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A governor, pastors and the N6bn bribe

By Clement Udegbe

Everything you do is triggered by an emotion of either desire or fear —-Brian Tracy.

OUR desire as humans, lead us to aspire, and propels our actions to reach or attain a goal or set of goals. Most goals in life are genuine and good, but the problem often lies in the choice of the route to reach the goal.

In this country, while someone for example, who desired to be successful may have decided to work hard, acquire a skill and then use it to earn a decent living, another may have simply acquired a gun, robbed his way to wealth, and if not caught, retained in his wealth, and flaunts it today as a big man.

Others may have used the gun too, to shoot their way to power in coups and counter coups, and having succeeded became wealthy owning oil wells, with empires, glamorising as successful business moguls. Some used the gun, engaged in crimes of kidnapping, blackmail, oil bunkering, and stealing to become wealthy. Yet, some chose to work through the rough terrain of life of political maze to reach power, while their colleagues in the same politics chose violence, evil manipulations to attain and retain power, in this same country. Now, they have all become successful leaders in their own rights, recipients of national and international awards, with many accolades.

It is disappointing, that we have come to the stage in Nigeria where all these men consider themselves honourable, and want real men with dignity to believe,and take them seriously.

They find ways to put their names in the national honours list, and manage to carry on as good and shining stars of our democracy. Thus, at 55 and with all our abundant natural and human resources, Nigeria does not have constant electric power, no good roads, no qualitative education, crawling transportation system, with most hospitals as glorified mortuaries, high levels of unemployment, recycling octogenarians- most of them with advanced warnings of dementia, without basic qualifications, as leaders.

People, who before 1999, were just comfortable, merely getting by, have after joining politics and occupying elective posts, quickly became billionaires, with jet planes, and all kinds of opulence around them. They become untouchables, by stealing themselves to stupor under one political party, cross the carpet to another one, become saints and good men over night, and to add salt to our injury, they shout ‘change’!

In such condition as ours therefore, where people spend the budget for a five storey building, to construct a five bedroom bungalow, we hail them, call them super achievers, it gets easily into their heads, and they lose respect for their culture, elders, and seniors, and even mock Servants of God

Last year, at the Eagles Square in Abuja during the launching of the APC, the main opposition party in Nigeria, Governor Amaechi of Rivers State, said inter alia, that if they did not win the 2015 elections, they would form a parallel government.

A former Speaker of his State House of Assembly for eight years before becoming a governor for six years under the ruling PDP, who had cause to cross carpet midway, and this was his own way of threatening to cause anarchy in the nation if his party lost in the elections.

Rivers State has never stopped to know and experience violence since he cross carpeted to the APC. It was in his state House of Assembly, that the mace was used to break someone’s head two years ago. Well, as a man makes his bed, so shall he lie on it, and if Rivers people love him so much and his ways, so be it. But our experience as a nation informs the need to stop him from dragging us into another from of Boko Haram, or organized violence after 2015, should his party loose Rivers State. After all, during the 2011 election, people threatened that they would make Nigeria ungovernable if they lost, and soon after they lost in that election, we saw Boko Haram, and they never saw any evil in the innocent blood that was being shed by Boko Haram until they found reasons to come back to us to ask for our votes! Amaechi’s threat must therefore be taken very seriously.

Only last week, Amaechi announced that some pastors have been paid the sum of N6Billon naira to carry out campaign of calumny against his party, the APC. I am amazed at the way these “rich boys” in politics call money. They talk in Billions of Naira, as if the Naira means nothing, and at a time when youth unemployment even in their own states hover around 30 percent, with little or no tangible contributions from them to ameliorate the situation, in spite of the huge sums they get monthly as security vote.

Amaechi is not a lawyer, but knows too well that he who asserts must prove the matter in issue. He cannot, and must not be allowed to rubbish all Men, Women and Servants of God in Nigeria just because he wants power; neither will he be allowed to blackmail Men of God from saying the truth as they may be led, just because he feels embarrassed.

The Bible declares, that out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. We can therefore assess the state of a man’s heart from what he speaks. Hate and violence in politics cannot continue.

If Amaechi had any modicum of respect for his own Pastors and Priests, he would have been more guarded in his accusation of Pastors in Nigeria. A man can only be acquitted or sentenced by what he says. Ameachi must therefore say who gave and took the money. He must substantiate his claim or face the consequence because there are many Pastors, who rightly see their money as blood money, and truly accursed by God!

The nonsense among our politicians must not be taken to smear the Servants Of the Most High God. It must stop! Amaechi must speak up with proof, or forever remain politically silent!


  • Mr. Udegbe, a legal practitioner, wrote from Lagos.


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