By Yinka Odumakin
THE Offa robbery of 2018 and the irresponsible way Nigeria has handled the aftermath is one more good reason why those criticising former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Nobel Laureate Professor Wole Soyinka that Nigeria is tottering towards state failure should shut their traps. One of the key symptoms of a failed state is cutting deals with criminals instead of punishing them.
The Offa robbery was a bloody one during which the criminal gang killed 17 policemen and some civilians. One of the ringleaders of the operation is connected to a person who launched a vicious attack against me on behalf of his sponsors. I knew he wanted to use me to ingratiate himself to power wielders in the country so as to negotiate justice for the felons. I refused to swallow his bait. I just dismissed him.
There are claims that he approached former Lagos State Governor, Senator Bola Tinubu, to assist when I was sick in 1999. He was somebody I had access to and would have reached directly if I was comfortable asking people for money.
It was our lovely leader and father, Senator Abraham Adesanya, who called him and asked my wife to go and see him. It is not that I am an unfeeling and uncaring man who was taking credit for all I was doing even under illnesss.
My wife said, in fairness to Tinubu, that he abandoned his food and lamented: “How can Yinka be going through this without letting me know.” He called the Heath Commissioner to arrange what I needed for medical trip. May Pa Adesanya rest in peace. Prof. Akin Onigbinde tells the story of how he physically led him and his wife to see a doctor when his wife was ill.
There was a colleague of ours; he observed his wife was waiting for a child; he wrote some herbs for him to buy from a shop in London. The woman became pregnant in a month. Good old man! I saw you in your dirtiest with money that I couldn’t ask you for a penny even as I saw you rolling in sudden unearned dough. You were like king of Edom to me of whom Abraham said:
“I willl not take a hoof, lest he says I made Abraham.” I recall how you were camping two daughters of your late friend with baits of sacks of money. And you thought such would never have consequence?
The young man you were trying to use me to cover his crimes obviously had some inheritance from a dad who allegedly did time in Minna Prison over stolen clothes in a laundry outfit where he worked. A senior advocate friend of mine sent me the lies you concocted a few days back which he said was sent to him. I did not ask him the person as my spirit told me immediately who it was. And like Apostle Paul said:
“Alexander, the coppersmith who did me great harm”, I have to come back for you as five of the Offa robbers were arraigned in court a few days ago and your son was not among them.
It was clear the Nigerian state had fallen for pranks when Offa robbery became part of the “O to ge” weapons against Senator Bukola Saraki. Instead of going after the criminals, spirited efforts were made to link the crime to the former Senate President whom they wanted out at all cost.
Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State was in Kwara State in June 2018 to commend the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, on the manner he had been handling the investigation of Offa bank robbery, saying he was doing an excellent job. El-Rufai made the commendation in Oro town at the annual Ramadan lecture organised by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who is a native of the town.
Recall that the National Assembly had just passed a vote of no confidence on the police boss whose actions and inactions they considered antithetical to democracy; but El-Rufai praised the police boss on the occasion and thanked the Chief Imam of Oro, Mikhail Onisan, for praying for the nation and leaders.
He said: “I thank the Chief Imam for his prayers for the country, President Buhari, Inspector-General of Police, who is doing an excellent job, Minister of Information and others. May God accept his prayers. Irrespective of what anybody might be saying, he (IGP) deserves commendation, and Almighty Allah will continue to guide him.”
The Almighty guided him out of office disgracefully as he politicised a high crime instead of dealing with the criminals. All those who messed up the investigations into the robbery in Offa will answer questions before God some day as the lives lost were precious creatures of His. The one who lied against me to curry favour from men would not have such privilege before God. This blood of the innocent will cry for justice loudly.
God wins for Obaseki
HERE is a big congratulation to my friend and brother, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, on his massive re-election as the Governor of Edo State for another four years.
On the eve of the election, Obaseki stood before his God and asked Him to give victory to his opponent if he would need the blood of any citizen to be victorious.
God answered his prayer and won the battle for him in a peaceful atmosphere. He beat his opponent the way pompous opponents should be beaten: silly.
The sweet victory over godfathers should spur him to be closer to God the Father and work harder for the people who have spoken loud and clear for him.
His victory should also be a time of reflection for small men who play god over fellow human beings because they are drunk with power.
God the Father is the One we should all bow to all the time and not men who misname themselves gods. It’s a new season in Edo that should send waves to the rest of the country. Our people should no longer be under the bondage of criminals taking advantage of them mercilessly. Enough is enough!
Re: Constitutional negotiation we need
THANK you for your article on the above subject. Thank you too for being one of those in the forefront calling for positive constitutional changes in Nigeria. You will recall that the 1999 Constitution we are operating today was not “approved by the people at a referendum”.
We have refused to learn from our past mistakes and those of other nations. History is full of the stories of the demise of nations that refused to listen to the voice of reason as it concerned the restructuring of such nations.
The refusal of some Nigerians, both leaders and followers, to take seriously the issue of “Constitutional negotiation we need” makes me think that such persons do not believe in Nigeria as a country and in the concept of true democracy. Nigeria will celebrate its 60th year of independence on October 1, 2020.
One wonders what is being celebrated when the common man is undergoing a litany of woes and the rights of some ethnic nationalities are not respected.
My people have the following sayings: “The big housefly that refuses to listen to candid advice usually goes into the grave with the corpse. The ear that refuses to listen to genuine advice will be forced to do so when the head is cut off.”
I pray that Nigerians, both leaders and followers, neither become the stubborn big housefly nor the ear. We should make haste while the sun shines.
We must listen and mend our ways before the oncoming rain wets us and gives us the cold we shall never recover from. A stitch in time saves nine.
Tony O. Ekwe.