Anytime I write and comment about the activities of APC, especially in Benue State, I do so not as an ordinary member; I do so as a foundation member of the party. I do so as one who spent hundred of thousands of Naira to mobilise photographers to capture passport pictures of thousands of our people who never had, as a condition for membership registration for the new party. I do so as one who spent a couple of millions of Naira to organise and mobilise our people, most especially from the Makurdi/Guma axis, to be part of the new party.
Anytime I complain, I do so because of the promises we gave Nigerians, our people. I do so because we were responsible for spreading the values of the party in our Constituency. I do so because I spent so much to buy hundreds of flags and brooms and mobilised our people to adorn the entirety of the Lafia to Makurdi road (starting from my village of Yelewata) with APC flags and broom when the ruling party (PDP) was still holding sway.
I complain easily because when I joined and helped to built APC, everybody around me, including my biggest benefactors like Suswam, Ortom and Abba Moro, and even my dear wife who was then a Personal Assistant to a PDP Minister, were all in PDP. Her job was on the line. But I believed that Nigeria was ripe for genuine change. That we have to depart from the old ways of impunity and anti democratic practices. That we have to upheld the time hallowed social values of justice and good conscience. I also spent about 2.5 million Naira to pick a nomination form for an election that I won. I gave so much to the party; the party gave me NONE rather than double suspensions and nefarious hijack of victory.
I complained terribly when Senator Akume started the foundation of the party on a cancerous foot by imposing a notorious fraudster called Abba Yaro as the State Chairman of the party and veiled it up with a sham in the form of a State Congress. That same combination never forgave me and worked assiduously for me to loose the House of Reps primaries I contested for. And when I won against all odds, they had to snatch it by force. They had to shoot down Rt Hon Emmanuel Jime for being astute and independent minded. They fabricated lies to cover up their fascist dispositions. They forged documents. They claimed elected candidates died. They perjured and held that governorship primaries were held in a lawn tennis court in Judges quarters. They moulded a cobweb of lies around them and trained other young people (supposed future leaders of Benue and Nigeria) on the art of lying, gossip, forgery, perjury and violence.
This is the culture they are bequeathing to my generation: dangerously fatal legacies. They have no democratic credentials. Ironically, they have always been statutory delegates to all conventions where the party enacted and ratified rules and electoral guidelines. Some of them have been in the Senate and even though they never sponsored Bills, they participated in ratifying the amendments to the Electoral Act. They never argued that these Laws, these guidelines and rules should contain their names in any of the clauses. They allowed all of us stick to the laws and rules while they selfishly set up the acts of their own minds as the grund norm.
When we complained, cynics were quick to say “Franc always want things to go his way”… “Jime feels he knows all” … Nobody is objective again because of selfishness, ignorance and hate. But it remains a truism that any evil unchecked grows. It has come back now to hunt all those who supported impunity in the past just because the never liked the faces of the victims. I heard Herman Hembe complaining; I heard and read a complain from Emmanuel Yisa Orker Jev when he wrote:
“CRY, MY BELOVED BENUE
We built the Benue APC with SWEAT, TEARS and BLOOD. Some gave their LIVES. But this is not what we bargained for!”
I read about the lamentations of Abua Crucial Yajir when he wrote:
“TWO PM NOW AND STILL AWAITING THE RETURN OF OFFICIALS.THIS PARTY BELONGS TO NO ONE BUT EVERYONE”
The moral of the story: Support impunity and it must come back to hunt you or your offspring.
I leave you all with the following words of Martin Niemöller (1892–1984)
“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”
We must kill IMPUNITY, otherwise called “Akumetocracy” or its Latin version “La Ortomatic” before it obliterate our democratic experience and render all of us comatose!
At Your Service,
Franc Fagah Utoo, Esq. LQC (Malaysia); LL.B (hons) (Newcastle, UK )