By Adams Ochapa
I read with awe, the mixed reactions that saturated the blogosphere on account of the landmark judgement delivered by Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court, Abuja on Wednesday, in a suit bothering on Certificate forgery and Perjury brought before it by Hon. Hassan Saleh against Mad Lion (all of PDP).
While majority of the commentators saw the judgement as timely, as it will send signals to political parties and politicians who would want to contest elections or sponsor candidates with fake certificates; some handful criminal-minded elements who subscribe to criminality and promote impunity have berated the court ruling.
One of those disgruntled elements is a certain ‘Lawrence Enenche’ who blindly showcased his criminal affinity by sponsoring a publication in Idoma Voice Newspaper, an online tabloid from Benue State.
That’s the highest echelon of ignorance of principles of law and lack of integrity.
One would have originally waved it off as it’s just an overflow of ink from a lad who is taking unholy advantage of the free megabytes gotten from a recharge of two hundred naira voucher and the excitement of having access to social media.
But an Idoma adage says “Oda n ka a ch’abo l’oyipe n; o l’aje le n’ipu”, meaning: if you don’t stop a child while playing with sand, he would eat mouthful of it.
As an elderly man from Idoma land who is well armed with traditional cannons and cultural orientation of Idoma people, it’s my obligation to correct any child and credit his moral account if he is deemed to be morally bankrupt!
In attempt to act the script handed him by his paymaster, the said ‘Lawrence Enenche’ took his offering beyond church by insulting the person of Hon. Hassan Anthony Saleh, Member representing Ado/Okpokwu/Ogbadibo Federal Constituency, describing him as a failure.
Let me quickly paraphrase the concoction of a piece: ” Interestingly, the first and last time I only heard about this Hassan was in 2014 when he visited some of his family members with grinding engines, blunt hoes and cutlasses. Correct me if I’m wrong”.
This rejoinder is hewed upon his submission in the last sentence above – the boy begged for correction and if no one corrects him, it’s gonna be a great disservice to him and many audience who would have been misinformed by his fray advertorials.
Let us analyse the above extract: A good student of English language would believe me that the boy confessed he didn’t know anything about Hon. Hassan Saleh because, the first and last time he heard about him was in 2014.
That means he lacks the loco standi to conclude on his personality. Whom you don’t know, you cannot describe!
Secondly, our dear ‘Lawrence Enenche’ also confessed that the only thing he has heard about Hon. Hassan Saleh was the distribution of “grinding engines, blunt hoes and cutlasses” to his family members.
That equally shows that the boy is not conversant with the laudable achievements of Hon. Saleh and I recommend that he either ask questions so that he could be schooled or permanently shut his mouth!
Let me put the records straight, I’m not holding brief for Hon. Saleh and I’m not his mouthpiece. I only want to help our dear ‘Lawrence Enenche’ and many other Enenches out there who would want to tell the whole world how myopic they are when it comes to issues of public discourse.
For the records, Hon. Hassan Anthony Saleh remains the best Lawmaker from Benue Sate in the 7th National Assembly (apologies to Senators David Mark, George Akume and Barnabas Gemade).
Within three and a half years, Hon. Saleh sponsored and cosponsored a total of 18 motions and 4 bills, some of which have passed second reading (check the National Assembly gazette).
This is the feat that no lawmaker from Benue State has reached in the 7th Assembly!
Our dear writer also averred in his concoction that “the most disadvantaged constituency in Benue state is Ado, Ogbadibo Okpokwu where the level of hunger and poverty cannot be compared to zones in the state. It is on record that for the past 20 years, no local development has been recorded in the area”.
This again, is an effrontery not only to discredit the political leaders from that Constituency, but to also project our dear Constituency as been acutely underdeveloped!
From his submission above, two things could be adduced: It’s either the writer has not visited the Constituency in the past 4 years and could possibly be ignorant of the developmental strides of Hon. Hassan and others, or he was probably been mischievous as contained in the script he was paid for.
To say that the likes of Chief Steven Lawani, Comrade Abba Moro, Chief Mike Onoja, Rt. Hon. David Idoko, Hon. Hassan Saleh, all the Council Chairmen and House of Assembly members from the 3 LGAs didn’t do anything in the last 20 years also further showcase the infantry of the writer.
As I round up, let me help broaden the capacity of the memory card in the mendula oblongata of our son, Enenche by pointing at a few projects among the numerous achievements of Hon. Hassan Saleh in the last 4 years. The records are also there for verifications.
In Okpokwu LGA, he built and equipped an ICT centre in Ede Okpoga; another ICT centre in Okwungaga (loaded with computer sets , internet server and a big generator; he donated 120 brand new laptop computers to Benue State Polytechnic, Ugbokolo; rural electrification projects, street solar light, among others.
In Ado LGA, Hon. Saleh built classroom blocks in Igwumale; motorised water boreholes in Ijigban; rural electrification projects; facilitated the award of Utonkon-Igwumale-Ijigban road construction; among others.
Someone is also on his scholarship list from Ado LGA and the fellow is now studying abroad. (I’m on transit and could not exhaust the list of the projects off heart).
In Ogbadibo LGA where he hails from, Hon. Saleh built classroom blocks at Adum-Oko, orokam; he built a modern hospital at Efugo Otukpa with state-of-art equipment; town hall at Ipiga Otukpa; motorised water boreholes at Epeagbo Otukpa; donated modern desk and chairs to Otukpa Community Sec Sch; construction of earth dam at Olaobekpa Otukpa; rural electrification projects which include donation of brand new 500KVA transformers to Odoba Otukpa, Orido Otukpa, Olaochagbaha, Orokam, Ehaje in Owukpa and many communities in Ado and Okpokwu LGAs; among others.
I shall not end this note without reminding our friend, ‘Lawrence Enenche’ that Hon. Saleh has never donated any “blunt hoes and cutlasses” to anyone as he mischievously put.
The items donated by the Eloquent Lawmaker was done during his first year constituency briefing in 2012 and they are as follows: 3 power bikes donated to each of the 35 Council wards across the 3 LGAs (total of 109 bikes) and 3 sewing machines donated to each of the 35 council wards across the 3 LGAs (a total of 109 machines).
Others include 3 grinding machines donated to each of the 35 wards that made the Constituency (totalling 109 machines); another donation of generator set and starter clippers to 75 youths across the Constituency to open barbing shops and a total of 109 women were also empowered same day with certain amount of money to start micro trading.
Unfortunately, the writer’s pen couldn’t locate any of these. And one begins to wonder, if actually anyone exists in that Constituency with such a name as a Columnist. Could this also be a case of pseudonym as witnessed in one of William Shakespeare’s Odysseus books?
Let me leave ‘Lawrence Enenche’ with this advice: as a youth, no one says he should not make money through writing but in such quest, he should be mindful not to assassinate the characters of others to get rich.
My humble advice!