Commentary: Leave Obuah Alone


By Jerry Needam

Ascribing the quality of a political enigma to the person of the Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State, Bro. Felix Obuah, not only in his native Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area (ONELGA) but in Rivers State as a whole, may seem contrived to some, but it is unquestionably true when viewed in the context of his fame and popularity. As a matter of fact, his emergence as the Executive Chairman of ONELGA in 2004 signaled the beginning of an era as he took the political scene by storm and left a bold statement that the much-sought after ‘man of the people’ had at last materialized in that LGA. Mba Anabara Agu, as he is popularly called, Bro. Felix Obuah’s nature typifies the sobriquet which translates to the futility of raising a voice against the lion.  Bro. Obuah, politically, is a lion in ONELGA hence his opponents who are the weaker ‘animals’ quake and dread at his fame and popularity. In line with the truism that success not only attracts friends and admirers, but also brings with it, foes whose primary preoccupation, regrettably would be to ‘Pull Him Down’ (PHD), Obuah who is presently the Sole Administrator of Rivers State Waste Management Agency (RIWAMA) has not only been enjoying wide support from his army of friends, relations, supporters, political associates and aides; he has also on many fronts become the subject of unsubstantiated abuse, castigation and slander carried out by self-seeking, jobless desperados and faceless political jobbers acting on the prompting of paymasters and political opponents. That quickly brings to mind one of these faceless hirelings who recently launched another smudging campaign against the person of the State PDP Chairman through a purported World Press Conference in which the group masqueraded as ‘Civil Society Groups in Orashi Region of Rivers State’. Without playing the soothsayer, I am fully aware that in his characteristic manner, Bro. Felix Obuah would have chosen to ignore the ranting of a faceless group and wave off their babblings as nothing but another distractive gimmick coming from the same familiar source.  But he had to respond for want of clarity and to set the records straight so that the gullible public would not be misled. And so, while dismissing their misleading and fabricated allegations, Obuah said: “the accusation against him by a section of the so called Civil Society Groups and some members of the Orashi National Congress (ONC) after their kangaroo meeting at Omoku Civil Centre, Wednesday, January 17, 2018 of sponsoring the killed notorious cultist, Don Wanny is shocking, false, unfounded and malicious”. The State PDP boss described the accusation as yet another plot by the All Progressives Congress, APC, and his political detractors to drag his name to the mud to make way for their sinister plans ahead of the 2019 general elections. Bro Obuah chided the teleguided so called Orashi National Congress members, all of them, APC card carrying members, for turning their gathering at the Omoku Civic Centre to a jungle court for delivering unsolicited judgment against him perceived as an enemy of their paymasters, describing them as a liability to humanity. It’s also regrettable, Bro Obuah noted, that rather than join hands with the State Governor, Chief Barr. Nyesom Wike to fight insecurity in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area (Onelga) and elsewhere in the State, the so called ONC members and their cohorts prefer taking sides with desperate power seekers to run down those who mean well for the people and those that have committed their time, energy and hard earned resources to build and develop Onelga while the real enemies of the people are being provided cover and glorified just for a pot of yam porridge. Reassuring that he will not be deterred by the false malicious accusation, but will continue to ensure that Onelga people are liberated from the shackles of poverty and ignorance, Bro Obuah said he has invested more than any other person(s) in Onelga and cannot possibly turn around to promote insecurity or support any effort that will destroy his investments or his people for whom he has invested. The State PDP chairman also noted that he too, has been a victim of insecurity and other acts of lawlessness, with several attempts on his life during which he lost his police orderly and driver in one of such attacks. In the recent new year mayhem, Bro Obuah said he lost six of his relations in the senseless killing including his in-laws. “I cannot but conclude that by this false accusation against me, my accusers are rather jubilating and celebrating over my predicament. Their actions are very understandable as none of them has any investment whatsoever in Onelga nor have invested in the welfare of the people. “Otherwise, they should be sober and thankful to the security agencies for helping to bring life back to normalcy in Onelga by killing Don Wanny and some of his gang members”, Bro Obuah observed. Bro Obuah wondered the wisdom for his accusers to have kept quiet while Don Wanny and his gang ravaged all the nooks and crannies of Onelga while he lived only to speak out now he is gone, saying their only fear was not to be exposed by the notorious cultist who was their hatch man. Warning his accusers and detractors against treading the path of unreasonableness and danger, the State PDP boss said all that is needed now is not pointing accusing fingers and looking for scapegoat to satisfy the cravings of overzealous and power drunk politicians but to join hands with the Wike administration and complementing the efforts of the security agencies in sustaining the peace and security in Onelga and the State generally. Bro Obuah insisted he never knew who Don Wanny was until he saw his pictures after the amnesty was granted to the repentant militants and cultists by the State government and had never related nor supported him in any way. “During the previous administration under Rotimi Amaechi, Don Wanny and his group had a field day, operated unchallenged and were readily used by that government and not until this present administration came up with the amnesty programme, Don Wanny would have remained uncovered and committed APC member. “These enemies of the people are at it again. They never supported the amnesty programme that exposed their hatchet men who are being trailed by security agencies and this is their sole reason for wanting to incite another round of crisis in Onelga through these unfounded accusations against me”, he said. Bro. Obuah had repeatedly alerted the world of grand plots by the APC to malign him. He would not be deterred in his quest to serve humanity and be the good neighbour as entreated by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  A wise posture though, given the fact that 2019 is around the corner and the sycophants are up again working out their heads in mudslinging just to please their paymasters. But some of us who are in touch with reality and having followed the antecedents of this noble personage, a philanthropist par excellence and selfless servant of God would not be silent in the face of flagrant misinformation and falsehood orchestrated by a group of people whose angst would not be quelled on account that they lost the 2015 General Elections to a more credible and popular political party, hence the heavens must fall! They adopted different tricks to pull down and rubbish the laudable paths which Governor Nyesom Wike is treading, but they have failed in all their attempts to run Governor Wike down.  They declared that the inroads being recorded in infrastructure and other sectors of the economy were mere completion of projects initiated by their leader, and former Governor Rotimi Amaechi, now Minister of Transportation. Again, their propaganda failed as Wike rather than being discouraged, swung into an infrastructural blitz that has won him many national and international accolades. They tried unsuccessfully to promote the narrative of insecurity in Rivers State which would persuade the federal government to declare a state of emergency in the State, and they failed. Having run out of lies and falsehood, they have turned to this infamous ‘Civil Society Groups in Orashi Region’ as a willing wanton using the Don Wanny saga as their latest stunt. Those who unmasked themselves during the show of shame called ‘World Press Conference’ were one Chief Emeni Ibe, the CMD of UPTH, Prof. Henry Ugboma and Chief Henry Odili among others. Have they been told that contrary to their insinuations about President Mohammed Buhari and the APC-led federal government being the one that allegedly ‘funded and ordered’ the killing of Don Wanny in Enugu on Saturday, January 6, 2018. “Why is it that it is just this last one (Don Wanny) that the President would order to be killed?” retorted Governor Wike during a recent interview he had with a popular radio presenter in Port Harcourt, explaining that it was the Rivers State Government and not the federal government which funded the logistics and operation that led to the death of the notorious cultist kingpin. They blabbered about the enormity of losses suffered by the Orashi region as a result of unwarranted killings which has been known to have predated the administration of Governor Wike. At the same radio programme mentioned above, Wike revealed among others the harrowing killings under the administration of Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi. “32 persons were murdered in cold blood in Omoku by Don Wanny and his group with their heads cut off on December 14, 2014”, Wike revealed even as he reeled out other killings carried out under Amaechi. That is why it is very expedient for these commentators to make their identities known so that the public would know the extent of investments they had in ONELGA so as to juxtapose same with the losses recorded during the mayhem. Have these hirelings been reminded that aside from losses suffered by residents, multinational oil companies as well as shop owners particularly in Omoku, Bro. Felix Amechi Obuah was the worst hit individual.  The casualties suffered following the loss of close family relatives and in addition to unparalleled destruction of his investments. Lies, no matter the efforts dissipated to fortify it, can never stand. But truth, like a rock, would always stand any test.  These masquerades should be asked why their principals would not borrow the example set by Bro. Felix Obuah by investing their wealth in ONELGA. Bro. Felix Obuah has invested his wealth not in foreign lands like your principals do but in his native land which in the process, has gone a long way in providing gainful employment to thousands of his kith and kin. Some of his investments located in Omoku include multi-million Naira Krisdera Hotels and Resort Limited and Annexes; multi-million Naira Krisdera International Stadium; Agwubata Commercial College (ACC), Ogba Comprehensive High School (OCHS) and Go-Round Football Club of Omoku, a Nigerian Premier League club side which has provided gainful employment to thousands of youths across the State and beyond.  These investments epitomize love for the people and fatherland! It is inconceivable that someone would make these investments in a place and for a people he never meant well for.  It follows logically too that anyone who kicks against any individual or group that has demonstrated such commitment to his land and people is what my pastor referred to as ‘witch’ and deserved to be caged. Bro. Felix Obuah’s philanthropic gestures for ONELGA people and those in other parts of Rivers State and Nigeria transcend politics.  The right thing for any sane person to do is to commend rather than vilify him, or better still, shut up for lack of what to say.  I therefore urge these armchair critics to leave Obuah alone. God bless ONELGA, Rivers State and Nigeria. Jerry Needam is a Port Harcourt based journalist.