Emperor-General Nyesom Wike
Let me state urgently that I did not mean to dwell on this subject today. And now that I am dwelling on it, I won’t beat about the bush. But let me persuade myself to persuade you that the full-page report of the “Issues Behind Demolition of Hotels In Rivers As Wanted PDP Youth Leader Speaks” published on page 29 of this paper on Sunday, May 17, 2020 has compelled me, primarily, to utter the words I am uttering in this column now. There is a secondary reason which is not unconnected with an advertorial published on page 19 of another Lagos-based newspaper of Monday, May 18, 2020. The advertorial was supposedly issued in defence of the ruthless demolisher of hotels in Rivers State of our peculiar demos.
In any case, I will not address the specious defence in the said advertorial which clearly did not (and will never help) the case the demolisher’s demurrer – I hope I am not off the mark – put out. After all I am not a local or regional or central, that is, national politician, who is interested in de-mounting or de-mystifying the merciless attacker and demolisher of the law of fair-hearing enshrined in our country’s constitution. Of course, he is Rivers State Supreme power who always exercises arbitrary authority and who is not accountable to the Parliament of Rivers State and to the constitution of the land. I have no doubt whatsoever in my mind that sooner or later we will hear from his imperial lips these powerful words: “I am Rivers State. Rivers State is mine. I own the state.”
It would not be rash for the magistracy of this column to speculate that in a not distant date several historians of Rivers State and perhaps of our democratic shenanigan will shend his reputation as a bright Emperor-General in whose ‘charismatic’ mind or spirit no democratic macula was ever seen or found. Phew! I am building castles in Spain!
But how can we say that a governor who debased or reviled his imperial office by personally supervising the “demolition of two hotels in Eleme” and Onne respectively on allegations that were never investigated or proved beyond reasonable doubt is free of democratic and magisterial maculations? Emperors Samuel Ioraer Ortom of Benue State and Benedict Bengioushuye Ayade of Cross River State respectively must be counting their blessings that the force of their imperial powers is still inscrutable to us outside their boundaries. But I doubt that they or the other Emperors elsewhere can over-take the one and only till date Nigeria’s Emperor-General called Nyesom Ezenwo Wike. Several reports of the brutal powers of the two mentioned marvellous personages have reached this column, but I call them mere allegations which I cannot act on until their best and proper time. This column’s magisterial officiousness does not and will not embark on any act or action of blame. But this is a warning to all the imperial lords to use their power well as well as a warning to all of them to realize that their hold on power is tenuous, as any person’s, in reality, is.
Now let me place the Emperor-General’s words against the accused for the education of readers:
“We acted against the hoteliers because, apart from using the facility to jeopardize the lives of our citizens in violation of the extant law, the owner audaciously unleashed thugs led by the Eleme Local Government Youth Leader of the Peoples Democratic Party and inflicted severe injuries on our task force members who went to enforce the law against the continued operation of the hotel.’’
“As we speak, nobody knows the fate of the lives of most of the victims of that brazen and deadly attack given the severity of the head injuries they sustained. And so, we’ve done no wrong as all our actions were taken in good faith and justified by, under and within the purview of the Executive Orders, which have neither been challenged nor set aside by any competent court of law.”
Now, let’s quote a principal accused, Mr. Prince will Osarojiji, the “wanted PDP Youth Leader in Eleme,’’ also verbatim:
“What happened was that, some persons were in front of the hotel and when COVID-19 task force members saw them, they went there and demanded N100,000 from the management, alleging that they were operating. And because of that, the hotel manager called me and when I arrived at the hotel, the gate of the hotel was closed and fortunately I know all the task force people making such demand because I gave them the job.
“So, I asked them why they will be denting the image of the state government by demanding money from citizens. I ordered them to leave the hotel.”
What the owner of the hotel said was pathetically moving. The Guardian correspondent paraphrased him well as he equally paraphrased Government House sources. What is clear to my mind is that the Rivers State “Supremo” erred in not tarrying before unleashing his brutal anger on the hotels. A local saying goes thus: “The monarch does not get annoyed to the extent of destroying his beads.” Furthermore, in Warri, my dear city of wealth that is wealth, we admire two people: a beautiful woman who does not flirt, and a strong man who does not fight. Rivers State’s Emperor-General believed the stories and “lies” he was told and he reacted as he did – wrongly I say without qualms. He went into a fight he should not have gone into. By the way, Mr. Osarojiji has ‘’challenged the governor to disclose the name of the task force member that died as a result of the fight at Prodest Hotel.” And how now will the Emperor-General react to the bribery allegation against the task force members whom the PDP Youth Leader claimed to give the task force job? All of them were clearly his pals. He must have known them better than anybody from Government House, the imperial palace of the Emperor-General.
There are other issues that this non-judicial detector of a magisterial mind would like to raise, but he won’t raise them. He is not the accused persons’ Senior Advocate. Neither is he the Emperor-General’s antagonist. All the accused persons should make peace with their supreme accuser, their supreme sheriff, their supreme judge, the Emperor-General. After all, they are all members of the same party where loyalty counts little or not at all and where dogs of opportunism eat dogs of opportunism, which is the true nature of Rivers politics. Did the Emperor-General not once-upon-a-time fight his immediate predecessor, master and mentor Governor Rotimi Amaechi to finish? And did Rotimi Amaechi himself not fight his political props and mentors to the point of no return in the distant past that is not too distant? Then I styled everything Rivers State demo-quarrel state.
Well, well, well….. na mouth dey scratch me. But the Emperor-General must make amends. He must appease his boys and loyalists. But e nor go hear; e nor go gree. Abi nor be Emperor-General e be? But he and the bruised chaps, especially the traumatic owners of the demolished hotels who did not have the chance and luck to state their cases to the demolisher, seriously need to share well-cooked pasta, Rivers style, chewed with periwinkles. Ultimately, over-climbers and mis-climbers stumble badly. And today lasts not forever – even for an Emperor-General! O dear! How the great personage is in great love with his new appellation: the Emperor-General of Rivers, which he has been justifying.
Afejuku can be reached via 08055213059.
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