WEEPING FOR A LAUGHING MAN By Abdullahi O. Haruna Haruspice

Since Governor Yahaya Bello assumed office for his second term in office as Executive Governor of Kogi state, there has been a deliberate and sustained onslaught against his deputy, Edward Onoja particularly from people from his aisle of kogi East. In imaginary plots, they reel out how the governor isn’t longer comfortable with Chief Edward Onoja, how his towering influence in the Lugard House has waned abysmally and now sits idly like a beaten bird in the rain. Pictures flew around showing the man in subdued mien, according to them as things happen in the government without Edward. Such an orchestrated fallacy!

Intimidated by the traces of Edward Onoja, fascinated by his ceaseless aspirations and consumed by covetousness, his traducer takes time to tabulate his imprints and make issues out of them- even when there isn’t any need. Rather than dwelling in his greatness, they puncture and perforate his fortress of greatness forgetting that his walls are fortified. A man baked by nature hardly falls to the traps of men.

According to them, Edward Shouldn’t have agreed to become deputy governor, after all, he had all the powers that come with being the Chief of Staff to a governor. Staying put as Chief of Staff would have paved a way for an Igalaman to be deputy – such warped permutations conjured on the smelly cubicle of prejudice. So the agitation is all about tribal supremacy and not service delivery? For tagging along the path of providence and accepting to be deputy governor, Edward has erred and therefore be banished from the circle of Igala identity.

In one of my writings, I once threw a challenge for anyone to show me that Igala blood that has redefined the igala identity and reawaken the igala renaissance than Chief Edward Onoja, of course, than late Steven Achema, Prince Abubakar Audu? This is months after that challenge , I’m still here with no empirical result. You can’t malign a man because his aspirations offend you. The calculated onslaught against this man won’t hurt him because for every bile you throw at him, there are hundreds of souls who will rise in prayers against your coagulated malice. I have seen the terminally ill rescued by this man, I have seen people soaked in despair given hope to by this man, I have seen the sons and daughters of nobody made somebody by the benevolence of this man. The physical attributes of this man in Igalaland are enough fortress against your bile, the magnificent Igala House in Anyigba made possible by Edward will stand in defence of this man. The value he has brought to the Igala royalty by elevating the Attah Igala in affluence and influence will intercede for him in the gathering of your onslaught.

Do not weep for Edward Onoja for he needs not your tears. In real sense, he is the one who should wipe your tears of envy, misery and unmitigated grief. All I see are the assemblage of highly pained people writhing in pains, and unmet expectations making the life of a man in luxuries and contentment their headache. What a case of weeping for a man who is supposed to weep for your woes!

Stop killing a good man because he does not fit into your warped modelling. This man you love to hate has facilitated over 30 rural water projects in Igala land, empowered thousands , employed hundreds , sponsored people to law school, built homes for the aged and homeless and town halls for communities. We saw how he facilitated the remodelling of Ankpa township mosque and completed the abandoned Okpo central mosque – feat those before him dared not accomplish. I don’t know what defines being illustrious but in Edward Onoja I have seen what it means to be a worthy son of Igala. Rather than the endless mastication of this man, I advise these vuvuzelas should send their resume to this man so as to join in the beneficial train of Edward so that they can be counted amongst people with meaningful engagement instead of badmouthing the man that has been blessed by providence.

Truthfully musing

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