On July 9, 2013, Rivers people and indeed Nigerians woke to the news of the terrible mayhem on the floor of the Rivers State House of Assembly.
Five lawmakers led by Evans Bipi were attempting the absurd and abominable; the renegade group had launched an attack on the country’s infantile democracy, shockingly with the full backing of the police command and the powers that be. The aim being to impeach the former Governor of Rivers State who was then considered an ‘enfant terrible’ by Abuja.
It had taken the timely arrival of then courageous Leader of the House and member representing the Emohua State Constituency, Hon Chidi Lloyd to save Rivers people and the country the shame and global mockery such ignominy perpetuated by five lawmakers under the leading of then Minister of Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, would have caused.
While the Nigerian political space had indeed been marked by both the profane and disgustful display of impunity in crass desperation for power by political gladiators, never before had five floor members assumed the power of the 2/3 constitutional provision to impeach an elected executive.
Yet, it had taken the patriotic and bold arrival and commitment of Hon Chidi Lloyd with help of the ADC and CSO to the former Governor, notwithstanding the threat to their own life courtesy of the presence of multitudes of militants and touts who served as cover for the now famous 5, to prevent the peaceful and progressive state then under the leadership of Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, from sliding into anarchy all because of one man’s governorship ambition.
Today, that same man, Governor Nyesom Wike, again for his personal ulterior motive, has singled out Hon. Chidi Lloyd for media persecution and character assassination as a result of that July 9, 2013 incident, while in truth and reality, Hon Lloyd stood out gallantly as one of the few Bold Defenders of Nigeria’s Democracy in our time.
One therefore wonders why the Rivers State Government has failed to prosecute Hon. Evans Bipi for desecrating the hallowed chambers by mobilising touts to attack and maim elected legislators and also attempting to ridicule sanctity of the Rivers State Legislature.
As law abiding Nigerians, we are comforted by the words of this truism, “Justice may be delayed, but cannot be denied”.
We are living witnesses of the eventual justice and recognition that has finally come for the actual winner of the June 12, 1993 Presidential Election, Chief MKO Abiola, more than 20 years after his travails.
I am confident that a day will also come, hopefully not too far in the future, when the true villains and heroes of the events of that scary and historic Tuesday morning would emerge.
As a Rivers man and witness of most of what transpired on that day and the months that followed, I can boldly state that if the current Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi had decided to perpetuate a repeat of the large scale impunity ingloriously executed by then Minister of Education, the state would have been too hot for the latter to govern.
Power they say is transient and is given by God. Governor Wike and his cronies will not remain in Government forever. He should appreciate God for the opportunity given him by facing governance which he so craved and desist from making a ridicule of Rivers State by his witch hunt of Hon. Chidi Lloyd.
Obinna Egbogidi writes in from Port Harcourt, Rivers state
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