It was on a very sunny day and PHCN guys refused to give us their light, and I was observing my siesta as I always do. While still in the deep sleep, I heard my phone ringtone, ‘he raised me up’ rang so may times but I purposely refused to wake up. Who is that enemy of progress who was obstructing my beautiful dream of playing with one of these daughters of eve, I asked myself in the dream. The phone kept ringing and disturbing that I had no choice to wake up and answer the intruder.
“I want to believe I’m speaking to Fejiro Oliver the journalist”, came the voice. In my usual characteristics I refused to answer, and again spoke that voice with so much command; “please you are needed in Delta State Government House as soon as possible” and the call ended. The sleep vanished immediately from my eyes as thoughts ran through my mind like a million Bolts.
Quickly I called my Editor and my colleagues to intimate them of the news. Trust them; they finished me, with one of them in particular barking at me, “when I told you to stop attacking the state government and the presidency, you wouldn’t listen. Now you are going to sleep in cell and even before the human rights community and your colleagues come to your aid, those SSS guys whom you always lambast would have inflicted injuries on you”. I began to think of the uncountable reports I have done against the State and Federal government and could not point at any. The expose I have made on them are so much that I could not figure the particular one for which I am wanted.
Fearless as always, I dressed up and asked a colleague to take me to Asaba. On getting to the government house, everything seems strange to me with whole new buildings and the paintings have changed. Really been a long time I came here. I greeted the security men and went inside. I called the number that called me and told him of my presence. “Hold on, someone is coming to pick you”, he said.
Pronto, one dazzling lady with all the paraphernalia in place walked towards me and ordered me to follow her. Jesus, what am I not seeing? I walked behind her so I could access her Barcelona very well. My God, all the ingredients were complete. I swallowed spit as the Arsenal bounced up and down like pawpaw tree. “If this is why I will be arrested, so be it, as long as I see this angel every morning”, I told myself. Finally I got to the governor’s lodge with her and sat down. May people were also there waiting with many big men talking loudly. I waited for over 3 hours and dared not sleep but glue my eyes to the TV which was beaming ‘Channels TV’. I began to wonder why the governor do not watch his own state TV but a heartbreaker like Channels.
After an extra two hours, I heard footsteps upstair with a baritone voice asking, “Where is that Journalist and trouble maker”? Gbam Gbam Gbam, I knew it was me in deep shit beibg asked of. “He’s here” answered the voice. I was led upstairs and standing before me was the Governor of Delta State, Emmanuel Ewetan Uduaghan. He held my hands and led me into a big room and began to talk.
“Are you Fejiro Oliver, the investigative and controversial journalist?”, he asked. I didn’t know what to answer. Investigative, yes, but controversial, No, I said in my heart. I muttered, “Yes Sir”. Young man, I have heard about you, read about you and now I am seeing you. I understand that you have huge followings on social media and physically and have used that to cause negative opinions about me and President Goodluck Jonathan, but I feel I should talk to you in person. You see, you write from afar without truly knowing what I have done as a governor”
“If you truly visit this state, you will agree with me that Delta has become more open and cleaner than it used to be. Enerhen junction is a testimony to that. The Airport which you talked about I can tell you is one of the best thing to happen to Delta State. do you know how many of these Onitsha big boys come here with their chartered planes and park here? Do you know how much os generated from parking space? I’m glad you are knowledgable about the health sector and can attest that I have helped to reduce infant mortality through free treatment to mothers and children. Trust me, I mean well for Delta and want to do more in the coming years”, he said.
My heart skipped knowing that he is leaving in the next few months. How does he hope to achieve more, I asked him. “This is why I want you to come on board Fejiro Oliver”, he started. “You have the following and the popular opinion to tell people what to do and who to follow. I want Senator Ifeanyi Okowa to succeed me”, he dropped the bombshell. In my heart he has made a good choice and I am ready to see it come to pass, knowing whom this Okowa is, but I wanted to hear from him more.
“Okowa is one person you can trust will not fail to build on my legacy as well as solidify a Delta State without oil. I am able to build a State where health is sacrosanct because I’m a medical doctor and Okowa is also one of such, who will do more. While other State hospitals go on strike, ours never go, because it’s a level playing field and Okowa I can tell you will do more. For a man who have been in the Senate in less than 4 years to empower his people with all his constituency allowances, he will surely not loot your money, and will not give yoy and others a cause to write in the media. Fejiro, you have another circle of influence which is the medical circle, and they have a sizeable number of votes. You can tell them to cast their votes for Okowa and they will listen to you, knowing that it is true and it’s from you. You do not always have to attack without giving us a chance to hear from. Work with us to make Delta State great and see what will happen”
“I have said enough and want you to think about it. Here is my private number where you can always call me. By the way, how did you come here”, he asked. “Your Excellency, a friend dropped me”, I answered. “Steph, come here”, he called. At last I now know the name of the lady causing go slow before me then and I will come back for her. “Tell Mike to drop him in his house and bring raw cash of N4.6 Million for him”, he ordered. My jaw dropped as he mentioned the amount. The highest a single individual has given for a report is N1.83 million and I was expecting nothing less than N2.5M.
As I made to walk away, I heard a big sound ‘Doro dorobucci, doro dorobucci…’. Gosh it was from the loud speaker, PHCN has brought the light and I forgot to off the home theatre before sleeping. All these while, I had only been dreaming…
These little things matter…
Fejiro Oliver, a Journalist, Media Consultant and Activist can be reached on [email protected] and +2348026797588 (sms only please). Follow on twitter @fejirooliver86 and Facebook fejirooliver86. Like our Facebook page – secretsreporters