Francis Waive: The Ekpoma Experience

By Efe Otavboruo

Since the publication of our call on Revd Francis Ejiroghene Waive to contest the 2019 elections into the House of Representatives (Ughelli North/Ughelli South Udu Federal constituency), many people have asked me what we see in this Clergyman that we want to drag him from the pulpit into the murky waters of politics. Those who were at Ekpoma when Waive campaigned won and served as President of the Students Union however understand our position. He is fearless, very organized and people oriented.

What drew most of us to him was his oratory ability and infectious humility. Just to hear him speak was a pleasure. My God, this guy can speak the English Language; with simplicity, style and a convincing passion. I can’t wait to see him roll in the chambers of the National Assembly. I wonder why it has taken him this long to go into politics.

And his leadership ability is more astute than any I have ever seen. I will never forget the encounter we had on the Benin Auchi road with Soldiers during one of our ‘Aluta’ actions. There was no water on campus and the school authorities were rather indifferent to the plight of students. Congress was called and a decision was taken to go to Government House Benin emasse. General Babangida was Military President. It was at Ehor where hundreds of soldiers met us with tanks and all kinds of ammunition. All our singing came to an end and there was a wide gap between us and the soldiers on the road. I watched as Rev Waive spoke and asked us to wait while he approached the soldiers. I feared for his life. After some talk with them he came back and told us that the soldiers will escort us into Benin City. And we went wild! “How many people solder go kill oh! How many people solider go kill! Ehh them go kill us tire! Ehh them go kill us tire!

When we arrived Government House, Rev Waive refused the entreaties of a government official who came to ask him and only a select few go in and talk with the Governor. Students were thrilled when the Governor eventually came out and addressed us. Before we got back to Ekpoma several Tankers were already delivering water on Campus. The Governor kept his word Rev Waive was our hero! We all went to Government House together and came back together. He had no private audience with the Governor. The next day he addressed a Press Conference disassociating our students from the looting that took place recalling that miscreants took advantage of the situation. He prayed that those who suffered losses will consider it a sacrifice for the future and that the good Lord replenish them.

In all his doings, this man is transparently honest, fair, just and very compassionate. He has a way of carrying everyone along it is people like this that we should vote into power in this country. I will work for him for free any day he begins his campaign. Rev Waive, please don’t keep us waiting! What you did at Ekpoma you can do for Nigeria.


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