Between Wike and Akpabio: The Wizards of Nigeria are Confessing

Fri, Jun 30, 2023
By editor


By Victor Anazonwu

AFRICAN folklore is rich in tales of witches and wizards. One of the major narrative threads which mark this literary genre is that before they die, evil practitioners of witchcraft either brag about or confess their most devious crimes.

Often when cornered by angry mobs or lying in their deathbeds, they become unusually forthcoming with their long-hidden secrets: How they made young innocent women barren or afflicted strong men with stroke and poverty. How they ate the hearts of newborn babies cuddled in the arms of their mothers.

Today, it appears that we are in a season of gloating and confessions among the grand wizards of Nigeria; Those who rule over the darkness surrounding our dear country. They are talking without ceasing. They are answering questions that no one in sight asked them. Their tongues are loosened by forces beyond our comprehension. We are listening with rapt attention. Our ears are full.

At the valedictory session of Nigeria’s 9th Senate on June 10, 2023, outgoing Senator Adamu Bulkachuwa (Bauchi North), a man not exactly known for his many contributions on the floor of parliament, decided to step out from obscurity.

Under the glare of national and international television cameras, Senator Bulkachuwa bragged about how he infringed on the “freedom and independence” of his wife to aid his colleagues in the Senate to obtain judicial favors while she served as a judge.

For the records, Mrs Zainab Bulkachuwa was President of the Federal Court of Appeal between 2014 and 2020 when she retired upon attainment of the age of 70. The Court of Appeal is the final arbiter on electoral disputes in parliamentary elections in Nigeria!

Sen Bulkachuwa’s now infamous remarks took all of about 40 seconds. He had barely started when the former Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, sensing grave danger, attempted to hush his colleague.

Lawan, himself a veteran of nocturnal political wizardry, who is widely believed to be a sitting beneficiary of Bulkachuwan jurisprudence, desperately tried to cover a mad man bent on stripping himself naked in the market square.

But it was too late. The spirit of confession had already possessed Bulkachuwa, and rather than heed a veiled plea to stop, he proceeded to remove even his underpants. He added a few more words to underline his original confession – for the avoidance of doubt.

Sen. Bulkachuwa is 83 and a highly enlightened man. So he is neither lacking in experience, exposure, tact or wisdom. He spoke from the depths of his belly, under the urging of the spirits. And so, now we know for sure how judgments are procured in Nigeria after elections.

Another wizard who has lately been loose with his tongue is Alhaji Mujaheed Asari Dokubo. To be fair, the former Niger Delta militant who now peddles his “influence” for a living has always been talkative. It’s in his DNA and It comes with the terrain of his chosen “profession” as a soldier of fortune. After accepting a hefty settlement to retire from jungle militancy, Asari has evolved nicely into staged or rhetorical militancy.

In the last few years, he has been busy either advocating the continued detention of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu (whom he considers a rival), or insulting the entire ethnic Igbos worldwide. His goal: To secure favors from the Federal Government like his more illustrious competitor, Tompolo. It does not matter that by Asari’s own admission his grandfather was Igbo. All is fair that puts food on the table.

Shortly after openly helping to manipulate election outcomes in the Niger Delta region in favor of his favorite presidential candidate, Asari finally got his wish to be noticed. He was invited to State House, Aso Villa, Abuja, as guest of the freshly minted President Bola Tinubu. That’s where his latest “confessions” began to unravel.

At the end of his meeting with the president, Asari was given the liberty to address the media from within the chambers of State House. Not one to let such an epochal opportunity pass lightly, . he made himself comfortable and opened his mouth.

The world now knows, thanks to Asari, that in recent years he has been the one “in charge” of security in six of Nigeria’s 36 states, including some of the most volatile. The world now also knows that it was Asari’s boys (not the Army) who flushed out bandits and kidnappers from the Abuja – Kaduna highway, making it possible for us ordinary citizens to ply that road “in peace” once again. In addition, the world also now has Asari’s authoritative testimony that men of the Nigerian Army and Navy are complicit in the massive stealing of Nigerian oil which became rampant during the Buhai presidency.

In essence, Asari Dokubo has divulged high level security information in a miasma of desperate marketing.. It includes that the “safety and security” of large swathes of Nigerian territory had been outsourced to a private army of retired guerillas who once waged war against Nigeria! And that the story of “unknown gunmen” in Southeast Nigeria is incomplete without chronicling the part played by Asari Dokubo.

I suspect that those who came up with the idea of inviting the former Niger Delta militant (now “security contractor”) to the Villa would be kicking themselves under the table. Things have gone completely out of script.

Beyond Asari, there is another Wizard of the Niger Delta whose confessions are holding the rest of us spellbound. He is the inimitable Nyesom Wike, until a few weeks ago the Governor of Rivers State. He goes by the cognomen “Lion of the Niger Delta.” He was also leader of the once famous but now defunct G5 governors.

When Wike failed to clinch the PDP presidential ticket against Atiku Abubakar in mid 2022, he persuaded four of his governor colleagues to join him in making sure that Atiku failed. And while they were at it, Wike regaled Nigerians with tales each time he summoned the cameras to witness the commissioning of one of his numerous legacy projects, namely, flyovers and roads.

Having no other bridges and roads to commission since leaving office, Wike has now turned his attention to stories of his epic battles with other forces of darkness. First, immediately after Godswill Akpabio emerged as Senate President, Wike went to town to congratulate the former Akwa Ibom State Governor. Wike said he was happy with Akpabio because (wait for it) Akpabio gave him N200m in support of his presidential ticket bid in 2022!

At the time of this gift, Akpabio belonged to the APC while Wike belonged to the PDP. In the world of politics, it is a rarity for people to support one another across rival party lines with such handsome donations – except when the goal is to disorganize and weaken the opposition.

Wike’s public confession of what was supposed to be a secret transaction left Akpabio in a lurch. How was he to explain his strange generosity to a sitting governor of Nigeria’s second richest state? Where did he get that money from? If he had N200m to spare for Wike, how much more does he have stashed away? From what legitimate enterprise did such funds come? How much taxes has he been paying on such incomes…?

Akpabio must have felt like a witch unexpectedly caught by daylight during a late flight home from the coven. We all know that not even Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, could have been so generous with funds earned from the grind of business. We all know that the most likely sources of Akpabio’s largese include the coffers of Akwa Ibom State which he relinquished in 2015, or the strong rooms of NDDC to which he had keys until lately. Either way, it wasn’t Akpabio’s hard-earned money that he gave away so freely. It was money from dark sources.

In struggling and stammering to explain himself to an incredulous audience, Akpabio let drop another confession: He said Wike’s mentor, Peter Odili, had similarly gifted him (Akpabio) another hefty sum during his days as an aspiring governorship candidate in neighboring Akwa Ibom State. Then, Odili was Governor of Rivers State and Wike was one of his errand boys.

To cut a long story short, these men (and other like them across the states) have been trading favors and sowing seeds in each other’s political vineyards, using public funds, for as long as anyone can remember! It says a lot about how easily public funds are stolen around Nigeria by those entrusted with their care. In a country where poverty, unemployment and misery indices are perpetually high, the Devil himself must look like a saint beside Nigerian politicians.

While his audience struggled to digest the
import of his N200m gift story, Wike added another one. He said that he was “poisoned” by a close political associate during a party (PDP) meeting in 2022. Although he survived the poisoning, he said, his doctors told him that his liver and kidneys were shut down.

Far be it from me to make light of the afflictions of a fellow human being (that is, if Wike is human like the rest of us). But I am almost certain that if the Lion of the Niger Delta was truly poisoned, he couldn’t have made it up from the seat on which he took the poisoned chalice.

You see, in the underworld, no genuine enemy would give you a soft poison from which you can recover to tell the tales. They would finish you off at once.

So, Wike needs to look beyond his human enemies (and he has many of them) for the real sources of the poison in his inards. He probably needs to look more closely at his liquid “friends” sitting inside fancy-labeled bottles on his side stools.. I hear he loves the company of those bottled friends very much. I hear they eat up the liver and kidneys just as well. Like his enemies in the PDP.

Enough said.

Culled from Renaissance Online Magazine.


– June 30, 2023 @ 13:15 GMT |