They will be paraded naked, kept under sun without food for days and looted fridges and other burdensome items will be heaped on them. Those elderly and infirm, who could not stand the rigours of the punishment that died in the drills, had their bodies desecrated and dumped in the sombrero river. A decent burial by relations was not an option. For the federal troops and the emergent new order of the AG group supporters will never permit that type of luxury to the dead. That was the extent of hate arising from political opposition. Despite these punishments my Godfather refused to die- he was a stoutly built man, very energetic and able bodied. He offered all his trade money to the federal troops to spare his life– he was a very rich man. He was the treasurer of the big church and offered ten thousand pounds of church money then mostly coins stashed away in jungo (jugs) in his custody- quite a huge ransom even now. Then the Nigerian currency was more valued than the British currency- The currency was so strong, even the war could not depreciate it. The federal troops became so frivolous with this money. They will cascade the coins into the air during occasions to celebrate them for town folks and children to scramble for. I also got one shilling of that money- quite a huge loot of the time. In his desperation he offered them his first son to be killed to spare his life and the federal troops and their AG, NPC supporters stupidly engaged in the vicarious arrest of his first son before he was released after much beatings. Actually, some notable sections of the people intervened – the church, women, chiefs, the Amanyanabo to save his life. But the allegation against him was too heavy and grave for an a quittance and discharge at the time. And his case was made more complicated by his brother’s son- his nephew. This is the point I want to strike here;
In the pre-civil war first republic opposition politics, my godfather was a core NCNC and his nephew a very smart man of very strong character and immense street intelligence and political acuity with minimal education was one of the Action Group leaders. So, when NCNC usurped the Biafran government, my godfather it was alleged gave out his nephew as a federalist –Nigeria supporter to be killed by the Biafran soldiers. He was arrested and taken away, presumed killed. But he was a smart alec and a cat with nine lives. End of story? No, he – the nephew entered Abonnema with the rank of a major with the federal troops.
The town became equally divided between the kill hims and the spare hims. But in the ding dong between the kill hims and the spare hims, one man had the decisive voice or vote but had already been surreptitiously working with the Kill hims. Of the federal troops who came into Abonnema, the highest rank was a lieutenant but my godfather’s nephew entered with the rank of a major- quite a huge rank for a filibuster soldier of fortune; he gave his voice/vote is uncle should be killed as a revenge/vendetta. After inflicting all manner of despicable disgrace on him, the kill hims supporters spurred on by his nephew carried the day; so, it was his procession day to his hanging; Bo mu biri (come and go and have your bath on the sombrero- invitation to death) He was led as a sheep to the slaughter and he openeth not his mouth. The rest is now part of the bestial history of our politics of opposition. These are stories I will elaborate on in my manuscripts and may be book after clearing all sensitivities. What happened to the human blubbers on the sombrero is another chapter.
What obtained in Buguma, was of the same general pattern as in other part of Kalabari. Buguma was core NCNC so it was somehow spared some of the opposition nuisance arising from first republic opposition politics and Biafra. But as soon as Buguma fell to federal troops, the federalist virus emerged and started the inquisition of finger pointing and witch hunting of NCNC members as Biafran supporter. The murder of Biafran supporters began- Kalabari gave up Kalabari to Ijaw soldiers of the 3rd marine commandos to be killed as Biafran supporters. But tradition has it that, it was NCNC members who saw to it that Buguma was not sacked into exile like Abonnema and Bakana that were core “Action Group”. (For further research and development. Some parts will be too sensitive to delve into since it involved the Amayanabo and his prominent chiefs who escaped by the whiskers). More research here.
It is thus apparent that in kalabari land from the highest strata of traditional politics to the subs strata of chieftaincy and war canoe houses, the thing to do to consolidate or have advantage had so much to do with if you are NCNC, AG, Biafra or Nigeria- local Unitarian or federalist. Fifty nine years after the first republic, Fifty two years after the civil war, the Kalabari on Kalabari murders that ensued, the divisions, bitterness, vendetta, the recriminations, acrimony, grudges social and filial displacements and resentments are still in the hangover yet to abate as Biafra or Nigeria- in some places our people still define their filial relationships along these lines.
In Bakana; there was the story of a Dr. C. I. Berepiki. A PhD. in education; a top civil servant in the eastern Nigeria Ministry of education in Enugu. When Bakana fell to federal troops, the Bakana federalist gave him out to federal troops to be shot on account of being a Biafran supporter. But according to tradition, he was able to prove his innocence that despite supporting Biafra he did nothing inimical to the existential interest of his people especially about the sacking of Bakana into Ezi Item in the Igbo hinterland (I am researching to see the role of shell D Archy or BP in the sacking of Bakana. Shell provided the resources Biafra used to sack Bakana into exile). But the people of Bakana are mostly pointing to a section of Kalabari were the NCNC- Biafra civilo -military was dominant with primordial traditional hierarchy tussle as responsible for their woes. It is to vent their anger on this latter issue that the federalist gave him out to be shot. But the federal troops did not see any reason to waste this prominent and amiable man. So, the soldiers devised a clever ruse between the Kill hims and the spare hims. The soldiers took him to the swamp and creeks and shot into the air and provided him means to escape to Port Harcourt. This way the kill hims were fooled and assuaged. They jubilated and dispersed. He escaped to Port Harcourt and was absorbed into the Rivers State ministry of education. After the civil war, Rivers State was short of qualified teachers so to fill the gap, he and his committee recommended to the state government to open Teachers training colleges to train teachers to fill the gaps in primary schools. This is how teachers training colleges at the grade two level to fill primary school teachers gaps came into existence. He was appointed the rector of T.T.C Regina Celi in Bodo; he came back to Bakana and other Kalabari towns for unqualified teachers to register for training and certification as grade two teachers. Indigent primary six holders whose parents could not afford secondary education were encouraged to use this opportunity to train as teachers. My proof readers mother read from prima six to first degree in primary education. In Bakana about four of my elder friends whose parents could not afford secondary education, they all enrolled in this scheme and became trained teaches. This is how teacher education blossomed in kalabari land. Some read from primary six to first degree, masters, and PhD in education. He also made sure Kalabari got one of the T. T. C’s sited in Degema. Now, in counterpoise, this is the type of man that the hate and bitterness of the Kalabari opposition politics gave out to federal troops to be wasted. After the T. T Cs the Advanced teachers college to fill secondary school gaps was born and later the Rivers University of education ( Ignatius Ajuru University of education now)
TOMBIA ; In Hon. Sokonte Davies’ Tombia Kingship tussle divided along the line of political opposition- as of the General patterns I have extrapolated above. But Tombias case became a disgusting fratricide of a Peloponnesian war. At several time the town has been burnt down by factions who see themselves as NCNC- AG, Biafra or Nigeria, to one faceless group to the other until the unification and pacification of Tombia by Farah Dagogo. That there is Tombia today and Hon Sokonte Davies has a place to call home is because there is Farah Dagogo now in the national assembly. During the primary election for Sokonte’s second tenure into the national assembly. Hon. Sokonte was ambushed by a clever chap from Bille with the Bonny section of the constituency. He was defeated in the primary. It was Farah who single handedly reversed that result in sokonte’s favour. I hear today Hon. Sokonte is in political opposition to Farrah and he is shaming Hon. Farrah, his Kalabari people and the PDP, his benefactors. What an ingrate. (research will be needed here)
I have to teach Hon. Sokontete a lesson in our political horror through our history of politics of opposition. Now if you read between the lines of my anecdotes and the historical- political analysis there in, you will see that people were killed in the Kalabari holocaust not because Igbos brought Biafra or Nigeria brought liberation and her brigand federal troops but because there is an existing structure of politics of opposition and hate ingrained in our psyche and fueled by irredentist politicians like Hon .Sokonte Davies of the time who preach a hate ideology of meddling and shaming the opposition even when political actions and the wills are tailored for the general good. In politics there are levels and phases and our reactions at any time gives out our level of political intellect. The event that Hon. Sokonte is shaming is a mere spectacle of political symbiotism- Gov. Wike wants presidential politics; the Kalabari section of the PDP wants the Governorship of Rivers state 2023 and the completion of their trans Kalabari road. There is a popular political allegory of the bear and the hunter. The hunter wanted the fur of the bear and the bear wanted the hunter for food so they negotiated. You scratch my back, I scratch your back. Sokonte’s shaming of his people for negotiating politics is nothing but a partisan nuisance and political opposition atavism. If the Kalabari people on whose name and back he rode to political stardom should evolve a pan- Kalabari ideology; Kalabari governor 2023 to turn their backwaters of marches and swamps into an economic center; the organisers of the event had the political acuity to wean it of politics and the PDP by not allowing politicians and political appointees to speak in the event. The event featured the crème de la crème of Kalabari politics and traditional. Hon. Sokonte was invited as a prominent son and former representative. He declined the invitation so that he can shame people.
If he doesn’t know the gory past and misapplication of opposing views, he doesn’t aspire with us in our economic and infrastructural development, how did he represent us in the national assembly? Or this is just another case of systemic fluking created by our aberrant politics. Sokonte, ama bebe buru; ngeribo buru pakiri. This is a pristine dialectics of “The whole against the part” bequeathed to the kalabari Kingdom by our great King Amakiri. I am not a frontline politician. I write as a kalabari elder and publicist. Thank You.
By: Sogbeye Douglas
2023: Former SSG Emerges Bauchi PDP Guber Candidate
A gubernatorial aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Bauchi State, Mr Ibrahim Kashim,has emerged as the party’s governorship flagbearer for the 2023 general election.
The Tide source reports that Kashim, the immediate past Secretary to the State Government was only governorship aspirant in the party’s primary election.
Mr Hassan Grema, Chairman, PDP Governorship Primary Election Committee, announced this at the end of the exercise on Wednesday in Bauchi.
He said that 656 delegates participated in the exercise, adding that only one vote was declared invalid.
“Ibrahim Kashim was the only aspirant of the party in the state and that the delegates had to vote to complete due process in line with the electoral law,” he said.
He commended the delegates for their orderly behaviour during the exercise held across the 21 local government areas of the state.
Responding, Kashim said: ‘“I want to thank you for bestowing the honour on me, this is just the beginning, we will have a great task ahead.
“We need to unite our party faithful ahead of the 2023 general election in the state.
He lauded Gov. Bala Mohammed for providing purposeful leadership and execution of developmental projects in three years of his administration.
Why Governor Wike Deserves PDP Presidential Ticket
A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way” — John C Maxwell.
Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike needs no introduction to Nigerians. Maverick, fearless, courageous, pragmatic, articulate and very conscious of his rights and constitutional authority in every situation and circumstance.
He has emerged over the years, as a modern leader whose all round capacity and dynamism has astounded and unsettled many.
His tactical audacity has often flummoxed adversaries, his strategic acumen has wrong-footed opponents. He always seem to anticipate measures and counter measures before they unfold and his administrative astuteness has set him apart as a visionary leader whose navigational compass has already configured futuristic challenges.
Governor Wike’s charismatic mien and outspoken advocacy in the face of perceived marginalization and criticism of even some activities in his own political party, have positioned him as a true champion of the people and has no doubt, transformed him into one of the most admired and referenced political figure in the country today.
The dynamic nature of this extraordinary man , has unearthed a whole new vista of phenomenal and exemplary manifestations of courageous, focused, determined and pragmatic and humane leadership trajectory.
Therefore , when Governor Wike declared his intention to contest for the office of the President of Nigeria under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in Makurdi, Benue State after a meeting with PDP stakeholders on Sunday, March 27, 2022, after months of considerable speculations, many of his peers, colleagues and indeed a vast spectrum of the Nigerian populace heaved a huge sigh of relief.
At last, an honest, unique politician, who already has an excellent track record of delivering landmark and legacy democracy dividends, speaks truth to power fearlessly and understands the suffocating plight and monumental challenges, facing Nigeria and Nigerians at the moment, has finally picked up the gauntlet to serve his people with the same result oriented zeal, commitment, focus and determination he has served his state.
Rivers State is a microcosm of the Nigerian nation; a convergence of diverse ethnic cleavages, a potpourri of multi-sectoral engagements, a bustling existential hub of socio-economic, ethno-religious, post-modern metropolitan enclave, proudly homogeneous, yet admirably accommodating. Governor Wike has successefully woven a reassuring halo of sustainable peace, security, safety around this connundrumatic tapestry to the amazement and genuine applause of Nigerians.
Several important points have defined and propelled Governor Wike’s declaration to run for the Presidency of Nigeria.They include the issue of Security, the adherence to the rule of law, as well as encouraging national restructuring which promotes fiscal federalism and comparative advantage; contentious and potent posers which have continued to resonate loudly with Nigerians and reverberate with alarming consistency across the polity in the last seven years.
But one critical point which the Rivers Governor has harped on with unwavering emphasis is the need for the PDP to reward the loyalty of those who have been been the solid pillars of support and sustenance for the party, both in the season of harvest and in the locust years.
Speaking directly to consideration of this germane patriotic advocacy on his declaration day, Governor Wike said: ”Those who want to be President now were the problems of the party in 2015. They ran away when the party needed them the most. But I have stood and worked for this party. I have nowhere to run to because I take it personally that the party should not die. And I challenge anyone in a debate what they did for PDP.”
Loved by his people and buoyed by the desire to prevail against forces which threaten our collective existence in a united country, Nyesom Wike’s identity and crusade has metamorphosed into an unstoppable movement, which was birthed in the monumental electoral warfare waged for the soul of Rivers State in 2015 and 2019 respectively, and is now sweeping across the entire country with amazing acceptance.
Governor Wike’s administration in Rivers State, defined by his single minded determination, focus and firm leadership agenda to re-organize, re-strategize and re-order the socio-political and infrastructural priorities of the state, has undoubtedly transformed the entire landscape of Rivers state and its capital city, Port Harcourt.
The marvelous legacy infrastructural projects, ranging from dual carriage unity roads and expressways, to solid bridges and flyovers, as well as state of the-state-of-the-art health, educational, agricultural, sports projects, the robust, breathtaking urban renewal agenda in the capital city, and indeed the determined drive to achieve interconnectivity across the length and breadth of the State and expand the landmass of hitherto waterlogged riverine communities to provide much needed space, through massive sandfilling and land reclamation, have not only progressed and accelerated with amazing results, but have also referenced Rivers State as the reliable index for development in Nigeria.
The transformational trajectory has seen the State being re-positioned to become a beautiful, stable, safe, secure, dynamic and bustling modern hub for commerce and sustainable entreprise, as well as the destination of choice for progressive activities.
There is no doubt whatsoever that in the last seven years of his administration as Governor of Rivers State, Nigerians have come to embrace and admire Governor Wike’s tactical audacity, strategic acumen, his sure-footed administrative astuteness and indeed the fearless, courageous, pragmatic, articulate and very outspoken advocacy, which Governor Wike has displayed with competent authority and which have set him apart as a visionary leader and made his leadership model iconic.
Governor Wike’s massive influence in the political terrain is no less formidable, both at home and at the national arena. He has redefined electoral attitudes and governance responsibilities in his own home PDP and ensured that the state remains one of the most peaceful political theatres in the country, which has resulted in the unending massive defections of notable and respected opposition figures into PDP.
His defining legacy at the national level has not only been to embrace the role of a vibrant people’s champion with the resonating voice of public advocacy against the unbearable mis-governance of the ruling party, but he has also emerged as the beacon and catalyst in the rejuvenation of the PDP into an intimidating force which Nigerians are earnestly yearning for.
In the area of consensus building in multiparty democracy, no Governor or political leader in this country has done so much more to build consensus, entrench bipartisanship and embrace friendly opposition, like Governor Wike has done.
He is the foremost Governor in this present political dispensation , who has invited opposition Governors and leaders like Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (who christened him „Mr. Projects”), Governor Kayode Fayemi (Chairman of Progressives Governors Forum and Ekiti State Governor), the Minister of Works, Raji Fashola, former Governors of Imo and Abia states (Sen. Rochas Okorocha and Sen. Orji Uzor Kalu) respectively and amongst others, to come and Commission projects all over Rivers State, in true celebration of bipartisanship.
Governor Wike is also the first Governor in Nigeria who visited more Northern States and identified and empathized with them in their times of human and natural devastations and catastrophes. It is even on record that he reconciled two Northern Governors in Port Harcourt, brokered peace in the PDP in several states, and even brought two top retired military leaders to embrace each other, after many months of bitter malice in Plateau state.
These are real Nigerian stories in the public space and it is on record that he has been warmly received with grand receptions wherever he has visited and this has opened the door wide for other presidential aspirants to visit hitherto feared and dreaded states and regions.
And most recently, we are proud to note the wonderful reception which Governor Masari of Katisina, the President‘s own State, gave Governor Wike. This completely nullified the lie that Governor Wike and President Buhari are ‘enemies‘ and his humble visit to pay respectful homage to the matriarch, Hajiya Aya Dada Yar‘Adua, the mother of Late President Umaru Yar‘Adua, opened a vista for other presidential aspirants to pay homage to the matriarch.
Indeed, no presidential aspirant in the history of this democratic dispensation has embarked on the kind of pre-Primaries marathon tour across Nigeria to meet and interact with Nigerians in over 30 states across the six geopolitical regions of the country. This is indeed incredibly impressive and we must celebrate the fact that Governor Wike has actually united Nigeria and bonded with Nigerians in the North, South, East and West.
Through him, Nigerians are now putting their hopes on the PDP to salvage whatever is left of the country, after the unfortunate and hapless APC misrule comes to an end, and turn the fortunes of the country around for the better.
Nigeria today needs a President who is brave, courageous, bold and is not afraid to visit any part of Nigeria, even without presidential toga of authority and paraphernalia. We need a President who will tell Nigerians the truth, call out those who are misleading and deceiving Nigerians, encourage Nigerian leaders to explore and exploit their comparative advantages in practice of true federalism.
We need in the Presidency someone that will vocalize our problems and challenges and address them frontally; someone who will lead by example, celebrate our victories and successes even as he is setting up functional structures and delivering quality infrastructure to consolidate and ensure more victories which will define our place as a proud, safe, secure and economically viable nation, in the comity of nations.
Nigeria needs a strong, visionary, compassionate, astute, strategically articulate and pramagtically driven leader at this point in time in our history and Governor Wike has provided sufficient proof, that he is the man to lead Nigeria at a time like this. He knows the way, he will show us the way, and he will lead us all the way to the place of greatness where Nigeria belongs.
The defining characteristics of the APC era have been underlined by an epoch where the only things rising to the ‘Next Level’ are rates of unemployment, prices of food and other consumables, kidnappings, abductions, insurgency, and the terrible vices of a hobbesian society, replete with hitherto unknown dimensions of human miseries.
But, Gov Nyesom Wike has emerged with the very solid credentials that offer real solutions and a positive change in our fortunes. He has demonstrated consistency, standing out as an outstanding example of people-compliant leadership in Nigeria and the sterling qualities which have shaped and moulded his leadership have not only injected hope and purpose in our collective existence as a people, but have most importantly, defined Governor Wike as “A leader who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, captured the Wike essence, during a recent visit to his Ota country home by Governors Wike, Seyi Makinde of Oyo state and Samuel Ortom of Benue state, amongst others. Speaking with newsmen shortly after the meeting, he admitted that Wike had informed him of his presidential bid.
“Of course, Governor Nyesom Wike as a presidential aspirant with Governor of Oyo, Governor of Benue, former Governor of Cross River and former Deputy Senate President and former Minister, to express to me the desire and of course I made the point that I have always made that, I have ceased to be a partisan politician, I don’t belong to any political party, but if politics is the welfare of the people, I cannot cease to be a politician because I must always seek the welfare of the people…
“Courage, he (Wike) doesn’t lack it, and if you have courage and you have conviction to speak your mind, well we have a saying in this part of the world that a person who speaks the truth all the time, may not even get a mat spread for him because you will incur the displeasure of people, but you need the truth to be spoken and to get ourselves move Nigeria on the path of unity.
“Of course, we cannot get unity if there is no justice, if there is no fairness, if there is no equity. And when you have the basic ingredients that will bring unity and inclusiveness, then all other things will take their position. You will remove conflict, you will be able to deal with this pernicious issue of insecurity and of course the issue of economy and the wholesomeness of the society.
“The issues Governor Wike raised are the issues that are dear to my own heart for unity and stability of Nigeria. There is one thing that I believe in and I have always said it over and over again, Nigeria is a complex country, but Nigeria is not a difficult country, if we are sincere and fair to ourselves, it is not a difficult country to manage if you are courageous and I wish him well,” the former President said.
By: Paulinus Nsirim
Lawmaker Representing Kwankwaso, Others Dump NNPP
A member of the Kano State House of Assembly, representing Senator Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso’s local government area, Madobi, Hon. Kabiru Yusuf Isma’il, has defected from the New Nigerian People’s Party (NNPP) to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kano State.
A statement issued by the Kano State Commissioner for Information, Malam Muhammad Garba, revealed that another member of the House, representing Dawakin Kudu State constituency, Hon. Mu’azzam El-Yakubu, has also dumped Kwankwaso’s NNPP for the APC.
He said the gale of defections has recently swept across the NNPP, particularly involving members of the State and National Assemblies.
Garba said already a member of the state legislature representing Bagwai/Shanono, Isa Ali, has also rejoined the APC days after decamping to the NNPP.
Another member of the Assembly representing Dambatta State constituency, Hon. Murtala Musa Kore, also renounced his membership of the NNPP to remain in the APC.
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