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Contrary to Chidi Wihioka’s assertion: Chief O.J. Akiri Emphasises The Igboness Of Ikwerre

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In our dear country Nigeria, there has been the rather distasteful trivialization of very important issues by self-seeking politicians and opportunistic Lilliputians in the remote alleys of power, who indulge in puerile and baseless vituperations borne out of sheer envy.

I have been motivated to do this write-up by some unnerving insinuations by one Chidi Wihioka, who thought that by his unsolicited rantings, he could vitiate the divine destiny of the Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, Federal Minister of Transportation, who hence forth also doubles as the Dan Amanar Daura, (The Trusted Son of Daura). Mr. Chidi Wihioka had on the very eve of Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi’s symbolic and momentous Turbaning declared that Ikwerre is not Igbo. I wondered how an Ikwerre man in his late 50s or early 60s, going by the photograph of him I saw in that publication, could make such an intriguing and embarrassing statement.

Upon most casual study of his personality, I discovered that the man paradoxically belongs to the group of erstwhile IKWERRE beneficiaries of “plum” political appointments from The Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, during his tenure as Governor of Rivers State.

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The most virulent of that group include the current Governor of Rivers State, Barrister Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike, who was Amaechi’s first Chief of Staff, Government House, and then Mr. Tony Okocha, his last Chief of Staff, then come Worgu Boms his one-time Attorney- General and Commissioner of Justice, and alas, Mr. Chidi Wihioka, who had had the opportunity of being appointed as one of the National Electoral Commissioners, by no other than the Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi.

Are you terribly surprised by such depth of ingratitude, then I enjoin you to read our ever prophetic Holy Bible in Matthew 10 vs 36:

_“…and a man’s enemies will be those of his own household”_

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All of them have willingly teamed up with his most venomous of opponents in Rivers State, led by one Senator Magnus Abe, the foremost “Courtocrat” (apologies to my favorite columnist, Sam Omatseye),whose most “glamourous trophy” so far, has been the de-listing of the APC from ballot papers of the 2019 General elections, from ALL the echelons of elections in Rivers State, from the Governorship, State Assembly, Senate, House of Representatives and what else have you. The most “delectable” pastime of the group is to unnecessarily distract and incapacitate the APC in Rivers State.

The same Magnus Abe had been appointed Secretary to the State Government under the governorship of Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, but fell apart with him, when he was blinded by devouring ambition and sought to contest for the Governorship of Rivers State in 2015.

However, in consonance with Hon Amaechi’s justice-imbued appraisal of circumstances and his laudable sense of balance, he had expressed his preference for someone from the Riverine Geo-political zone to pick up the Governorship relay baton. He deemed it totally inconsiderate for the Riverine Zone, some of whose living legends and eminent forebears include Harold Dappa Biriye, Dr Nabo Graham Douglas, Chief (Ambassador) Patrick Dele Cole, Justice Karibi Whyte, Alabo Etteh Graham Douglas, Prof Dagogo Fubara etc should be sidelined for too long from the governance of the State. By 2023, the Upland should have monopolised Governorship of the State for a whopping 24 years.

Let’s return to Mr Wihioka’s innuendo, for which I have decided to volunteer him and his co-travellers in the unwholesome peddling of fake news, just to embarrass the Hon Minister, some lessons in elementary ethnography. Let us hear from the Encyclopaedia Brittannica on who the IGBOS are:

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“The IGBO people are an Ethnic Group in Nigeria. They are majorly found in Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Imo States. A sizeable proportion of them is found in Delta and RIVERS States” It goes on:

“They constitute a social Category within the wider Nigerian Society, who share common ties in language, nationality or culture” Even in the politics of Nigeria, the Ikwerres of Rivers State would in their overwhelming majority always align with their IGBO kinsmen of our near-by South Eastern States.

Such Greats and Ikwerre Immortals like Senator Dr. Obi Wali, Chief Barrister Nwobidike Wonodi, Chief Emmanuel Aguma, (who later became the Federal Minister of State for Agriculture, by virtue of an Alliance between the NPN and the NPP). Some people may recall the expressive flamboyance of the description of that agreement, as Accord Concordia, by one of Nigeria’s most colourful politician and word-smith in the 2nd Republic, Dr. KO Mbadiwe of most blessed memory.

MR WIHIOKA’s first name is Chukwudi, abbreviated to CHIDI, and I guess he knows that his name in Igbo means “God is there (or God dey in our popular pidgin English). Do I assume that he considers himself closer to the Itsekiris or the Izons of Egbemo Angalabiri?

Long before the brouhaha generated by the tenors and myopic adversaries of Rotational Presidency, well-meaning and patriotic Nigerians who yearned for the oneness and UNITY of our dear country had been clamouring for the Presidential pendulum to swing to the South East IGBO States of Anambra, Imo, Ebonyi, Abia, Enugu, and the IGBO Ensembles of Delta and Rivers States.

The imperatives of equity and binding egalitarianism should dictate that the Presidential pendulum should head for the South East States and Igbo ensembles in Delta and Rivers States.

A renowned and highly reverred IGBO colossus, His deserved Eminence, Eze (Dr.) Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, CON, The Ambassador extra-ordinary of the IGBOs (Aha eji agamba NdiIgbo) had carefully and unbiasedly chronicled the expanse and spread of his IGBO kinsmen in Nigeria as follows: Abia, Imo, Ebonyi, Enugu, and the IGBO ensembles in Rivers and Delta States.

How do we say Good night in my native Ogba language: Ka chibo; The IGBO man from Nkwerre also says Ka Chi bo or the Onitsha Igbo, Kachi fo. I am by name Ojike Akiri, and I ask, who has not heard of Mazi Mbonu Ojike, from whom my father, a dye-in the-wool NCNC and most unapologetic NCNC got my name. For most of my class mates in the primary school, who by God’s grace are still around today, they would willingly attest, that
I had borne and danced the “OJIONU” Masquerade, while proudly representing my IGBO tribe at the St Barthe’s School Opu Degema during our Inter-cultural competition, as far back as 1961.

Throughout his tenure as Governor of Rivers State, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi demonstrated astonishingly PAN-NiGERIAN qualities, that have always mirrored his ALL Nigerian VOCATION.

Under his Governorship tenure in Rivers State, there was a unifying education policy, as he jettisoned the divisive emphasis on the “famous” State of origin syndrome, which naturally took the back seat. There was an indiscriminate Admissions policy, and also bursaries/Scholarships were disbursed on merit to all deserving students, irrespective of State of origin.

In a particular case of his exemplarily altruistic inclusiveness, RT HON Amaechi had as Governor appointed as Director-General, in the Ministry of Information and Culture, one Mrs Adamu, whose husband of South West origin had been working in a PH- based reputable private company for over 20 years.

It is our most fervent prayer that the Almighty God may grant our Country the Political Rulership of this Country by this 56-year-old Nigerian, brimming with energy and good health, and above all, absolutely apathetic to the primordial instinct of greed and unbridled mass acquisition of wealth.

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