By Tochukwu Okorie
The Nigerian political environment seems to naturally impose on whoever is exposed to it the responsibility of having to withstand daring frontal barefaced lies and sometimes outright defamation.
Either it is the necessary price for one’s aspiration to leadership or it is a test of ability in that respect. There is really no other way to situate the fact that people sit down in the comfort of their rooms and concoct some heinous tendentious allegation and heap on another just because they want to ensure the other’s reputation is sufficiently tainted such that he or she can no longer conveniently pursue his or her expressed aspiration.
The kind of cheap chicanery to which Dr. Ikedi Ohakim, for instance, is currently being subjected is the reason politics in Nigeria especially suffers acute dearth of decent people.
Politics ordinarily brings you in contact with sometimes the basest of human beings as long as they have or purport to have a vote or some influence.
It throws your door wide open to charlatans and miscreants who effusively mouth their support even when it is clear they have little to offer if anything at all. You would need some sort of inherent clairvoyant capabilities to be able to tell the moles from genuine supporters.
Consequently, you are forced to accommodate obviously despicable characters with a smile just so you do not come across as arrogant. There is no scientific way of telling that a particular neighborhood rat prancing around your home or office has been planted to infiltrate you by a political opponent too weak to dwell on issues or ideas.
I do not recall any time, forum or location that Dr. Ohakim publicly or privately declared those intentions; his name has however come up once and again in connection with the forthcoming Imo north senatorial election and also the office of President of the pan Igbo socio-cultural group, Ohaneze Ndi Igbo. The mere mention of his name appears to have left many of the political gladiators in and around the zone who unfortunately see themselves as his “enemies” panic-stricken and they now resort to blackmail to try and run him out of the road using some tart in the hood.
A cursory background check suggests that the woman being used to perpetrate the latest savagery on Ohakim is a serial blackmailer with no visible means of livelihood, a loathsome scoundrel of easy virtues seeking to climb the social ladder by whatever means.
It would not be out of character for her to hallucinate about such opulence enough to give five hundred million naira in cash to a former state governor. Ludicrous.
That is a clear symptom of schizophrenia. What her manipulators probably did not tell her is that the prison walls could be cold and lonely and that they would be too busy with the other of their hirelings to remember to visit her in jail. I would be surprised if Ohakim would let his gentle nature allow such affront to go without a consequence.
What arouses the curiosity is how a person with neither a verifiable means of livelihood nor a known address could mobilize such a humongous amount in cash, raw cash and without any record or paper trail. Even if the money came from the purse of one or several of her patrons, should there not be some evidence? But then a street urchin does not understand the word shame.
For the man in the eye of the storm, I am confident that he is able to acquit himself like the gentle lion that he is. The holy book says that the wicked will not go unpunished.
Getting this rabble rouser behind bars for the rest of her life would be justice not just for Ikedi Ohakim but for a system fiercely rattled by brigandage over the years. It should be a good deterrent to others like her who would otherwise be willing to make themselves available to rouge politicians for ignoble misadventures.