James Oche: When a thug is in power

By Jon Unogwu

“When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.” Proverbs 29:2 KJV.

These are not just some words in a bible verse, as we are now seeing the manifestation in the case of Ado Local Government Area of Benue State, where a tyrant is moving mad!

The hapless emergence of James Ogaba Oche as Chairman of Ado Local Government Council is the political equivalent of the popular Nigerian wisecrack ‘money miss road’. In his case, power miss road.

Oche, a known thug who has never shied away from his proud association with the Vikings confraternity, was fraudulently imposed on the people of Ado in June 2020, as a ‘reward’ for years of doing “dirty jobs” for his political godfathers.

Being a staunch political thug with no real political-administrative prowess, Oche became a monstrous tyrant, ruling with an iron fist; leaving Adolites at the mercy of him and his brutal thugs.

The revolt by the people to remove the hoodlum from power was thwarted by another fraudulent local government election conducted by his Peoples Democratic Party, PDP-led state government in May, 2022, which ultimately re-imposed him on the people.

Having been let down by the fraudulent Benue State democratic process, Ado people continued to suffer in silence under the draconian misrule of Jame Oche, the black Hitler of Ado.

But recently, that silence has been becoming too loud to be ignored. Especially, with the recent show of gangsterism by James Oche, who is also the Director General of the Campaign Council of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP candidate for the Ado/Okpokwu/Ogbadibo Federal Constituency in the 2023 general election, Aida Ogwuche, said to be the side chick of one of his political godfathers.

On Sunday, 13th November, 2022, Oche led his band of thugs to a hotel in Otukpo to attack a former Councillor representing Apa Ward in Ado LGC, Hon. Williams Ochonu, a younger brother to the All Progressives Congress, APC, candidate for the Ado/Okpokwu/Ogbadibo Federal Constituency in the 2023 general election, High Chief Philip Agbese, Dr. Best Orinya Agbese, and a social media influencer, Comrade Patrick Eza, for supporting his candidate’s opponent’s ambition.

Oche and his gang of gun-wielding bandits beat the trio to a stupor. One of the victims, Patrick Eza was beaten to a coma.

Since the latest show of violence by the ruthless gangster-chairman of Ado, a cross-section of Enone constituents have been condemning the act both online and offline.

The incumbent Member representing Ado/Ogbadibo/Okpokwu Federal Constituency, Dr. Francis Ottah Agbo, who is also Oche’s party man, has condemned the attack, stressing that “Public office is meant to develop and unite the people, and not to intimidate them”.

The lawmaker in a statement by his Media Adviser, Mr Andrew Agbese, said “it is high time we moved away from politics of violence and bitterness to politics of issues and development”, adding that ” humanity is one”.

“The savage violence unleashed on Hon. Williams Ochonu and other members of my constituency in Otukpo, from which they suffered various degrees of injuries smacks of politics of bitterness and should be condemned by all well-meaning citizens!

“I’m yet to fathom what could have warranted these savage attacks on Hon Williams Ochonu, Best Agbese, Patrick Eza and others but we should remember that humanity is one and it is high time we moved away from politics of violence and bitterness to politics of issues and development,” Agbo stated.

He urged the relevant security agencies “to bring the culprits to book to deter other urchins and blood thirsty politicians across my Federal Constituency who may be spoiling for the war ahead of the 2023 elections.”

In a similar vein, the New Nigeria People’s Party, NNPP candidate for Ado State Constituency in the 2023 general elections, Hon. Desmond Otokpa, has condemned the attack on some supporters of the All Progressives Congress, APC, candidate for the Ado/Okpokwu/Ogbadibo Federal Constituency, High Chief Philip Agbese by PDP thugs.

“The Ado that we had known to be a haven for learned elites had suddenly become a maiming ground for tyranny, dictatorship and several forms of lynching. It’s disheartening that such level of a near death bully could be done without remorse,” he lamented.

“Politics in Ado stands to be the worst in the entire state, whence’ two brothers supporting diffrent parties becomes a lifetime enemy. We are first by alphabet but last in every developmental structure.

“We are seriously standing against all forms of injustices going on in the local govt. we severely pleading for the law enforcement agency to bring those perpetrators of evil to book,” Hon. Otokpa added.

As Adolites, and lovers of peace and democratic principles, we must join in the call for justice to be served and the perpetrators of the barbaric act must be made to face the full wrath of the law.

(Unogwu A Public Affairs Commentator and Proud Adolite wrote from Igumale, headquarters of Ado LGA, Benue State)

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