FORMER Chairman of Warri South-West Local Government Area, Delta State, Rev Sam Ken, has said the former governor of the state, Chief James Ibori, who was recently released from London Prison, United Kingdom, for money laundering, transformed many lives in the state and he would dance uncovered like the Biblical David to celebrate him.
Rev Ken, still bed-ridden after a life threatening automobile accident in 2014 on his way to the House of Representatives, Abuja, for an engagement on the 2011 Bonga Oil Spill, said in an encounter with Saturday Vanguard:
“As for Ibori’s release, if not for my present condition, I would have done more than what a renowned politician in this state, said he planned to do.
“I will dance naked in the market place if God had allowed me to be physically fit now.”
“I would have danced with my head on the floor and my legs in the air, concerning the release of a titan, because the man is a colossus, a rare breed.
“Leaders have come and gone.
“In my 56 years around Nigeria’s political history, I have not seen a man apart from Chief Obafemi Awolowo, who has built the lives of people the way Ibori has done,” he continued.
His words: “Surely, every politician in Delta State is a product of Ibori’s humane leadership.
“Virtually all of them were nobody, I say this without apology, but, today, they are all men who are standing on their two feet and can be counted anytime in this state; both financially and otherwise.
“I am not aware of any other ruler that has built the lives of people; Ibori has built the present core of leaders in this state.”
Rev Ken added: “Beyond that, his foray into development takes a man with very strange visionary endowment to establish the numbers of polytechnics that he established.
“It looks conical at inception, but today, they are all operating well and has helped reduced the frustration of Deltans in their pursuit for tertiary education.”
“Look at the world class medical facility, I mean the University Teaching Hospital at Oghara, but go beyond that, look at the impossible things that he did.
“There are two tribes in this state that the federal government described as difficult terrain, Ijaw and Itsekiri.
“By their natural positioning, communication within these geographical locations was practically impossible, except through marine means, which are expensive and time consuming.
“But Ibori came and did what former President Olusegun Obasanjo refused to do. He built bridges that no Federal Government had ever agreed to do.
“Their usual refrain is ‘it is a difficult terrain’ to develop, but Ibori built Patani Bridge that makes it possible to connect other communities up to Bayelsa state.
“He built Omadino Bridge that opened another opportunity, Ibori has really tried in all ways and he should be praised and given befitting welcome,” he said.
If he would dance naked to celebrate Ibori jailed for corruption, how does he see the anti-corruption fight of President Muhammadu Buhari?
Rev Ken exploded: “When we talk about corruption on a general note, sadly, I have not seen any fight against corruption.
“I am only seeing some dramatization of a pre-conceived mindset.
“And, that is just to embarrass a few people and put fear in the minds of a great number of people, particularly the opposition.”
No war against corruption yet
“Why do I say this, what President Buhari has done so far cannot by any standard be regarded as a fight against corruption?
“I have been in government and when I was chairman of Warri South-West Local Government, initially I went in with the decision which I can describe as a ‘parroting’.
“And I carried out my anti-corruption war without attacking anybody. All I did was to stop corruption. Yesterday is gone and today is here.
“I did not go in there with the mind of fighting anybody and monthly allocation came in two days before we were sworn in.
“Shallow- minded people would want to know how the allocation is being spent, but they forgot that it was not my personal allocation, but allocation of the people.
“So, why will I be so anxious about allocation?
“I was waiting for the allocation of my tenure, but like I said, I amended those things that will facilitate corruption and to ensure that corruption did not take place any more.
“And, that was how I was able to fight corruption during my tenure.”
By Emma Amaize, Regional Editor, South-South