Your Excellency, I want to continue in the tradition of our people to congratulate those who prevail in contests But my sentiments, please forgive me, are not to you, as I believe the burden you now carry makes more for pity than for envy. My sentiments go to the rightful proprietors of a victorious mandate , rich, middle class and the poor but stubbornly loyal people of Edo State. They in typical Edo tradition, remained steadfast in refusal to capitulate to the powers exercised through a fake mandate.
This battered victory truly belongs to the people who desired a change, believed in your Excellency’s ability to effect this with courage and common sense, and carried out the heavy responsibility of their citizenship sensibly and reasonably within the channels afforded by the law. They refused to be scattered by tokens of paved roads here and there, some portable boreholes located around major highways where they could be easily noticed and sweet words exhorting them to give God a chance by going home to wait for the next election. I must not forget to thank you for two main reasons. First that you stood by the people struggling on their behalf to retrieve their mandate was great by our corrupt standards. I have no doubt that offers have been made to replace this mandate with some Federal portfolio of Ministerial or special adviser ranking if you abandon the peoples portfolio. That you did not trade the mandate away gives hope to the people that they did not bet on you in vain. Again, I must thank you for being a role model for future victims of political burglary. That when they keep standing and fighting, they have a chance.
When they negotiate on the table for lucre for self, they destroy their future and offend our values by their conduct. ANPP and its shameful prostitution is clearly an example. What have they now got for immorality. We thank providence for making us witnesses to these range of conducts. OSARETIN OSUNBOR Professor, Senator Osaretin Osunbor has congratulated you trying his best to sound like McCaine in his concession speech. He added further, in typical intellectual elegance that he would accept the verdict . He afterall, is a believer in the rule of law. I do not mean to be rude to the distinguished Professor and Senator. The criminality of his action in rigging that election cannot just be casually waved aside with elegant prose in a concession speech. How does the Senator pay for this fraud. How much salary has he collected over these 19 months, Estacodes and allowances must be paid back. How do you estimate the network of relationships he has built through the peoples office. And the bills he has signed into law illegally. Election rigging is a serious criminal act. And Professor, particularly with his background, must know that if he gets thrown out of Government House, his case does not get thrown away from the courts which should engage him in a new round of prosecution. Senator Osareitin Osunbor, whatever deodorant he applies now smells like yesterday’s decay since that judgement .
That is the cruel nature of expired power. The nationality conferred by stolen mandate suddenly gets its undeserved beneficiary extradited to the lonely foreign territory of infamy. The man of yesterday becomes immediately, a foreigner to the men he had favoured and who had rewarded his attention with superfluous and flowery words of adulation only fit for Royals. Just yesterday, those men struggling to please Senator Osunbor and swearing never to be identified with your Excellency , lest they be stamped with the label of saboteur are today angling for your favours without conditions lest they be banished from the manger. I have no doubt that Osunbor Contractors are already tapping into contacts, reaching out to you and preparing to take up advert spaces in newspapers if it will make a difference. You sir, are not very important to them. That office you are going to occupy is the magnet and clinging to your Tai Solarin khakhi shorts is the only way for them. You must not forget who you are, a mere servant of the people. If you remember that, you need not save a kobo for second term.
POWER THE BITCH The night before, crowding around Osaretin Osunbor, Phd. And cursing the day your Excellency was born and sworn to see that Edo State does not suffer the misfortune of an Osiomhole were many classes of men and women. Amongst these were Contractors white and black, but mostly black as even the whites rode piggy back on black chieftains. Clinging to Osaretin until 4am yesterday morning were men convinced that Government alone had the power of empowerment fit for their greed and they suffered a vigil with the Senator until day break. Those who needed the power of a Governor, and the association of its awesome might, particularly family and long time friends of the fallen Senator were also there to assure the current victim of failed powerthat the nothing could ever threaten his reign.
They assured him of their undying loyalty even to the point of death. Now, last night, when the Senator needed them most for Company and commiseration, they all disappeared and are yet to report to him since the judgement was delivered. I can swear that apart from his immediate family of wives, children sisters and just a few of his brothers, the new love is now domiciled in your excellency. This, please do not misunderstand me, is neither good nor bad. It is the nature of men and the magnet of power to attract fair weather fellows instead of true straight talking Tribunes. They do not hate Osaretin, neither do they love your Excellency, those who report diligently to congratulate you for a historic well deserved victory. They love the security of their future much more than the loyalty their past deserves. Osaretin represents their past and they are done with that. You are their future and should expect that the same crowd will gradually gravitate towards you just like your family and loyal friends will not be found anywhere else but in your Company dead or alive. Your Excellency should therefore expect very few men carrying a burden of genuine friendship, the horrible stories of your weaknesses or the dangerous alliances you should avoid particularly when you get to Government House, where, in my humble opinion, you need the most genuine friendship and the least collaboration with your enemies and their power to deceive and deflect your attention.
THE DEVILS ADVOCATE
Permit me the honour of conferring the Honourable title of Senior Devils Advocate on my humble self in order that I may have legitimate right to make honest observations of your first outing on behalf of the people of Edo State even before being sworn in. Someone has to do this first, because you are the best looking handsome middle aged guy in town, around Benin City right now. Every word you utter, no matter how tired and incoherent is music and anything looking remotely like the reading glasses of your predecessor must be censored. You are smart and talented and Osunbor is just a fool. That is the message you have been hearing since yesterday. Whispered repeatedly with the right intonations and emphasis, even the most skeptical of men will bend to the music. And this is where I feel duty bound to come in right away and throw a spanner at your ego and suffer the consequencies of your disfavor. Between yesterday and today, nothing, sir has changed about you. You still remain that troublesome, khakhi wearing, gadfly. And whatever anybody can tell you to the contrary, Osunbor remains a very cerebral lawyer, one of the best intellectuals that has graced the Nigerian Senate. There you are.
If you like, banish me from Benin. The truth must be told to you so we do not suffer the casualty of another great Nigerian, which you are to all of us, falling fatally to a premature political death as favour seekers will try ensure. You sir, must be made to feel sufficiently insecure in your personal ability and achievement, if we are to get the best from your potential and the required exertions from your body. The trap of office is so efficient, the hunger of man for self aggrandisemsnt so effective. Translating suddenly from a fire spitting agitator to a conciliator and negotiator on behalf of Government is poles apart. But the times are changing and for you, given the loyalty of Edo citizens to this cause, your path is defined along very narrow boundaries. It cannot be business as usual in Edo, and Change is what the people voted for. And given the long trials and the solidarity extended far beyong the normally short attention span of followers, drastic change is the only satisfactory weapon available to you.
YOUR FIRST OUTING
Your Excellency, it is business as usual to be diplomatic with the people of Edo. And you were not so very honest in your comment yesterday on the judiciary. You deceive nobody. Not the people of your State and not Nigerians in general. And you must watch your comments and guard your statements and vet them to ensure they can stand a lie detector test. Calling the verdict of yesterday a glorious dawn for the judiciary is a lie. You know it and you know that I know and the people of Edo know that we all know that we know that it is a lie. You needed no urgency to make comments yesterday when obviously a riot of emotions invaded your crowded and worried mind. All that was required was no comment. A press conference the day after, following careful digestion of the victory, long reflection of the road to Government House and a brief comment on how to avoid future perfidy by INEC , Federal Government and the Judiciary was all that press conference, short, perhaps 20 minutes should have addressed. From now on, you should swear to the Gods of Edo, in the royal presence of his highness Uku Okpolokpolo that you will no longer tell any more lies to the people. You should also swear to dare consequencies of the Benin Gods if you should fail or weaken in this resolve.
The judiciary, your Excellency is an embarrassment to the purpose and intent of justice by standards of crude African rights. Perhaps the nearest to its crudity is the law of the jungle. Jeez! With due respect your Excellency, I, your humble admirer warn that you must guard your utterances and reflect carefully before you make statements from now on. How could you describe yesterday a glorious day for the judiciary. How dare your Excellency! It was a day the Judiciary tried frantically to save itself from impending disgrace and complete irrelevance. Even as it appeared to survive death by just a whisker yesterday, it knows that the trust of the people is not going to be restored by one desperate act of self correction. Imagine, for a four year term, the judiciary has allowed fraud to eat up almost half of the term. This particular court of appeal is most culpable. Since April, when the primary court delivered its verdict, the President of the Court, under very pedestrian excuses refused to hear the appeal. Today, he was going to Umra, tomorrow, it would be time for Hadj. Yet when the people are angry, he reminds them of the duties of Christianiy to Easter. Where did the Judiciary get the grace to triumph above all these sins! But for vocal Civil society, a pro active Nigerian Bar, an ever vigilant Press, perfidy would have ruled over justice. And I must warn that many pending cases are still locked in the lockers of the Court of Appeal.
Now, disappointment must be expressed at the unthinking congratulations of Oshiomole for the Nigerian Judiciary. Let it not be suggested that now that he got his stolen necklace from the thief who enjoyed the collaborating cover of the police, he now suddenly finds the collaborators and conspirators great specimens of moral rectitude. We do not want to jeopardize other pending cases now do we. Oshiomole’s effusive congratulations to a weak judiciary must be quickly checked.
VICTORY AND ITS DUE
Victory cannot go to the judiciary. It did not contest, it did not win. It was only called to do its sworn duty. To carry out its professional responsibility. And it denied victory to the rightful beneficiary by delaying justice for close to two years. Justice delayed is justice denied. How then could the judiciary be congratulated for the victory that rightfully belongs not to it, not to Oshiomole but the patient and long suffering disenfranchised citizens of a traditional State. It is their mandate that was stolen. It is their patience that was tested, it is their loyalty that survived the trial, it is their victory that was finally restored not through the generousioty of the judiciary but the outcry of an angry people.
Not through the concern of the court of appeal but the near total blackmail of its President by the Nigeria Bar Association,Civil society and the Press, concerned and incensed by the recklessness abuse of processes by the Appeal Court The victory does not even belong to Oshiomole, whom they gave the mandate for safekeeping. We can only thank Oshiomole for not negotiating away this mandate fraudulently for Ministerial appointments like the comedians in ANPP. And Adam must never forget that.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters