Nigeria is gradually turning into one very huge amusement park. Ibori yesterday, Ibori today, Ibori tomorrow? Is that really the problem of Nigeria as things stand now? Why this unabated sensational fixation about just one man who left office as a state governor over 13 years ago?
More amusing is the international angle to this whole corruption saga made more profound by the obvious vested interest by the imperial powers as if Ibori having been done with looting all the nairas and kobos in Nigeria, sojourned to Britain to empty all the pounds sterling from the vault of the Bank of England. The curious question one needs to ask the imperialists and their Nigerian conspirators is ; granted but not necessarily conceding that Ibori looted money while serving as Governor, is he the only Nigerian whose loot is tucked away in the U.K? While this ceaselessly fanfare and musing about Ibori by the British Government. Must British spend eternity investing their time and resources demonizing only one man over a non-existent money laundering case which they can not firmly established and which they have vainly struggle to track all in a bid to vilify him?
Are there not other corrupt former or serving public officeholders in Nigeria known to the British? Why this continued hunting and taunting of just one man who has been taking through the crucibles after been hoodwinked and arm-twisted to own up to an offense that was never proven against him.? What truly is British interest in Ibori when they can not face and deal with the royal crisis bedeviling its imperial monarchy ?
By now, having been done with the Ibori case in 2016, we ought to have been inundated with several other cases of other Nigerians who are known to have stashed away public funds in the U.K but the imperialists will have known of that. It must always be Ibori for Britain to prove to the whole world that they are helping the Nigerian government to fight corruption when indeed corruption have become the daily signatures of the current Nigerian government and curious enough, the imperialists know this.
This is the height of hypocrisy and yet-to-be-explained vendetta against a man who have chosen to maintain sanctimonious quietness and aloofness sin his return from the U.K
IBORI WAS A MAN OF MEANS BEFORE HE BECAME GOVERNOR IN 1999
Contrary the very deceptive impression of rag to riches after becoming Governor being peddled by the imperialists and their co-conspirators against Ibori, it is incontrovertible to note that because of the nature of our politics, you must be very rich to Venture into gubernatorial or any other contest in Nigeria. Simply put, you need to be a billionaire to fund a gubernatorial campaign. And it is on record that Ibori not only singlehandedly sponsored his governorship but equally massively funded the campaigns of 3 senatorial candidates, 29 House of Assembly candidates and 10 House of Representatives candidates of his party PDP in 1999. The records are there to verify.
Recall also that Ibori vied for the House of Representatives seat in 1992 under the banner of the NRC. That shows that he was already a man of means as at 1992. He was already a very successful businessman with businesses raking in millions of Dollars annually before he joined the race for Delta governorship in 1998. One of his companies, MER Engineering was confirmed to have made an annual profit in excess of $7million in just one year before 1999 when he assumed office as Governor. That was beside other business outfits like the then Diet Newspapers which later metamorphosed into Independent Newspapers and others, as well as his job as a consultant to the Federal Government of Nigeria prior to his ascension to Delta governorship . He was known to have acquired several properties in different parts of the world including the U.K as a very wealthy businessman before 1999.
DELTA DEVELOPMENT UNDER IBORI AND THE MATHEMATICS OF THE IBORI LOOT
Sentiment rather than objectivity appears to have taken a better part of the heads of some people over this Ibori endless corruption saga. For 8 years he ran Delta with a serious sense of vision as exemplified in his landmarks projects yet to be surpassed by any state government in Nigeria. To his credit as Governor are
1. 3 full-fledged Polytechnics in Otefe-Oghara, Ozoro and Ogwashuku
2. 1 Full-fledged College of Education at Mosogar
3. Delta State University Teaching Hospital, Oghara
4. Massive Expansion of the Delta State University across the 3 campuses of Abraka, Anwai and Oleh
5. Over 12 Standard stadia in Warri, Sapele, Ughelli, Agbor, Oghara etc.
6. Rural Electrification in over 100 villages
7. 3 bridges of monument in Bomadi, Omadino and Ase
8. Massive renovation of primary and secondary schools across all parts of Delta state
9. Massive recruitment Into and computerisation of the state civil service etc.
I can go on and on
All these and others that couldn’t be mentioned here for want of time are huge monumental projects that gulped several billions and when measured against accrued revenue for the period under review, one begins to wonder where Delta got the hundreds of millions of dollars that Ibori looted.
And again, if ibori with all the above highlighted developmental credentials yet to be equaled by any state Governor in Nigeria from 1999 till date, can be so demonized as a thief, I make bold to say that all former and serving Governors are all bigger thieves who must be properly investigated, prosecuted and jailed. That way, justice would be seen to have been fairly served. That is the crux of matter
While it should be firmly expressed that no one who means well for us as a country should push for the condonation of corruption and any other forms of illicit practice in public office , we should nevertheless be cautious enough to see the political bent to this whole Ibori corruption miasma which is meant to fully uproot him politically.
From the time Ibori birthed the RESOURCE CONTROL struggle post 1999, a loud voice against the oppressors and The inheritors of the Niger-Delta oil wealth, his political life has never been the same again. From the ex-convict saga concocted to dent and deny him re-election, to this fine-tuned money laundering debacle. Even many believed the concocted ex-convict thing even when facts showed that Ibori was a man of huge means as at 1995 and could not have stooped so low to steal roofing sheets as at 1995.
A man who contested for House of Representatives seat in 1992 and again contested for governorship under GDM in 1996 and a Gold card holder of Citibank for that matter could not have been involved in pettiness of stealing roofing sheets.
But yet so many then swallowed the story line, hook and sinker when it broke. The gullibility of Nigerians is no doubt legendary.
And now the near eternal and never-ending, tempestuous hunting over money laundering after all the crucibles he has been taken through, as if he is the only former public officeholder that has so far been charged for corruption in this country.
It does appear that there are just so many within the power circus who hate Ibori for simply being a Deltan and a Nigerian. They should well be frank enough to tell him to have a change of nationality so that the man can have some reprieve.
Isaac Daka Boro and Ken Saro-Wiwa of blessed memories fought the Niger-Delta course and were consumed by the raging inferno of the Inheritors. Government Ekpemupolo (Tompolo) raised his hot against the oppression of the Niger-Delta and he got the gunboat treatment and his entire community was raised down in minutes. Today, Tompolo cannot walk freely as a bona fide Nigerian with rights and privileges. Ibori on his own has continued to suffer eternal torments from the conspirators since he dared to raise a standard against them. Is it not appearing to us that to be from the minority is to be very unfortunate as a Nigerian? What a very sad reality!!
May God who knows that all have sin and have fallen short of His glory help Chief James Onanefe Ibori
And may the same God in His infinite mercies deliver Niger-Delta from it The inheritors
Comr. James Ufuomanefe-Isiosio
wrote from Oghara.