By Rikwense Muri
Chief Uche Obi, the acclaimed business magnet and the richest Igbo man in Taraba state has been in the news for the wrong reason this year. His life has been endangered and business has been attacked.
He was reported to have been Kidnapped some months ago only to later realize that he had had some business deal that went bad and had to negotiate his freedom with his erstwhile Political boss. Recently he his business was reportedly attacked and his property vandalized.
Many of us have publicly condemned the assault on the business man. We believe it's wrong to attack a private business man who has contributed so much to the development of Jalingo metropolis with his different lines of businesses in the state. His A Class hotel is one of the best in the state capital and his school is an elite school. The activity of the hoodlums is very unfortunate especially on the fact that they attacked his school which is build for everychild to have a better future. This attack is condemnable.
However I also want Chief Uche Obi and other business men who are been used by Politicians to plunder the resources of the state to learn their lesson from this experience. While we sympathize with Uche Obi, we wish he had had sympathy on Taraba State citizens when he was used by Senator Sani Danladi to plunder the resources of Taraba State within few months of his Acting as the governor. Chief Uche Obi was used to privatize Taraba state resources. He was used as a front for Sani's businesses to make it impossible for him to be probe and indicted.
Chief Uche Obi became a billionaire overnight and many called it divine favor on a hard-working business man. But on the contrary, his sudden wealth was ill-gotten. He watch the entire salaries of local government staff withdrawn and embezzled. And nothing happened. He watch Tarabans suffered while he smiled to the Bank deceiving people that he was a fast rising business man. The more enslaved our people became under our heartless Governor the more his business empire expands from oil and gas, to hospitality, to estate management etc.
Uche Obi need to reflect on these facts especially now that he has become a Target of angry jobless youths who were once is allies in government. He watched Taraban got plundered while he thrived in "Business", now when his assets where plundered by hoodlums we have shown love by rushing out to offer sympathy and concerned. I wish he did same to us when we were plundered day and night until we became the state with the poorest citizens according to NBS.
Naturally Tarabans are lovely and hospitable people. We love to see people succeed in our land but we will not forget easily how Uche Obi connive with our heartless politicians to plunder our state and still move around as a "successful businessman" who is sitting on the sweats and resources of our impoverished citizens.
The various politico-business men who survive on the public resources meant for the entire citizens should learn their lessons from the life of Chief Obi. The same jobless youths that they used to threaten the citizens to silence over their sudden ill-gotten wealth, may have been the same hungry and angry youths ravaging their business empire in the future with clear conscience knowing fully the sources of such wealth.
Even as I write, many business men and women are supervising the plundering of Taraba state at the moment under this Government. They are watching the statistics of our state moving to the enviable poverty headquarters of Nigeria despite our human and natural resources. They are watching our local government which is supposed to touch the lives of our people being reduced to nothing and our chairmen have no choice than to relocate to Jalingo. They are watching Healthcare being abandoned, road project are abandoned, scholarship are abandoned and youth empowerment are abandoned. They are smiling to the bank the way Chief Uche Obi was doing during C2C.
They should keep watching heartlessly and eating our common wealth silently and deceiving people that they are running "legitimate businesses". When the fate of Uche Obi befall them, all they may get are words of condemnation and sympathy from elites like us on the media.