Good day Prof,
My name is Ede Ogaba Ede. You might not know me personally but as someone from the same village as you, there’s no doubt that our paths must have crossed several times before. You know in Agila, where we come from, almost everyone knows the other person.
Though the Chief Press Secretary to the Benue State Deputy Governor, Engr Benson Abounu, I write this letter to you not in that capacity but as your junior brother; a fellow Agila man, deeply concerned about certain developments that concern us both.
I write in respect of the needless and futile war, you have been waging against Governor Samuel Ortom, your campaign of deceit and the need for you to have a rethink. While I do not quarrel with your right to criticise him or any other person, your daily epistles of hatred and insults against the governor, the outright tergiversations in your writings, the false portrayal of yourself and your sanctimonious approach has become an obsession taken too far.
Paradoxically, your criticisms, aim primarily at belittling and scandalising the person of the governor as they come without any offer of alternate solutions. In the circumstance, such criticisms cannot be said to be constructive, and shouldn’t therefore come from a person with the education you have.
Though you have tried to explain why you; a supposedly busy professor in a university in faraway Iowa, USA would mount a 24-hour satellite to be observing and criticising every single action of Governor Samuel Ortom in Benue State, facts on the ground does not support your assertion that you do so out of empathy for the poor in the state, who you say have no voice.
What we have is a classic case of grandstanding. You want to be seen as speaking for “the people”. It appeals to your ego to be seen as representing them; hence, you call your endless criticisms of Governor Ortom as your “patriotic duty to Benue and its people”. At the slightest opportunity, you haul insults at the governor in the illusion that you are taking on him on behalf of the people.
However, the truth is that you neither represent the people nor speak for them. You only speak for yourself and certain vested interest groups. This, I shall expose later.
Without any fear of equivocation, let me state from the onset that your denigration of Governor Ortom has nothing to do with what you call his “sadistic leadership” or his “governing Benue so horribly and so disastrously”. Rather, it flows from the bile of deep-seated grudge you bear against him.
Do a check: for over two years now, you have been on this journey of vilification of Samuel Ortom. There’s nothing more you have not written against him and no name you have not called him. You said he is a “do-nothing governor” whose “atrocious leadership constitutes a danger to the state”. You have used words such as soulless, greedy, sadistic, horrible, and mendacious to describe the administration, and also accused him of wickedness, insensitivity, myopia, and ruination of Benue State.
Clearly, if you had your way, Governor Ortom wouldn’t have been anywhere near Government House today. However, contrary to your expectations and those of your APC backers, the Benue people in a resounding manner, renewed the mandate they first gave him in 2015. That clear statement by the Benue people notwithstanding, you have continued on your daily deprecation of everything done by Governor Ortom and his administration.
I know that the APC social media apparatchiks are clapping and urging you to continue on this voyage down the precipice. However, such people do not wish you well. Turning yourself into a small-time, straitjacketed Facebook professor with writings that are fuelled not by reasons but by emotions does no credit to your standing as an intellectual.
Those clapping for you take you as one of their own. That is why one of them, Steve Korayom Jnr called you, the “garrison Commander in words and letters”. On his part, the state Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), James Ornguga, enthralled that you were dutifully doing his job for him as the spokesman of the opposition in the state nominated you for Benue Social Media Award 2019; as “striker of the Benue Valley”, whatever that means. His predecessor, Alfred Berger Emberga supercharged you in both English and Tiv thus; “Okpani Pita Agbese, pepper them. Mna wan ke shoja ga” while Aoraan Festus, a young man, who was so happy that you are attacking the governor exclaimed, “Chei the Pen lord, Prof. Pita Agbese has served my former oga a breakfast”.
Well, these young men were very excited that you are living out their fantasies and doing the dirty job of sullying the hard-earned reputation of people in their bad books. They call you garrison commander, and you smile, but tell me, sir, how many professors do what you are doing today? Deprecating anyone is not something to regale in and be proud of, rather, it is an act of utter shame, and you shouldn’t be involved in such oddities.
Let me now unveil the authentic reason for your endless attacks on the person of the governor. Though you have masterfully deceived everyone including the APC social media apparatchiks and their sponsors into thinking that your opposition to the governor flows from your disapproval of his policies, you failed, most lugubriously to deceive me and those of us from Agila. We know as of fact that your bitterness against him is more deep-seated, and that it has nothing to do with the issues you commonly flaunt as reasons for your vitriolic outbursts.
It is a fact, Prof that you have grudges with Chief Mike Okibe Onoja, a distinguished Agila son, who you wrongly accuse of masterminding the so-called destruction of your ancestral home in Agila, and its takeover for the construction of the Otse’Agila palace.
It is also, a fact that you demonstrated your anger for him by taking to the social media, wherein you railed insults at him, falsified history, and told many lies against him. The fact of your intense hatred for him stems from his principled stand against the glorification of a discredited artificial social dichotomy that has balkanised the Agila community and brought us nothing but scorn, shame, underdevelopment, and ignominy.
After that infantile and embarrassing display of spuriousness, you took your quarrel with Chief Onoja to the next level when on 31st December 2018; you came out with a piece, “Oracle, the King of Money, and the epic break-up”. In the write-up, which appeared on your Facebook page, and which I urge everyone reading this letter to open to and read; you spoke condescendingly of Chief Onoja, who you called “the king of money”. You also spoke of Governor Samuel Ortom, who you referred to as “Jacob Oracle” and then in your diagnostic juvenile manner invented a story, which indeed is the real story of your anger against the governor and everything concerning his administration.
It is an undeniable fact that your wrath against the governor comes from your opposition to the enactment of the Benue State Council of Chiefs and Traditional Council Law, 2016, which according to you “completely changed the social order in Benue” and “eliminated hereditary as a prerequisite for the various kingships” in the state.
You see yourself as a bastion of royalty, a blue-blooded prince, who should not spare any resources in defending royalty in the land. You mistake Benue State for Agila, where, in the lusciousness and tang of the moment, people like you, infatuated by the privileges extended to your forebears think it is your birth-right to perpetually lord it over others. People like Chief Onoja and several others who break through the barriers of limitation imposed on them, you hate and try to pull down.
It is depressing that someone with your education, who prides himself as an academic that has ”won several awards as a teacher and as a researcher” has failed to realise the simple fact that royalty consists not in vain pomp and sentimental attachment to a past that might have been murky but in great virtues, achievements and grace of character. Royalty is not in
what your parents were but what you are.
You put on the air of a progressive, someone genuinely troubled by the lack of development in Benue State. Consequently, you make a lot of noise about what you call Governor Ortom’s non-performance and you lampoon him from all sides. However, when you remove the veneer of deceit, what we see in you is a man that doesn’t care a hoot about the term, development.
You accuse Governor Ortom of abysmal failure, yet you cannot in all honesty beat your chest and point out any area of life where you have achieved success. Teaching abroad and making no impact at home translates to a wasted opportunity.
Is it not true, and very shameful indeed that in all your years in America, you have been unable to put up a building at home; not even a thatched hut? Is it not true that any time you come home, someone has to vacate his room for you to stay?
You have made no useful contributions to the development of Agila. Your only contribution is to transmute into a royal agitator and bigot, moving around inflaming passion and rejuvenating the dying fault-lines of the artificial social dichotomy in Agila and other parts of Ado local government area.
This obsession for special treatment for those you feel are the only people entitled to kingship in Benue State and your anger over the enactment of the chieftaincy law is what has snowballed into your daily epistles of condemnation of Governor Samuel Ortom.
TO BE CONCLUDED