The Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, has disclosed deep facts about the controversies that surrounded his duration as deputy governor of Abia State.
Abaribe who served as a deputy governor from May, 1999 to March 2003 revealed some of his ordeals while serving under his then boss, Sen. Orji Uzo Kalu.
In his new book titled “Made in Aba”, Sen. Abaribe recounted some of the political tribulations he went through as deputy governor of Abia State.
One out of many which sounded outrageous was the act of cajoling him to undergo the fetish routine of swearing to a deity to validate his loyalty to his superior at the time, who was the then Governor of the state.
Abaribe in his new book exposed mysterious lengths some political principals go to ensure and affirm the loyalty of their subordinates.
Describing the turn of events prior to his swearing in as deputy governor, Abaribe explained how he was forced by the then Chairman, Aba North Local Government Area, Chief Duru and the younger brother to Orji Uzo Kalu, Uzor to solidify his allegiance by linking some sort of spiritual validation to it.
In his words: “On the matter of loyalty by ordeal, whereby people were made to swear allegiance on all sorts of objects, my experience was that some people around Kalu took it upon themselves to engage in invidious activities, purporting to be directed by him.
“In my case, on the night before swearing into office, the then Aba North Local Government Chairman informed me that Kalu’s people were not comfortable with me as I had not sworn to anything.
“Here I was, being lectured, nay, more like being intimidated with verses from the Bible, hinging the act on notion like ‘you people will be my people…’ and the like. Was that Bible not what I stood on to insist I was a Christian?
“What big secret mission was we embarking on that required that much effort to ensure loyalty? Loyalty to what? Were we not to swear loyalty to the people rather than to the person of the Governor? Yes, I was that much of a greenhorn in politics!
“At the end of the day, the participant not only got to fear the principal, but also these individuals who had privileges to convince such principal of the measures they had taken to secure their quarries in a zombie-like state.
“Well, I was not about to subject myself to any authority beyond the law. I was not about to look to any unidentified office beyond that of the governor, whom I had given my word to assist in delivering good governance.”
Abaribe faced multiple impeachment attempts before his resignation in March, 2003 which was followed by a final impeachment by the state House of Assembly; an event he termed as “medicine after death.”
The power tussle between Nigerian governors and their deputies is fast become a regular scenario as the case of former deputy governor, Agboola Ajayi and his then boss, current governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu still remains fresh in the mind of Nigerians.