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A Group Sympathetic to Chief Ibori write Open Letter to Dr. Uduaghan

10th Nov. 2011
His Excellency,
Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan
Executive Governor,
Delta State

Your Excellency.

Open letter of Protest to Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan over intimidation by Delta State Government and Police Command
On behalf of Delta Patriotic Front, a human rights advocacy group based in Warri, Delta State, with great respect, I wish to draw your Excellency’s kind attention to the above captioned which tramples on the rights of our members and advise as follows:

We condemn in the strongest possible terms the recent action of the Delta State Police Command in denying over 1,000 members of our association the permission to meet at a public venue in Warri, Delta State. To us, this means obstructing peoples’ rights to freedom of association according to internationally recognised standards.
That your Excellency has in the past eight months refused to dialogue with us as stakeholders in the State is a privilege denied but we accept it in good fate. However, on the issue of the aborted meeting of our members, it is unfortunate to learn that your Excellency stood against it in your capacity as the Chief Security Officer of the State. Furthermore, your continued non response to our written protest on the ill action of the State Police Command leaves us with no other impression than to agree that your respected office colluded with the Delta State Police Command to suppress open discussions on Chief James Onanefe Ibori perceived predicament.
We are also very disappointed to hear that your Excellency created impossible conditions that would prevent some known sympathizers of Chief Ibori from speaking at such a meeting that is open to the public. We consider this purported action of your Excellency unacceptable in a healthy civil society that is founded on the ability of all to express non-violent and non- prejudiced opinions, freely and openly, without fear of retribution.
Furthermore, we are shocked to observe the suspension by Delta State Secretary to the State Government of two of your political appointees who provided support to the aborted meeting for adding their signatures to a letter calling for the release of Chief Ibori by the British Government to Nigeria . According to information available to us, this action on the political appointees was endorsed by your Excellency based on your disapproval of their affiliation to our programme with their signatures, a common practice within a modern democracy.
With due respect, Your Excellency’s action of caving into pressure of a determined minority who wish to deny anyone presenting the realities on Ibori from speaking smacks entirely of bias, pre-emption and censorship that does not enhance the reputation of Nigeria’s democracy. Why should it be so dangerous for people to speak out on the issue of Ibori? We are therefore dismayed at the precedent set by the Delta State Government and we strongly urge your Execellency to reconsider these decisions because such actions if not checked, are capable of resulting in the degeneration of democratic society in favour of a dangerous slide towards fascism.
Frankly, your Excellency’s silence on these raised issues is incredible and it is worth considering that your continued mute will be rightly interpreted as deeply disappointing and even alienating or discouraging many supporters of Ibori who have taken pride to support efforts for his quest for freedom through established international practices.
At this juncture, it is important to state that we feel insulted by the ongoing allegations by some close political associates of Your Excellency that our Association is seeking relevance or is involved in opposition politics by accusing His Excellency of watering down people’s commitment to properly advance their concerns on Ibori. For avoidance of doubt and without fear or favour, we stand by our position that Your Excellency has been very insensitive to the interest of Chief Ibori who coincidentally is a benefactor of most politicians in Delta State of today with Your Excellency ranking number one on such a list if and whenever drawn up.
Your Excellency is hereby reminded that in most parts of the world, men and women who committed heinous crimes have been associated with large group of supporters both during trial and after conviction. The Governments of such countries have never placed a ban on organized protests of such groups. Even here in Nigeria hardly has it been recorded that President Goodluck Jonathan has strangulated views that are against his principles. Why then should an Association like ours with defined interest as supporters of Chief Ibori, a man on trial over just allegations of financial impropriety not feel offended by Your Excellency’s action?
We use this opportunity to advise your Excellency that our association has no intention to diminish his political strength. Indeed, were men ruled by conscience, our association ought to be in one boat with Your Excellency as associates and not foes. Unless, the rumour doing the round that Your Excellency is desirous to let his benefactor rot in British jail is true because of self interest in politics, there is every need for Your Excellency to rethink his actions on our Association and the two suspended political appointees.
We demand that your Excellency responds to our letter to set the records straight on some fundamental points in relation to Ibori’s continued stay in a British jail and the suppression of voices raised by our the members of our association for his release. Otherwise, we will rightly assume that there is more to this Ibori’s issue than meets the eye.
Your Excellency may please be informed that members of Delta Patriotic Front will continue its engagement with all stakeholders as we are not convinced that Ibori’s issue has received adequate attention. As such, any further action by the State Police Command whether in disguise of Your Excellency’s endorsement to thwart our legitimate rights of holding a fresh meeting or intimidation of our supporters by top members of your Government will be highly resisted through every justifiable measure that is allowed in a democratic setting.
Most respectfully,
Delta Patriotic Front
Otega Oghene Comrade Julius Obende
President Secretary
26c Deco Road , Warri

Note: Open Letter Written By Delta Patriotic Front. Nigerians Saving Nigerians published this letter for the sole purpose of Nigerians being informed about the occurences in Nigeria.

2 Responses to “A Group Sympathetic to Chief Ibori write Open Letter to Dr. Uduaghan”

  1. Comrade Chris Obiemenyego says:

    Ibori! Betrayed and abandoned
    “Fear not your enemies, for they can only kill you. Fear your friends, for they can betray and kill you”. If ever you have been betrayed by a close friend especially by someone you trusted and with whom you shared happy times, you will understand what runs in the mind of a man that feels put down or abandoned by his friends. It’s natural to be betrayed by someone who doesn’t like you, but to be betrayed by a person you thought was a loyal friend is very hard to handle. The pain and grief is even magnified when a friend or close family member turns against you and proves to be untrustworthy or unfaithful. Negative friends are not always that easy to spot because most friends only turn into betrayers because of your life changing circumstances. Indeed, there is no crystal ball to predict that a particular friend or sibling will turn out to be unreliable. The man in this picture is James Onanefe Ibori, for emphasis, ’original’ James Ibori and not the one involved in the infamous Abuja High court trial of roofing sheets theft. This James Ibori has been incarcerated in a British gulag for many months on charges related to money laundering.
    Recently, a close ally of James Ibori who visited him in prison in London confided in ZN by stating that the former governor is not only broken hearted but mentally slaughtered for being so naive and trustworthy to his friends. According to his acquaintance, you could feel the pains inside him because everything has changed for the worst. Ibori is beginning to believe that he was emotionally duped by friends and benefactors.
    About three years, he was so powerful being a very close associate of Nigeria’s late President Yar’adua and mentor of many politicians in Delta State including the present Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan. As a former Governor of Delta State for eight years, Ibori amassed tremendous wealth and stole the State treasury dry. Ibori did not only steal our money, he stole the mandate of the Delta State people with impunity, shared political positions to his friends, made his cousin, State Governor and his friends top political office holders. Many people claim he won President Yar’adua’s heart by using his loot to finance the Presidential elections that ushered in Yar’adua and Goodluck Jonathan as President and Vice President respectively. Ibori was generous with almost everything, his wealth, manhood, emotions etc. He was worshiped by many because he was good at dividing his loot. Suddenly, his army of twisty friends became uncountable because he was bighearted to a fault. Even a gross section of the corrupt media that have abandoned him today celebrated him while in power not because he was doing a good job as Governor of Delta state but the pressmen were beneficiaries of his stolen wealth. Everything seemed okay until the death of President Yar’adua and the imposition of Emmanuel Uduaghan as Governor. As they say; the rest is now history.
    Ibori was not an enemy of ZN but his friends made him believe that ZN was carrying out a mercenary motive that was sponsored by his political opponents. ZN in its many publications called Ibori a thief, yet, Ibori never tempered with ZN’s liberty of speech but his cronies like Peter Nwaoboshi, the distressed Delta State PDP Chairman, wanted ZN publisher dead. With the use of the State’s instrument of brutality, Nwaoboshi connived with the State police and a rotten egg in the Delta State Judiciary, a then Magistrate at Ibusa court, Magistrate Dike to get ZN detained at Ogwashi-Ukwu prisons for months without end. Today, Ibori is languishing in a British Jail with little hope of early release; his many friends including infamous Nwaboshi who became an overnight billionaire at the instance of Ibori political compromise have disappeared into thin air.
    Ibori was a magnanimous man and he remains Ali Baba of our times but his betrayal by friends and associates will stay with him for a long time. In prison, Ibori must be thinking to himself and asking why he was so blind about friendship. He may even question his many bad judgements including bad governance, his support to Peter Nwaoboshi as State PDP Chairman, his quarrel with Chief E.K Clark over the imposition of his cousin, Emmanuel Uduaghan as State governor. Also, he may even question his life and all the people in it. The betrayal by his friends will haunt him in his dreams and mind.
    Sometimes you need to consider what your friend is really like within the contexts of all the behaviours. Some of Ibori’s then friends like Nwaoboshi, the on the run accused murderer not only abandoned him but may have moved ahead to provide information that would worsen his case. The story of Ibori are life lessons because all his friends have suddenly gone mute over his incarceration, even the State Governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan was recently petitioned by an Ibori support group for allegedly instructing the Delta State police command to refuse them permission to hold a public gathering in Warri. The likes of Amori, Emma Ogidi, Ifeanyi Okowa, Nkem Okwuofu, Adaora Giwa Amu, Ovie Omo Agege, Funkekeme Solomon, Festus Agas, Enakugharugha, Chief Akpobi, Festus Okobor, Love Ojakovo. Dr Alex Ideh, Victor Ochei, Uche Okpuno, Willy Oki, Nat Okechukwu, Uzoma Idabor, Tony Nwaka, Grace Ekpewhrwre, Pius Ewerido, Champion Kpategie, Terry Naoh, Chief Bozimo, David Edevie, Elue Benjamin, Pius Senebe, Solomon Ogba, Magnus Onyeibe, Macualy Ovuozere, James manager. Patrick Osakwe, Prof BIC Ijeoma, Evo Gardner and other uncountable number of politicians and traditional rulers who fed fat on Ibori have not spoken a word. ZN believes that this is more of cowardice and betrayal because even in less civilized societies, men of good conscience and strong character sustain their support to friends in difficult times. Indeed, all over the world even people that commit heinous crimes draw large sympathetic support from the public whether or not they feel that justice is being upturned on its head.
    On Ibori, ZN forewarned him over his excesses and impunity but he refused to be forearmed. Despite many insinuations that ZN has personal grudges against Ibori and Uduaghan, we make bold to state that these are mere figments of people’s imagination. ZN will always be ruled by the aspirations of the people of Delta state in their quest for good governance. As a demonstration of our focused principle on truth and objectivity, we use this narrative on James Ibori and twisty friendship to join the few voices like Faith Majemite and company, Ibori’s associates that recently broke the ice on Ibori’s situation by discovering courage and boldness in calling for Ibori’s deportation to Nigeria for trial.
    For avoidance of doubt, ZN is not and does not intend to hold any brief for Ibori but we query the conscience of his many friends he enriched or empowered with our stolen wealth. ZN’s position is that the accounting books of Delta State must be thoroughly examined by officials of the EFFC that would not compromise to bribery. It is only when the extent of stolen fund from Delta State treasury is ascertained that the British trial will make sense because in the present situation, it makes no sense putting a man on trial in a foreign court whereas the evidence on source of theft is lacking. The era of British colonization is over and the colonization of the Nigerian Judiciary is unacceptable. Ibori stole our commonwealth not the British, as such he should serve his jail term in Nigeria. It is only when a prima facie case of theft has been duly established against Ibori that Deltans can demand for the return of their stolen wealth in Britain in a very transparent manner for the development of specific projects under the purview of the Federal Government. Perhaps, if Ibori serves in Warri or Ogwashi ukwu prisons, he would use part of his loot to rehabilitate the prisons for his comfort and that of other prisoners. The present administration of Uduaghan must draw lessons from Ibori’s saga rather than complain over ZN’s objective criticisms that would have helped him improve his government. ZN has forewarned Governor Uduaghan in his lack of transparency in running the affairs of the state, perhaps when the chips are down, it may just be one or two persons that will stand by him as they have all done to Ibori. Presently, James Ibori will remain a big and practical lesson for the nature of modern day friendship in Nigeria. Indeed, whenever, the history of James Ibori is written, what will be most prominent will be the chapters of deceit & deception & trust on friendship. It is very certain that Ibori through the years will cry his tears and it is natural that without help from his friends he will face fears of loneliness in prison but the simple lesson is that through his tears and likely years in prison he would know the meaning of true friendship. Real men stand by their man whether in good or bad times. ZN will continue to stand by the truth no matter whose ox is gored.

    Comrade Chris Obiemenyego, Editor in Chief
    ZION Nationale newspapers, Abuja
    El phone number 08030853266
    The article was originally published in ZN newspapers

  2. Stacy says:

    No offense, but i suggest adding a facebook like button for the blog!


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