Godwin Obaseki, Philip Shuaibu And Sen. Alimikhena And The Destruction Of Peace Between Uzanu And Igiode For Their Own Selfish Political Interest, A Plea For Caution And Respect For The Rule Of Law
With all that has transpired so far in connection with the land dispute between Uzanu and Igiode, it is obvious that fear was part of the game plan. In truth, Igiode arrived from Uwanno, after they were pushed out of a land in which they had bitter quarrel with their hosts. Uzanu was sympathetic with Igiode and gave them a piece of land to settle and farm pending when the dispute that evicted Igiode from her Uwanno land will get settled which never was as Uwanno was fed up with the incessant troubles from Igiode. This turned out to be the costliest mistake of humanty made by Uzanu community.
However, Igiode and Uzanu lived in peace and harmony until in the early 50s when Igiode began to throw her weight about with acts of engrossment beyond the piece of land given her by her new host and landlord. Igiode encroachment tendencies got out of hand in 1957 when Igiode community suddenly began to lay claim to Igbechi Fish Pond which has hitherto been owned, fished and maintained by Uzanu community until then!
A delegation of Igiode later approached Uzanu community leadership to passionately apologise for the 1957 crisis which they explained to have been formented by just five obdurated and insurrectionary families within the Igiode famiy identified by the Igiode delegates to Uzanu as the families of Alade Eshieku, Azemoh Isede alias Fear-Nobaga, Peter Akhigbe aka Gentle-Kill, Augustine Anaku Okosu aka Okosbaba and the Mamedu family. Uzanu accepted Igiode delegation apologies and the two communities began to live together in peace again but not without the persistent troubles from the five notorious families named above.
When Uzanu could no longer stomach the encroachments of the people of Igiode into her land which had then become glaring that they were surreptitiously backed by the leadership of Igiode, Uzanu took their case to the court against Igiode community. The trial court, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court all gave judgements in favour of Uzanu community and against Igiode community in the case. However, none of the three judgements went down well with the people of Igiode who intensified their acts of intrusion and enchroachments into Uzanu land as they boasted that Uzanu bought the three judgements from the three courts.
Fortunately for Uzanu, Igiode initiated a fresh litigation at the High Court of the then Bendel State sitting at Auchi. Similarly, Igiode case also got to the apex court with the three judgements on the ownership of the disputed land and fish ponds delivered by the three courts in favour of Uzanu community and again against Igiode community. As usual of a rustic community of rapscallions, Igiode people resorted to aggression and riotous attitude in their different attempts to wrest Uzanu land and fish ponds from Uzanu people in crass disregard for civility and the court judgements! Igiode finally declared war against Uzanu community in 1957 and even took the war to inside the unprepared and unsuspecting community of Uzanu.
Although there were no casualties from that war on both sides, Igiode community have been trying without success to explain every death in their community with the crisis afterwards. Igiode has constantly accused Uzanu of being responsible, either diabolically or physically for every death of Igiode person whether inside or outside Igiode community. Unfortunately for all the false allegations levied against Uzanu in all cases of deaths, every autopsy carried out on ever controversial corpse has exonerated Uzanu community and her people. However, the nearly bloody crisis sent a clear message to the people of Igiode and their backers that Uzanu is not a community that can be easily overran by them.
Nevertheless, Uzanu people continued to tolerate the ferociousness of Igiode community as a tenant-turned settler community until recently when the Edo State political dual carriage accident, manifested in the form of the political desperados known as Godwin Obaseki and Philip Shuaibu decided to play crude politics of Do-and-Die with the waning land dispute between the two communities. The two communities had their first open confrontation concerning boundary in the late 50s. The situation in 1957 would have led to inter-communual bloodshed but for the extreme tolerance of Uzanu in the face of Igiode provocation.
Neighbouring communities had blamed Uzanu for accommodating Igiode when they were chased away by their former host for their land grabbing tendencies. But the two communities were already coasting to a perfect reconciliation before the Edo State Government woke up from her slumber to invite the two communities for the mischievous so-called peace meeting. The two communities have already set an endogenously assembled effective peace machinery in place to gravitate them into a lasting inter-community harmony, and the machinery had began to yield some very positive steps before the spoiler government set that machinery ablaze with desperation for personal political gains. The Government so-called peace meeting was apparently meant to achieve every other thing for Uzanu and Igiode communities except peace. What was the government really trying to settle for crying out loud? Yes, there was land dispute and crisis in the past between the people of Igiode community and those of Uzanu community that has kept the two neighbouring communities living in mutual suspicion for decades.
For the desire for a peaceful living together, the two communities decided to submit their differences to a court of law with requisite jurisdiction in the early 70s in multiple litigations. While the suits lasted, the communities did not cease to seek alternative ways to peacefully and amicably resolve their differences. Their mutual desire for amicable resolution bore some fruits when, even though one of the suits got to the Supreme Court in the process, the two communities were still able to resolve their differences themselves and had to file and adopted a term of settlement which the Supreme Court upheld on the issue finally. From that point onward, the two communities did not relent in their mutual gravitation to amicable coexistence in their respective geographical defines for their communities in the time being.
In the doctored new narrative of Igiode in their new wave of propaganda, the picture is being painted that the recent upsurge in the skirmishes between the two communities was informed by the creation of the East Uneme Clan Headship by the previous administration of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. This has remained a claimed being begged to explain its alleged causal factors. In another breadth, the narrative becomes that the upsurge was as a result of the farm being cultivated in the Uzanu part of the area by Chief Clement Agba, Minister for State for Budget and Planning. The minister has been falsely accused that he destroyed beacons. This accusation, like the rest have been proved to be the most spurious, bogus and baseless as nothing of such has been substantiated by any of the many peddlers of the blackmail both from the side of the Edo State Government and or the Igiode side.
The only public godly truth that the Edo State Governor and his Deputy are paying so much to conceal and twist with propaganda remains. In the run up to the Edo State 2020 Gubernatorial, the Governor and his Deputy who were members of the APC and had won their elections on that platform as the Edo State Governor and Deputy Governor respectively got disqualified by the APC on the grounds, inter alia, that their credentials were wholesome. This did not go down well with the duo and felt that Adams Oshiomhole was the person behind their travails. The bitter dirty political fight between the two camp is now history. During that fight, Chief Clement Agba was always behind Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. For this, after humiliating Oshiomhole, the duo of Godwin Obaseki and Philip Shuaibu now felt that they have to get their pound of flesh from Agba.
So, the crass disregard for court judgements and alleged demarcation of the boundary between Uzanu and Igiode community, an exercise that was actually a pretext to cede Uzanu land and fishing ponds to Igiode, the detention, remand and now manipulation of the courts against the Uzanu 4, the media castigation and trial of the Minister, the dethronement of the Oliola of Uzanu, the revocation of the Clan Headship of Uzanu and all the other illegal and sacrilegious, unethical, immoral and dastardly acts being committed against the people of Uzanu today by Godwin Obaseki and Philip Shuiabu are simply a shameless continuation of the political battle between Adams Oshiomhole on the first part and the Governor and his Deputy on the second part. The ultimate and grand plan of the Governor and his Deputy is to incite Nigerians against the Minister, give a dog a bad name and hang it.
There are concrete and concluded plans by the Edo State Governor and his Deputy to finally declare the Minister wanted for some fabricated criminal allegations. There are plans to invite and arrest and detain the Minister whenever he enters Edo State. He is to be charged to court for some criminal allegations even though he will not be tried to conclusion or convicted, but he should be thoroughly humiliated and politically rendered useless forever. These are the pretext behind the repeated and frequent invitations by the Edo State Government House to the Honourable Minister. But for now, the Hon. Minister has proven to be smarter than the conspiring Godwin Obaseki, Philip Shuaibu and their new recruit in this plot, Sen. Francis Alimikhena.
It is very unfortunate that while other men possessed of civility employ the machinery of the state to enthrone peace everywhere within the state over which they are entrusted with political powers, our own Edo State Governor, his Deputy and our senator have elected to convert the people’s trust to instrument of vendetta against perceived and actual political rival and those who dare to disagree with their political persuasions. Power, the wise says, is transient. Mr. Godwin Obaseki is concluding his constitutional eight year term of office. He cannot longer have any political ambition that will require that he attracts votes from all the nooks and crannies of Edo State. The same may not be said of Sen. Alimikhena. Philip Shuaibu is a political neophyte amongst the other two. His is just beginning. The man who defecates on the footpath at night never knew that it will get dawn.
We are joining all reasonable Nigerians to appeal to these three political power drunks to please, in the name of whatever they worship, leave Uneme people of Uzanu alone. There are divine risks in oppressing Uneme people, please enquire from history. Allow Igiode and Uzanu continue in their build up to lasting peace as neighbours which they will forever be. Civilised and modern Governments do not settle land dispute by disregarding past judgements on the boundaries to cede one community land for the other. Illegality does not instil tranquillity in communities coming out of hostilities. Like falsehood, proceeds of illegality have but short time to live before they are overthrown by acts of legality. Those who allow themselves to be used to prosecute political warfare by those without political future end up in political dissolution.
It is saddening that in times like these in the life of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that everyone is concerned with the disturbing level of insecurity, political office holders would conceive fermenting inter communal crisis where there is none. It is shocking that in the era when we should be glad of manning our political positions with men and women who parade the streets with degree certificates, even though controversial, we will have cause to be apprehensive of being denied our constitutionally guaranteed rights. It is now greatly disturbing that our once very peaceful and proud Edo State has now been converted to an empire conquered by emperors whose words are laws! It is worrisome that in the 21st Century when humanity is hurriedly widening the provision of constitutions of country to accommodate more rights for man, Edo State Government is shamelessly ordering administrative detention of her citizen in the manner attributable to only the first batch of colonial masters in their conquered territories of Africa!
Maybe we need somebody to tell the Edo State Governor, his Deputy and the Senator that Nigeria and Edo State are under democratic dispensation. Maybe the Edo State House urgently needs a copy or two of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to read or be read and interpreted to them for them to improve in their governance. It may have become necessary to inform the Government of Edo State in the language they best understood that they are not going to be in the state house after 2024. Edo State people want to breathe and live, not under the whims and caprices of anyone. Thread on softly sirs for power is transient.
Abubakar E. Animiokhali, Esq.
Abuja, Nigeria. 2/05/2021.
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