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By: Onyedikachi Sani Obi

Published September 12th, 2010

As the jostle for the State’s No. 1 Office heats up ahead 2011, the usual political hustle and bustle was sure to intensify and the usual tools and arsenals of the trade, which are most of the time anything but civil, will expectedly be brandished with reckless abandon.  The smear campaigns, slanderous name-calling and propaganda machineries will be oiled and their silos opened for deployment.  My readers will agree that the preceding scenario is anything but new to Nigeria ’s political landscape and Kebbi state was not expected to provide a saintly exception.


A cursory look at my designation below will of course readily indicate that I’m anything but a casual observer, of which I make no attempt to profess otherwise, and though sworn to serve and protect my boss and Governor, will hope to so do with as much impartiality and open conscience as I could possibly muster knowing fully well that my avid reader would have deduced (perhaps not  unsurprisingly) that my names bear no resemblance or possible allegiance to the usual nomenclatures of northern Nigerian names (I infact hail from Ideato South LGA of Imo State but reside in Birnin Kebbi).  It is therefore safe to assume that the appointment of an Igbo man as a Special Assistant by the Governor of a Northern State could not have been just a chance occurrence, but rather, a well-thought leadership action by such a Governor, which I make bold to assert is the first practical testimony of His Excellency’s magnanimity, all-inclusive governance and open-door policy that has endeared him to all and sundry across the state – irrespective of race, creed or religion.


And hence my worry for my Governor, who I must confess is in my humble perception perhaps sometimes wee bit too civil for the Machiavellian intrigues and Brutus-style backstabbing that has so far characterized the game. While commending the Governor’s SA on Media, Musa Argungu, for doing a yeoman’s job of keeping the desperate bloodhounds at bay, I must equally opine, with all due respect to my boss (whose leave I did not take before writing this piece), that silence is not always golden in these matters, because falsehood told repeatedly through the banal alchemy of propaganda may assume a toga of truth in public perception if not countered with real facts.


In the last few weeks, the dailies have been inundated by not quite a few publications from the Kangiwa brothers and another faceless group calling itself the Concerned Kebbi Patriots (whose paymasters we have equally unmasked). Their brief was simple - cast aspersion on the personality and administration of His Excellency, Alh Sa’idu Usman Nasamu Dakingari. But rather than dwell on empirical evidence, they chose to unfortunately thread a well-worn political path which even the most dim-witted could see through.  While I have nothing personal against the Kangiwa brothers whose declaration of Governorship intent I was invited to attend at Atiku Villa Birnin Kebbi in 2007 and where I equally delivered a goodwill speech during the then ANPP era prior to the primaries and the decampment to the PDP, I’m rather piqued by their newly found vocation – an ill-advised unabashed attempt (bothering on desperation) at garnering cheap political capital by stretching the limits of demagoguery.

It is rather unfortunate and even somewhat understandable that they and all those who expected it to be business-as-usual find Governor Dakingari’s style of governance too uncompromising and reformist to ingest. Haba Gwamna, why should you insist on paying contractors for only jobs that are properly executed and what did you expect when you refuse to award phoney projects to siphon billions of Naira from the public treasury or to further pauperize the citizenry by using your relations as fronts to give out motorbikes and rice on loan to civil servants at exorbitant prizes while deducting the amortization directly from source to your bank accounts?


Truth is, those that attack and pillory Governor Dakingari are either delusional or being simply mischievous. Unfortunately, he’s not also the type that calls the media to a lavish opening ceremony of every borehole, feeder road, school, dispensary or public toilet constructed. He earnestly believes that the proofs are just there to be seen and should speak for themselves. There are indisputable records to the fact that Governor Dakingari inherited a heavily indebted State with a sycophantic, wasteful, self-serving and blindly patronizing style of Governance that was simply unsustainable. He knew well that cleaning the Augean stable wasn’t going to be easy.  But if his detractors expect that by these attacks, he will deracinate and cave in to their pressure and consequently abdicate the oath he swore to the good people of Kebbi state on this ‘amana’, then they may have to see a shrink.


Interestingly, their new propaganda shift (labeled ‘operation kunama’) is to attempt to portray Governor Dakingari as anti-President Goodluck Jonathan because of his marital affiliation to the late President Musa Yar’adua. Unfortunately this will also be another failed demagogic experiment because Mr President should know better who the ring leaders of the cabal that never wanted him to assume his constitutionally assigned role first as Acting President, then as President, were.  I make bold to further assure President Goodluck that if he decides to run in 2011, and the PDP grants him a ticket, then Governor Dakingari and the entire people of Kebbi State will prove to him who his true lovers and haters really are.


The gang-up is understandably slowly building up and I will address the issue of the Shettima Gwandu and Tafidan Argungu in subsequent publications, but suffice it to say that despite my Governor’s characteristically gentlemanly silence and demeanor, we his lieutenants will match his detractors pen for pen, until the real people of Kebbi State see them for what they truly are – just self-serving, belly-filling demagogues bent on political self-preservation all cost. A word is enough for the wise.

Onyedikachi Sani Obi (JP), a Christian Youth Leader and ICT consultant is the Special Assistant to Governor Sa’idu Nasamu Dakingari on Inter-Faith Matters. He can be reached on 08037572918 or or

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