By Ukandi Odey.
This may eventually pass as a story of cheap heroes and the making and enthronement of a persevering and dogged hero.
Early last year, I authored and published what was passably a well researched and articulated report, which concluded robustly and authoritatively that Governor Simon Bako Lalong, austere and bereft as he is of ingenious and sincere personal aides, will lose election for the Plateau South Senatorial seat in 2023. As is typical of a crassly opportunistic and fortune-mongering lot, his camp pretended to be unperturbed, but marked me as a constructive rabble rouser that must be watched. Neither qualms nor ill-feeling was lost at that time..
Approaching the middle of last year, sometime in May, I revisited the subject matter, not just for attention seeking, but because the chestnut was getting more afire, and the cookie jar was fulling and dripping. By then, the internal (inter- Goemai) mouth injuries were already bleeding profusely, with the blood gushing outwards. The Taroh had sufficiently taken inventory of their serial, systematic, orchestrated humiliation, and had coalesced into an ambush cover, certain that their tormentor will be demandingly passing through on this electoral day. In Qua’an Pan, there was reprieve and leverage for the one, while the Pans have been frying in their assertive pan and extincting in a quarantine not exactly their own. Minority agitations and fears were as well percolating in Mikang, with the religio-cultural fabric in Wase being torn apart by political arrogance and and self- serving urge to torpedo the old order. Even at the backyard in Ajikamai, poverty, hunger, lack of access road, and lack of GSM network sustained cries of discontent and malcontent. So many variables of representative governance in the zone were not aggregating because vision and commitment failed to cohere, and everything was looking imponderable because of the vulnerable posturing of a not-really-misbegotten son.
Not long after, I penciled another piece, this time exclusively cataloguing Lalong’s serial sins, or, (simply read) denunciations, of the Taroh. Prominent in this expose was the subsisting political anomaly and foist in Langtang North LGC, in spite of learned interventions by Courts of eminent, prominent, and competent jurisdiction. Again, this was a piece of story of wise counsel falling on not-so-counselled ears.
On June 1, 2022, at precisely 10am, I was telephoned by one of the illustrious sons of the State. He advised caution and restraint, warning that ‘overzealous’ political hangers-on could seize unnecessary opportunity to do me harm before reason and intervention could save costs – ‘costs’ mean as much as being killed.
But the injustices and cry of socioeconomic subjugation refused to yield space for cease-fire. Once more, I succumbed to the intinct of service to God and Mankind. In early November, I wrote and published another cursory piece in which I insisted, on veritable and verifiable grounds, that Lalong will lose his Senatorial election come 2023. The publication of the story pushed the Lalong Manfridays into a parosysm of dubious anger. Coupled with my views expressed in the 5-6pm well received program, The Press conference, daily on Rhythm 93.7 Frequency Modulated Radio, Jos, I was marked for attack, and possible elimination, with Osama Akpononu, and one other of Jay FM, 101.9, Jos.
The manhunt for me was obvious and intense, so bad that I deployed a decoy: I opted to go down but not to go out, hoping the caller of June 1, 2022 will call at least to commiserate with me. Rather, it was ill-tempered attack from a scurrilous and hardput Publicity Secretary of the State All Progressives Congress who was so impolite and unprofessional that he had to publish in hackneyed New Media blogs describing me as a “media terrorist”.
Let me reserve the remainder of the story for another day. Come to think of it, the brightness of moonlight doesn’t come close to the brilliance of sunlight. Those who sought after my life on behalf of Lalong, ended up taking his political life on his behalf, at his instance! Based on the issues my reports traversed, his southern Plateau people rejected him last Saturday. He would have saved his career if he hearkened to the stuff and gist of my reports. The lesson is unambiguous: those who see you off to the market don’t always welcome you back. If a labourer is not always entitled to his wages, the wages of sin is certainly death, as Lalong arrives at political Heavens Gate.
How time flies? It is certainly the morning after.