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OPINION

Bayelsa 2020: Who The Cap Might Not Fit

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Honourable Henry Seriake Dickson
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By Joshua Ebiegberi

On February 14, 2020, the only Valentine’s Day governor in Nigeria would bid farewell to the Creek Haven seat of power in Bayelsa State.

That day, the Honourable Henry Seriake Dickson would have completed eight remarkable years as governor of the most riverine and deltaic state in Nigeria known as the Glory of All Lands.

Without doubt, the towering figure commonly called the Countriman Governor would be leaving not only very big shoes for his successor but also an oversized bowler hat. Apart from his hugely successful and impactful developmental strides across the state, his oratorical prowess would also be difficult to match. 

The governor’s zeal and passion to change the narrative about the state has stood him out. Today, Bayelsa’s story is intertwined with that of a man who bestrode the state like a colossus; not only transforming it but equally changing the governance culture.

In every facet of the state, the Dickson imprint is indelible. The touch of the Ofurumapepe (the Great White Shark) can be felt even beyond the shores of the Jerusalem of the Ijaw Nation.

On November 16, 2019, Dickson’s successor would be elected, according to the timetable released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The expectation is that his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would again produce the next occupant of the iconic Governor’s Office he built. This expectation is consistent with the fact that the PDP had won every governorship election in the state since 1999 when the country returned to democratic rule. 

The governor’s sterling performance in office has made it even more difficult for any other political party to think about staging an upset in the November poll. This is regardless of the pretensions of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship aspirants, namely Chief Timipre Sylva (a former PDP governor of the state), and the immediate past Minister of State for Agriculture, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri. The latter was also a PDP state and federal legislator. 

Already a titanic battle is brewing in the APC over the ambition of both aspirants. Interestingly, the duo, who were appointees of President Muhammadu Buhari, could not attract any significant project to the state throughout the president’s first term of four years. 

So, their ambition has a huge question mark hanging over it. With what are they going to campaign? Some others are asking what Sylva forgot in the Government House that he wants to reclaim when his five years as governor were marked by waste, lack of focus and below par performance.

In any case, the PDP governorship ticket appears more attractive. At the last count, no fewer than 15 individuals are said to have indicated interest to succeed the current occupant. 

The list includes a former Secretary to the State Government (SSG), retired federal Permanent Secretary and envoy, Ambassador Godknows Boladei Igali, a former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Chief Ndutimi Alaibe, a philanthropist and businessman, Chief Reuben Okoya, the current SSG, Mr. Kemela Okara, a lawyer and the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria governorship candidate in 2012 as well as the Chairman, Bayelsa State Board of Internal Revenue, Dr. Nimibofa Ayawei.

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Others are the immediate past Director-General, Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission, Dr. Franklin Osaisai, an oil magnate, Mr. Keniebi Okoko, a former chairman of the state PDP, Deacon James Dugo, Chief Great Joshua Maciver, a retired Permanent Secretary, ex-Director of Protocol and currently chairman of the state Land Use Allocation Committee, Mr. Joseph Akedesuo among others.

Several considerations will determine who eventually picks the single ticket. Chief among which is the input of the governor, who is the undisputed leader of the party in the state. Dickson has a firm and unshakable grip on the party with his influence and significance further boosted as chairman of the PDP Governors Forum. So his preference and support for any aspirant definitely carry a lot of weight.

Interestingly, this also comes with a burden, which he recognises. But he has elected to be a team player. He said he would toe the path of consulting other critical stakeholders in the state and the party, including former President Goodluck Jonathan, who he calls “my elder brother and leader.” 

According to him, the PDP candidate would not be the product of an imposition but rather would emerge through the right process of consensus and consultation.

His words: “I led the party (PDP) to victory against a vicious opposition. I can lead PDP to victory again. I have done it repeatedly.

“In the primary election, there will be no form of manipulation. People talking about manipulation are anticipating that they should be imposed. I am not going to impose any of them. Any of them who feels he has the capacity and experience should make his case before the party and the people of Bayelsa.

“I hope the right person with competence and capacity emerges to build on the foundation my team and I have laid over the past seven years plus. I have no doubt that the right person would emerge with my support.” 

The Jonathan factor is also being touted by those who think the former President can still pull the required strings to get his choice candidate to scale the hurdle. But at the moment, this could be a far-fetched expectation. Feelers within the state PDP indicate that the support and endorsement of the former president alone might no longer carry the expected weight. Jonathan’s taciturnity and aloofness towards affairs of the party in the state has largely whittled down his influence. In recent months, even his loyalty to the PDP and that of his foot soldiers has been called to question.

This insinuation was fuelled by the tacit support for candidates of the APC and the Action Democratic Congress (ADC) by his henchmen during the last general election. Most of his henchmen were said to have engaged in anti-party activities, particularly in his Ogbia local government area. As a consequence, aspirants like Alaibe and even Okoya, who are perceived to be banking on the Jonathan factor, could be left with the short end of the stick.

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Another topical but contentious issue is that of the zone that would produce the PDP candidate. The governorship slot has gone round the three senatorial districts at different times in the last 20 years under the PDP. The late Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, an indigene of Amassoma community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area, took the Bayelsa Central slot as the first elected governor of the state from 1999 to 2005. 

Bayelsa East has been more fortunate to produce two governors. Dr. Jonathan completed Alamieyeseigha’s tenure in 2007 and had picked the governorship ticket to start his own tenure before he was nominated as the late President Umaru Yar’Adua’s running mate and eventually became Vice President. He is from Otuoke community in Ogbia Local Government Area. Sylva (from the same zone), an indigene of Okpoama in Brass Local Government Area, was then handed the PDP ticket and was governor from 2007 to 2012.

Dickson, from Toru-Orua in Sagbama Local Government Area under Bayelsa West, stepped in in February 2012. 

So which zone would be the next beneficiary? Many clamour that the fresh rotation should begin with Bayelsa Central having produced the first civilian governor in Alamieyeseigha but who didn’t complete his tenure. This agitation and expectation has resulted in a high number of aspirants from the zone indicating interest in the PDP ticket.

Two related political events might however scuttle the aspiration of some of the contenders from the zone. On June 6, 2019, Hon. Tonye Isenah was elected Speaker of the sixth session of the Bayelsa House of Assembly. He is a third term member representing Kolokuma/Opokuma Constituency 1. Kolokuma/Opokuma local government area is under the Central Zone.

On February 23, 2019, Douye Diri (then member representing Yenagoa/Kolokuma/Opokuma Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives) was elected senator representing the Central Senatorial District. He also hails from Kolokuma/Opokuma local government area. 

What is significant about these two events is that for the first time in the political history of the state, Kolokuma/Opokuma has produced the speaker of the assembly as well as the senator representing the zone at the same time.

This has however thrown up a fresh dynamics. Would the central zone and particularly Kolokuma/Opokuma still be justified to seek the governorship ticket of the party having produced the speaker and a senator? Would Bayelsa East in particular not feel shortchanged and alienated if the governorship eludes the zone? How would Bayelsa West take the political recalibration despite having the governorship slot for eight years?

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Importantly, what happens to the aspiration of the governorship aspirants from the central zone? The case of a serial contender like Alaibe, who is also from Kolokuma/Opokuma council, appears quite instructive. He is believed to have returned to the PDP with his eyes solely fixed on the governorship ticket. Would his aspiration be aborted or would he pursue it on another platform if the PDP door is again shut against him?

A political analyst described the election of Diri and Isenah as the masterstroke of highwire politics. The perceived frontrunners might have lost out even before the real contest began.

Regardless of the permutations, many Bayelsans are of the view that Dickson’s successor should be a focused politician or technocrat with a clear Ijawcentric agenda. The outgoing governor has so far left no one in doubt about his desire to promote the Ijaw culture, tradition and renaissance. He wholly epitomised it in his dress sense, which always stood him out as a proud Ijaw ambassador.

The governorship cap might also not fit those without any business interest or key stake in the state. Bayelsans are tired of mercenary politicians that appear only during election seasons. They beat a fast retreat once they are unable to achieve their aspiration and reappear the next election cycle to hoodwink the people again. Such politicians do not feel the pulse of the people they seek to represent or govern.

In this category are the itinerant politicians who change parties at the drop of a hat. They do not build their parties. Rather they are opportunists. Their singular aim is to occupy the Creek Haven but do not invest in the youths or women in the state.

Bayelsa does not also need anyone who thinks the governorship is his birthright. Such aspirants surreptitiously sponsor media campaigns to run down every sitting administration. If they are not the ones in the saddle, any other person is not good enough.

The man Bayelsa needs must have a clear blueprint on how to develop the state with well-articulated short, medium and long term goals and projection. Somebody who will create the required environment for jobs and positive engagement of the youths. 

Somebody who will further the exceptional legacies of the Dickson administration and not seek to destroy them. A team player and not a wheeler-dealer politician who will mortgage the state’s interest on the altar of personal aggrandisement.

The state no longer needs a governor that does not have a zero-tolerance to violent politics or cultism. Enough of the bloodshed arising from cult and gang rivalries. The streets of Yenagoa must not be allowed to be watered any longer with the blood of the youths whose patrons are politicians. 

*Ebiegberi, a public affairs analyst and political commentator, writes from Yenagoa, Bayelsa State

OPINION

Now that World Cup is Over Can We Stop This Farce Called National Sports Festival?

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By Godwin Kienka

The Qatar 2022 Football World Cup was unique and outstanding in many ways. It was the first to be held in the Middle East and the Arab world – not in Saudi Arabia or the Emirates but in Qatar, an oil-rich country of about three million people and what a show they put up.

They built state-of-the- art stadia and for a small country that is 11,571 km square, the farthest stadium was 40km from the city centre.
Transportation, organization and security were top-notch and although accommodation was expensive for some, they made adequate arrangements for all classes of visitors.

The Qataris were roundly rewarded with a high level competition that was breath-taking, exciting, laced with mind boggling upsets and several records. Argentina, one of the pre-tournament favourites went from “grass to grace” – suffering a humiliating 1 – 2 upset by Saudi Arabia and then rebounding to win the trophy to crown Lionel Messi’s outstanding football career.

Morocco upset 2010 world champions, Spain in the group stages and went on to become the first African country to reach the semifinals. And boy!  What a final the sports world got!

There were two generations of football superstars on the pitch – Lionel Messi of Argentina and Kylian Mbappe of France – separated by a little more than a decade in age – and they did not disappoint. Both of them, no matter how you slice it, delivered one of the best finals in the history of the World Cup with the victory going to the nation that it meant the most to. Needless to say, that Nigeria with a home match against Ghana to qualify did not make it to the World Cup.

However, while the entire world was focused on the FIFA Men’s World Cup, Nigeria, the “oil-poor” nation, was tucked in one corner holding its National Sports Festival (NSF) in Asaba, Delta State.

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The NSF debuted in Lagos in 1973 with very lofty goals. The two major ones were to engender unity in the country and to hasten the development of sports in the nation by identifying and developing talent. It did not disappoint. It became Nigeria’s mini Olympics with the regions and then the States taking it really seriously and developing sporting talent in their domain. Some went as far as inviting other nations to play friendlies to win the football gold which was then regarded as the “star” medal. You represented a State either because you lived there or you schooled there. I know because I represented Oyo State in Tennis as a student of the University of Ibadan in the “Oluyole 79” NSF. We were camped for weeks, paid handsome allowances and were properly kitted.

The NSF started a downward spiral when some low performing States ganged up to demand that the NSF become an age group, grassroots event in order to discover younger talent. Of course, the underlying objective was to dilute the field and make the under-performing States become a little more competitive. Their wish was granted and there began the age cheating syndrome in Nigerian sports with State officials, even sports commissioners, almost coming to blows to push through obviously overage athletes. Standards dropped, the media lost interest and sponsors turned their backs on the NSF.

It got so bad that I was constrained to make a submission to the Minister of Sports, Samaila Sambawa, in 2006 through the late Babayo Shehu who had retired as Director –General but was well respected in sporting circles.

The late Babayo Shehu and I met at the Le Meridien in Abuja and I detailed the benefits of an open NSF and even went as far as to suggest that international athletes in the diaspora should be welcomed to represent their home States or the State that produced them to make the NSF our own mini- Olympics. The highly – convinced ex director-general took my paper to the Minister and the end result was the conference of directors of Sports accepting a semi-open NSF with, if I remember correctly, a 50 -50 participation of adults and juniors.

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The Ogun State 2006 NSF became a very successful event, attracting sponsorship and excellent media coverage. Records were broken in many sports events and ironically, the directors in the Ministry of Sports turned around to claim credit for the outcome of the festival. The Sports Reform Committee of 2016 which I was privileged to be the team lead also recommended an open NSF with sports men and women in the diaspora welcome to participate – a recommendation the then Minister, Solomon Dalung, dutifully implemented.

However, at this point when the potentially lucrative NSF was expected to be  a commercialised, private sector driven, well organised celebration of our best sporting talent, the competition has become flawed, extremely corrupted if you like, in certain respects. I am here not interested in the subpar organization of the Delta 2023 NSF as far as accommodation for officials and athletes, transportation and facilities – specifically athletics – were concerned. I am more piqued by the shenanigans in representation, qualification and the purity of the competition. States have made it a dubious sporting enterprise where medals are literarily bought. Medals are going to the highest bidder for the services of sports men and women.

Although there is a six-month or so residency rule, the States with the cash are finding legal excuses to circumvent that. Players, they argue, could be sent to any State or even overseas to prepare for a competition as long as they are on their “payroll”. A payroll which is often doctored. So, you find athletes representing a State they have never visited in their lives. In every NSF year it becomes a race to engage and hold down the champions in every event or one of the top four, no matter where they reside or hail from. These are funds that would have better benefitted the youth in the States if invested in facilities, grassroots and schools’ sports competitions. Good money wasted on mercenaries for two weeks of fame!

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But beyond that, as I wrote in my book, Sports in Nigeria – Going Round in Circles, there are believable allegations of athletes with 95% chance of winning medals “contriving” to lose to opponents from medal ‘buying’ States so they can share the cash. Some States ‘promise’ as much as one million Naira for a gold medal.

The NSF has become a joke. Serving only the top athletes, the sports commissioners and directors of sports in the States, the host State and the Federal Ministry of Sports. If a country with close to 40 Sports Federations has to depend on a biennial sports festival to discover its potential sports stars then that nation is using the wrong sports compass. There was even talk of making the NSF international.  Of course, the real motive for such an absurd plan is very easy to decipher.

I wonder if the NSF would have held at the time it did had Nigeria qualified for the World Cup?

Godwin Kienka is Director of the International Tennis Academy and author of Sports in Nigeria – Going Round in Circles.

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Analysis

Ahmed Shuaibu Gara: Bridging Information Gap in Gombe

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There is no gainsaying the fact that Governor Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe state is among the best performing governors in Nigeria. Yes, Inuwa Yahaya has done well and has achieved a lot in his first year in office.

The only problem the governor had was lack of adequate publicity and underreporting of his activities.

Well, the media will not be blamed for the situation as they only disseminate the information made available to them or at their disposal.

It is the duty of government to blow its trumpet by informing the public about its stewardship. Many people only acknowledge what were done in their own domains and do not know much of what were done in other places. Thus, government’s officials, especially information managers or spokespersons of the government, are duty bound to communicate and showcase its activities for the citizens have right to know how their leaders govern them and or spend their funds.

Perhaps having realised that he is underreported, Governor Inuwa Yahaya appointed a special adviser on information management and strategy Ahmed Shuaibu Gara-Gombe some months back to help him in the management of information and public relations in addition to other existing media aides.

Of course, no government or organisation will have a good image in the eyes of the public without having a competent information manager and public relations officer. On the appointment of Gara as special adviser on information management, he swung into action by bringing the numerous achievements of the Inuwa Yahaya administration to limelight.

In the past, many people including myself thought the governor of Borno state Umaru Babagana Zulum is the best performing governor in the North. Yes, Zulum is a serious and passionate leader but I have come to realise that the present governor of Gombe state Inuwa Yahaya is also an outstanding governor. In fact, he can be rated better than Zulum and some of his contemporaries in the North, considering the meagre resources received by his state as federal grants and the mega projects he executed in the last three years plus of his administration. Zulum enjoys positive publicity more than any northern governor, perhaps as a result of his vibrant and formidable media team.

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I have copious reasons to backup my argument. Some governors are good at projects execution but poor in terms of salary payments, workers welfare and vice versa. But in Gombe state, salary payment is not an issue. Every worker collects his salary regularly and gets promotion as at when due. For instance, all state civil servants get alerts of their salaries latest on 27th of every month. 

In addition, the governor was able to employ 1, 000 new teachers and 400 new health workers at a time some states find it difficult to pay salaries of their existing workers let alone giving new employments.

Some of the social welfare projects of the governor include distribution of 1, 000 tricycles on loan to youth for commercial use and special jobs to 500 youths under the newly established ‘Gombe State Security, Traffic and Environmental Corps (GOSTEC) and engagement of 20, 000 youths to plant four million trees under the erosion control project tagged ‘Gombe Goes Green’.

On infrastructure, Inuwa initiated the construction of 100 kilometers roads in each of the 11 local government areas of the state. He built and upgraded at least one health facility in each of the 114 wards of the state including an ultra modern nursery, primary and secondary school at Kumbiya-Kumbiya community in the state which hitherto had no single public school since the creation of the state.

Of recent too, the governor built another modern Almajiri School in Yelenguruza community of the state as parts of moves to address the problem of Almajiri education in the state. In the integrated Almajiri school, pupils will learn Qur’anic recitation, basics of western education as well as vocational skills. The unprecedented school which is a storey building has hostels for Almajiris, library and skills acquisition rooms where the children will be taught occupations such as tailoring, barbing among others such that they will have a source of livelihood other than the usual begging. 

Another project worthy of note by the administration of Governor Inuwa Yahaya were the construction of mega motor park along Federal College of Education where all commercial drivers and public transport workers will relocate. There is adequate space for shops, restaurants and offices provided therein. The idea is to boost business and facilitate availability of vehicles for movements of people, goods and services in and out of the state. This is even as the former Bauchi park will be taken over by the government to build a befitting state secretariat to house all ministries and parastatals.

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At the moment, there is no befitting secretariat in the state and most of government ministries, departments and agencies are scattered in different parts of the state unlike what is obtainable elsewhere. That is why Governor Inuwa built a new modern motor park called Gombe Mega Park to pave way for construction of a big state secretariat.

Still on business and investment development, the governor has established an industrial park along Deba road to attract and accommodate investors, small, medium and big industries in the state. Prior to that, an investment summit was convened by the governor where investors and great entrepreneurs from all over the country and beyond converged and briefed on the park to encourage them to site their industries and enterprises at the newly established park named ‘Muhammadu Buhari Industrial Park which was inspected by the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

It is a known fact to anybody who knows Gombe State that many areas in the state face water scarcity due to the sandy nature of the soil in the state. However, Governor Inuwa has provided water in areas like Jeka da fari and awarded contracted for the establishment of water booster stations for areas worst affected by scarcity of water like Tumfure, Investment Quarters, Bauchi road and other parts of Akko local government to improve supply of water in the state.

Most of these gigantic projects by Governor Inuwa are not adequately publicized. And this is the gap Gara Gombe is trying to bridge now as a person saddled with the responsibility of managing government’s information. 

He is determined to achieve that by making use of the available airtime or space in Radio, Television and other media houses within and outside the state. He gathered that many of those television and radio stations have airtime for discussion programs including political which are unutilized or underutilized due to lack of vocal government officials to make good use of them or just lack of knowing how important it is for the government to feed the electorates back on its stewardship in a democratic setting.

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Within the last four months, the special adviser had visited and granted interviews in 17 radio and television stations locally and nationally including; 

NTA Gombe, Progress Radio, Amana Radio, Vision FM, Jewel FM, GMC and GTV.

Others are FRCN Headquarters, Channels TV, AIT, Trust TV, Leadership TV and major newspapers like Daily Trust, Leadership, Premium Times and News Agency of Nigeria.  Also, to bridge the gap between the government and the governed, the special adviser established direct lines for the state citizens to interact with the governor and to participate in governance by offering suggestions and complaints.

Furthermore, he initiated the Gombe New Media Internship Programme where the interns will be promoting government programmes on social media.

On the eve of the 2023 electioneering, he created the ‘DANI AKAJE’ programme on radio where a post mortem of every campaign trail of the governor is being reviewed.

With these initiatives, Inuwa’s silent achievements are now topics of discourse courtesy of the special adviser on information and strategy. Media houses are now bringing Governor Inuwa Yahaya’s hitherto obscure projects to limelight beyond the routine news programmes as part of initiatives by Gara.

To augment and complement his efforts of bridging information gap in the state, the special adviser conceived the idea of organising special training to information officers of all government ministries, departments and agencies on the skills of information management and public relations strategies. This is a welcome development indeed and I believe will go along way in projecting the good image of not only Governor Inuwa Yahaya but Gombe State government even after the reign of Inuwa. 

I am happy that the public both within and outside Gombe are now hearing the good side of Gombe and the works of this prudent, patriotic and performing governor Inuwa Yahaya. While applauding Gara Gombe for the feats, I encourage him to sustain the tempo.

Adamu, an author and public affairs commentator, writes from Akko local government area, Gombe state.

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COVER

Adebowale Yemi And His Hatchet Man’s Job On Bichi

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By Lateef Olaleye

The piece, The Obsessive Security Chap Called Yusuf Bichi, by Adebowale Yemi, which appeared in Thisday Newspaper edition of Saturday, 7th January, 2023 is by all indication a hatchet man’s job.

This is more so that it came from Adebowale Yemi, the Saturday Editor who writes without logic and reason. He is a hatchet man.
Aspects of his constituency have been in defence of the new paymaster in town, Chief Emefiele, the CBN Governor and former Presidential aspirant of no political party. 

The connection between Emefiele and Adebowale’s enclave is not in doubt. He is one writer without focus. As loose cannon, he writes recklessly. He throws darts. He writes before he thinks. One wonders why a journalist of his standing (doubtful) would choose to write emotionally without facts. His previous writings on varied subject matters betray his exposure and composure as a lettered and trained penman.

He simply casts aspersions on persons and tries to demean personalities he never came across.

His tirade on Bichi, the internationally acclaimed Director-General of the DSS is unnecessary. Bichi is known for his calmness. He is a thorough bread intelligence officer who Adebowale has tried to present as a non-achiever. No.

 By the way, what does Adebowale know about intelligence and its management. I do not speak for the DSS. I will be surprised if the agency considers a response to the empty writing of Adebowale. A response to him will make him assume what and who he is not. But it is important that those who know Bichi and the discreet method of operation of the DSS put words across to the reading public lest it is believed that Adebowale is right.

On Emefiele, the DSS has not muttered a word. It is only the CBN Governor that is running helter skelter; pillar to post; mobilising all sorts of persons, groups and organisations to attack Bichi and his organisation, the DSS. Emefiele is a Nigerian. Assuming he was invited by the DSS, shouldn’t he go to answer? No one is above the law. That’s what the rule of law entails. In this same country, we saw former NSAs, Military Chiefs investigated and/or prosecuted. Sponsored groups and people will exhaust.

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 The time is nigh. DSS has maintained a studied silence without joining issues with Emefiele or his hired crowd. It is becoming apparent who the sponsors of the virulent attacks on Bichi are. Adebowale is doing the bidding of his pay master so he can earn his pittance. Rather than castigate Bichi, why not Adebowale and his cohorts encourage Emefiele to return to the country and not go into hiding in Jamaica and US. It is said that a clear conscience fears no accusation. Emefiele is doing all the reactions and defences. CSOs are holding press conferences for him. Clerics are defending him. Itinerant tribal associations and leaders are on his side. Good. Why don’t they advise him to come home and not abandon his seat. 

Neither the DSS nor Bichi has come out to confirm they are looking for Emefiele or even declared him wanted. Yet, there are court actions initiated by Emefiele group(s). The court has issued a restraining order on the DSS from arresting Emefiele. Why doesn’t he return home to continue with his work? This is what is important now. Not to abuse or call Bichi names. I am certain the Bichi I know will not utter a word of reply unless he is not the taciturn intelligence czar we all imagine him to be.

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For Adebowale, Bichi is a good for nothing person and has not achieved anything. To him and his ilk, Bichi should face criminal prosecution or get sacked as DGSS. Wonderful! What a recommendation?

Adebowale actually showed his heightened ignorance when he stupidly argued that Bichi “dabbles into areas he has no business with”. He mentioned that DSS intervention in what would have been the mother of all fuel scarcities in Nigeria prior to the yuletide if the Service did not intervene, was a waste of time. Adebowale did not think the intervention was necessary. He did not ascertain from NNPC, NARTO, NUPENG, PTD, DAPPMAN, MOMAN and the regulatory authorities if that was timely and result oriented. It is also obvious that Adebowale does not understand the role of DSS as an intelligence agency, policy adviser, security organisation and a law enforcement outfit. 

That the agency is mandated to investigate economic sabotage of national security dimension is not in doubt. Only an Adebowale that did not see reason the impending sabotage was nipped. He preferred that the country went in flames as a result of the public agitations that would have followed the scarcity. The intervention did not matter to Adebowale. But it mattered to millions of ordinary Nigerians – home and abroad, who expressed their love for the agency under Bichi for the expeditious intervention.

It is needless educating Adebowale on the workings of intelligence services. A research will help him. On Sowore, Dasuki and El-Zakzaky, Adebowale should hold his jaundiced views. It is still part of his entitlement as an educated illiterate. Does Adebowale still remember that El-Zakkaky and wife in 2019 demanded while in India, to be returned to DSS custody because they preferred it to that of India. Bichi was the DG and still remains same. 

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Adebowale is using his pen wrongly. He is using it to misinform his audience. He is using it to espouse hate. Call him to defend his write up before the DSS and he will cry foul and run to everywhere. He cannot defend a line of his piece. He is only pushing an agenda as dictated to him by his controllers.

To say that Bichi’s “disdain for the rule of law is legendary” is a careless statement. It is idiotic if not abusive. If Bichi, “has no business staying a day longer in office”, the President and Commander- in – chief would not have reappointed him to a second term in office. He was considered for the honour of reappointment due to his excellent services. On all fronts relating to the execution of DSS mandate, Bichi has scored all time high. 

Just recently, operatives under his command arrested those behind the bomb explosion in Kogi. This is just one out of many. Ask stakeholders about Bichi’s feats, analytical precision, preemptive disposition, team spirit and unparalleled achievements, he is an alpha man. He is not given to the type of noise that Adebowale’s circle make.

 Adebowale and his Emefiele gang can never equal the accomplishments of Bichi. Bichi has won laurels including awards in human rights, corporate and human resource management, interagency relations, humanitarian services among many others from within and outside Nigeria. He is a champion of repute that cannot be diminished by a thousand Adebowales. In the DSS, news abound of how his staff love him because of his affectionate and fatherly mien. Adebowale, you are wrong with Bichi. Look for another target.

Olaleye is a public commentator and resides in Ile-Ife, Osun State

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Share Post Views: 5 From David Torough, Makurdi Gunmen suspected to be Fulani Herdsmen have reportedly ambushed and killed the...

NEWS20 mins ago

Buhari Directs NIS to Tighten Security around Borders

Share Post Views: 5 President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) to tighten security around the nation’s...

Oil & Gas50 mins ago

NMDPRA Scales up Surveillance in Adamawa

Share Post Views: 8 The Nigeria Midstream and Down Stream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) has intensified routine surveillance of servicing...

NEWS51 mins ago

Buhari Appoints Segun Awolowo as AFCFTA Secretary

Share Post Views: 7 By Mathew Dadiya, Abuja President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday approved the appointment of the immediate past Executive...

CRIME54 mins ago

Adamawa CP Warns Against Political Thuggery

Share Post Views: 7 From Yagana Ali, Yola The Adamawa state Commissioner of Police SK Akande,  has deployed operatives of...

Foreign News58 mins ago

Over Three Million Students Must be Allowed to Vote – Obi Tells EU Observers

Share Post Views: 7 By Jude Opara, Abuja The Presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Mr. Peter Obi has...

POLITICS1 hour ago

Polls: INEC Needs Over 100,000 Buses for Logistics

Share Post Views: 8 By Jude Opara, Abuja Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), yesterday disclosed that it would be needing...

COVER1 hour ago

Banks’ll Accept Old Naira Notes after Deadline – Emefiele

Share Post Views: 8 By Ubong Ukpong & Tony Obiechina, Abuja Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele,...

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