BY DAPO AKINREFON
LOKOJA—THE Kogi Progressive Forum has dismissed media reports (not Vanguard) that the governorship candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Captain Idris Wada (rtd), was diagnosed as having schizophrenia in 1976 and therefore has a questionable mental state.
The forum argued that Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital had given Wada a clean bill of health, noting that “politics to Captain Wada is not a do-or-die affair.”
In a statement by its chairman, secretary and publicity secretary, Messrs Habeeb Omeiza, David Onuh and Segun Olorunyomi respectively, the forum faulted the claim against the PDP candidate, describing it as “a rash of mudslinging, blackmail, lies and outright character assassination packaged as revelations of Wada’s person.”
The forum also argued that the report about Wada was not factual, pointing out that “this is not totally unexpected when Wada is clean and strong, in the electorate’s rating, and is riding far ahead of other contesting political weaklings with uncouth temperament.”
According to the group, “facts are that Captain Wada, having just returned to the country, flew in on March 30, 1976, to Lagos. He had driven a friend’s car to Federal Palace Hotel and while standing by the car the security officers there accused him of loitering, started rough-handling him and subsequently invited the police who took him in and kept him in cell for seven days. He was depressed.”
The statement reads: “At the prompting of government (his employer then), Dr. James Edeh of Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital on February 7, 1978 wrote of Wada’s state of health:
”Although the earlier impression was schizophrenia, subsequent re-evaluation of the case made it a depression, following emotional shock. Many features of this case present it as a depression, rather than a schizophrenic illness.”
The unhappy events outside Federal Palace Hotel, which led to Mr. Wada being locked up by the Police, the state of confusion he was in at the time of release which gave the initial erroneous impression, that he had a schizophrenia illness, was much more like a depression stupor.”
It also maintained that “the possibility of schizophrenia is not supported by his pre-morbid personality or the rapid resolution of symptoms. His treatment at Kaduna was largely with anti-depressant medication.” In conclusion, Dr Edeh wrote “we have before us, a clear picture of an emotional reaction to adverse social circumstances, inhumanity and Police brutality which led a young man just returning to his own country being locked up and subjected to torture and mental breakdown.
The depression which followed this torture was transient, happily Mr. Wada can today (07/02/78) put this unfortunate experience behind him and start a new life”.