Chikamnayo: The Ugwu Abia cleptomaniac and his new sanctimonious life

Chikamnayo: The Ugwu Abia cleptomaniac and his new sanctimonious life

Tuesday’s piece by the former Abia Commissioner for Information and Propaganda, Eze Chikamnayo, entitled, “Alex Otti: A disaster foretold?”, did not come to many well-meaning Abia citizens and other residents as a surprise.

Rather, it tended to reinforce the public fear that Chikamnayo would soon begin to bare his fangs, having lost power.

He has over the years proven to be an unrepentantly treacherous and blatantly incorrigible marchantile politician ever produced in the state.

He cannot afford to be outside the corridors of power and not stir up a hornet’s nest, if only to get some undue recognition for what it’s worth.

Imagine Chikamnayo outside the government since May 29 and without free money! O my God! His looks now would have become so horrible and terrifying to behold. And with the benefit of a hindsight, expecting him to survive out of government is like expecting a fish to survive out of water.

Those who have followed his track record of chicanery, transactional and cash-and-carry style of politics since 1999 had long predicted Tuesday’s lamentation and outpouring of frustration and hopelessness. This is not new to many. Infact, he is truly acting his true character.

The tone of his worthless write-up, his poor tenses and the lack of concord, clearly shows his level of mental degeneration since he and his rotten generation of predators-in-politics were flushed out of power in the most disgraceful manner.

What obviously could have directly prompted the inconsequential material may not be unconnected with Gov. Alex Otti’s inauguration of a Judicial Panel of Inquiry to investigate the principal actors in the Okezie Ikpeazu-led administration, especially the commissioners, and recover the government property they allegedly looted.

The move, laudable as it is, had sent shock waves through the rank of the thieves in the midst of the commissioners, who have become so unsettled, hence struggling to defame and blackmail the Otti-led administration into probably discontinuing with the probe.

No doubt, absolute peace of mind, body and soul have long left them as they battle day and night ruminating over the catastrophe that awaits them. And, of course, Chikamnayo’s name ranks among the leading dramatis personae.

Worried by his chequered antecedents and dirty deals while in office, the news of the inauguration of the panel did not only leave him devastated but compounded his dilemma and predicament as he battles to put himself together to accept the reality of an impending and inescapable indictment, coupled with an overwhelming public opprobrium he would have to live with.

It is, therefore, not surprising that he could resort to an ill-conceived media attack instigated by sheer jealousy against the very young administration.

It is not in contest that the Labour Party-led administration has taken off on a solid and confident note with policies and actions that hold strong prospects to clean up the 24-year-old rot and decay that define every strata of the ill-fated government, which was exclusively run by the Ikpeazu-Okiyi Kalu-Chikamnayo cabal.

The fact that Chikamnayo was one of the principal actors and a recurrent decimal in the successive rapacious governments that wrecked the very foundation of growth of Abia from 1999, totally blinded him from seeing and appreciating the large-scale mess he and his masters perpetrated in the system.

Such a pretence to the obvious is common amongst deceptive and unreliable characters as Chikamnayo, who ordinarily should not be part of any system that is cut out for decency, honesty and uprightness.

It is therefore an irony, indeed absurd, that a man with a rotten and stinking history, completely bereft of character and integrity as Chikamnayo (in and out of government) was always patronised by similar misfits, who criminally and illegitimately made their way to the governorship seat and needed him for his nuisance value rather than professional expertise or academic excellence.

It becomes more ironical for a man with such a horrifying past and life, thoroughly lacking in good morals and fear of God, to begin to pontificate on a sacred issue as good governance, which he principally conspired with his erstwhile employers to deny the good people of the state for two decades plus four.

Does it not amount to living in deceit for Chikamnayo of all persons to imagine that the same Abia people, who he had consistently deceived, defrauded and dissappointed over the decades, would read any sense into his ill-provoked epistle attempting to castigate a governor that walks tall as Nigeria’s most celebrated in the 2023 polls?

CHIKAMNAYO’S PLACE IN THE REPORTED LOOTING SPREE ON THE HEELS OF OTTI’S EMERGENCE

In the wake of the INEC declaration of the result of the governorship election, most of the political office holders, particularly the plunderers amongst the commissioners, commenced a competitive looting spree, each striving to outdo the other in their respective ministries, agencies and parastatal organisations.

The thievery of government property was so brazenly and mindlessly carried out that ministry officials, especially in the Ministry of Information, became so openly agitated and confrontational. And they resolved to end the unsavoury and unprecedented drama conducted by their former boss.

Their effort paid off when they boldly locked the door to the Commissioner’s Office and resisted his cronies from allegedly gaining access to steal more, especially the red rug carpet.

This gallantry ought to have come earlier to stop Chikamnayo, who had eaelier personally supervised the alleged removal of a plasma television, settee, generator, refrigerator and laptop, all government property, from the office.

Indeed, more laughable and demeaning, was the revelation of how Chikamnayo reportedly smuggled into the office in the middle of the night an old dilapidated and disused personal settee from his house in exchange with the new official settee he took away.

He obviously threw caution to the wind in his unconscionable act, believing like an infant, that nobody would look his way, thereafter. Herein lies his consternation and shame! The mere contemplation of the trauma of having to stand in the accused box at the panel in the full glare of television cameras and journalists to testify about how he childishly and unscrupulously looted his former office has rendered him utterly disconnected and shattered.

REMINISCENCES OF POST UGWU ABIA PROBE

Following the massive financial fraud allegedly committed during the Ugwu Abia Festival 2000 by Chikamnayo and, deeply worried by the image crisis it created for his administration, the then Gov. Orji Uzor Kalu instituted a Judicial Panel of Inquiry to investigate him.
It was estimated that a whopping N200 million was allegedly mismanaged during the poorly organised, shambolic and unappealing event, hence the huge public outcry and agitation that he should be probed and the looted funds recovered.

However, conscious of his obvious culpability, Chikamnayo put his widely acclaimed superb ingenuity in evil acts to test by staging the most intriguing James Bond’s kind of drama to be so masterfully acted in any politically-motivated crime in Abia and Nigeria.

So, deeply hunted by the fear that he was barely a few minutes away from being moved in a Black Maria into the Afara Prison, should he fail to act fast, Chikamnayo feigned an auto crash involving his official car somewhere around an isolated long stretch of road in his Isuochi native area.

Unknown to him that his actions and movements were being trailed and monitored, he reportedly arranged in a most dastardly and criminal manner, at the middle of the night to have the car pushed into a ditch.

The following day, the news headlines were replete with the story that the Abia Commissioner for Information and Culture, Eze Chikamnayo, survived a ghastly auto crash. It was stated that his official car skidded off the road and plunged into a ditch. It was further reported in the media that he escaped from the accident with minor injuries and that the vehicle was damaged beyond repair.

That is the crafty, deceptive and highly fraudulent man that had been running round the corridors of power in Abia for 24 solid years.

CHIKAMNAYO’S ANTIC FOR REMAINING IN POWER

Realising that his nuisance value had become his unique selling point and magic wand for paving his way and carving a niche for himself in every new political dispensation in the state, Chikamnayo massively deploys the strategy of blackmailing every governor that mounts the saddle of governance in order to be noticed and contracted into the system.

After his disastrous and shameful ouster from Orji Kalu’s government in the aftermath of the poorly organised Ugwu Abia, he deployed the strategy effectively and without scruples after he was fired by Orji Kalu. Unfortunately, the moment Kalu got embroiled in a political war with his political godson and successor, former Gov. Theodore Orji (aka Ochendo), Chikamnayo cleverly pitched his tent with him against his former “political mentor” and “master strategist”, OUK, thereby betraying the hitherto publicly acclaimed bond between the two of them.

Having impressed Ochendo during his protracted political war with OUK, Ochendo again rewarded him handsomely for betraying OUK by reappointing him as Commissioner in the same ministry.

Because a leopard never changes its spots, the fraudulent tendencies have always brought him at crossroads with his principals, who have always fired him on the grounds of weighty allegations of financial malfeasance.

Today, Abia public cannot wait to watch Chikamnayo appear in the dock to give account of the whereabouts of different items of equipment and furniture running into hundreds of millions of naira belonging to the ministry under his watch.

There is a consensus among the citizenry that beyond the administrative probe of Chikamnayo by the panel, he should, upon indictment, be handed over to the antigraft agencies for criminal prosecution and conviction so he could pay for his sins and also realise that crime and criminality do not pay.

He has been allowed so much space and latitude by previous administrations to wreck the image of the state, having severally held the sensitive position as Information Commissioner, with specialisation in falsehood, misinformation, disinformation and propaganda. And, this is in spite of his manifest cleptomanic tendencies. Therefore, the time to clip his wings and put his notoriety to permanent check is now!

Meanwhile, facts of his years of financial malfeasance, which culminated in a fraudulent and criminal withdrawal of funds on the May 26, 2023 from the coffers of Abia State are well documented and shall adequately testify against him at the appropriate time.

Of course, in saner climes, any man with such an odious image issue as Chikamnayo has no business being the image maker of a noble entity as Abia, code named God’s own state.

Again, his engagement and indulgence in the system speaks volume of the quality and character of those past “leaders”, who found him worthy to do their bidding and yeoman’s job of insulting men of great technocratic clout and global economic standing.

Abia people of good conscience are praying and hoping that his usual antic, which he has relaunched with the Tuesday’s wishy-washy diatribe, would hit a brick wall.

This is because a man with his kind of baggage and polluted record should not be found near today’s corridors of power, which is an assemblage of men and women of distinguished, decent and enviable credentials, tested and trusted professionals and technocrats rather than recycled and worn out career politicians, such as Chikamnayo.

This is the time and season to breath fresh air in Abia!

Hilary Ebenezer is a public affairs commentator and wrote from Umuahia.

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