Dear Senator Ibikunle Amosun, CON, FCA
Good day sir. I never knew I would have to write you not long after I wrote Governor Dapo Abiodun, the man who forced himself against your will to become your successor. But, all thanks to Premium Times’ ‘abhorrent’, ‘bellicose’and ‘contemptable’ report about some arms and ammunition you handed over to the police in the twilight of your administration. Though I have not spoken with you, I can bet that you had good intentions.Only someone with good intention will build bridges all over Ogun State. It is irrelevant that you did not complete the one in Akute axis. It is also not of any importance that Ogun boundary towns and many others are in terrible state infrastructure-wise.
Your reply by my senior colleague, Rotimi Durojaiye, showed a lot. We do not have to mind the fact that it came days after the report was published and the social media was on fire over the matter. Sir, I will also not make any comment about what some cynics are saying – that you shouldn’t have spurned the opportunity given to you by the online newspaper to respond five days before the story was published. They are saying your reply amounts to medicine after death.
When I read Samuel Ogundipe’s report, I wondered what has gone wrong with our media. This is nothing but the height of disrespect for a man of your calibre. It does not matter whether or not you chose not to respond to their request for your side of the story. All that should have made the powers that be in the newspaper decide against publishing the story is your standing in the society. Have they forgotten you were a senator, you became a governor for eight years, and you are now on your way to being a senator for life? Didn’t these guys see how close you are to the President? You were at the Presidential Villa in Abuja every other day taking pictures with Mr. President. For a man like you, who was powerful enough to get the President to advise party members and the people of Ogun State to vote for any governorship candidate of their choice at an All Progressives Congress (APC) rally, Ogundipe and his bosses should have shown you respect. The media needs to be reformed and your case should be used as the springboard.
Permit me sir to go into the details of the report so that we can properly situate the case against the media house and its reporter who appears not to have recovered from his past skirmish with the police. I will tell you what we should do to him later in this epistle.
In the report sir, the online newspaper claimed you surrendered 1,000 AK-47 rifles and four million bullets acquired before the last general elections. The report added that you did this after your “anointed candidate for the March 9 governorship election, Adekunle Akinlade of the Allied Peoples Movement (APM), had been roundly defeated by Dapo Abiodun of the APC, and the governor was now desperate to clear the Government House of any incriminating material as Mr Abiodun moved in to take charge”.
The report said “truckloads of arms and ammunition were brought out of a nondescript armoury inside the Ogun State Government House”. You were quoted as saying, during the handover ceremony, that you procured the arms and ammunition to check the widespread insecurity in your state and kept them at the “Government House Armoury to ensure they were not allocated indiscriminately by security agencies”. A similar line was in your reply, which you said “represented everything but the true and factual accounts regarding a routine exercise”. Your reply said the arms and ammunition were bought when Dr. Goodluck Jonathan was President, and that you got the end-user certificate and cleared the goods through the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos. You also said not one single AK-47 was among the weapons handed over to the police.
When I see you sir, you will give me details about the claim in your reply that Governor Abiodun supplied some of the weapons, especially the Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs).
Sir, as a senator of the federal republic, you need to take up this matter on the floor of the National Assembly under “Matters of National Importance”. Ogundipe, his Editor, his Editor-in-Chief and his publisher should be brought before your colleagues to explain this affront, or their matter should be directed to the notorious Disciplinary/Ethics Committee or Human Rights Committee or any committee that will ensure the maligning of your hard-earned reputation does not go unpunished.
On your behalf, I will also petition the Nigerian Press Council (NPC) to query Premium Times on this desecration of the Office of the Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In the petition, I will plead that Ogundipe is notorious, having been arrested and detained by the police in the past. I don’t need to prove that he was guilty of the offence he was arrested and detained for. After all, in Nigeria, you are guilty until proven innocent!
Sir, we can also send a petition to the police to re-arrest Ogundipe and mandate him to provide the source of his report. A second arrest will reset his brain to factory setting, deradicalise him and make him compliant or politically-correct.
I am glad you wondered why the event of May 28 was generating interest three weeks after. Let us just blame it on your political detractors. These guys should give you a break. After denying you your birth right of choosing your successor, you deserve to rest while hoping the Ogun State Elections Petition Tribunal will remove Abiodun and install Akinlade to continue your great records, which you said were more than Gbenga Daniel’s and Aremo Olusegun Osoba’s. We should also blame the detractors for making you spurn the opportunity given to you by Premium Times to give your side of the story. You can issue another statement and claim that your phone was hijacked by detractors and you never got any of the messages from Premium Times.
My final take sir: Your first motion or bill should be on immunity for senators so that like governors, you guys can concentrate on your onerous task of legislating for the good of our country. Governors do not have two heads. Senators deserve immunity from investigation, from arrest, from prosecution and, most importantly, from negative media reports. If I have my way, I will even say the immunity should cover the freedom to snatch other people’s wives and jail any complaining husband for life!
The media should only report your empowerment progammes, such as distribution of okada, sewing machines, shovels, machetes, cash and hair dryers.
Till next time, stay blessed senator. I see you winning laurels as Senator of the Year. Soon.