As Joseph Goebbels rightly noted: “If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it, and you will even come to believe it yourself.” This same inexplicable compulsion also underscores most advertisements which influence consumer preferences. Marketing communications gurus can explain it better.
In the early days of photography after the epochal trailblazing of Johann Zahn and Nicephore Niepce’s pioneering breakthroughs, it was believed that pictures did not lie. At that time, it was incontrovertible in the absence of sophisticated technology as we now have.
In this modern age, that erstwhile cherished fact has become a fallacy. With computers these days, all manner of photographs with multifarious dimensions, colorations, shapes, backgrounds/topographies, utilitarian variations and specifications are possible with the instrumentalities of magical photo shop, an operator’s creativity and a scanning machine.
This explains why criminals clone signatures and documents, hack social media accounts and easily tamper with gullible people’s bank accounts occasionally with insider collusion. I recollect when Theodore Ahamefule Orji was the dismal governor of Abia State, this strategy of deploying photoshop was massively and successfully used in hoodwinking ignoramuses, a duplicitous arrangement facilitated by a few impoverished journalists based in Lagos who preferred lucre to professionalism. The systemic rot of the T. A. Orji’s years is still keeping the state in degeneracy until the currency of surrogacy is ended by Dr. Alex Otti next year, by God’s grace. The scallywag who called messianic Otti “a facebook governor” will soon be put to shame, alongside those who aborted Otti’s victory in 2015!
When Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu became the governor of Abia State in 2015, some clowns cloned the letterhead and signature of the former Governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, and wrote very embarrassing things ascribing the fairytale congratulatory message filled with idiocies to the only “action governor” Nigeria has ever produced, according to Chief Olusegun Obasanjo during his second presidency of the country.
When T. A. Orji legally, but unconstitutionally, please take judicial note of this phraseology, procured a warrant of arrest on me following what turned out to become a kangaroo order from one accomplice magistrate in Umuahia, I lodged for two weeks from one exotic hotel to another in Lagos to escape official predators from Government House, Umuahia, their assassins and other murderous elements resident in Lagos engaged by Umuahia who were acting on the jaundiced warrant of arrest later condemned by the Federal High Court in Lagos which described the warrant of arrest and my abduction by T. A. Orji precedent to the magisterial deviancy as “reckless, irresponsible and callous.”
It was during my consequential hibernation that some buffoons hacked my yahoo account and were sending distress messages to friends and contacts of mine asking for assistance using my name having been stranded in the village because of dastardly ambush by Abia State government’s overzealous operatives. Of course, the opulent, distinguished and highly cerebral circle of my friends like Kenneth Ugbechie, Gbenga Omotoso and Ismail Omipidan, among copious other affluent pals, could not be fooled by such boyish gimmickry that bordered on brazen dubiety hallmarked by high technological banditry!
Last time I expressed my disgust with exponential social media abuse by some charlatans and my cold attitudinal disposition to such platforms, a dunderhead from the “enemy camp” in Umuahia asserted ignorantly that I belonged to the analogue age because of my aversion to digital communicative gadgetry. Years back, before even going to the University of Lagos, UNILAG, Lagos State University, LASU, and the Lagos Business School, LBS, for graduate and postgraduate studies, I had obtained a distinction in computer studies and had a Samsung handset and a line with a running monthly N10,000 credit gifted to me by Dr. Mike Adenuga, Jr., GCON, shortly after GSM was evolved in Nigeria. So, I do not know why I should not be technologically savvy as the harebrained fellow thinks. What I affirmed was my disenchantment with social media abusage; not the tools of communication.
The foregoing prefatory is apposite to the subject of this intervention as follows.
When Kalu defected from the disintegrating Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to the All Progressives Congress, APC, tongues started wagging that he did that because of his ongoing trial by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission! Such laughable idle talk was unfounded, malicious and sheer mischief. In response to such scurrilities, I did pages upon pages in this medium and elsewhere to justify why he had to leave the PDP and equally debunked the vicious insinuation couched in intemperate language that linked that right step with the EFCC issue. Luckily, my rationalizations doused the wildcat gossip that assumed inflammable proportions.
Then, recently, Kalu began nationwide campaigns for the inevitable return of President Muhammadu Buhari next year to round off the profound projects he has initiated. Even without Kalu’s presidential electioneering, President Buhari’s encore is guaranteed for reasons that are manifest amid ragtag oppositional descent.
Expectedly, rumour mongers and merchants of envy went to town in condemnatory doses that Kalu was doing all that because of his EFCC trial in order to pervert justice with presidential connivance! As far as I am concerned, such stupidities linking the president to a matter that had gone up to the Supreme Court and back to the high court for retrial are derogatory and disrespectful of the Office of the President and our hallowed judiciary with its institutional robustness.
Anyone who has been following the trajectory of this case and Kalu’s commitment to its resolution will know that the ball had always been in EFCC’s court. All the adjournments had been at the tactical instance of prosecution. At every hearing, Kalu would be in court despite the disruptions such sittings cause to his entrepreneurial engagements in Nigeria and other countries. In between January and March this year, I was in the high court during the hearing on at least nine occasions and at the last attendance I reassured myself that Kalu would most likely be freed of all charges at the end of the day on grounds of transpirations during court sessions. But for prejudice, I would have gone into details with regard to the friendly legal acrobatics between the prosecution and the defence teams comprising majorly very Senior Advocates of Nigeria and a few junior lawyers who merely offered administrative assistance.
The moment the former governors of Taraba and Plateau states, Jolly Nyame and Joshua Dariye, respectfully, were jailed for corruption by a court in Abuja at the instance of the EFCC, Kalu’s vanishing detractors buzzed to life again and in their notoriety declared that Kalu was the next person to be jailed! I have never seen this kind of bitterness before against a man that may never be found guilty, let alone the question of conviction. If some clans of haters have any grouse about Kalu’s supranational entrepreneurship and visibility or are jealous of his rising profile in the APC and friendship with President Buhari, they should endure their anguish until the conclusion of the matter after which they could commit suicide or jump into the lagoon because Kalu’s triumph, ultimately, is certain. Political victimization usually evaporates.
EFCC or not, Kalu will deliver Abia State to APC in the next general election. Critics who will question Kalu’s capacity to achieve this should wait and see as there would no longer be state government’s manipulative machinery and coerced INEC officials indulging in electoral fraud that has characterized polls in Abia State since 2007. Anyone who doubts this certainty is entitled to his fleeting opinion, but such a trance will not stop the APC revolution that is about to take place particularly in Abia State and generally in other parts of the country where the ruling party does not hold sway yet. In Abia, it would be like a moving train which cannot be stopped until God’s Own State is returned to the national fold.
It must be underscored that in the EFCC case against Kalu, he had been the one pushing for its clinical resolution because of his belief and subscription to the rule of law and justice which was why he took the case to the apex court that ordered fresh trial. Rulings are not based on sentiments and emotions, but unassailable facts.
There is no nexus or correlation whatsoever that because Nyame and Dariye were jailed, then Kalu, too, must be imprisoned even in the gradual process of being proved innocent. That can only be imagined in a jungle system where extraneous considerations determine the course of justice, not in my beloved country. For anyone to have this kind of Nyame/Dariye juvenility in his brain as regards Kalu is symptomatic of incurable insanity and illimitable wickedness.
It is instructive to point out that no volume of viral and malarial messages on WhatsApp, facebook, yahoo, YouTube, tweeter, instagram, LinkedIn, et al, will have any effect on the outcome of the EFCC trial. Rather, they may prove to be additional exonerative nuggets.
I have come to believe that just as Kalu has innumerable admirers nationally and globally, he equally has a tribe of haters whose entrenched animosities, loathsomeness and jealousies cannot be managed no matter the depth of persuasion or elucidation on some controversial subjects involving Kalu. Most of Kalu’s traducers are just obstreperous. For them, there is nothing Kalu does that will not be faulted! The saving grace for Kalu is that those who love him passionately are in the majority and his upscale friends, associates, business partners, political mates and contacts in all spheres of human existentialism are multitudinous.
In gloating over its first achievement in successfully prosecuting Nyame and Dariye, both of whom were accused of massive fraud against their states, the EFCC, in a veiled snide on Kalu’s case, reprehensibly and vacuously said last Wednesday in very euphorically prejudicial and inimical circumstances: “It will be foolhardy for any politically exposed person under prosecution to think that mere change of political affiliation will guarantee immunity from prosecution.” How can someone facing prosecution for 11 years be seeking immunity from prosecution? You cannot be the prosecutor and the judge. The fact that Nyame and Dariye are members of the APC captured it all and did not require any stupefaction with obvious reference to Kalu.
I hope Kalu’s critics and cynics of his trial will take note of the fresh charges against Kalu after 11 years of legalistic mirage and judicial rigmarole at the behest of the EFCC.
Let me clearly state that there is no interconnectedness between Kalu’s case and those of Nyame and Dariye. The blatancy of ecological fund diversion that superlatively nailed Dariye is not one of the subsisting counts on Kalu’s original charge sheets by the EFCC. The three cases involving Nyame, Dariye and Kalu are quite distinctive and enjoy absolute parallelism. Nobody should play chess game with aplomb by using Kalu’s name referentially and diligently in pursuit of selfishness and needless public applause, instead of assiduously striving for manifest equity, transparent fairness and unassailable justice.