“Osama’s” Reign of Terror in Aba Under Gov. Ikpeazu
By Nimani Manini, Kenya
He has been variously described as an “animal”, “Beast”, “man with no blood”, etc., while others call him “ritualist”, “thug”, “Ikpeazu’s killer machine” and so on, depending on his mood at the time of your encounter with him.
He is dreaded by the public, feared by the police and loathed by the judiciary due to his I-am-above-all-authorities posture backed by his “brother” the Executive Governor of Abia state, Mr. Okezie Ikpeazu. Ikpeazu’s silence and inability to control excesses from him has raised fears and suspicions that both operate under the same “shrine” of allegiance that is today haunting Aba residents and their neighbors of Rivers, Imo and Enugu states.
He is no other than the Deputy General Manager, Traffic and Indiscipline Management Agency (TIMAAS), Mr. Bright Chinedu Ikeokwu popularly known as “Osama”.
Investigations by this writer show that in Aba of today under the watchful eyes of the governor, motorists and residents go through worst levels of inhuman degradation through organized harassments, extortions and intimidations from gangs of criminals working for “Osama”.
Further findings revealed various cults and gangs of criminals that had been craftily created and nurtured in the dirty business city of Aba by Osama for different business activities ranging from Informants, Trackers, Extortionists, Kidnappers, Drug Dealers, Hitmen and Human Parts Providers.
For example, if you are a resident with a newly acquired car that catches the fancy of Osama, trackers will be attached to you. These “trackers” follow you around with their car, and without your knowledge. Their job is to ensure that you are arrested and your car confiscated anywhere you unknowingly stopped or parked for contravention of any known and unknown offences of traffic. Your car would be then forcefully driven or towed to Osama’s garage. At this point, you only needed extra cash, not even your contacts or connections, for that car to return to you in the nearest future.
If you are in Aba and has business transactions in the city, just make sure you do not carry cash out of banks. “Osama’s Boys” hang around every bank in the city as trackers. The very moment you leave the bank with your cash, be sure you are headed for doom. Next worship day may be your Thanksgiving Day, that is if you escaped their robbery attack alive.
If you own trucks, or operate same, and maybe does not monthly remit into Osama’s personal accounts, be sure to run out of Aba and business as “Osama’s Boys” will ensure that none of your trucks plies the city or through it. Your trucks would be impounded anywhere they are sighted and towed to Osama’s Head office with request of payment ranging between N130, 000 and N200, 000.
If you have unknowingly offended your neighbor, or have issues with someone who reports you to Osama, be ready to pay through your blood when Osama and his boys come knocking. They must get you through all “hidden” laws of the state. Your body parts may even end up in the hands of ritualists if you ever try to show you have strengths.
If you are a politician, or senior civil servant or an appointee of the state government and you do not service Osama, kidnappers’ visits to your family will be regularly celebrated like the “Up Nepaaaa” shouts by Nigerian children.
“Blackmailer” is his other name. stories have been told on how he often blackmails his political targets before the Executive Governor whenever any attempt is made to inform the governor of his excesses. Unconfirmed sources have it that Ikpeazu is under his spell, or that he knows so much about Ikpeazu’s secrets that he also blackmails him into withdrawal whenever the governor thinks of ousting him. He is the most powerful man in Abia. Ikpeazu is his puppet. No wonder he publicly boasts before anyone who cares to listen that not even Ikpeazu could remove him from office.
With numbers of personal cars and trucks illegally acquired from confiscated ones in his office, the Aba Chief Magistrate has been regularly blackmailed into granting Osama quick judgements to auction people’s cars and trucks without fair-hearing.
“Osama”; an illiterate Ngwa delinquent who grew into notoriety through criminal activities early 2000 is alleged to have played vital “secret” roles in the emergence of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu as Abia state governor. He was the governor’s Man-Friday in their days as appointees of the former Governor T.A Orji. Both did “runs” together until the later’s emergence as Abia governor. This partly explains the too-much power wielded by Osama as Okezie is powerless to remove him.
Investigations equally show that Osama is the most corrupt government official in Abia state, and personally services accounts of the governor through his illegal acquisitions from the public. He knows the governor’s conduit pipes and covers his tracks for him. As such, no petition whatsoever made against him to the governor is as much as receives the attention of His Excellency.
It is on record that while the state’s federal lawmakers in Abuja like Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe and others have remained non-relenting lobbying for advancement and promotion of “Aba Brand” at the international level (as can be seen in Abaribe’s recent outing in the USA), residents of Aba and businessmen and women are leaving the city in their hundreds every year. This in turn has equally affected investors’ interest in the capacities of artisans in Aba even as environmental degradation of the city has remained the worst recorded in the entire South-east.
No doubt, Osama, the TIMAAS Deputy Director is through his criminal operations greatly servicing his bosses and working for his purse as can be seen in the several buildings he is erecting all over the city, one thing however stands clear and generally accepted; his activities and excesses in Aba, Abia state is a disservice to ndigbo and humanity, as well as an impediment to the governor’s second term ambition.
Nimani Manini writes for Kenya’s Times Magazine, and reports from Aba Commercial City of Abia State Nigeria.