By Ikunaiye Itopa

My own dear brother named Tom Ohikere from Kogi Central wrongly numbered an article he wrote some few days back and titled it, “Kogi Guber 2023.. Kogi Central at crossroad and must be rescued! He numbered his paragraphs from 1 and he ended up making a grave mistake by writing number 7 before 6.


This alone indicates why Tom Ohikere should not be taken too serious. If at his age he cannot number 1 to 7 correctly, I wonder what positive rendition he thinks he present and add to the political narratives in Kogi Central.

Without any iota of doubt, *Tom Ohikere* as usual must have written his wrongly numbered article when he was emptying many bottles of alcohol. Let me now reply him and place him where he rightly belongs.

Tom Ohikere became a bit relevant during the second tenure of Alh. Ibrahim Idris (Ibro), a governor from the East that he served under as Commissioner for Information.

As at then, *Tom Ohikere* was known to be a dedicated person to a cause, many describe as his signature tune. He also will drink himself to stupor each time any money comes his way.

He belonged to a generation of Ebiras that served under the Igalas who were privileged to be governors but it never occurred to him and the rest Ebiras who occupied one position or the other to even try and wrestle the governorship position from the Igalas.

The same Tom Ohikere is now bold to talk gibberish seeing that it is his brother, Gov. Yahaya Bello that is now at the helms of affairs in Kogi State.

The first issue *Tom Ohikere* raised in his article was about the recently conducted Presidential and National Assembly elections in Kogi Central where he said the APC led government in the state did not enjoy maximum support of the people of Ebiraland.

I wonder what *Tom Ohikere* means by the APC not getting maximum support when the party under the able leadership of Gov. Yahaya Bello won the Senatorial seat of Kogi Central and also won the same Kogi Central for the President Elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and also two House of Representatives seats.

The non appreciating *Tom Ohikere* wanted a situation where the APC will get all the votes as it used to be in the ugly days of the PDP where he served as a stooge. The new sheriff in town known as Gov. Yahaya Bello knows and understands what the true meaning of democracy is and that is why he gave room for a level playing ground by allowing the electorates to vote for their choice candidates.
This is a democratic gesture that is alien to *Tom Ohikere* as it did not exist during the heydays of the PDP.

Secondly, *Tom Ohikere* talked about the general elections across the country which he said indicates that the people’s votes is now counting. He listed the likes of Governors Ortom, Ayade and Ikpeazu and others who lost their Senatorial election even as sitting governors. He added that, *”if the people are disenchanted, they can vote you out.”* I am not a person that shy away from the truth when I see one therefore, I will openly accept that what *Tom Ohikere* narrated in his second paragraph is nothing but the truth. Whether we like it or not, the votes of the electorates is now counting and this is further aided by the advancement in technology. I also want to educate *Tom Ohikere* to learn how to appreciate Gov. Yahaya Bello who has never used thugs or even security agencies to disrupt or disorganize the processes of any election. *Tom Ohikere* is shy to give credence to Gov. Yahaya Bello because his own paymasters that he served hired the services of thugs to win elections. *The votes of the people only count when a governor decides to embrace peace in his state and that is what Gov. Yahaya Bello is known for.*

The third paragraph in *Tom Ohikere’s* ill coordinated article made me to laugh hysterically. In his words, *”My party winning the coming election is my concern and I do not see the present crop of Governorship aspirants from the Central especially those from the Cabinet as capable of winning the confidence of the people of Ebira land.”* I had to laugh uncontrollably as I did not know that *Tom Ohikere* will be bold to say he belongs to the APC in Kogi State.


All I know of him is that he went into oblivion as he could not fit into the New Direction government of Gov. Yahaya Bello. *Tom Ohikere* is only becoming vocal now seeing that we are in the season of elections.

Let me give it to him that he is entitled to his opinion about the crop of politicians from Kogi Central that are in the race for the governorship position. *Tom Ohikere* does not have any political value and I wonder why he is now serving as a judge over those who are interested in the governorship race from Kogi Central. If truly he is of the APC in Kogi State and Central, what value can he say he has added to the party for the past 7 to 8 years aside badmouthing Gov. Yahaya Bello.

*Tom Ohikere* in paragraph four talked about the many evidences that abounds in the last election which further demonstrated the mistrust people have on government officials from Kogi Central, the same which made them not to win or deliver their Polling Units. *Tom Ohikere* made yet another mistake by not using the expression *some government officials.* He generalized the whole government officials as having lost their Polling Units which is a blatant lie.

Let me in a way pitch my tent with *Tom Ohikere* by saying not all government officials from the Central were up and doing considering the office given to them to service the people and their community. Some of them actually got it wrong by not associating with their people which should never be a trait of any politician that wants to be valued and also remain in power.

However, I hope *Tom Ohikere* is also aware that there were also political gladiators across the country who lost their Polling Units, Wards, Local Government Areas and even a whole state to the opposition. I will yet again say that this is the beauty of democracy in this present dispensation which was the ugly side of the same democracy during the era of PDP, a party and government *Tom Ohikere* served.

What actually prompted me to give a stellar reply to *Tom Ohikere’s* article is the paragraph 5 where he accused Gov. Yahaya Bello of riding a high horse that he needs to come down from and bring together the founding fathers of the APC in Kogi Central. He went on to mention names like: *Sen. Ohiare, Hon. Abdullahi Bello, Hon. Sadiq of Ajaokuta, Major Hitler, Sen. Ohize Group and many other groups including himself* to rescue the messy political situation in Kogi Central. He said Gov. Yahaya Bello made a grave error for ostracizing these people he mentioned.

I am glad to hear from *Tom Ohikere* that Gov. Yahaya Bello is actually riding on a horse and it is indeed an enviable horse that has eluded all the people he mentioned and his humble self. *Tom Ohikere* has the right to qualify the horse the governor is riding as a high one because he is entitled to his opinion. It is glaring that *Tom Ohikere* is taking the lead of some Ebira people that are preparing to repent from their evil and wicked ways. If it were to be before now, they will simply refer to the seat Gov. Yahaya Bello is occupying as one that is not of much importance because they are not the ones seating on it. *That is why an Ebira man will call your horse you are gently riding on as a dog if he does not like you for reasons best known to him.*

It is a pity that *Tom Ohikere* is a Christian that does not know the Bible. The scripture counseled children to respect their parents in the Lord and the same Bible went on to say that parents should not provoke their children because if they do, their children can also get angry. *Of all the names of the founding fathers mentioned by Tom Ohikere, which of them as a “father” has ever tried to visit Gov. Yahaya Bello to counsel or probably sell an idea of leadership to him? Which of them have publicly praised Gov. Yahaya Bello for his developmental strides in Kogi Central and the state at large? Which of them have attended functions organized by Kogi State Government for the world to know that they are a pillar of support for GYB? What has been their utterances concerning Gov. Yahaya Bello both in the open and in the secret? Is it because some of the elders are now eyeing the governorship seat or their sons are showing interest in becoming the governor of Kogi State that Tom Ohikere is now saying Gov. Yahaya Bello should come down from the high horse he is riding on and welcome them into his fold? These same elders Tom Ohikere is asking Gov. Yahaya Bello to now give special recognition were the ones that took away their own recognition when Gov. Yahaya Bello came on board as governor.

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Their wicked ways of playing politics did not fit into the style of Gov. Yahaya Bello so, they went into hiding. These founding fathers were the ones that made Ebira land to boil when they held small political offices that was not as big as the position of a governor. Their own time was when Kogi Central witnessed the burning down of houses coupled with killings almost on a daily basis. They made many sons of Kogi Central to become their thugs while they were busy training their biological children perfectly well both in Nigeria and abroad. Many of the thugs they raised have gone down six feet below but their own children are waxing stronger. Tom Ohikere should learn quickly that the founding fathers he mentioned are the ones who rode on a high horse and Gov. Yahaya Bello whose own horse is a low one with much humility, respect and the unquenchable desire to help his people cannot mingle with them as they are not birds of the same feather who flocks together.
These elders should also know that they have eaten their cake and cannot have it again. Let them wash their hands and go to sleep for what they have eaten be it good or bad to digest gently before posterity will judge them.* I have come to discover recently that *Gov. Yahaya Bello does not like sitting with elders that calls a goat its exact name in the morning only for them to refer to the same goat with the name of another animal in the evening.*

At this juncture, I will help *Tom Ohikere* rearrange his wrongly numbered article. His 6th point that he wrongly numbered as the 7th talked about Barr. Natasha Uduaghan (Nee: Akpoti). He said we should pray not to have anyone as powerful as her from the the two other Senatorial Districts during the next governorship election. He referred to Natasha as a dynamite that must be respected as she can be used by any politician outside Kogi Central to win an election because to *Tom Ohikere,* Natasha has enormous capacity and dexterity needed to win an election. He also counseled GYB that there was no need to be fighting Natasha.

Well, *Tom Ohikere* is not a politician and I do not think he will ever be one especially now that he is already an old man with white hairs taking their different positions all over his body. He does not understand the rudiments of politics. He has further shown to us that he does not know that an election is won by figures. Natasha contested an election and though she pulled strings but it was not enough for her to win so she lost the election to Sen. Abubakar Ohere who had more votes than her. *Tom Ohikere* may pretend not to be aware of the military powers and external forces that teamed behind Natasha in the last election.

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Those forces wanted Natasha to win to use that as a way of spiting Gov. Yahaya Bello and also to present him as a political weakling to the whole world.

Let it be made clear that Natasha has no political grit that is enough to scare a political gladiator like Gov. Yahaya Bello. Natasha only succeeded on playing over the intelligence of many people from Kogi Central using her crocodile tears, well spoken English that would have been better used by her as a lawyer in a court of law, her fair in complexion skin that many people admire, getting married to an oil magnate and sharing some few election souvenirs which was enough to woo some of the voters to her side. I guess the same it is that is making a person like *Tom Ohikere* to develop a cold feet about her. The people of Kogi Central are not fools. They are wiser than what *Tom Ohikere* is taking them to be. The Ebiras will allow other people to be governor but it will NEVER be now.

After reading the article by *Tom Ohikere* to the very last paragraph I am about to address, I discovered he must have written it inside a beer parlour where he was gulping down some mixture of alcoholic contents and may be a damsel was sitting beside him and touching him as Delilah touched Samson that must have affected his coordination. *Tom Ohikere* talked about uniting Kogi Central, bringing together the founding fathers of the APC from the Central, the need to be scared of Natasha as she can be used by other politicians to win the governorship elections only for him to submit in his last paragraph that for the purpose of equity and justice and also if APC wants to win the next gubernatorial elections in Kogi State, Kogi West should be considered for the position of governor. *The soft and calm nature of Gov. Yahaya Bello is what has made some lesser “animals” to come out of their holes to be be moving freely and even talking of how they may likely overthrow the lion.* If not, can anyone dare to tell or suggest to the likes of late Prince Abubakar Audu, Alh. Ibrahim Idris (Ibro) and even Capt. Idris Ichalla Wada the next part of Kogi State that will be governor? Where was *Tom Ohikere* and the founding fathers he listed when the Igalas conveniently ruled this State for 16 getting to 17 solid years? Were they not only contented with feeding lean from the crumbs dropping from the tables of their masters during those their reign of terror? Now that Gov. Yahaya Bello is the one in charge, the likes of *Tom Ohikere* can now speak up because of the shaky alliance he must have had with a candidate from the West. We do understand that, *Tom Ohikere* needs to secure his money for booze and also the many ladies he takes pleasure in playing with. He has only suggested where power should be shifted to but his heart desires will not for any reason come to pass. Power will remain in Kogi Central after Gov. Yahaya Bello leaves office. Whoever is not ready to accept this can go to hell for all I care.

I will end this long epistle of a reply to *Tom Ohiker’s* article on a lighter note. I remember I was with a friend and we were both analyzing this *Tom Ohikere’s* submission when an old woman overheard us calling the name *Tom.* She said that was the name she gave one of her dogs that a car knocked down some few years back. She narrated to us how good at barking the dog was but always scared when it comes to attacking an intruder. In the same vein, our own *Tom Ohikere* like that dog of blessed memory have only come out to bark. We all know he will run into hiding when the real time for political activities towards who becomes the next governor of Kogi State starts. Thank you.

Ikunaiye Itopa from Ihima


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