My dear Governor Yahaya Bello,
I hope this letter finds you well. After the release of my first letter, I had hoped you will take steps to effect some changes in your style of management.
I expected that you will pay local government workers, State civil servants, pensioners their arrears and current pay in full.
The over 25,000 workers you erroneously described as ghost workers; you will remedy their situation.
Nothing of this sort happened but instead, your supporters were busy hauling insults and threats at me. They threaten to kill me, destroy my hotel property in Okene, etc.
The threat of death will not be necessary, for I have long lost the fear of death. The destruction or closing down the hotel property will only affect the people who depended on the property for their livelihood. Just that you know, I do not make money from the hotel. I built the hotel out of patriotism for the community. So, your excellency, you are not hurting me when you destroy the hotel or close it down, you are only hurting the innocent workers of the hotel.
Just that you know, so many small businesses (you met when you became Governor) have either closed shops or reduced its operation drastically in the state as a result of non-payment of salaries and arbitrary imposition of taxes on the hapless people.
And this seems to be your administration hallmark of killing businesses in order to inflict extreme poverty on the already impoverished people.
So, why am I putting this in the public domain? This is the only way I can reach you and so that you know that my mission in life is to fight oppression, suffering where I see one. Killing me will not change the fact that the people under your care are suffering.
As you see from my first letter a lot of people share my sentiment. I gave them a voice. What I suppose you should do is to respond positively to those people. Pay workers their wages. A labourer is worthy of his/her wages. Some of the people that surround you and urging you on are doing so because of what they benefit from you. These people’s belly is their god. They have loyalty only to their belly, not to you.
Your Excellency, let me just tell you a bit about these people; they were with Wada administration, and they urged Wada to ignore all patriotic advice on salary payment, and Wada lost his re-election.
They have since abandoned Wada. I can assure your Excellency if you fail in your re-election bid, these guys will not as much say hello to you when you meet them on the street.
For not paying salary your Excellency, people are saying you are heartless. The most injurious aspect of this assertion is that people are inputting this characteristic on a whole tribe – your tribe – Ebira people. I am motivated to do this fight because it’s completely unacceptable to thrash a whole tribe because of the behaviour of a few individuals in your government.
To worsen this situation, Edward Onoja that is in charge of the local government is not even blamed. He is not an Ebira man but the result of his behaviour and greed is now tied around your neck and that of your tribe.
Ebira people are known for their good behaviour and enterprise and so Ebira nation is doomed if this perception is not changed. You need to smash this perception and immediately.
I am not seeking fame; I am not seeking popularity but to sentence 4 million Kogi indigenes to hunger and deprivation are not right. And somebody has to tell you that. I have chosen to tell you.
And a little historical perspective will suffice here; hunger is more devastating in its effect when hungry people decided to rise up to express their feeling of hunger than an atomic bomb. The French revolution was caused by the scarcity of bread.
This is my worry- that’s why I believe you need to change the pattern of mismanagement of the resources of the state. I am still hoping you can and will do this.
– Chief Momoh Obaro