One of the things I don’t do is talk about politics. I don’t do that anymore. I can only encourage you and advise you to do the right thing. Hunger and all of that are not what we’re supposed to be going through. We have no business going through what we’re going through right now.
What is happening now is that 200million Nigerians are suffering from two-fighting. We’re victims of two fighting. Let me give you a short parable. Some years ago, some politicians from different parties, decided to come together to form one party to chase out one man.
It’s a story. I heard this story from a mad man. They came together that they want to stand behind one man, so all of them collapsed their structure and gave it to one man. They sponsored him with the money they kept at home. They didn’t take the money from the bank. It was at home that they kept it. They sponsored him.
But on the inaugural day, the first thing the man said was that – I’m for everybody and I’m for no one. That should have told them that this is not a reliable person. This is an ingrate. (But) all of them came together again and supported him for a second time, not knowing that this person never had them in mind.
Now the person came back and the first thing the person said is that he doesn’t want vote-buying and so they want to make sure there’s no money anywhere. For people to agree to sell their votes is because you made them poor. You weaponised poverty and that’s why you’re scared of vote-buying. If you made everywhere okay and people are comfortable, you’ll not be scared of people buying votes.
It takes bulk money, it doesn’t take people withdrawing little money from their banks to buy votes. Money has to be so much to buy votes. You know who you’re targetting, why not go to the person and collect the money they kept at home? Why dragging all of us into your fight. You know who you’re targetting.
And those who supported him, ntoo! Your eyes are clear now. Most of my friends who supported him, have been retired. They retired them because they gave their support. And on the other part, they’re all crying. They said that the governors are crying that the policy is hard on Nigerians, forget those governors, because they’re all criminals. The truth is that they’re paying for their own selfish game – that we should obey the courts because of this. The courts have said that Nnamdi Kanu should be released long time ago. He has not been released. They didn’t obey the courts. All of a sudden, you’re talking about the court. You that doesn’t obey the courts.
They know why they’re fighting and they shouldn’t drag us into the mess. Those of you politicians in the church, you should have learnt your lesson. don’t plan your political life around the person that is not grateful. They’ll retire you.
Omega Family Ministries, God has blessed us. No matter the economy of the forest, the lion cannot eat grass. Use this anger to vote against this wickedness. My wife, my children, myself, we’re fully Obidient. Fully, 100 per cent. We’re not one of those who make noise on the social media. We work at the background, we support.
If you like, vote something else. You see me, I hardly stay in the country. I hardly stay in Nigeria. In a whole year I can stay 80 days or 60 days. I’ll be going and coming and I’ll be looking at you if you go and vote nonsense – if you vote insecurity, tribalism, bigotry, ethnicity – if that’s what you’re going to vote.
Listen to me, as I say this – you know I don’t talk like that, but I’m telling you the truth – my wife is here, me, I’m here, I will never – I have friends across the divide – they’re there, they’re my friends. But most of them are supporting because of what they want to get. They know who they’re supporting is bad. They know, but it’s because of what they want to get.
For you to support a man and you’ve nothing to gain, it shows that you’re honest, because it’s about the country. Somebody sent me a message – Apostle, I’m waiting for your candidate to fail so I can call you out. And I told him and said – una no dey tire? You want to call me out, so what will that do to me. You think me, the big men or some of the celebrities who are supporting Peter Obi, you think we’re supporting because we don’t have anything to do? We’re supporting because of the masses. that’s the truth. Win or don’t win, it doesn’t reduce us. We’re supporting because of the masses, so no matter win or lose, it doesn’t reduce us. They’re some of us that can never come down. It’s too late. No matter what you do, we can never come down.
I’m saying this because I know – my father is here, he’s having his reservations somehow – I know he said remove mouth from politics. I’m not talking politics. You’re my people and I should tell you. Me, I’m voting Peter Obi. My wife, peter Obi; my pastors, Peter Obi; those that love me, Peter Obi. If you’re not tired, continue. No money anywhere now, do you want to continue like this? All of them are part of the people that destroyed the country. The one that has not destroyed the country is the one we’ll support. This is how I see life. All these things I said now, I heard it from a mad man!
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Understanding Benjamin Kalu and the new burden on his shoulder
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.
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,
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
February 21, 2024 7:50 am
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