When I first heard and read about the threat by ex-Abia State governor, Senator T.A. Orji, to sue Dr. Alex Otti for accusing him of invading the INEC office in Umuahia and holding the top electoral officials hostage during the 2015 gubernatorial election, my first reaction was to say to myself, what a hypocrite and what an empty threat! Later when I read the recent senile vituperations of the likes of Mr. Obed Asiegbu, the liaison officer to the senator, and Mr. Ememanka, another empty vessel and ignorant mouthpiece for the governor, in their published responses to Mr. Ferdinand Ekeoma’s rejoinder on behalf of Otti, I couldn’t help but wonder from what intellectual garbage bin these guys were picked up.
I make bold to say, Shame on Senator T.A. Orji if he fails to sue Dr. Otti as he has threatened to do. I am well aware the senator is not ignorant of the fact that a lawsuit against Otti, the perceived merits notwithstanding, will be like opening a Pandora’s box with unexpected revelations and unintended consequences, not to mention the court testimony of the likes of Mr. Olisa Metuh, who is reported to have since apologised to Otti for his involvement and participation in the said ignominious INEC invasion. Anyone who bothered to read Messrs. Asiegbu and Ememanka’s fictions of imagination must have noticed there was no mention of the threat by Orji, instead they went into their bag of insults and abuses to cast aspersions and to question the integrity of Otti. Asiegbu himself decided to lecture us on the legal definition or interpretation of the word “crime”, using high-sounding words and phrases with obvious disconnect out of context with the message he was trying to convey. Let us examine one of such sentences. Take for instance the sentence, “24 carat idiocy with first class honors.” Now, we all know that the word “carat” is a term usually associated with jewelry such as gold or diamonds. For Asiegbu to associate the term “24 carat” with the word “idiocy” is in itself an act of idiocy because the words bear no relationship with each other. Asiegbu may be right in his legal interpretation of the word “crime”, which Otti obviously did not use, but let us put aside all the semantics, it is very evident that Otti, in his speech at his declaration rally, referred to the senator committing “an act of criminality,” which in legal parlance is defined as “an act or action having the character of a crime.” But be that as it may, nothing Asiegbu wrote invalidates the fact that Orji and his invading army of election riggers did invade the INEC office and forced the electoral official in charge to reverse his decision to cancel the adulterated and forged results from Ossissioma, Obingwa and Isiala Ngwa North local government areas. There is also the incontrovertible truth that the election figures from each of those local government areas far exceeded the number of accredited voters or those certified by the card reader to vote.
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Despite the revisionist attempts by Asiegbu and all his fertility of conjecture to rewrite history, the Abia people do not need evidence of a crime. What really matters here is “intent.” What was the intention of T.A. Orji when he, Metuh and others invaded the INEC office? Was their intention simply to remind the supervisory electoral official of the limitations to his power to cancel electoral results, as he claimed, or was it purely to protect and cover up the rigging or falsification of results they had already perpetrated in the aforementioned three LGAs?
It is always fun watching someone lie repeatedly when you already know the truth. The Abia people are very much aware of what happened in 2015. They know their victory was stolen despite every attempt by the likes of Asiegbu to not only attack the truth but to annihilate it. Simply put, despite their best efforts to muddle the truth, these guys are not the sharpest tools in the political toolbox, despite their perverse genius.
In the legal profession, there is something called “consciousness of guilt.” It has become very obvious that, by constantly hyping this issue or the empty threat of a court suit, Orji is not only conscious of his guilt with regard to the role he played in the 2015 elections but is bothered by the general perception that Okezie Ikpeazu’s victory, including his as senator, were illegitimate. I also want to believe that the empty threat to sue Otti is just an attempt to distract and deflate. The fact that Metuh, his fellow co-conspirator in the INEC office invasion, is reported to have apologised to Otti personally with regard to his involvement in that act of ignominy must have been of immense concern to the senator in terms of shrinking his wiggle room for plausible deniability of what happened in 2015 and his role in it, not to mention the recent revelations by one Mr. Don Norman Obinna of him being a benefactor of the corruption and misappropriation of state funds during his reign and since the inception of the Ikpeazu administration. Even though I cannot attest to the truthfulness of the said allegations as I do not have access to any privileged document or information regarding the allegations, one would think Asiegbu and the senator would be striving or working hard to refute those allegations by Norman or threatening to sue him; instead, they are expending their energy threatening Otti.
It was laughable to read the comment by Asiegbu in which he accused Ekeoma, (Dr. Otti’s media assistant) of lying for his paymaster. This is more like the kettle calling the pot black, which makes me wonder who pays Asiegbu’s monthly salary, if not his paymaster, Orji. Maybe he wants us to believe his salary falls down to him in the form of naira bills like manna from heaven.
I guess that is the kind of hypocritical comment one should expect from sycophants without shame or integrity. With regard to Ememanka, the Senior Special Assistant on e-Governance to the Governor, whatever that means, who found nothing better to do than to join Asiegbu in his campaign of lies and calumny against Otti, with his own version of alternative reality, I can now understand why the governor did not consider him intellectually worthy of a top government position other than just a lowly assistant for sycophancy. To think that this same man wants to run for election as a member of the Federal House of Representatives is proof of how far we have come to sacrifice integrity and excellence on the altar of mediocrity. I will suggest that Ememanka makes better use of his time explaining to the Abia people the difference between “core” and “minor” civil servants or the rationale behind the setting up of a seven-man committee to recommend the modalities for paying elementary and secondary school teachers who have not received their salaries since January. Which begs the question: what happened to the long existing or standing modalities for payment?
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Since I am in the mood to offer unsolicited advice, I would urge Asiegbu to take some time and make enquiries about the fate of one Mr. Madubuko Hart, a one-time Orji sycophant during his stint as governor. After Orji’s exit as governor, Hart suddenly disappeared, not to be heard from again. Today, Hart is a forgotten man used by the senator and dumped after his services were no longer required. That is the fate that awaits Asiegbu, who I see as a man who does not seriously contemplate a worthy future and whose only thought is to slip through the responsibilities of life lying for someone else. I guess there is something about dishing out abuses and lying that excites human species like him and Ememanka. I believe also that, as history informs us, people like Asiegbu end up as nonentities, unheralded, shamed and eventually irrelevant in the course of human history or Abia politics.
As the Ikpeazu administration and Orji’s senatorial position stumble towards the exit door of failure and ignominy come 2019, people like Asiegbu and Ememanka have a choice and it will not be between saints and demons or between salvation and damnation as Wole Soyinka would say. No, it will be between the devil and the deep blue sea and either way they are screwed, hence neither choice guarantees safety despite the chance to use the proverbial long spoon while dining with the Devil or surviving in the blue sea, however, deceptively placid, hence the best swimmer drowns.
I will conclude this write-up with this simple advice my former boss, the late Ikemba Nnewi, Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, once gave me. He said, “whatever work you do, do it well. Not for your boss but for yourself. You make the job, it doesn’t make you. You are not the work you do, you are the person you are.” The reality is that, there is no future in sycophancy and mendacity. That said, Otti, as he publicly intimated, will be waiting for Orji’s lawsuit, if it ever comes. Talk is cheap.