Op ed

NIGERIA: In Rivers, It’s Hand of Esau, Voice of Jacob


Were you at the movie?
Movie? Which movie? Where?
You didn’t watch the Alapoti movie?
I still don’t get it. What are you talking about?

I am talking about the video of the moment. The Riverside movie where some Rollywood actors displayed their skill in brigandage and proved that have not broken ranks with their former profession of thuggery.

Please talk straight. What is it you are referring to?
The shameful clash of lawmakers in Rivers State House of Assembly of course. Don’t tell me you did not watch the video clips which has gone viral to our collective shame.

Collective shame? Am I a lawmaker? Or am I a politician? It is their shame, I have no share in it please.

As a Nigerian, it robs off on you in the eyes of the international community. And to know that it happened when Mr President is in far away China.

I think it is politicians who should be ashamed and not all Nigerians. There are still decent Nigerians you know. There are Nigerians who condemn what happened, there are those who see it as a display of gross irresponsibility. It is a high-arched show of political chicanery.

I never would imagine that those paid by tax payers to make laws for the good governance of society can be that lawless and reckless. And that is why people are asking how such characters emerged as lawmakers. It tells a whole lot about those who aspire to lead us, that is how one day, one of those stick-wielding thugs called lawmakers will emerge as governor of a state or President of this country. Deus  avertat

You must understand that what you saw in the video is what you get when the political structure of an entity is left unattended to. That is what you get when law and order are undermined through the queer intrigues of political calculation.

Are you saying the mayhem that took place in Port Harcourt was justified? Is that what you are saying?

Certainly not. Nothing justifies that level of madness and barefaced criminality in the name of lawmaking. The point I am making is that, left unattended to, the political crisis in the state is just worsening and getting more and more dangerous. Nobody can accurately predict its direction or dimension in the weeks ahead.  And that the authorities have the responsibility of curbing it. But deliberately, they have left the wound to fester and it is now turning to a threatening menace that could consume the entire body.

You cannot say efforts have not been made to settle the rift in the state. Blame the failure on the intransigence of the state governor, Rotimi Amaechi who has made reconciliation difficult with his cockish attitude to issues.

Do not forget that it takes two to tangle. What have the other parties in the dispute done to promote or even foster peace and reconciliation? Have you not been reading the boastful comments of the anti-Amaechi people in the papers? Have you not been seeing how they are threatening fire and brimestone as if they own the world?

You don’t seem to understand that Amaechi’s conduct is the cause of the breakdown of law and order both in the party and in the state. Has he not been granting incendiary interviews in the papers too?  Have several party elders including Chief Tony Anenih not come to intervene and plead for sheathing of swords? But has Amaechi shown a disposition for peace? Has he not carried on with the intent to square up with the Presidency as if they are rivals? Can’t you read his body language? Is it not obvious he does not want peace?

I don’t know what language his body is speaking. All I see is hypocrisy. How many of the people who mouth the quest for peace have really worked for peace? You say you want reconciliation and you go ahead to ground his plane? You want reconciliation, and you get a fly-in-the night court order dissolving the State party Exco without any cause and install another by fiat. You want reconciliation and you post a tormentor in the name of a Police commissioner to the state; you want reconciliation and your wife visits the state with such vexatious fanfare that openly pokes fingers in the eyes of the governor, as her security aides block off even the Government House, the official residence of the governor; You want reconciliation and you withdraw the soldiers attached to the Government House; you want reconciliation and you suspend him from the party for daring to win the NGF election. You want reconciliation….

(cuts in) Enough! Look, let me tell you, even a bad clock is twice correct in a day. And nobody measures the depth of a river with both feet at once.  That young man has crossed the boundary and that is why the crisis is spiraling. That is why the political elite of the state are up in arms.

It is not true. The people of the state are still madly in love with their governor, only those who want the frittering of Rivers resources are angry with Amaechi’s style. Nothing more! Those who know and want truth are with Amaechi. And that is why 27 out of 32 lawmakers are stoutly behind him.

But you forget that in politics, perception is almost everything.

And it doesn’t matter whether the so-called perception is right or wrong?
Have you asked yourself why out of 36 state governors, only Amaechi is the one in the furnace. Have you asked yourself? Can’t you see something is wrong somewhere?

Yes, surely, something is wrong with people who are intolerant of democratic ethos. Everything is wrong with people who suddenly declare that 16 is greater than 19. The same ailment is troubling those who say 5 is greater than 27. If there was no affliction to the brain and mind of such people, five lawmakers cannot suddenly contemplate the impeachment of a speaker in a House of Assembly having 32 members. What kind of arithmetic governs that political oddity?  Answer me! Don’t just mope at me.

Oh, is that why a right thinking lawmaker will use a mace to flog his colleague? Or didn’t you watch the video? Didn’t you see a pro-Amaechi lawmaker seize a mace and turned it to a cane and whipped the hell out of an anti-Amaechi lawmaker? I say didn’t you see it?  And the next thing he does is to get admitted in the hospital as if he was the victim? Answer me! Is that the brand of democracy you are talking about?

You guys deliberately ignore the basic questions: why and how did the five lawmakers smuggle-in a fake mace to the house? Why would five lawmakers think they can ride roughshod over 27 other colleagues? How can five people impeach the speaker? Can’t you see they are dancing to the drumbeat of someone in the corner of the bush? And pray, why did Evans Bipi, launch rounds of attack on Lloyd unprovoked on the floor of the House? Can’t you understand that was the source of the aggression that followed? Is it because Bipi is the cousin of the First Lady and so feels that whatever he does will be written off by the Police Commissioner, Joseph Mbu, their supporter?

Hmmm, I can see how biased you are. You are not even talking about the level of violence visited on the anti-Amaechi lawmaker aided by a policeman, you are busy talking about who slapped first and who brought in mace. What a terrible judge you are!

Let me be honest with you. This degree of impunity can only be sustained because it is all a phenomenon of the hand of Esau and the voice of Jacob.  The whole world knows it and that is why the National Assembly expressed unbridled umbrage at the travesty of justice taking place in Rivers. Everybody knows and sees the oppression and the deliberate foisting of chaos on the state so they can prepare grounds for state of emergency, all so that Amaechi will be shoved out of office. But I tell you that the god of democracy (if any) will not allow it. Trust me!

You are living in a fool’s paradise.  You are merely undertaking wishful thinking. It means you cannot read the bold handwriting on the wall. Some people need to be taught a lesson on how not to wrestle with one’s chi. As for the national lawmakers, ignore their pretence. Have they forgotten how often they too fight? Have they forgotten how on one such mayhem, Hon Safana slumped and died on the floor of the House of Representatives? Now they want to posture as the good boys by taking over the responsibilities o the Rivers Assembly. Ignore them, I say.

Awwwww, so you admit that there is a deliberate plot to crush Amaechi so the so-called lesson would be taught. But let me tell you that you are a mere mortal. There is an immortal being noiselessly watching the affairs of men. He would intervene and in His ruling, there would be no appeal!

You can go on waxing ecclesiastical. I don’t care. This is war. And in war, all is fair, so long as the enemy is crushed. Go and read The Prince.

Away with your Machiavellian philosophy. Before noon, you will know a force controls the banal content of man’s philosophies. And you will realise that he who laughs last, laughs best.

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