In the legal profession, there is something called “consciousness of guilt.” It has become very obvious that, by constantly hyping this issue or the empty threat of a court suit, Orji is not only conscious of his guilt with regard to the role he played in the 2015 elections but is bothered by the general perception that Okezie Ikpeazu’s victory, including his as senator, were illegitimate. I also want to believe that the empty threat to sue Otti is just an attempt to distract and deflate. The fact that Metuh, his fellow co-conspirator in the INEC office invasion, is reported to have apologised to Otti personally with regard to his involvement in that act of ignominy must have been of immense concern to the senator in terms of shrinking his wiggle room for plausible deniability of what happened in 2015 and his role in it, not to mention the recent revelations by one Mr. Don Norman Obinna of him being a benefactor of the corruption and misappropriation of state funds during his reign and since the inception of the Ikpeazu administration. Even though I cannot attest to the truthfulness of the said allegations as I do not have access to any privileged document or information regarding the allegations, one would think Asiegbu and the senator would be striving or working hard to refute those allegations by Norman or threatening to sue him; instead, they are expending their energy threatening Otti.
It was laughable to read the comment by Asiegbu in which he accused Ekeoma, (Dr. Otti’s media assistant) of lying for his paymaster. This is more like the kettle calling the pot black, which makes me wonder who pays Asiegbu’s monthly salary, if not his paymaster, Orji. Maybe he wants us to believe his salary falls down to him in the form of naira bills like manna from heaven.
I guess that is the kind of hypocritical comment one should expect from sycophants without shame or integrity. With regard to Ememanka, the Senior Special Assistant on e-Governance to the Governor, whatever that means, who found nothing better to do than to join Asiegbu in his campaign of lies and calumny against Otti, with his own version of alternative reality, I can now understand why the governor did not consider him intellectually worthy of a top government position other than just a lowly assistant for sycophancy. To think that this same man wants to run for election as a member of the Federal House of Representatives is proof of how far we have come to sacrifice integrity and excellence on the altar of mediocrity. I will suggest that Ememanka makes better use of his time explaining to the Abia people the difference between “core” and “minor” civil servants or the rationale behind the setting up of a seven-man committee to recommend the modalities for paying elementary and secondary school teachers who have not received their salaries since January. Which begs the question: what happened to the long existing or standing modalities for payment?
Since I am in the mood to offer unsolicited advice, I would urge Asiegbu to take some time and make enquiries about the fate of one Mr. Madubuko Hart, a one-time Orji sycophant during his stint as governor. After Orji’s exit as governor, Hart suddenly disappeared, not to be heard from again. Today, Hart is a forgotten man used by the senator and dumped after his services were no longer required. That is the fate that awaits Asiegbu, who I see as a man who does not seriously contemplate a worthy future and whose only thought is to slip through the responsibilities of life lying for someone else. I guess there is something about dishing out abuses and lying that excites human species like him and Ememanka. I believe also that, as history informs us, people like Asiegbu end up as nonentities, unheralded, shamed and eventually irrelevant in the course of human history or Abia politics.
As the Ikpeazu administration and Orji’s senatorial position stumble towards the exit door of failure and ignominy come 2019, people like Asiegbu and Ememanka have a choice and it will not be between saints and demons or between salvation and damnation as Wole Soyinka would say. No, it will be between the devil and the deep blue sea and either way they are screwed, hence neither choice guarantees safety despite the chance to use the proverbial long spoon while dining with the Devil or surviving in the blue sea, however, deceptively placid, hence the best swimmer drowns.
I will conclude this write-up with this simple advice my former boss, the late Ikemba Nnewi, Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, once gave me. He said, “whatever work you do, do it well. Not for your boss but for yourself. You make the job, it doesn’t make you. You are not the work you do, you are the person you are.” The reality is that, there is no future in sycophancy and mendacity. That said, Otti, as he publicly intimated, will be waiting for Orji’s lawsuit, if it ever comes. Talk is cheap.
• Nnanna Ijomah writes from New York City