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Dave Umahi: A lemonade for Ebonyi people

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By Sunny Igboanugo

It is said that nature can give a man lemon, but cannot give him lemonade. He would have to pluck the fruit, crush it and make the juice for himself, before enjoying it hot or cold. Development, ensconced in the idea of democracy dividends, takes a cue from this.

As a reporter with The Guardian, in Enugu, I was one of  those invited in 1996 to accompany Walter Feghabo, then a Navy Commander and the first Military Administrator of Ebonyi State, from the Enugu Airport to Abakaliki, the state capital, to assume duties after his appointment by the late General Sani Abacha.

The euphoria that day, was tremendous. Speakers after speakers acknowledged the obvious fact of developmental deficit staring them in the face. It was the stark reality emanating from decades of alleged neglect, transferred from the old Eastern Region through old Anambra and then old Enugu and Imo states, that later gave birth to Abia, through which part of Ebonyi was carved.

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But the lamentations of the people at that elaborate ceremony, if anything, represented a minute fraction of the enthusiasm and hope, as the implication finally sunk in the people that they had finally taken their fate in their own hands. It actually gave impetus to a battle cry.

Then, gradually, brick by brick, the reconstruction began. As I became a regular visitor, in the line of duty, I saw Abakaliki, begin to take shape, more as the end of military rule, gave birth to democracy. It was a season of red roofs. That was the colour most government buildings seemed to have adopted.

It was not all glory though. Development, naturally has many shapes and sizes, including the good, bad and ugly sides. It was common on many occasions, to be summonsed to the state for news breaks, especially during the internecine political battle between Sam Egwu, the first civilian Governor of the state and Anyim Pius Anyim, former Senate President. But even then, Ebonyi continued to trudge on, brick by brick.

The last time I made a trip to the state, was sometime in 2009 from Lagos for a media tour organised by the state government under the last but one, headed by erudite sage, Martin Elechi. It was an impressive outing that took about three days of intensive activities, touring the project sites, from roads to agriculture, educational institutions and some other structures, some completed, others ongoing and many in the works.

However, what I hear filtering out from Ebonyi today, gives the impression that there is a genie from the magic lamp in the state performing some unimaginable feats. His name is Dave Nweze Umahi, an engineer, scholar and politician. He is said to have spread the state with a streak of projects, like nurseries on a rice farm.

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Somebody described the number of projects embarked upon by the governor as agukata-agba-awaa – the Igbo hyperbole for uncountable, literally meaning that attempts to count could break a jaw. I hear that Ebonyi now has a brand new Government House. I hear also that he has built more than 500 different roads. There are also hundreds of classroom blocks, including teachers quarters.

But, the most prominent are the legacy projects, which he now flaunts. They are seven in number, viz: The International Shopping Mall, the Industrial clusters, including the waste to wealth recycling plant, the International Market, and New Building Material Market, about 20 flyovers, a brand new Dave Umahi University of Medical Sciences. The icing on the cake, is that the governor is also delivering a brand new airport to the state, before leaving office in just a matter of months.

No wonder President Muhammadu Buhari is always heading in that direction. In fact, Ebonyi, remains the state most visited by the President since assuming office in 2015, if not in the whole of Nigeria, then in the South East. I hear that another of such visit is already in the offing.

No wonder the governor had the confidence and courage to pick form and actually saw his contest through for the ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the 2023 election, where he sought the nation’s number one job, the only serving governor from the South East to dare.

Of course it is no longer news that he made very little impact, a development, which comes from a different trajectory altogether. Electoral victories at that level do not rest on performance alone. Rather it is a function of the Nigerian reality. I’m sure if Umahi had commuted the funds for the project into raw cash and distributed same to delegates during his campaigns, the outcome would have been different.

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Nonetheless, the governor, does not seem deterred or dispirited from the original focus. He has instead, fired on with more gusto, a drive, which seems to derive its impetus from his peculiar philosophy as underscored by the plans of the founding fathers for the state and the people. In a recent interview I read, where the governor, explained the raison d’etre he explained that the gigantic projects he is building today derives from the burning desire to enhance the rating of his people in human development context.

Hear him: “I build mind-blowing projects to let, first and foremost, our brothers and sisters in the Southeast know Ebonyi State has come of age. So, if I have achieved nothing, it’s to instill confidence in our people because even when we talk about marginalisation of South East, you come to South East, we talk about the marginalisation of Ebonyi people. So, I built that project for people like you, to assure you that we went to the same school, that we have the same brain and that we’ve come of age and that nobody should neglect Ebonyi State again.

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“To some people, we use it to punish them. Those who neglect us are being punished by this gigantic project and my projects are projects you can’t find anywhere in South East. You can crosscheck that. So, it’s for punishment. The benefit is to instill confidence in our people, to make our people number one in everything we do.

“That’s why when you are going to marry, you don’t wear tattered dress, and you ask yourself, what is the economic benefit of the beautiful dress you are putting on? It’s to instill confidence and make your bride to accept.”

It was interesting hearing him expand on that legacy on Monday when he appeared on Channels Television’s Politics Today, where he told his host: “We’ve turned Ebonyi State into a construction site. Even for five hours, you won’t be able to mention all the infrastructures we’ve put together in Ebonyi State.

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“For me, the greatest legacy of my administration, are – the confidence we’ve instilled in our people, the confidence that our people can now boldly say, ‘I’m from Ebonyi State, by reason of the transformation that has taken place in Ebonyi State.”

He went on: “I’ve made more business people, I’ve made more engineers, I’ve made more contractors than the number of politicians that I’ve made. The infrastructure is given. It is one of the musts that you have to do. Education is a must, health is a must. But these things are very important, because when you build the people then they will build the nation. These are my legacies. People will be thinking that I’ll be talking about the international airport, I’ll be talking about the famous David Umahi University, I’ll be talking about the concrete roads of over 1,000 kilometres of eight inches concrete. No, my legacy should be on human capital development.”

More! The governor, also assured that he would not infest the state with the disease many states suffer – debt overhang either in form of infrastructure or wages, adding that he would ensure that his successor would not be handed a dead duck government.

Hear him: “My administration has not owed any pension or gratuity, but rather, we’ve paid a lot of backlogs, when we came on board. The balance of pensions and gratuities in Ebonyi State at the state level, is N3billion. What we did when we came on board was to use part of our Paris Club refund to offset most of the debts we met on ground.

“We plan in next year’s budget to pay off the remaining N3billion debts on pensions and gratuities. That is why you have the budget of the Ministry of Finance to be 19 per cent, which is the highest. What we intend to do is to pay off the N8billion we took from the UBA and then pay off the N3billion for pension and gratuities, pay off the N 3.5billion of the retention fees for our contractors. We also have the intention to give allowances to every civil servant in Ebonyi State as Christmas package.”

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Now the jury is out about Umahi’s many other engagements, especially his politics. Not a few of his critics, are surprised that he has since decided to pitch his tent with the APC at this time, after getting everything he has in politics from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). There are also many who believe that he ought to align with the Labour Party (LP), the only party, with the brightest chance of producing the first President of Igbo extraction, a project, he seems to favour.

But Umahi seems not persuaded or sold on these sentiments, but rather appears to cling to party loyalty more. In fact, he boasts that there is no party in his state outside the APC. “Anybody that tells you that there is another party in Ebonyi State outside the APC, tell him to shut up,” he says.

To prove that, he has asked other states to stay away from making contributions as the campaign trail of Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu lands in the state on October 22. “I’m going to put about 50,000 Eboyians to come and welcome our presidential candidate,” he said.

Well, the taste of the pudding is in the eating, they say. The ultimate decider on how well Umahi’s politics has resonated with the people, in the contest of all politics being local, would be determined by the same people. That will be by next year when the governor files out against his opponents to contest the Ebonyi South Senatorial seat.

Regardless, what would come into little contention, is that the governor, has etched his name boldly across the pages of history of the state. Anyone that ignores him in this regard, as far as opening up the state to the world, must be an enemy. His philosophy of the Ebonyi Man, as standing shoulder to shoulder with his counterparts elsewhere, seems not only to have reflected the vision, hopes and agenda of the founding fathers as expressed at that event some 26 years ago, but achieved substantially. He therefore deserves a drink from the lemonade he has made out of the lemons nature has provided for his people.

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Igboanugo is the Publisher of Whirlwindnews 

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The attack on press freedom in Anambra

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By Chekwube Nzomiwu
The recent destruction of newsstands in major cities in Anambra State is another sad testament to the attack on press freedom by the administration of Governor Charles Soludo. According to media reports, the destruction of the newsstands by agents of the state government, left many hapless newspaper vendors stranded, as they had no other place to go and make their daily livelihood. In addition, the poor vendors incurred huge losses from the damages to their newspapers during the unfortunate incident.
This development calls for concern from all well-meaning Nigerians and members of the international community who are committed to the preservation of press freedom, which is a very important pillar of the rule of law, and by extension, democracy. Without press freedom, the protection of fundamental human rights will be a mirage.
Press freedom offers individuals and organisations, the right to express, publish, and share information, ideas and opinion without fear of government censorship or government interference. It is guaranteed in Section 22 of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as amended).
The above-mentioned section says, “The press, radio, television and other agencies of the mass media shall at all times, be free to uphold the fundamental objectives contained in this chapter and uphold the responsibility and accountability of the government to the people.” Section 39 of the same constitution, which recognises the freedom of speech, accords every Nigerian the right to own, establish and operate any medium for the dissemination of information, ideas and opinion.
The three traditional functions of the media-information, education and entertainment-underscore their importance in the society. Besides the traditional functions, the modern media perform other functions, such as mobilisation and surveillance.
Stressing the importance of the press during the parliamentary debate on the opening up of press reporting of the House of Commons of Great Britian in 1787, British political thinker and statesman, Edmund Burke described the press as the Fourth Estate. The term emanated from the European concept of the three estates of the realm-the clergy, the nobility and the commoners.
Fast-forward to today, power in a democracy is divided between the legislature, executive and the judiciary. The position of the media (trained journalists) as the fourth estate has not changed, regardless of the emergence of citizen journalism, brought about by constant technological advancement. The reason is simple. Democracy thrives on the ability of the people to access information.
Hence, it is disturbing that the government of Anambra State under a Governor of academic extraction, has become notorious for denying the people access to information. The Soludo administration commenced its offensive against the media with the closure of the National Light Newspaper, owned by the Anambra State Government. Until Soludo came to power, the newspaper was funded by successive governors, from Chinwoke Mbadinuju to Sen. Dr. Chris Ngige, Mr. Peter Obi and Willie Obiano.
Having rendered the state owned newspaper moribund, several denials notwithstanding, the Soludo government appears hell-bent on making the environment unconducive for privately owned print media organisations, to perform their constitutional role and carry out their lawful businesses in Anambra State. It beats my imagination that the same government that committed itself to press freedom before the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Awka, in July last year (2023), could embark on the destruction of newsstands less than a year after.
Quoting Governor Soludo’s Edo State born Chief Press Secretary, Christian Aburime, as reported by Michael Ovat in Nigerian Tribune online on July 25, 2023, “NUJ should not be confrontational. Anambra Government are not at war with NUJ. Soludo is not wicked and reckless as portrayed by the State chapter of NUJ. NUJ and journalists as a whole have been part of this government to make Anambra a livable and prosperous state in Nigeria. Soludo has promised that journalists would not suffer any form of intimidation in their duties under his administration.”
Unless Soludo does not want his words to be taken seriously, he is educated enough to know that the destruction of newsstands amounts to intimidation of journalists. The journalists are not just writing for the fun of it. They are performing the role assigned to them by Section 22 of the Constitution under the “Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy” on one hand, and on the other hand, want their newspapers to be patronised to generate revenue from the media organisations paying their salaries.
Yes, some newspapers are running online editions, but majority of Ndi-Anambra who fall within the middle and low-income classes, cannot afford data to read online at this critical time of economic depression, caused by the removal of fuel subsidy and floating of the Naira, culminating in “very dangerous” galloping inflation, that has eroded incomes. Also, I have not heard of any part of Awka, the Anambra State capital or Onitsha, the commercial city, not to speak of interior parts of the State, that enjoys free access to internet.
As a former Chief Economic Adviser to the President and Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)/ de facto Minister of National Planning, it is not in doubt that Professor Soludo has travelled far and wide. Let him tell us anywhere in the world where newsstands are not allowed. Heathrow Airport is the biggest airport in the United Kingdom and the fourth busiest in the world. All the four terminals have newsstands. So, what’s the fuss in Anambra State about newsstands?
If anything, Anambra being the “Light of the Nation” should be a model for other states and even the Federal Government to follow when it comes to respecting freedom of the press. Anambra is the home of foremost nationalist, late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, the great Zik of Africa, Owelle of Onitsha and founder of the West African Pilot, which revolutionised the newspaper industry in the entire West Africa. There were also other titles under his Zik’s Group.
Anambra also produced great journalists like M.C.K Ajuluchukwu, Mokwugo Okoye and Osita Agwuna, may God bless their gentle souls. It was the writings of these great and courageous men and their comrades from other parts of Nigeria that sent the British packing from Nigeria in 1960, to pave the way for Nigeria’s independence. By the way, the last time I checked, history was not being taught in many schools in Anambra state, although Professor Soludo announced the reintroduction of the subject in the school curriculum when he assumed office in 2022.
Finally, I don’t think that Soludo being an academic, needs to be reminded that newsstands are informal lecture halls for educating the people. I therefore passionately call on him to order his agents to halt further destruction of newsstands in the State. In areas where they have been destroyed already, he should quickly direct the erection of new modernised stands for the vendors to restore their means of livelihood. This will convince us that he is not taking Anambra State away from liberal democracy and moving us towards ‘putinisation” a term popularised by former President of European Parliament, Martin Schulz.
Nzomiwu, a development communicator and political scientist, wrote from Awka, Anambra State

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Love and Valentine’s Day

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By Obienyem Valentine
Those who bear the name Valentine dread the month of February like a plague. Besides close friends who always demand that you celebrate your name in grand style, most confront you with all manner of questions bordering on the concept that your name is supposed to embody. Thus, you are asked whether you were born on the 14th of February or whether you were a by-product of a love affair that took place in the month of February. One fact I have come to discover over the years is that people take those who bear the name of Valentine as experts in all known techniques of love, starting with its fundamentals to its metaphysics.
Despite much research, we cannot tell unequivocally the exact date the feast started, nor the route by which it entered into history. Perhaps it is connected to the life of a certain St. Valentine who was said to have suffered martyrdom in Rome as the Church hagiography would want us to believe. Perhaps, as the legend of the saint’s heroic faith says, it grew out of the love shown to prisoners by the saintly Valentine. Perhaps it has to do with the period in the year when birds of the earth look for mates. Perhaps it is another case of substitution of a pagan feast by Christian feast as a subtle way of blighting paganism at the bud. We do not know. Valentine’s Day is part of history whose beginning has been forgotten, and whose end we shall never reach.
The popularity of Valentine’s Day could be linked to the nature of the theme it celebrates – love. Writing about love, Archbishop Fulton Sheen called it “the most used, and the most misunderstood word.” The misunderstanding inherent in the nature of love often provokes people to ask questions such as: How much of what we claim as love is love indeed? Does love have different levels and spheres? Is it possible to love our neighbor as ourselves, as the Holy writ prescribes? What is love? These are the questions with which the most comprehensive theories, treatises, and analyses of love find it necessary to begin.
To the Greeks, love could be Eros, Philia, and agape. Plato’s ladder of love in the “Symposium” has different loves for its rungs, up to what we commonly call “Platonic Love”. St Thomas Aquinas distinguishes between love in the sphere of passion and love as an act of will. The former he assigns to what he calls the “concupiscible faculty” of the sensitive appetite; the latter, to the rational or “intellectual appetite”. Sometimes, people talk about metaphysical, contemplative, material, and acquisitive love, etc.
Whatever form love takes, it implies a complex psychical experience of strong attraction to, intense desire for, vivid appreciation of, a profound interest in, one’s object of love. The object of love could be a fellow being, institution, cause, or even nature. It involves tender affection, sympathetic understanding, admiration, and loyalty, with reference to its object.
But apart from a few people who recognize the fact of plurality of love in their analyses, most of us, especially the youth, talk abundantly of love, commonly in the sense of amorous appetite. These are people who confess their loving the object of their love more than their own mothers. Recall the “sugar in my tea” and similar stuff. Our elders consider this form of love to be a form of “possession” or “madness”, and would frown at anyone who would propose it as a fit guide in the choice of a marriage mate. They do this, knowing that once the erotic side of love diminishes or fades away altogether, the disinterested element fades too; interest in the other’s happiness evaporates, all tender feeling is eroded, and the one desire is to get away. This is what Lucretius called “erotic befuddlement”. What Dedriot deridedly described as “the voluptuous loss of a few drops of liquid.” It is a spark thrown off by the contact or nearness of two opposite bodies.
In pursuit of this type of love, there is nothing that human beings have not done, or are not capable of doing. The love potion that some ladies brew for men they suspect of unrequited love has no platonic aim. It is not out of generosity, rather to get the object of their longing, that men spend lots of money in wooing women. Women themselves do as much. To attract men, they dress in manners to arouse precipitate passion. Eyelashes are darkened with gum ammonia. Cheeks and lips are painted with sticks of minium or alkanet roots. Adjustable eyebrows are used and often pencilled with lampblack or pulverized or sulphuret of antimony, sometimes it is thinned to diverse shapes or shaved off entirely and painted “crescent moons” or other forms. Eyelids are shaded with kohl. All sorts of things are rubbed on the face, in the hope that it will make them look beautiful. Some in the villages still wrap their fingernails overnight with henna leaves to make them purple. Padded brassieres are used to make the breast look poised and … Breast enhancement has since become part of beauty regimen. There is no part of the woman’s body, in pursuit of men, that has not been perfected, decorated, refined, stretched and squeezed, bleached, reformed, compacted, and shortened.
Higher than the afore-described love is what is often called genuine friendship. In this type of love, there is often the predominance of altruistic motives. It springs from mutual admiration. Here, love is thought to precede desire and to determine its wishes. Marriages built upon this type of love are often successful. Mature lovers discover that marriage transcends the act of multiplication of the species or the fantasy of sexual acts. There are some men who think that all a woman appreciates in a man is when he brandishes the erectile organ to her satisfaction. No. Marriage is more than that. It demands deep understanding and maturity from both partners.
All the foregoing classifications and distinctions, inexhaustible though, belong to the theory of human love. But the fact of love’s diversity extends to the Christian theory of love. Christianity brought about a basic shift in man’s thinking about love. Christianity sees love not in the emotion or passion, but from the infinite perfection and creativity of God. Writing to the Corinthians (2 Cor 13: 6) St Paul said that “love takes no pleasure in other people’s sins but delights in the truth…” God Himself is love (I John 4: 4). “Love ye one another”. In this profound sentence, God summarized all the commandments. Love rules the world and was, perhaps, as Parmenides thought, “the very first thing created by the gods to rule the world”.
The key to peace in the world is for men to embrace the ethics of Christ – love. Confucius taught a version of it in his rule of reciprocity (golden rule). Immanuel Kant espoused it in his book, The Metaphysics of Morals in what he called the “Maxims of Categorical Imperative”. All great religions teach it. Until we start to imbibe this golden rule (love), the battle to re-make the world can as well be labelled a utopia.
The sooner we use the day of Valentine to promote this type of love, the better the world will become.
Obienyem, journalist, businessman and public affairs analyst, wrote from Awka, Anambra State

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Understanding Benjamin Kalu and the new burden on his shoulder

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By Ben Benson-Okoli

Napoleon Bonaparte, 1786-1821, was a French Emperor and General whose brilliant victories over Australians and Russians singled him out and made him practically the master of Europe. Addressing his soldiers in 1796 while entering Italy, he said: “It is my design to lead you into the most fertile plains of the world………you will find honor, glory and wealth.”

This sounds familiar today. In his new approach, Rt Hon Benjamin Okezie Kalu, the deputy Speaker and the highest ranking Igboman in Nigeria currently, seems to be telling his tribesmen the same thing.

Also, in his “Maxims of War”, which he published in 1838, Napoleon Bonaparte sees a true leader, as one that “always keeps the element of surprise up his sleeves, which others cannot grasp but which keeps his public excited and breathless.” This too, seems familiar with the style the young Igbo political leader seems to have adopted. Focused, engaging and unpredictable, yet sustaining the interest of those the lot fell on him to lead, he has ostensibly found a sort of connect through his new styles tactics and strategies.

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Back home, the late Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, the Ezeigbo Gburugburu was the indisputable leader of Ndigbo, a position many have continued to lay claims to today, even without anything significant on ground to back it up.

The truth is that if Ikemba of Nnewi were to be alive today and had an opportunity to anoint his successor, it is undoubtful, whom he would have passed the baton to. It would have been a man, whose methods, means and mode fits perfectly into foresight and tremendous acumen. No doubt, he would have gladly raised the hand of BOK.

In my piece last year on the same issue, entitled: Enter Benjamin Kalu, the new eye of Ndigbo in Nigeria’s national politics, published in June 11, 2023, two days before he emerged as the number six man in Nigeria, I had x-rayed the man Benjamin Kalu, and his trajectory, showcasing how every inch seemed to prepare him for the current task thrusted on his shoulders,

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May be a little recap: “Nobody knows what influenced his parents to name him Benjamin. But going by the narrative about the original bearer of that name in the scriptures, it seems to be turning prophetic in the place of Benjamin Kalu, the new kid on the block in the trajectory of Ndigbo in the Nigeria political firmament.

“Recall the biblical, Jacob, the father of Benjamin loved Rachael, so much that he had to work for the father for years to marry her. But tragedy came when she died while at child birth, not before she named her son Benoni-child of sorrow. But instead of retaining what would have reminded him permanently of the trauma of losing the loved wife, Jacob had to change the name to Benjamin- child of my right hand, child of consolation rather than pain.”

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The journey to remove his people from the anguish of the sorrow of the ravages of the civil war started since June 13, when the lot fell on this deep thinker and purveyor of fresh ideas, Rt Hon Benjamin Okezie Kalu, to lead his people; a people badly bruised, wounded and broken by deliberate pummeling. He may have taken the road less traveled but he exudes the audacity of the Johnny Walker, the lanky fine gentlemen on the label of fine whisky, the man who knows where he is going.

Like a good choreographer, well tutored in Napoleon school, BOK has been hitting the right notes, building the right bridges and forging the right partnerships. He admits that his tribesmen are holding the short end of the stick but thinks that what is critical is providing the enabling environment that will re-birth the new Nigeria we all yearn.

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His two pet projects, the PISE-P and SEDC are huge. They have the capacity to calm frayed nerves and engender massive economic growth yet to be seen. Peace in South East-Project (PISE-P), is a five-year initiative of the office of the Deputy Speaker, hinged on a non-kinetic method of solving the insecurity challenges in the SE and further reconciliation among the communities and individuals affected by past conflicts. It was unveiled late last year in the ancient city of Bende, in Abia.

BOK had this to say on its launch: “The journey towards peace is not a destination, it is an ongoing process, one that requires commitment and dedication.” Since then, the Bende Declaration, as it now called, has since taken off and on a sound note and the result is gradually showing with the South East becoming quieter unlike before it was a major theatre of war.

SEDC, the South East Development Commission, is another game changer. The speed at which it got the blessings of the House of Representatives, 54years after similar effort had failed, is descriptive of the enormous hardwork of the man who presented the bill. When established, it will not only become the first genuine effort to give Gowon’s triple Rs a meaning but will turn the South East into a massive construction site and a huge rehabilitation center with funds allocated to it from the federation account to address the consequences of the civil war, that is yet to be recovered from.

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Given that there are still some naysayers – elements who seek to benefit from the hitherto restiveness in the land, like the avaricious and dignity-stripped onye Nze, and therefore do not want things to change.

They are the ones selling some of the illogical negative arguments all tailored to keep the zone boiling. They are the ones stoking the embers of the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu as the condition precedent for peace, without presenting a pragmatic and workable approach to achieve that end.

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Yet, the release of MNK is one of the projects closest to the heart of BOK, as those close to him would readily confirm – a project he is consistently, but quietly undertaking without the threats and noise that had over the years made it impossible for the goal to be achieved. Just like Napoleon, the strategy remains embedded inside his chest.

If anyone had been in doubt about his leadership qualities, the setting up of the PISE-P, remains a demonstrable example. The foresight and precision as reflected in the selection of the personnel for the project, showcases not only his vision but the ability at head-hunting to achieve the goal.

No doubt this quality would come handy eventually in creating the political leadership that has eluded the South East in recent past, which is basically the ability to forging the right partnerships and winning the right friendships needed to take the people to the next level.

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Even the naysayers and perennial critics, must now be convinced as to the reason BOK has never lost a battle. His uncanny ability to override all forms of distractions, no matter how strong and audacious remains the fundamental reason for trusting him to deliver at this critical time in the life of his people and in Nigeria as a major political force.

Those who know, have identified him as an eloquent speaker, an astute negotiator, a conscientious agitator, awakened mind and transformational leader, who carries with him the message of peace and understanding of the direction he wants to go and where to take his people. Definitely, just like, “the son of our right hand,” BOK will turn out well. That you can take to the bank!

 

Ben Benson-Okoli Esq., a journalist and lawyer, writes from Abuja

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