Few days before Idris Ichalla Wada formally announced his intention to contest the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governorship Primaries in Kogi State a glut of false reports damaging to the image of the man and sponsored by faceless persons had begun to flood a section of the mass media in torrents.
The first report which described him as a retired army captain claimed he had invaded Odu 1 Council Ward in Dekina Local Government Area and snatched the party’s membership register from the local officials at gun point. According to that fanciful story, after snatching the register, he mutilated the records to include his name and thereafter he politely returned the register back to the officials. Next they said he is a son-in-law and business partner of Governor Ibrahim Idris who has enjoyed multiple contracts through a construction company called Horizon which they said belonged to him (Wada).
Each and all of these stories have been proven to be false in every material detail. To begin with Wada has never been a soldier. He is a captain alright, but that is because he is a professional pilot, one of the best in the world for that matter, who rose to the pinnacle of his career. As at the day they claimed he was at Odu to snatch a register at gun point, Wada was far away in London. Besides, the gentleman has never owned or carried a firearm in his life. In any case why would anyone snatch a document at gun point, mutilate the said document and then peacefully hand it back to the custodian to be used as evidence?
Furthermore he is not a son-in-law of Governor Idris and has never been. He does not own Horizon Construction Company even though he concedes to having some interest in the firm and even his accusers who claim the company was Governor Idris’ front, could only point to two contracts executed by the firm in the nine year tenure of Idris.
Observers of the smear campaign had wondered why there was such anxiety to disparage a man who had not even officially thrown his hat into the ring. With the benefit of hindsight, after the battle was lost and won on 22nd of September (2011), it was easier to rationalise the desperation of the characters who didn’t even have the sense of honour or courage to own up to their own smudge campaign. So cowardly are these persons that they even institute legal actions with fictitious names.
Truth is that captain Wada’s profile is quite intimidating particularly to rivals whose only pedigree was that they got fired from a plum job in a bank for the offences of incompetence and dishonesty. Thus they laboured frantically to smear Wada and paint him in the most revolting colours available, but alas, the delegates of our party know a good brand when they see one. They voted overwhelmingly to nominate Wada while some other persons now going around claiming some delusionary mandate could only score a single vote from a delegate population of about 1000!
But just when everyone thought they had exhausted the lies in their armoury to prosecute their campaign of fiction, one of the fictitious characters being deployed as a litigant against Wada has gone to court with a so called further and better affidavit alleging that the PDP candidate was once treated for psychiatric disorder and therefore he was not qualified to contest the governorship election slated for next week. While we do not intend to pre-empt the court decision on this matter, we consider it imperative to address some salient issues that have arisen from the latest campaign of calumny which is an overt attempt to abuse the privilege of court processes to further slander this gentleman.
These persons claimed that Wada is of unsound mind because he was allegedly treated for a psychiatric ailment in 1976 which is 35 years ago. As at 1976 Wada was 26 years old pilot who had already obtained the British and American civil aviation pilot licenses. He had also qualified as a flight instructor three years earlier at the age of 23 becoming one of the youngest to have ever so qualified on earth. If it was indeed correct that this gentleman was adjudged to be schizophrenic as his traducers would now want the world to believe then certainly his career would have ended right then, notwithstanding the feats he had accomplished in the aviation industry at that very young age.
Only a raving ignoramus would believe that a man of unsound mind was not only retained in the aviation industry as a pilot and a flight instructor but rose to become a captain who has flown commercial passenger and cargo aircrafts in all major countries of the world including the United States of America (USA) and the United Kingdom (UK).
All professional pilots in every country of the world are compelled by law to undergo a rigorous medical examinations conducted by qualified Aviation Medical Examiners (AME) every six months to revalidate their license. From 1976 until Wada retired from active flying a couple of years ago, the man has been examined and certified at least 70 times to be medically fit by various aviation boards across the world in Nigeria, in U K, in the USA and even Australia to fly. And he has been hired by the best airlines in the world including the United Air Services (UAS) and the American Airlines (AA).
As a matter of fact so delicate and sensitive is the business of aviation that statutorily pilots are prevented from flying if it is established that they have as much as tasted alcohol eight hours before their air date. So how could a man of unsound mind have escaped detection and soared to the highest altitude of such a vigilant industry?
But we do not expect desperate people to understand the futility of this falsehood. The truth is that there is an unemployed character dismissed from one of the collapsed commercial banks for various offences of fraud and looting who sees the Kogi Governorship as his opportunity for a fresh employment where he would have unfettered access to the treasury to plunder the common wealth of the people the way he raided depositors fund in the bank that has now been recovered by the CBN.
To make matters worse he has heavily invested most of the stolen depositors funds in marabouts and they have duped this desperado into believing that come what may he is destined to occupy that office. With this dubious confidence this fellow like a thief in a free fall from the top of a tree is grabbing every branch of falsehood hoping wildly that soon it will be uhuru.
Beside the character under reference is known to be working for a criminally tainted candidate of another political party who is the father in-law of his daughter. The infantile believe is that if he distracts the PDP candidate sufficiently enough through such smear campaigns and provocative litigations his in-law would win the contest in the event that the prediction by his voodoo consultants fails to materialise. But this is another manifestation of a desperate man. His in-law is a notorious despot who will be rejected by the people of Kogi State any day- as they have already done many times in the past.
As the election date draws nearer we expect the desperation of this people to escalate with the publication of more falsehoods. One thing is however clear, the PDP will win the coming election no matter the fiction they peddle. We have the promise of the good people of Kogi State whom we have served loyally and honestly all these years on that.
– Adejoh Faruk Audu