•He had magical charms –Ex-aide
•Why residents celebrated his killing
•Singer, 2Shine, plagiarises song to praise him
•We’re sad to be linked to a criminal –Humblesmith
Years before he met his waterloo in Enugu State, Johnson Igwedibia, “Don Waney” had become a hate figure in Omoku in Ogba/ Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers State, not just because he didn’t hide the fact that he lived off crime, and always had a way of evading arrest. It was mainly because he saw Omoku, and its environs, including Aligwu Community where he hailed from, as killing fields.
They hated the fact that he didn’t have regard for human lives. A lady from a neighbouring state, who fled Omoku some years ago, complained that during cult clashes, cult members attack whoever they see and damage property. She said that her aunt was injured at her restaurant during a clash some years ago, adding that the attack forced her aunt and the husband to relocate to Port Harcourt.
The lady, who preferred to be anonymous, said: “I am not sure if they were forced to relocate from Omoku by Don Waney’s boys, but all I know is that there was a clash between the Icelanders and Greenlanders, which led to the death of some innocent persons.
I also know that for many years, Don Waney was the head of the Iceland cult.” His notoriety for summary execution of rival cult members, especially those from the Greenlanders during clashes, became very noticeable among observers of cult clashes in Rivers about six years ago, when he used the Icelanders to instill fear within and outside Omoku. One of his foot soldiers once boasted that he was immune to bullets, machetes and other deadly weapons, which was why Don Waney was “invincible during battles.”
He had magical charms, electric properties in his body- Ex-aide
The former protégé, who now works with the local vigilance group that was part of the team that raided Don Waney’s mansion last November, also said that the body of his former boss had some electric properties, which made it impossible to defeat him in physical combat. According to him, Don Waney possessed magical powers that helped him to detect danger.
He said: “He fortified himself in a way that nothing could penetrate him. He had a spiritualist/native doctor who prepared a charm that made his body to shock whoever that wants to physically harm him. And part of the requirement for this charm, which also made him invincible during battles, is human blood.
“There were some of his members who fled because of the way he shed blood for sacrifices. These were young men who had been trained as hard men, but who at some point could no longer withstand blood. They became afraid of the way they lived.”
He also said that he slipped away from the trail of security operatives when it was sure that he would be arrested because he had built up a system of “information gathering” that made it easy for him to gain useful intelligence. Saturday Telegraph investigations revealed that long before the authorities declared him the most wanted criminal in the state, he used to roam across four local government areas where members of his Iceland cult treated him as a guest. As the regional leader of the group in Abua/ Odua, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni, Ahoada East and Ahoada West local government areas, his movements across these council areas, which were like his playground, gave him an edge over his hunters.
According to residents of Omoku, which suffered most throughout Don Waney’s reign of terror, life after his killing is inspiring new possibilities. Some say that the cult clashes in the area have robbed off negatively in terms of development.
Indeed, it is a massive area that is surrounded by oil-bearing communities that host multinational oil companies. With infrastructure that is slightly above what obtains outside most state capitals, it remains a strong reminder of how oil can impact a community. Some oil workers who worked many years ago contributed in the town’s development by building standard structures along well mapped out streets.
By then, the disagreement among some oil companies and communities, which largely revolved around community development funds, employment quota, and rents had not resorted to factions among youth groups and the chiefs/ elders. By then, the use of cult groups to settle disputes was not in vogue.
When it finally came into fashion, those who initiated it as an option either ran away or were consumed. It is Omoku that you see beautiful structures that are not occupied because the owners could become a victim of cult violence. Some residents of Omoku still find it difficult to believe that Don Waney is no more.
Shortly after the news filtered in that he had been killed by security operatives in Enugu, some residents said they would only believe if they see his corpse. But that was not the case with Mela Claude Ake Foundation and Omoku Youth Federation, which celebrated his killing in some parts of Omoku.
Why residents celebrated his killing
Scores of residents trooped out of their homes to celebrate his death and subsequent parade of his corpse. The notorious militant was killed by a combined team of security agents made up of the Nigerian Army, police and Directorate of State (DSS) Service in his hideout in faraway Enugu and brought back to Rivers State where it was handed over to the state government. In a now viral amateur video shot during the parade of his mangled corpse, people put the gory state aside and celebrated his death without reservations.
“This one confirm am. Almighty Don Waney. Make your spirit get up now come dey kill people. Almighty Don Waney. Almighty Don Waney!!! So your juju dey fail, dem open your skull, open am wella. Idiot. So your juju no dey for your skull. Idiot na him you be, see you here. Dirty human being,” a woman can be heard saying in pure elation. Another man in the background could also be heard saying: “You wey dey terrorise people everywhere. Almighty Don Waney. Plenty people wey dis man don kill, dem fire dis man but e no gree die. Na him end be this now.”
Described as the vicious ringleader of a gang behind many kidnappings in Rivers State and beyond along with the deaths of many others, the notorious gang leader led a life of crime while seemingly living in luxury. After his death, which followed the killing of 23 people in Omoku, Rivers State, on New Year’s Eve for which he was fingered, his multi-million naira mansion has been demolished while other luxurious properties of his have been confiscated by the state government. Also reacting to the death and demolition of his property on a popular online platform, an anonymous user wrote: “Evil man.
He had his own family that he obviously cared for and loved yet he had the stomach to murder other people’s family at will”, while another who goes by the name, Abrahamid, had this to say: “He who killed by sword, will always die by the same. It’s natural not a curse.” Another known as Guru, said: “The issue is that these guys were government boys in cults in universities gone rogue. That’s simple, crime pays in Nigeria. Did he not apply for planning permission? Also, where did he get that wad of cash to build a house like that? Also, the weapons these guys are using are sophisticated and imported in by government at one time or the other. Don’t be deceived.”
The hunt for Don Waney intensified after he violated the terms of the amnesty the state government granted to him and other criminal elements in late 2016. The incessant clashes among cult groups in Omoku and the security threat cult members, kidnappers and armed robbers posed in the state had influenced the amnesty programme. Despite the state government’s warning against cultism, and threat to punish any cultist who failed to accept its amnesty programme,die hard criminals like Don Waney, who eventually accepted it later went back to crime.
The Special Adviser to Governor Nyesom Wike on Conflict Resolution, Chief Okori Abelekum, at a two-day workshop on mediation and community reconciliation organised by Conflict Management Alliance, RSCMA, and his office said the government had identified cultism as one of the major challenges responsible for unrest and clashes in communities in the state.
He said that the governor had invested so much to ensure that peace returned to every part of the state, and noted that the governor was ready to punish anyone that defies his efforts to bring lasting peace in all parts of the state. He said: “Governor Wike has initiated several peace initiatives such as the amnesty programme for ex-cultists and supported community reconciliation in conflict affected areas. I call on all youths and communities that have not embraced the amnesty programme to do so without delay because there cannot be development without peace.
“The state government will deal with any cult member who refuses to embrace the state government’s amnesty. Tell them to accept the amnesty and live in peace.” Abelekum said that the state government designed the conflict resolution seminar in order to enable it to develop a statewide conflict management plan for the state. It was around November 2017 that the authorities got tired of the game Don Wayne was playing. That was when the Nigerian Army raided his residence and recovered cache of arms and seven decomposed human skulls.
The spokesman for 6 Division of the Nigerian Army linked some killings in Rivers and Bayelsa states to this dreaded man. The spokesman listed weapons recovered from the camp as two AK 47 rifles, one General Purpose Machine Gun, 18 AK 47 magazines, three FN rifle magazines, 39 7.62mm Nato ammunition and 20 9mm ammunition. Others, he said, were 7.62 mm ammunition, five Icom and Mag hand-held radios, two 25kg bags of cannabis, nine pairs of military camouflage, 10 human skulls and several bones.
According to him, the raid was part of renewed strategy by the division to restore law and order in Omoku, which has been terrorised by criminals for long. “On Monday, we received a tip-off, and thereafter, troops raided the camp and shrines of a notorious militant, cultist, kidnapper and an ardent oil thief popularly known as Don Waney. “After about an hour of gun fight, our troops overpowered the criminal elements due to superior fire power that sent the criminals scampering for safety,” he said. Iliyasu said some of the alleged criminals, who sustained gunshot wounds escaped by jumping into Orashi River in the area.
“However, seven of the suspects including two ladies were arrested, while they attempted to escape in the encounter that occurred at about 2:35 a.m. on Monday. “It is believed that the main culprit, Don Waney, was not at the location during the encounter but concerted efforts are on to track, arrest and bring him to justice,” he had said. For more than a month after that raid, many felt that the cult leader was dead until New Year’s Day when worshippers that were returning from church service were killed.
Meanwhile, the state government has promised to work with the three arms of government to amend the state Anti- Kidnapping Law to proscribe death penalty for violent crimes. Governor Wike, who stated this noted that: “Rivers government has invested heavily on the security of the state and will continue to do everything within our powers to guarantee the security and safety of lives and properties. “As a fact, we will spare no cost in ensuring that nobody will have peace if the lives and properties of our people make no meaning to them.
“We reiterate our zero tolerance for all forms of criminality and reassure residents of our determination to be though with those who undermine peace and security in the state. “To underscore our seriousness to fight violent crime, we shall be amending the Anti Kidnapping Law to proscribe the maximum death sentence for engaging in cultism, robbery and kidnapping,” he said. Wike said the decision of the state government to offer amnesty to all repentant cultists, militants and criminals was done in good faith and in the best interest of the state.
He said the full weight of the law shall be discharged on anyone who failed to genuinely renounce all forms of criminality as stated in the terms of the amnesty deal. The governor said the state government would pay N20 million each to any individual who volunteers useful information that would lead to arrest and prosecution of 32 wanted criminals in the state.
“The aftermath of crime and insecurity affect society as a whole, and not only the direct victims that are affected. The duty to fight crime remains collective and no right thinking person should ever indulge in politicising security issues under any circumstances,” he warned. Wike directed security agencies to immediately arrest and prosecute 32 alleged criminals (names withheld) who he said had either reneged on the terms of the amnesty or refused to embrace it.
Singer, 2Shine, plagiarises song to praise Don Waney
He was very rich, in fact, richer than the king of his host territory with a sprawling mansion built from the flesh and blood of innocents. From the nasty dirges his death drew, you could tell that he was a paradox, a ruthless criminal to some but the kindest benefactor to others. In his heydays as the enfant terrible of Omoku, Onelga community, Don Waney was praised to the high heavens in a mesmeric but unauthorised adaptation of Humblesmith’s hit song, Osinachi, by a local singer, 2Shine.
The two minutes and 51 seconds music video shot by Ocean Dreams Picture, spotlighted the stupendous wealth of the slain serial murderer and how he’d been of tremendous blessing to 2Shine. The lyrics of the song reads in part; Verse 1: “Many people don dey ask, na which God dey guide Don Waney Shey the God e do well o, Owu kwa chi nedu ya Don Waney life e don better, other people don dey envy God turned him life to favour, my brother man no cause for alarm Chorus Hey- Osinachi, ka inu kwa, Osina chukwu Don Waney Osina chukwu, Okwa chi nedu ya Eke nwe ohia, Don e pekele, Osinachi, Onelga General Osinachukwu o, Okwachinedu ya. Verse 2: Eke nwe ohia Sina chukwu, ogburu nmadu ejee nga sinachi Nmuo ka nmuo sinachi, Onelga Festus sina chukwu Now dey say the killing caused fight, Don Waney dey fight for people right, no be to come spoil Onelga Him come to make you dey smile, other people come dey bring head Come dey make the town dey spoil, Don Waney na our Freedom Fighter o, Make una listen to me By the grace of God him go restore peace By the grace of God Onelga go good Na em we dey pray for every day, make Onelga good o…”
We’re sad, says Humblesmith
Meanwhile, Humblesmith, the original owner of the song, Osinachi, has reacted through a member of his management, Kelly Williams, who said, “We were surprised that somebody would do something that stupid. It was really a big shock to me. Someone just sent it to me yesterday (Thursday, January 11).
Our PR manager is busy at the moment on a movie set, he’d be done on Monday, January 15, and we’d present it to him to do the needful because it was really disgusting. If somebody is paying money to you to do a song for him, why can’t you create your original content? Why would you use someone else’s creative work that’s generally accepted to celebrate a man of bad character?”
Child abuse: The silent epidemic
In Nigeria as is in many other African countries, a child is regarded as the property of the community. However, in recent times it appears the community is no longer able or willing to care for the well -being of their ‘property’ as every day children are being abused and broken. A slew of sexual predators keep emerging and are constantly launching attacks on the Nigerian child. BIWOM IKLAKI reports…
According to a report by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in 2015, one in four girls and one in 10 boys in Nigerian had experienced sexual violence before the age of 18. But that was in 2015, we are made to understand that the numbers are not so low any more.
According to Christianah Akindole, a Child Safety Advocate and Founder of the Christianah Faith Foundation, which is an organisation that creates awareness and educates people on Child Abuse; the numbers are much higher.
“My team and I started with awareness and prevention nine years ago, but here we are doing crises response. It has been hectic for my organisation in the past three months; maybe these abusers have decided to go on rampage this year,” she said.
She cited many cases of child sexual abuse that her organisation has been called to work with and each is more pathetic than the last.
“First a father has been abusing his four-year-old daughter since last year. The sad thing is that the mother of the child is aware but the pastor had begged her to forgive him, she didn’t report and the abuse continued.
It took an observant teacher to report the case. Unfortunately, the child already has STD. Thankfully, the man is in prison now,” she added.
The Christianah Fate Foundation is one of a handful of NGOs like Child Protection Network of Nigeria, Mirabel Centre and others that are devoted to educating and being the first responders in these situations of child abuse. They approach the education holistically by organising workshops where they educate the parents on prevention, signs of abuse in their children or wards and how to identify predators.
They also train teachers in schools and churches because sometimes, the children are more open with them. They empower the children that no one should touch their private parts and what to do if this happens; because the adults may not always be with them and when they are alone is when they are most vulnerable.
In a workshop held recently by the Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT) where issues of gender and sexual based violence were addressed, Director of the Directorate of Citizens’ Rights, Ministry of Justice, Mrs. Clara Ibirogba, who spoke about genderbased violence, child abuse as well as sexual assault, said all the issues are public health issues
“In Nigeria, there is a rise in cases of domestic violence and child abuse, not because there is an increase in the crime, but because more survivors are coming forward and there is more reporting (in the media) of such cases.” She explained some reasons for the reluctance of survivors to come forward as “associated stigma, confidentiality, privacy and fear of repercussions”.
The Deputy Superintendent of Police and former Police Public Relations Officer in Lagos State, Dolapo Badmus, who is a passionate advocate of the sexually abused, as is evident on her social media, was also a resource person. She took her lecture from the police angle.
She lamented the difficulty for survivors to report cases of violence and abuse because most of them are perpetrated by family members. In some cases, the survivors are coerced to pull back by things like cash, beverages and food items. Sometimes even parents of survivors tend to shield the perpetrators from the hand of the law because they do not want the family name to go to ruins.
So it is obvious that there are more cases out there than are reported even though the reported cases seem to be alarming lately. On best practices by the media, she cautioned on the need to report these cases with a sense of responsibility rather than seizing it as a chance to win awards.
Dr. Olive Ogedegbe, a Clinical Psychologist, spoke on the psychological aspect of Sexual Gender Based Violence which include but are not limited to emotional imbalance; in which case the child would be withdrawn, prone to violence, timid, low self-esteem and tend to internalise domestic violence as the best way to handle conflict. Mrs. Akindolie cited a teenage girl who was brought to her because she had slit her wrists attempting to commit suicide after going through harrowing experiences.
“The girl had suffered so much abuse and could no longer handle the physical and psychological trauma, she wanted to die.” On what may be responsible for the increase in cases of child abuse, Mrs. Akindolie opined: “Many parents don’t have time for children anymore due to economic demands and making ends meet. They delegate duties to relatives or domestic staff who often take advantage of the children.
“There was a case of a man who abused five children; three were his relatives. People are too unaware and trusting. It should not hurt to be a child.” Also, the trend of internet and pornography after watching these, predators would pounce on the children.
The five abused children said he showed them these videos before turning on them. Parents allowed their children to be too accessible. On the way forward, Mrs. Akindolie lamented that the job has been left for only NGOs. The government has not been too supportive except for Lagos State which is more pro-active in terms of enacting laws to fight the scourge.
Red Ants clear out ‘illegal invaders’ from Jo’burg properties
The Red Ants are a South African private security company specialising in clearing “illegal invaders” from properties. Two, sometimes three times a week, a convoy of trucks drives out of the gates of a sprawling farm in Gauteng province, carrying hundreds of men and led by “officers” armed with shotguns and handguns.
The company is rarely out of the headlines in South Africa and has been repeatedly accused of crimes ranging from theft to murder. It is fiercely criticised by human rights campaigners. But the attitude of the general public is more ambivalent – and the Red Ants themselves are fiercely loyal to each other and their employers. “We are a family. We look after each other … We have built a community,” says Johan Bosch, the farmer who founded and owns the company.
A lack of adequate housing is one of the most toxic legacies of the apartheid regime that governed South Africa for nearly 50 years. Families, migrant workers, students and homeless people pay middlemen for plots on wasteland around Pretoria and Johannesburg or in derelict buildings in the cities’ centres. Local authorities show little sympathy and say they have to enforce the law. Their chosen enforcers are the police and, to provide the manpower for evictions, the Red Ants.
Fattis Mansions was once a fashionable 1930s block of flats in the heart of the banking and legal district in Johannesburg. Wealthy, mainly white, residents fled Johannesburg’s centre during the late 1980s and early 1990s, leaving hundreds of buildings to be taken over by poor migrants from rural areas. Four hundred people shared three taps. There were no toilets or electricity. The city authorities have been clearing these “hijacked buildings” one at a time for years – often using the Red Ants.
The operation, involving 600 Red Ants, begins in the early morning, without warning. Wailing police sirens fill narrow streets. The Red Ants pour through an entrance, then proceed on rusting iron stairways and down filthy corridors. There is no resistance. The pushers, gang leaders and the rent extorters have gone. Rubbish, furniture, mattresses pile on the roadway outside.
The singing starts, low and purposeful, as the Red Ants work. Children are carried out, followed by distressed mothers clutching salvaged belongings in plastic bags. Most adults knew this would happen one day. For those too young to understand, the sky has fallen in.
Who are the men in the red overalls? They come from impoverished small former mining towns, from distant provincial villages in parched mountains, from Soweto, from hardscrabble neighbourhoods half hidden amid the urban sprawl of Johannesburg. Most are young.
Many are without basic educational qualifications. Some have criminal records. A few are former convicts. All are poor. They are paid the equivalent of $10 (£7.50) a day, plus some food. Many are squatters themselves.
One left neighbouring Mozambique to work on building sites but has struggled to find employment. “My wife said get a job … so I did,” he says, shrugging narrow shoulders. Another says he has siblings to feed and clothe and send to school: “No one likes doing this … But I go to church every Sunday and pray for my soul and I know my Lord is watching over me, even here.” All say they feel sorry for the squatters but “work is work”.
In charge are older men whose own life stories are intimately intertwined with the complex, troubled history of their nation. One fought in the 80s in the South African defence forces in cold war battles in Angola. Another, a former police officer from Soweto whose family was deeply involved in the struggle against apartheid, say his career ended when he denounced corruption. He says his work reminds him of his time in the police. He now suffers from chronic insomnia.
First you see the smoke, above the dry hills and the scattered corrugated iron homes. Then you hear the noise. If the operation is going well, it is that of a work site: hammers rhythmically striking metal, straining diesel engines, work songs, radios, and shouted orders. If the operation is going badly, the noise is of a battle: shattering glass, rocks striking plastic shields, stamping feet, shots, sirens and screamed abuse.
Sikhumbuzo Dlamini, a Red Ant leader, watches 650 men, equipped with crowbars and shields, and all dressed in identical red overalls and helmets, move through an illegal squatter camp on the ragged outskirts of Pretoria, the administrative capital of South Africa. “We always win. We have to win … we are on enemy territory. We are a long way from home,” Dlamini says.
One incident prompts a slew of new allegations. The Red Ants are hired to clear squatters from land where a shopping complex is due to be built in Lanesia, on the southern outskirts of Johannesburg. The operation starts in the early morning. But the squatters are ready and fight the Red Ants with machetes, rocks and staves.
The eviction stalls and the Red Ants withdraw. Two squatters lie on the ground. One is dying from head injuries, the other is dead. Under a tree, huddled in a plastic chair salvaged from her makeshift hut, a widow sobs. The violence prompts investigation by private security industry regulators. The Red Ants deny wrongdoing.
Red Ants are injured, sometimes even killed. Kervin Woods died when land invaders opened fire in Lenasia South. The Red Ants said community members stabbed him, some using screwdrivers, after he fell to the ground. Preparations were made to set fire to his body when Red Ants started shooting, dispersing the crowd.
Woods’s funeral takes place in Soweto. The dead man’s aunt weeps, comforted by a handful of family members and neighbours. But this is primarily a Red Ants funeral. Senior leaders salute the coffin and deliver short eulogies before the rank and file sing hymns as the coffin is closed. Then, as a guard of honour, they follow a hearse to a cemetery where they sing as each takes a turn with a shovel to pour dry soil into the grave.
Handguns and shotguns are fired into the air in a final salute before the Red Ants return to their buses and their base for a memorial meal. Within days, they are out on another clearance operation.
South Africa is a fractured land. It is optimistically known as the Rainbow Nation, a reference to the diversity of its communities. But in a rainbow, the colours remain separate. The most striking divide in South Africa is economic. The Red Ants are on the frontlines of a conflict between those with land and those without, the haves and the have-nots, the winners and the losers in one of the most unequal countries in the world. During their 12-hour days, they are on one side. But when their work is done, they return to the other.
•Courtesy: The Guardian
APC with Adams Oshiomole: A time Bomb
One need, no microscope to identify the serious crack on the political wall holding the All Progressives Congress (APC) together as a political party already caused by the outcome of the various concluded congresses of the party; but the singular issue that may finally seal the coffin of the party is if those forcefully pushing for the chairmanship of Adams Oshiomole the immediate past Governor of Edo State.
Oshiomole is a good man and very strict on principles no doubt about that, but his chairmanship of APC at this time is a time bomb.
Everybody is aware that those pushing for his candidature are not doing so for the general interest of the party but for their selfish interest haven felt under Oyegun, the outgoing chairman, that they were not given a free hand to manipulate the party to their wishes.
What these people seem not to realize is that APC is a conglomerate of varying interests and in order to for the party to succeed all the various interests must be harmonised and accomodated at every given time which is what Oyegun led National Working Committee were doing.
The time frame between now and the Party’s National Convention slated for june could be a golden opportunity for the party to make the necessary corrections that would save them.
APC is on the brinx of total collapse if care is not taken; if those pushing forward Oshomole are not curtailed or stopped completely. If the APC stakeholders, both the high and the low are correctly and currently feeling the mood and pulse of the members, maybe they would understand the situation and carefully avoid the “tsunami” that might hit the party should those pushing Oshiomole for chairmanship succeeds.
Majority of the members across the nation are aggrieved for one reason or the other and the outcome of the various congresses have excalated the greviance in the various quarters; the only thing that can save the situation is the choice of a chairman that would be open and accessible to all interest parties.
Who would be the next chairman of APC is the only miracle that can save the party. Its is not a hidden fact that a National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and his camp are the ones behind the candidature of Adams Oshiomole. This group has blackmailed President Muahmmadu Buhari into submitting to their demands and desires in controlling the Party as that is the only way they can support the Presidents re-election bid.
The President looking helpless seems to be agreeing with them. This group being beclouded by their selfish interest failed to accommodate the other interests in the party and this can only bring doom to the party even before the election. For APC to succeed, all various interests must be carried along in the choice of the next chairman.
Other groups feeling intimidated by the Tinubu camp with the President’s reluctant support are just silently waiting for the party and of cause President Buhari to make the mistake by installing Oshiomole then they will explode the bomb and bet me that would be the end of APC as a party.
Come to think of it, with the wealth of experience that Oshiomole has acquired over the years as a former governor, won’t it be better the President appoint him a minister in one of the serious ministries like Power or Labour or Transport, those areas that we have so much deficiencies to help rejig his administration. Instead of a mere Party Chairman won’t ‘Osho’ be better off serving this nation on a wider scope?
Pushing the Comrade into a toothless APC chairman is a monumental waste of a great human resources. He should be given the opportunity to serve Nigeria on a higher level.
Yes, he is one of the foundation pillars of the party, but should we use the palm oil meant to eat a full chicken to eat only the tiny legs? What the ruling party needs at this point is somebody who is completely neutral from the interest game going on in the Party.
Its a critical time for our dear APC and every effort should be made to avoid stepping on the landmines planted all around the party. The mood of Nigerians is not in the favour of the Party at all and crowning with excalated internal rangling would be suicidal. With the Comrade as chairman the party would be heading to the grave not even the gutters. Consensus must be reached to accomodate all the various interests at the National Convention. Somebody like Clement Ebri, a one time governor of the old Cross River should be looked at.
He has integrity, he is neutral; strong willed; experienced and above all efficient. He does not belong to any camp and he is a very good manager of people. With Somebody like Clement Ebri, every nerves in the party would be calmed because its sure every interest would be at ease.
Ebri will receive acceptance among all the stakeholders and members alike. He is a perfect gentle and a true leader. This is the kind of consensus candidature that APC should be pursuing at this juncture. Knowing very well that Comrade Oshiomole is being projected by the Tinubu camp, how would anybody expect the Saraki camp to accept him? What about the interest of the nPDP, how are they sure of their future in the Party?
And many other interests right down to the various states, local government areas and wards. I pray that the APC stakeholders would come to their senses and do the right thing to save the situation for some of us that look up to the party to bring a good change. I pray that APC won’t come from their record breaking achievement as the first party to take over power from an incumbent President to being the shortest ever lived political party in Africa. A stitch in time they say, saves nine.
I call on the President also to please think about the mistake that is about to happen and find a way of convincing the Asiwaju camp to realize the implications attached to the Oshiomole chairmanship. I believe they will see reason. Clement Ebri is very a very accommodating gentleman who will surely protect all the interests in the party in such a way that the party might survive and continue to shine. Let common sense prevail and may the change in leadership be a positive change to all members.
Long Live APC.
Dr Lawal, is of the APC North Central
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