By Destiny Ugorji
A few days ago, one Collins Ajie paid for a full page on one of the local newspapers in Owerri, attacking the person of the Deputy Governor of Imo State, Rt. Hon. Gerald Irona.
I am not the Deputy Governor’s spokesman, but I feel sad that someone could, in the name of politics spread such level of falsehood against Hon. Gerald Irona.
No matter how much you may have been paid, there is no justification for this blackmail.
Signing on behalf of one of those dissident groups around, the Supreme Council of Oil and Gas Producing Communities, Imo State, Ajie alleged that the Deputy Governor of Imo State, Rt. Hon. Gerald Irona threatened to kill him. He also claimed that the Deputy Governor was threatening some of his members with arrest, adding that, he has actually arrested some of them.
He ended his rant with a demand that he or his members be appointed Managing Director or Chairman, or even a member of the Board of the Imo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission-ISOPADEC, claiming that he was instrumental to the birth of ISOPADEC.
As one from the same Federal Constituency and indeed, Local Government with him, I must state that I am ashamed of this development.
I feel so insulted that in a State we all belong, someone of Ajie’s kind is dreaming of occupying a public office?
When did we get to this point in Nigeria? How did we get here and whom did we offend?
How could one claim to have been threatened by one of the kind of a Deputy Governor, without stating where, how, when and through what means? Where did he see the Deputy Governor? How did he threaten him?
Can he in any way be an obstacle or a threat of any sort to him or the present administration? Why would the Deputy Governor condescend to his level?
Again, Ajie claimed that the Deputy Governor arrested his members, without giving the names of his members that were allegedly arrested.
Who are the people arrested? Where and when were they arrested? Which security agency arrested them and what offence did they commit? Is he talking to fools?
More so, Collins Ajie claimed that his group fought for the establishment of ISOPADEC.
He went further to state that the Deputy Governor was opposed to the establishment of the Oil Commission.
The truth is that there is no truth in that claim. Ajie is a member of the Action Alliance (faction of the All Progressives’ Congress) and a stooge of a chieftain of the party.
The role he played during the 2019 elections in favour of his pay master is still very fresh in our minds.
Again, we are from the same area and I know exactly what I am saying, as we were in the field together.
History never forgets. The first Bill for the establishment of an Oil Commission in Imo State was sponsored by Rt. Hon. Gerald Irona (in his days as a member of Imo State House of Assembly).
That Bill was passed, but not assented to by the then Governor. This is an incontrovertible fact and the claim that Hon. Irona stood against the establishment of ISOPADEC is to say the least, ungodly.
At the end of his attacks, he arrived at his point- he wants the State Government to appoint them into the Board of ISOPADEC, but, the Deputy Governor appears to be their most formidable obstacle.
This is for sure, how not to go about begging for unmerited favour.
I am not a member of the ruling Party and I am not close to Hon. Gerald Irona, but, I know the man Collins Ajie and I will not be proud to have him occupy a public office in Imo State.
The reasons are obvious. Whoever knows him will understand me better.
Ultimately, people of Ohaji/Egbema/Oguta must not forget that this is the first time in the history of Imo State that the area is producing a Deputy Governor.
The best thing to do at this point is to do away with every form of hostility and support their brother to succeed.
For the law enforcement agencies, no one should hide under any guise to perpetrate criminality. They must not be distracted.
Whoever that violates the laws of our land should be made to face the full wrath of the law. Blackmail shall not save anyone involved in any form of crime.
As for Collins Ajie, I know him better than most other people and I urge the Deputy Governor and indeed the Governor to ignore him.
He is on his own and does not represent the good people of Ohaji/Egbema.
His sins should also not be visited on people of the area.
Please, His Excellency, forgive him, for he knows not what he does.
It is a case of an ant engaged in an unending struggle for relevance. Indeed, Butterfly considers itself a bird!
By Destiny Ugorji