The period leading to the 2019 elections in my Community, Omagwa, Ward 9, Ikwerre LGA was both intriguing & unpredictable.
The unfortunate reality that our party, the APC would not be on the ballot dampened our morale as well as threw up challenges that needed to be responded to.
My preferred person, Dr. Dakuku Peterside wasn’t going for the election, it was Pst. Tonye Cole who was.
Somehow, days to the elections after we had made sufficient arrangements, even Tonye too would not be on the ballot.
I had all the reasons to sit in my House & do absolutely nothing to make us win.
The party hurriedly adopted little known Awara of the AAC & it behoved on us to make him Governor even when he had no History of service in the APC political system.
With the entire Rivers APC shut out of Nigeria’s general elections, the strong lure to relax clashed with taking up the challenge of electing anyone else but Wike into the Brick House.
We opted for the latter.
For us in Omagwa, hometown to PDP strong man, Ishi Samuel, it was too risky attempting any confrontation with one of the men who had “terrorised” the whole APC.
Mind you, he had grown into a Council Chairman with access to hundreds of millions of Naira and reasonably incharge of the country’s conventional Security architecture in the whole Ikwerre LGA. Nearly everyone in the APC would avoid a direct fall-out with him.
Days to the elections, reports poured-in on how much the PDP had prepared for the elections in the LGA, using Omagwa as their springboard. Omagwa because, as i later realised, had been inadvertently & quietly conceded to the Chairman by the hierarchy of our party i.e, there was an unwritten understanding that considering the presence of the Chairman, the APC structure stood no ground of winning any elections in the Community
But our zeal was burning & our commitment rock-solid, we wanted nothing other than results.
As info flowed on the assemblage of Arms & Ammunition in the Community, we took steps to check & in most cases, thwart their plans.
2weeks before the elections, i received a summon from the Council of Chiefs led by the Highness that they needed to see all political gladiators from the Community. This would be the first time such step would be taken in the Community, out of respect for the Traditional Institution, i attended the summon where we were told that at the instance of the other party & concerned persons, the meeting was needed to secure firm commitment that no part would take any steps that’ll cause the death of anyone in Omagwa as well as disrupt the peace of the Community. Hence these aligned with my personal conviction, i had no issues accepting and thus, libations were poured & intercessions sought traditionally for the safety of everyone & peace of our Land.
Let me add that i look back and commend that initiative.
Sadly, on the day of the elections, the PDP had performed very poorly, the results weren’t looking good for them, from their Intel, they had been thoroughly trounced in one of their supposed fortresses, clearly, with all their might, they had lost the elections.
Out of anger, unknown to me, when we led results to INEC Office at Isiokpo, the PDP, led by their Ward Chairman, mobilised their thugs to my family House, destroyed all they could lay hands on & set the building on Fire with my aged parents upstairs.
The first call to inform me of what was going on was my aged terrified Father whose voice was obviously shaking.
I placed a call to their ward Chairman, Samuel Oboni; then Councillor, Ahijo who denied being part of it and another PDP Chieftain, Onyegbule Kingsley aka Sir Kings who also denied being part of it. I was made to understand later that they received orders to massively mobilise to cause havoc in order to “teach me a lesson”
My message to them was direct & straight:
“i was coming back from Isiokpo immediately to evacuate my parents, save our House with a warning that not a single person i meet in our compound would be standing”
I moved slightly away from the INEC Office at Isiokpo & got my team ready for the exercise & off we went.
Fortunately, by the time i got to the House, not a single soul was sighted. All the thugs had left.
I praise God that i didn’t meet any cos the consequences would have lasted till date
Immediately, i got my parents into the Car & drove straight to a Hospital to stabilise them.
Meanwhile, hundreds & thousands of calls were bumping into my phone, some from my siblings who warned that i would be held responsible should anything happen to our parents, my Uncles, Aunts & relatives followed up with similar warnings.
For once, i really felt lonely. I prayed nothing bad happened to them cos it was obvious I’d get into trouble with many people, the question as to whether Biokpomabo Awara was worth the troubles was entirely a different issue altogether.
Luckily, the Doctors were able to stabilise them, administered some medications and they were discharged 2days later
INFAMOUS SOCIAL MEDIA: MISCHIEF
Meanwhile, while we struggled to ensure the results were not changed to favor the PDP & to keep my parents alive, massive mischievous stories originated by my younger Cousin, Chinonu popularly known online as Vicky Thompson, the LGA Chairman’s PA was planted on the Social Media that i led thugs who diverted election materials. Ofcourse that was a manifest lie. It was their own way of hiding their failure.
By 4am the following day when i went online, the story, accompanied with a picture purported to be mine was massively trending with thousands of shares, comments, etc.
I was being prepared for a frame up at the Tribunal later setup by Gov. Wike, my saving grace, as i later found out from sources close to then Attorney -General, being that the said picture wasn’t actually mine, but someone else’s
..To be continued..