When I resigned in the spring of 2020 it was based on principles and I had over two hours meeting with the Governor before I tendered my resignation. But after I dropped my letter, I got two different calls ¹from a commissioner and another one from a special adviser that I should leave my house now now. I didn’t leave my house because I didn’t have any other place to go to. They somehow reached my wife, who later reached me through a mutual friend, she screamed at me to leave the house, of course as someone used to the struggle and guerrilla warfare, I slept in my house that day and two extra days after until my colleagues at the EU/World Bank project made arrangement for me to leave Benin, I was ready to die fighting than running away from useless thugs without any form of ideology and philosophy.
The government hired some social media urchins to be insulting me on facebook for whatever objective(s), notable amonggts these people are one Sarah Igunbor, who used to frequent my office for one reason or another, then one Loveth Osarugue who also used to come around for one reason or another (funny enough the focus of their attacks was bereft of any intellectual content and policy discourse or focusing on my handover notes hence they didn’t elicit my formal response) this was going on simultaneously with the onslaught of one Albert Obaze who was doing videos to castigate me and calling me all sorts of names. This was also followed by a syndicated article by one Charles Idahosa who alleged all sorts of things against me. It was later discovered that one Crusoe Osagie coordinated all of them.
I didn’t resign on political grounds but on personal long-term disagreement with the system and frustration over my inability to carry out my duties which some persons had hijacked and used diabolical powers to enrich themselves. The day of my resignation was one of my happiest days on earth because I fulfilled one of my long-term desires which is to ‘to look authority in the eye and tell them to hell with your job and appointment’ I laughed for most of the two weeks after I left the government, I was relieved and felt like a prisoner just out of incarceration.
That same day when I was still in benin city, some security personnel parading themselves as DSS and police came to my house on the order of someone in government house to ransack my private residence in the outskirts of the GRA, they molested my innocent PA one Mr Jaspa who has been very good to everyone who came his way, of course my house was under renovation and secondly having left every official document behind in my office, there was nothing in my house to ransack anyway. That same day some thugs were sent to my house to kill me. I called the chairman of Sterling Bank, my mutual brother with Mr Godwin to report my harassment he never called me back till date. I was shocked. Those boys are still roaming the streets of Benin till today. But those who sent those guys failed to realize that one day they will loss immunity and they will be tried under the law, look there is nothing wrong in one resigning from office based on principles or any other reason whatsoever.
A meeting was held in government house where it was concluded that I should be eliminated, they have always planned to kill me since I became chief of staff because I refused to join cultism, or subject myself to shameless practices. Someone hinted me that the only way I can enjoy the government is to join the gay movement or patronize juju men of course I wasn’t going to join or be part of such activities due to my upbringing etc. But I was also not toasted by anybody to join gay, maybe I would have joined (laughs)…….
Because of my prior 8 years relationship with the now newly elected governor, a lot of the new strangers in government house proposed to themselves that I was going to be too powerful so they plotted to be sending unanimous text messages to the governor to blackmail me and lie against my office every day, of course I now reasonably think that the governor believed most of the lies and this destroyed my hitherto close relationship with him, we were no longer friends for a long time, and i wanted to leave immediately, but mutual friends told me to hang-on but of course for how long will one work in such a hostile environment? the whole place became spiritually toxic with business and transactions minded boys and girls from everywhere, it was obvious that my exit was a matter of time.
However, suffice to state that the Nigerian Police and the DSS denied ever sending anybody to ransack my house. I also got a call from the United States embassy, civil society groups and seasoned lawyers in the human rights community were very worried for my safety. My colleagues in Halifax, Canada Washington DC in the United States coordinated my movement from Benin and three governors some deputy governors and a few people were very worried.
My wife was not surprised that I resigned because I have been complaining about my ordeal in the office for the past 3 years. One of the things that shocked me was that those who never believed in the person/candidacy of Obaseki now literally took over the government to the consternation of die-hard supporters, I was helpless.
Most of the GGO campaign officers including the then DG John Osakwe were never appointed into the government or patronized in any form, this was strange. Most of them blamed me for their ordeal, but then you won’t blame them because ordinarily my office ought to have helped them but could I?.
Get more details from ‘Stranger in power: my days in a lonely Island, written by Taiwo Akerele.
This part of the yet to be made public upcoming book was read to a cross section of diplomats and young policy makers at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel Abuja on Saturday the 23rd of October 2021.