Oghiadohme, Igali’s Supporters At War Over Who Becomes The Next Chief Of Staff

A secret war between the camps of the immediate past Chief of Staff, Mike Oghiadomhe and that of the Acting Chief of Staff, Dr. Godknows Igali over who eventually becomes the Chief of Staff to President Goodluck Jonathan has blown open, Street Journal can authoritatively reveal.
Oghaidomhe was the occupant of the position until the recent disengagement of all the aides of the President. It however came as a surprise when the President recently announced the appointment of Dr. Godknows Boladei Igali as the Acting Chief of Staff. The appointment has led to speculations that President Jonathan might have eventually decided to do away with Chief Oghiadomhe who many see as a long standing friend and ally of the President.
Street Journal’s investigations revealed that the former Chief of Staff’s relationship with the President dates back to their days as Deputy Governors. While President Jonathan served as Chief DSP Alamieyesegha’s Deputy, Chief Oghiadomhe was in Edo State as Lucky Igbinedion’s Deputy. They were so close that whenever Dr. Jonathan visited Benin City back then, he slept in Chief Oghiadomhe’s house.
And when Dr. Goodluck Jonathan emerged as the Vice-President, he did his friend a great honour by bringing him to the Presidency as the Deputy Chief of Staff. The office was however downgraded by the late President, Umar Yar’Adua, thus leaving Oghiadomhe as a Principal Secretary.
The office was eventually restored after Dr. Jonathan became the President and Chief Oghiadomhe emerged as the occupant of the office of the Chief of Staff to the President.
In no time, Oghiadohme became one of the most powerful men in Nigeria. Thanks to the office and the trappings that came with it.
Street Journal found out that Dr. Igali’s supporters are seriously working against Oghiadomhe’s return are bent on hammering him with the many atrocities traced to him in the not too distant past. Apart from the many accusations they have leveled against the former Chief of Staff, some of them have postulated that with the many allegations against him, the former Chief of Staff should be the guest of law enforcement agents by now but with his status and closeness to the seat of power, he is still assumed to be untouchable. For instance, as Deputy Governor, he was part of the Igbinedion administration that almost looted Edo State dry. While Igbinedion faced charges, Oghiadomhe walked away a free man. Edo indigenes still refer to the rubber plantation belonging to the state which was allegedly sold off by Oghiadomhe.
Some of those rooting for Dr. Igali cannot but wonder how the President could entrust such a sensitive office to Mike Aiyegbeni Oghiadomhe who is known to be a great betrayer and backstabber. One of the things being used against him is the alleged betrayal of the Azukala Epken community Oghiadomhe’s home local government. He was alleged to have illegally acquired a land mass covering about 12 square kilometers while he was the Deputy Governor. The said land has been part of the government’s reserved land since 1959 and since then, most citizens in the agrarian community have been using the land to empower themselves economically.
Oghiadomhe’s goons sometimes dressed as mobile policemen and sometimes in mufti have continually terrorized people over the land thus leaving them with nowhere to farm. He even went as far as ordering the arrest of the traditional ruler of the town.
It is also being said that when he was working with Igbinedion, he was put in charge of local governments and their allocations, boards and parastatals, of course he was always on hand to brief his then boss how things went but at the latter end of Oghiadomhe’s stay in the Igbinedion government, mutual suspicion, and anxiety became characteristic features of both the Governor and his deputy.
Till date, he has not been absolved from the attempt to impeach Lucky Igbinedion then. Many still believe that he went into it for the sole purpose of accomplishing his aim of becoming the Governor of Edo State. And since he had a weak political base at home, the easiest way possible was to unseat his boss.
Apart from being seemingly invincible, law enforcement agents seem to have a fear of him. Despite recommendations, the EFCC has not probed him. The former Chief of Staff was also alleged to have suddenly become a consultant for corrupt officers. Street Journal’s investigations revealed that in the last dispensation, some Governors that had cases with the EFCC parted with large sums of money just for him to help settle their cases. For instance, the immediate past Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel allegedly coughed out N 175 million to Oghiadomhe. The sole purpose of the fund was to settle his case with the EFCC. His Oyo State counterpart, Otunba Alao-Akala allegedly parted with N 115 million when the odds were reportedly going against him. The amount was for Oghiadomhe to help ensure his second term ticket. At that time, there were indications that the PDP wanted to drop Akala.
The mode of operation makes it rather difficult to trace anything to the Chief of Staff. It was alleged that he used a front in the person of one Ozaekhemen, a Senior Advocate. The SAN is the one that goes to those who have cases and make them understand that to settle such matters, money would be involved.
It is believed in some quarters that the President might have dropped him because of his excesses and the dent they are doing to the image of the Presidency. For instance, many believe that with someone like Oghiadhmhe as the President’s Chief of Staff, the anti-corruption stand of the government will not be taken seriously especially when his activities as Lucky Igbinedion’s deputy are looked into.
The choice of Dr. Igali as replacement too has sent a lot of tongues wagging. He too has a very close relationship with the President. He was the Secretary to the State Government when the President was the Governor of Bayelsa State. He later became Nigeria’s ambassador to Sweden.
Oghiadomhe however has supporters who are raising dust. Street Journal’s findings showed that the former Chief of Staff is bent on reclaiming his position. He has already contracted people close to the Presidency to help him argue his case.
Investigations revealed that the plan is to use the fact that it will not speak well if the President and the Chief of Staff come from Bayelsa State.
Igali on the other hand might not be willing to leave the office; moreover, Bayelsans are already happy that their noble son has become the Chief of Staff. To remove him now might not help the President’s image at home. After his appointment, the Presidency was silent on whether Oghiadomhe would return or not.

Author: NewsAdmin

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