Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
Nigerian citizens resident abroad, under the auspices of Nigeria Coalition for Change, has warned the federal government against taking vindictive action against a former Central Bank of Nigeria Deputy Governor, Mr Obadiah Mailafia over the statement he made on the country’s increasing wave of insecurity.
The group based in Washington DC, the capital of the United States of America, said the statement allegedly credited to Mailafia indicting a sitting governor of being among sponsors of Boko Haram should serve as a searchlight to solving the insurgency issue, rather than being politicised .
The coalition said that it was wrong and unpatriotic for the security agencies to subject the former CBN top-notch to unnecessary psychological torture over the alleged indicting comment.
Mailafia had a couple of months ago claimed that he got information from some Fulani traders indicting a serving governor of being allegedly behind the sponsorship of the Boko Haram terror group in the northern part of the country .
In a statement signed by the coalition’s chairman, Samuel Ayodele on Saturday, the group expressed opposition to the way the security agencies had been inviting Mailafia since the issue began.
Ayodele charged the police and the Department of State Services (DSS) to investigate the statement credited to the ex-CBN chief rather than subjecting him to ridicule, torture and trauma.
The coalition said the common features, by which state’s agencies were being used to oppress those who displayed uncommon bravery to save their fatherland from ruin and catastrophe, had been a factor suppressing the patriotic spirit among Nigerians.
“We members of the Nigeria Coalition for Change , United States of America chapter frowned at the way Mr Obadiah Mailafia was being harassed, pummelled and derided by the operatives of the DSS and police over his comment.
“Since he exhibited that uncommon courage to openly comment that he heard it from good authority that a sitting governor was behind Boko Haram insurgents, we perceived that the man had been subjected to all forms of harassment, which suggested that the government found the revelation shocking and unacceptable.
“In a civilised clime, what they normally do when such a statement is made is to investigate and bring out counter evidence to disprove whatever had been said, if the government was in doubt.
“Up to now, we have not seen or heard the security architecture of the government coming up with a counterclaim. All they have been doing was to deride the man to portray him as heating up the polity or plotting to destabilise the nation.
“The question agitating our mind has been that has the government thoroughly investigated his claim? Has he been found to be purveyor of fake news? If these were untrue, why was he being shabbily treated even without investigation? This was an injustice to a Nigerian citizen.
“We believe that equity and justice depict that a citizen is perceived innocent until his claim is proven otherwise . This case seems to negate the norm under this context.
“We appeal to the federal government to give him a fair deal in this matter and a fair deal comes when he is accorded fair hearing, freedom of speech and privilege to self respect and personal liberty as guaranteed by the 1999 constitution”, the coalition concluded.
Activist Tackles Okunbo on Edo Poll, Says Obaseki’s Reelection Guaranteed
A human rights activist, Osamudiamen Osakpamwan has warned Captain Hosa Wells Okunbo not to smear the good name of Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki in the build up to the September 19 Edo State governorship election.
Osakpamwan, also an environmentalist, declared that it was unfortunate the billionaire had allowed himself to be used by former APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, against the hardworking governor.
He expressed this concern yesterday in a statement he issued in reaction to Okunbo’s recent interview in favour of the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu,
“The statement said Okunbo decided “to go against a mass movement. He will realise that his partisan position is a wild-goose-chase on September 19 despite the obvious truth that Obaseki’s re-election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is a certainty.
Insisting that the governorship election “is bigger than one man,” Osakpamwan declared that voters would speak loudly on September 19 and re-elect Obaseki.
He said this election “is beyond Godwin Obaseki as an individual, it is beyond Captain Hosa, Adams Oshiomhole or Ize-Iyamu. The election is about the people. It is about the sustenance of good governance, which the people have witnessed in the past four years of the Obaseki administration.
“The people are not willing to go back to the days of CDAs and EDSTMA’s harassment. The people are not willing to go back to the reign of terror where thugs rained fire on market women and commercial bus drivers, and ‘agberos’ held sway on the streets of Benin. Obaseki’s legacies must be upheld and consolidated on.
“A thousand endorsement of Ize-Iyamu by Captain Hosa cannot withstand the people’s resolve, just like a hundred thousand headlights cannot match the Milky Way.
“”Edo people will resist any attempt to smear the good name of Godwin Obaseki even if Captain Hosa presents himself as a willing tool to that effect.
“Okunbo used to be a pride of the Benin nation, a jewel in the savannah, the Holy Grail required to soothe the injuries of the Fisher King, until recently, like an infamous villain who has lost his paradise, his waxen wings rose above his reach, and the heavens themselves gradually conspired his overthrow.
“How a man so loved and cherished by folks both home and in the diaspora could singlehandedly orchestrate his own fall from grace, bewilders even the wisest of men.
“The luciferic fiend and the misleading spirit of the partial air that have made Captain Hosa to stake his ‘hard earned’ reputation on the candidacy of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, a man, according to Oshiomhole, with no political reputation and lagging in integrity, must be held in chains.
“Or was it all pretence? Is Captain Hosa Wells Okunbo driven by the same avaricious disposition which has become characteristic of most Nigerian politicians?
“With immense consternation, we read the sad excerpt from the interview granted by Captain Hosa Wells Okunbo recently, where he openly declared support for the candidacy of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu; one of his reasons being that Governor Godwin Obaseki has his projects or programmes only on paper.
In his own words: “If Godwin presents to you his plans for Edo State on PowerPoint, you will kiss his feet… And as we progressed, all those packages that he presented, none was done. I learnt most of them are all on paper and they continue to be on paper and consultancy services attached to most of them.
“Of course, as we speak, most of those projects are not on the ground and as for me, I can’t be deceived. Some can be deceived, but I cannot.”
“The above excerpt from the interview clearly portrays unequivocally and without any form of ambiguity or iota of doubt, that Captain Hosa Wells Okunbo has lost his will to seek out truth and stand for it. It is disheartening that he could join the chorus and cacophony of singers leading the songs of ignorance feigning, and the enslavement of Edo people.
“Is Edo BEST initiative, which is a birth child of the Godwin Obaseki administration and has become the envy of other states within Nigeria and abroad, only on paper? Is Ossiomo power which is a fruit of one of Obaseki’s MoUs only on paper? Is the Edo Modular refinery, one of the outcomes of Obaseki’s MoUs, currently being developed in public private partnership with Peiyang Chemical and Equipment Company of China (PCC) and its Nigerian partners, Africa Infrastructure Partners Limited (AIPL), also on paper only? What about the Edo Innovation Hub and the Edo Production Centre currently equipping the teeming workforce with technological expertise, skills and employment opportunities?
“In the health sector, Obaseki has placed Edo State on both the national and world map, with the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) currently rating her, second, in the fight against the COVID-19.
“Edo tertiary education is currently undergoing restructuring and the economy of the State is on a persistent rise, as a result of the business friendly environment created by the Obaseki administration for investors. Edo workers are constantly and promptly paid and pensioners are no longer dying in search of their pensions.
“Okunbo could get sleep at night after granting that interview, beats the imagination of every person. How could a reputable businessman turn politician all of a sudden, a demagogue to be precise? Whatever was done to this once noble man must be reversed. He was a beloved son in whom we were well pleased.”