*AN OPEN LETTER TO MR. SAMSON OSAGIE, THE SELF-IMPOSED POLITICAL METHUSELAH FROM IGUE-LABA
Dear Mr. Samson Osagie Esq, I write to you today, as a fellow compatriot from Edo and a brother from your matrilineal link with Uhunmwode, and do hope that the thoughts and time-preserved truths in this open letter will get to you with assurances of reciprocal brotherly introspection.
I cannot be fully assured of your immediate or future reaction, because as Bowen LJ rightly opined in the celebrated case of Edgington v. Fitzmaurice, “the state of a man’s mind is as much a fact as the state of his digestion”. It is meant to be an open letter for two reasons, namely: your variegated covert and overt style of always attacking the incumbent Governor of Edo State and Hon. Charles Idahosa under the cover of the rogue group – Edo People’s Movement – and the fact that most of our people in Edo do not know your history in politics, before 1999.
It is now expedient for you to be reminded, in public, of how you started out in politics.
Before reminding you of how you started in politics, particularly, during the failed Abacha political transition programme of the late 90s, please indulge me to quickly refresh your memory of three unassailable facts.
First, you have been very ungrateful to the people of Uhunmwode who accepted you as their full-blown son, much as we know that your father, in search of the proverbial golden fleece, entered into Urhokosa along with a group of economic itinerant migrants from IGUE-LABA in Orhionmwon Local Government Area of Edo State. As agrarian settlers, they were welcomed with open arms by the people of Urhokosa and your dad in order to maintain his foothold, beyond being a migrant settler, got married to your mother, from Egba village in Uhunmwode.
Second, you have forgotten so soon that your legal education was a product of community effort; particularly from the elites in Egba village.
Third, that those behind the communal effort that saw you through school, particularly the young man who once brought a big sack of fried yellow-colloured sun-dried garri to you at the Nigerian Law School Campus, now shakes his head in utter regret at your current political ramblings.
As an aside, I did not bother to ask your now estranged friend why you requested for a bag of garri as a student of the Nigerian Law School. Looking back, I now know why. The communal effort that saw you through school were given both in cash and in kind. This is what you have failed to reciprocate during the current Covid-19 humanitarian efforts towards helping the less-privileged in our communities. But, before now, have you been faithful to the people of Uhunmwode, who picked you up from the miry clay of economic obscurity and placed your feet on the political landscape? Certainly, the answer to that rhetorical question is evident in your 16 unfruitful years, (in a developmental sense), as both a State and Federal lawmaker. The only fruits that are visible of those 16 years are personal benefits which you appropriated to yourself and family, in form of cars, houses et cetera, and by public extension, the money you threw around in your failed senatorial ambition in 2015.
I have it on good authority that in the late 90s, it was the late Chief Iyayi Efionayi, (of blessed memory), who handed you over to Senator R. S. Owie, (who at the time was the leader and gubernatorial candidate of the UNCP), in order for the latter to groom you into politics. Senator Owie after securing your nomination on that party’s platform, in turn sponsored you as the UNCP candidate for the Uhunmwode State Constituency seat of Edo State House of Assembly. Although you won that election, but before the proclamation of the Assembly, General Sani Abacha died and that transition programme ended.
Fast forward. In the build-up to the party primaries of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), in the wake of the pre-1999 transition political era, Chief Iyayi again took you round the various political leaders of Edo South, begging them to allow you emerge as the consensus candidate of the PDP. When he took you to the residence of Engr Evboumwan, his host (Evboumwan) asked him what was he doing with ‘this ugly midget’, referring to you. I doubt if your present memory is as short as your height, for you to easily forget this particular episode of your journey in politics and the role played by the leaders you now denigrate with misguided diatribes. It was Senator R. S Owie who told Mr. Avanrenren the leading candidate for the Uhunmwode House of Assembly seat under the PDP platform to step down from the race, in order for you to emerge as a consensus candidate. Senator Owie was also a beneficiary of that consensus arrangement, which my late Uncle Godfrey Emwanta successfully midwifed. Your miraculous emergence was after the leaders, including Hon Charles Idahosa, who you now throw open diatribes at, agreed by consensus, that you should be the PDP candidate.
Equally, in 2003, in spite of your cunning divisiveness as a member of the House of Assembly, you were given nomination on the platform of the PDP, effortlessly. In 2007, by divine providence you won nomination to run for the Uhunmwode/Orhionmwon Federal Constituency seat, giving you the equal opportunity to also represent your father’s kith and kin from IGUE-LABA in Orhionmwon Local Government Area. Of all the leaders of Edo PDP of that era, it was only late Chief Tony Anenih that discovered and exposed your hideous lecherous and treacherous character. It was at a public ceremony that he finally unmasked you. This fateful event, was precisely the wedding ceremony of Mr. Gentleman Amegor’s daughter to late Chief Anenih’s son. At the middle of the ceremony, you sneaked into the venue and in meters-shot came crawling dramatically on your knees towards Chief Anenih, who sat at the High table with other dignitaries. In spite of your pleas, Chief Anenih told you to go away that you were a very dangerous person. It was later discovered that the reason behind his anger against you was the devious role you played against an NDDC motion on the floor of the House, which would have favoured Edo State. He had concluded that you were not going to be given a return ticket back to the Federal House of Representatives on the platform of the PDP. Hon Charles ldahosa it was, who against all odds brought you into the then ACN from the PDP and made it possible for you to get the party’s nomination. At a meeting in his residence, he appealed to late Hon. John Obaze, who was the preferred candidate to allow you to return to the House of Reps, as a ranking member. It was with tears that Hon Obaze left that meeting, though he was later compensated with an appointment in the Revenue Board. This was how you were able to attain your principal member status in the lower chamber of the National Assembly.
But, after 16 years as a lawmaker, do you have any physical evidence of your representation in the lives of the people of Uhunmwode, let alone Orhionmwon, where you paternally hail from? Posterity will certainly judge you beyond your locust(s) , palmer-worm, canker-worm and caterpillar years as a lawmaker. You have become a political methusela of sorts, created by selfish ambition and to be ambushed by positive writers of history .
In closing, please note that the evil seeds of discord and public mischief that you are now sowing through the EPM platform is gradually turning into fruits, which will be harvested in your name very soon. This is just the beginning.
Andrew Adaze Emwanta Esq
Monday, 20 April, 2020