Tony Ogboji PhD
I reframed from commenting directly on the various candidates jostling for Governorship of our dear state because I was involved in screening the candidates to ensure the best and the most acceptable candidate is thrust forward from kogi East as our consensus candidate for the November election. Now that the job is done, I feel free to comment on a specific candidate and interrogate his rise and rise on the political ladder amidst barrels of attacks and mudslingings.
The ordinary Igala folks epitomize the people of culture, traditions ,profound appreciation, and yearning for development and all the good things of life.
These hopes and aspirations of our people are in short supply in the state today . They are stucked with unemployed children they laboured hard to train along with the waning hope of winning bread for them to uplift their lives.
The people are yearning for change. Looking for a pathway to decent living and enjoying the good things of life and not this New Direction of callousness, of deceits,of work and no pay , of nepotism, of corruption,of percentage wages, of tribalism, of grandstanding, of trepid lies, of murder and arson , of hopelessness and despotism, of greed and crass stealings , of divide and rule and of annihilation of Igala majority in the state . What else is worst than this kind of “ New Directions “ of evil? The consequences of this “New Directions “ since 2015 to date are enormous as hunger pervade the land, Schools are desolate, hospitals are in comatose, lack of portable water, infrastructures are in a state of decay and life expectancy very short and our land and people are returning to stone ages. Life become brutish and short. Gangsters and bringands rule the land with fierce and impunity and a free for all survival of the fittest .
In the face of these man made calamities, our people turn to God in large numbers. Evangelism of all sorts sprang from various nuke and crannies of Kogi East and beyond. Muslims and Christians went deep in seeking the face of Almighty for help .
Fortunately, help started coming from unexpected quarters. Yes , help started coming from the wilderness. Long Streets became lit and bright for people to see very far hence no hiding places for the night marauders, boreholes being sunk here and there for people and communities,helps in unimaginable quantums start reaching our perennial flood victims with succor and life boats, Schools started getting rebuilt here and there, widows and orphans of the callous regime started receiving helps , youths with talents started getting help to start up enterprises, farmers were supported with fertilizers to get back to farms , local vigilantes sprang up every where with supports to curtail insecurities thereby encouraging city dwellers to visit families in the villages once again , Market women were being supported to deepen their trades.
In the face of this “Strange” happenings of goodies since the past five years , tongues begin to wags, questions here and there as to who is doing all these good things in our land and to our people ? In unison , beneficiaries started calling only one name : Alhaji Murtala Mohammed Ajaka ( Muri) ! Is Muri oh , Na Muri De do oh , Muri is our helper oh , hey , God sent Muri to deliver us oh . These were the echoes from various people and communities in Kogi East . The amazing thing was that Muri did all these things many years ago and mostly throughout the New Direction regime without any sign posts or fanfare of commissionings . We have not seen this level of generosity and large hearts before.
The joy and happiness Muri brought to our people were palpable and reminiscence of a local messiah. His name started “ringing bell” here and there . People sort to know him to either thank him , idolized him and or seek his help or supports. As usual, envy and treacherous gang up against him started from the usual quarters : The Igala political elites. Many questions spurred out from their mouths and sublimes . Who is Muri? , Who is his Father? Where did he work ? Who gave him the money he is sharing about ? Did he go to school? Who were his teachers ? Who were his classmates? What is his experience? And so many other derogatory remarks about his antecedents.
The questions rages on and became biles when Muri was unveiled physically. Oh he is too short , he is too young , he stole all the money from GYB, oh our sons are even older than him etc . Some invectives against him were so crude to be repeated here .
The questions on his personality rages on and became worst when he declared his intention to contest the Governorship election scheduled for Novembe 11, 2023. Heaven was let loose against him. All the instrumentality of state coercions were marshaled against him. Local hoodlums were raised to checkmate him. Yet the people, yes the people stucked with him. Some of the political elites will not have anything to do with him . They see him as a usurper. Some even preferred the New Direction of evil to continue to eternity instead of Muri . Many obstacles were invented to derail him, yet he prevailed. Many groups emerged to screen governorship candidates, he went through all the processes and emerged victorious and eventually scaled through the elder’s committee to become the overall Igala consensus candidate for the governorship election. The elders went over board to verify his certicates and it was returned unassailable. And the issue of “no certificate”and “didn’t go to school”were rested as the allegations fell flat from the roof . Bello Did everything to either stop him from running or kill him . Yet through the mercy of God, he prevailed. Igala elites did everything to stop him, yet through the unwavering support of the people, he prevailed.
What is therefore responsible for the meteoric rise of Muri in this hardest contest? It is nothing but the People’s love for him, reward for his generosity of hearts ,Simplicity and Humility , a quest for change from new directions of evil and a surreal to the political elites that the people are not fools but will always stick with their benefactors regardless.
Muri today is like a broken Calabash floating on the ocean . The ocean can neither swallow it nor truncate its ride to the final destination. Whoever attempts to push the floating calabash into the belly of the ocean will certainly get drown and yet it will come up to the surface of the ocean to continue its jolly ride .
The electorate are wiser today than yesterday. You can’t wait in the wing for election season to come and brandish your long list of certificates, Achievements,excruciating job experiences , Military expeditions, your fat billions of Naira in your bank accounts,connections, your age and how many elderly children you produced to declare your self more qualified for the job than Muri , without touching lifes like him and expect people to take you serious.
Governorship and power does not make you a generous and gracious person but the position will only reveal who you are. Hence Muri’s generosity of heart coupled with simplicity, and humility are the reasons for his rise and rise in the political ladder and the cult followership he enjoys today .
The Muri’s phenomenon is do for the people and the people will align with you at the time of need . That is the new political template the people are teaching our politicians.
Dr Tony B.Ogboji