Okanga1 of Agila Land
A story making the rounds titled “Revealed! Why Sam Ode wants Abounu Out” was written and circulated by Deputy Governor of Benue state, Benson Abounu to smear my image, character and person under the erroneous illusion that his office was being threatened by the State House of Assembly.
But for the serial lies that peppered every single sentence in the ‘story’ I would have been left rolling on the floor in uncontrollable laughter. The fable spanned by Abounu, passed off under another person’s name to give semblance of a professionally done job, while grammatical in order, is a pitiable imitation or journalistic skills since it failed in any attempt to hide its subjective intent.
The write up is also pathetic in that while casting aspersions on others, Benson Abounu deliberately ignored the grave issues that awoken the Benue State House of Assembly to its role and the subsequent impeachment saga that has now left the Deputy Governor not only frothing in the mouth but also frantically running from pillar to posts to escape his own demons and ghosts of his misdeed come to haunt him. He conveniently sidestepped the fact that his boss, Dr. Samuel Ortom, Governor of Benue State and leader of his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Benue State, Chief George Akume have serially condemned the monumental corruption supervised by him and his son with the active connivance of some dubious elements in the State House of Assembly.
Some people have the habit of projecting their own behaviours unto others and cannot fathom that it is possible for someone else to be altruistic because all they have known in their lives is selfishness. Because they cannot comprehend that it is possibly to comment on public issue without being besotted to an individual or lucre they resorted to speculating that my recent posture on issues concerning Benue State could be as a result of some compromise between myself and the Benue State Government.
Come to think of it, wouldn’t it suggest some extent of psychosis for one to be antagonistic of a government that is still at a toddling stage? But for this consideration, the likes of Abounu would have sought refuge in the caves if one were not to have exercised patience with the government. His kleptomania would have been the incumbent Benue state government’s weak point if critics were to be impatient to make assessment. But no discerning commentator would do that because Ortom’s administration still has the capacity to disappoint anyone in a hurry to write off his administration or too fast to applaud his efforts. My belief at the moment is that those serious about governance both in Abuja and Makurdi should be given space to deliver on their mandate while the rest of us patiently wait to make interventions at the appropriate time.
This understanding cannot however be extended to someone like Abounu whose penchant for primitive acquisitiveness can only have an underlying case of obsessive compulsive acquisitiveness syndrome that does not allow him see the futility of gathering wealth to the point of being richer than the state he was meant to assist in governing. From the information available in the public space so far, Abounu, in the months he has spent in office has not added any value to the State Executive Council by way of raising and proffering solution the real issues affecting the people of Benue State.
Instead, he constituted himself into a black hole that is devouring the life of the state. The Deputy Governor has not for instance satisfactorily been able to deny that part of the bailout money sent to the state has found its way into his personal account and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Related Offences Commission (ICPC) is still investigating a petition to this effect. Is it not a big shame that funds for the running of his office could develop wings into his pocket or is Abounu telling Nigerians that being the Deputy Governor of Benue State and being Mr. Benson Abounu is a matter of dual identities? At his age, my counsel to Abounu would be for him to hide his face in shame for allowing his greed sabotage his boss. In less than one year of being in office, while Ortom is making efforts to build and justify the mandate given to him, his deputy is busy appropriating the materials meant for building to himself.
Well, there is reality check for Abounu, who must be reminded if he has forgotten that the affairs of a state are not run like a personal bakery especially with the new direction the APC government at the centre has charted. Those who run state affairs like a fiefdom have since learnt the hard way that a national disgrace is the end product and looting Benue state under an upright governor would not be an exception. There are several neighbouring former governors that have done it – making the state government coffers a family buffet and they paid dearly for it including having to occupy a family suite in prison detention with their conniving offsprings.
How can he justify the purported business transaction between his son and Okefie of the State House of Assembly where his family has benefitted 35 million naira in a state where the Chief Executive Officer could barely fuel his official car? Investigations reveal that one Dr. Abounu who fronts for the same Benson had told ICPC investigators that the N10million sent to his account from Okefie’s Account, coincidentally at the same time his ATM was dishing out millions of naira to Assembly Members after they had forged vehicle documents, was for his business investment with Okefie Resources. The Deputy Governor apparently doesn’t know the law and could only have said this to emulate Dasuki of the Armsgate fame who is still telling Nigerians that he is innocent.
A close scrutiny of Okefie’s account has no record of Abounu making any investment into the said venture. I am certain the chap is not aware that it was in the same context that a former northern governor and his sons were clamped into prison. He should tell a different story to justify why he benefitted from that illegal proceed or return the money to the treasury as many have done at the federal level. If he does that at this stage it definitely wouldn’t be held against him when his immunity expires.
These are the issues that Abounu is looking for me and wants to call off my well intended sabbatical he should come straight and separate me from the Hon Sam Ode. I can never be ungrateful to forget the role Mr. Sam Ode and his family had played in my migration plans to the United Kingdom to study law in order to equip myself for a time like this but defending humanity starts with defending myself.
Abounu must thus separate me from whatever his travails are. If he and his family have tinkered with public coffers he should by now know what the expected and natural consequences are and that even as a Deputy Governor with immunity there are provisions in the same Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) to bring him to reckoning. Let every man be responsible for his actions and more over the Ortom, his boss had earlier declared that “if you chop money, money too go chop you”.
To the extent that Abounu committed the acts for which the state assembly is after him he should get what is coming to him and stop blaming others.
Okanga1 of Agila land writes from the United Kingdom.
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