By Solomon Okocha
“The heavens will not be filled with those who never made mistakes, but with those who recognized that they were off course and who corrected their ways to get back in the light of gospel truth.” ― Dieter F. UchtdorfB
Throughout the ages, man has always influenced his fellow man through carefully arranged words, armed with specific aim and objectives. Be it through a passionate call to war, an oratorical rendition, religious persuasion, rebellious incitement, motivational quotations, inspirational teachings et al, the potency of well articulated words, whether written or spoken, can be likened to that of the atomic bomb. In the Book of Genesis Chapter 1:3, the Holy Bible tells us how God himself moulded mother earth out of his spoken words: “…and God said let there be light, and there was light…”
Over the years, there are people who have developed exceptional mastery over the use of this verbal lethal weapon to achieve both devious and noble ends. From Adolph Hitler whose acidic words led millions of men and women to a bloody war against the world, to Voltaire whose writings inspired the French Revolution, et al, cases abound where men changed the state of affairs with just words.
Here in Nigeria, about two years ago, Livingstone Wechie, a lawyer and human rights activist, brought to the fore in no small terms, the magnificent power domiciled in words, albeit for a sinful motive. Like we all know, Livingstone through the limitless assistance of Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State (the story of Wike’s treachery against Amaechi is not new), hatched and activated a diabolical plan to politically assassinate the former governor of Rivers State and current Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi. According to Livingstone on a live television programme – AIT’s Focus Nigeria, he was the master-mind and architect behind the political travails of Amaechi, within the period of time in view.
Livingstone narrated how Wike supplied him with fabricated and forged documents, which he subsequently presented before the Omereji Panel of Inquiry, the Nigerian Senate, EFCC, the Presidency, and the Court of Public Opinion, in the most engaging and convincing manner ever known to the Nigerian populace, all in a bid to stop Amaechi from being screened and confirmed by the Senate as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Apart from the quasi-judicial panel set up by Wike with a predetermined intention to produce a white paper in order to indict Amaechi, and the gullible Nigerian masses, the other institutions where Livingstone visited with his highly volatile weapon of mass destruction, were a bit circumspect not to yield to the magnetic pull of Wechie’s craft, many thanks to the Nigerian constitution which guarantees the innocence of citizens until they are convicted. In the end, Amaechi through the needle’s eye became a minister, and you know the rest of the story.
What Livingstone with the help of Wike did to Amaechi and indeed to a host of Amaechi’s political faithfuls, can be likened to the ongoing terror campaign against Europe and America by persons under the strong influence of ISIS indoctrination. Through the use of the social media, ruthless terrorist organisations, especially ISIS, have perfected a means by which young men and women are indoctrinated with hate-filled religious fallacies that immediately spur them into committing unprintable terrorist acts against the West. But trust the West, they have also devised a means of countering ISIS satanic propaganda through the use of the same instrument that ISIS uses to wreck demonic havoc – words.
The main difference between the story of Livingstone Wechie and those terrorists who are being deradicalized by the West, is that Livingstone was a one-man ISIS against Amaechi; he (Livingstone) was the indoctrinator. In that case, it could only have been God that touched the heart of Livingstone to confess and recant all the mountains of falsehood that were maliciously heaped upon Amaechi’s head. The repentance of Livingstone will also deradicalize millions of Nigerians who were hypnotised by Wike’s orchestra of lies and deceit; today, they will no longer see Amaechi as a common thief who should be locked away in Kirikiri. Will Wike also repent? Anyway, to me, Livingstone Wechie is now a new synonym for repentance.
Solomon Okocha is a Port Harcourt based Public Analyst and a post graduate Student of Urban and Regional Planning.