By Amb. Tony Okonigene

I have deliberately maintained silence concerning the events that led Joe Edionwele to order his thug named IG to kill me during the House of Representatives primaries in Irrua on Sunday.


In order to stop the falsehood and blackmail being circulated by Edionwele and his cohorts, I have decided to rely my encounters with this dishonourable man who is not fit to be seen in any gathering of civilized people talkless of being in the hallowed Chambers of the National Assembly as a member.

The members of this body (The Ebakota Movement), deserve to know the truth as his allegation bother on the foundation of the movement.

As you are all aware, Joe Edionwele is an Ebola infested aspirant. He has no place in the gathering of Ebakota. He was never welcomed into our midst. His disgraceful dumping by the governor and Senator Clifford Ordia led him to scramble to Chief Dan Orbih and Dr Mike Onolememen for refuge.

Like a snake that he is, Edionwele tried playing himself into a structure he once despiced and worked all round with his fellow Ebola infested aspirant to destroy. What he did not know is the fact that he was dealing with people far above him in terms of intellectual and political sagacity.

Joe Edionwele had never been bold enough to call me directly and asked for my support until of recent. He knew my position about his unholy third term bid. Two months ago, he approached Chief Godwin Okhiria (Alaafin) to arrange a meeting between himself, Ordia and myself in Lagos. Alaafin offered me #10million on their behalf for me to switch support to Edionwele and Ordia. I refused to attend the meeting.
Next he came through my friend Barr. Lucky Eseigbe. I turned all his requests down. He finally summoned courage to come to my house to see me personally. He came with Alaafin, Eseigbe and several others. He requested for a private audience with me in my house but I turned it down. I insisted on addressing him in front of his hanger ons. I told him point blank that I could not support his third term bid especially considering my position as the President of Ebakota Movement. Our slogan is “No third tenure”

He even requested that I should remain neutral and asked me to name my price. He complained that majority of the delegates he approached in Esan Central told him that they would vote for whosoever I told them to vote for. He said that if I must support anyone it must not be Joefel. Again I turned him down. He left.

Barr Eseigbe later pleaded that I should allow them access to address the INEC certified Ad-Hoc delegates. I told him that I didn’t want them infested with Ebola.

During the House of Assembly primary, all the 29 Ad-Hoc delegates voted for Enahoro Ojiefoh the adopted aspirant by Ebakota.

At the venue of the House of Reps primary, Edionwele sent his agents to offer the Esan Central delegates#500,000 each. They all turned him down insisting that they will not betray me. They all voted for Joefel and also went ahead to vote for Dr Mike Onolememen.

Edionwele then called aside the Returning officers of the party, Udo Surag, Alhaji Bonvix and Dr Francis Igberase . He offered them #1.2m each to give him 40 ballot papers. He told them that he would tell his thugs to chase everyone away, disrupt the process and dump them into the box before they reconvened. They refused insisting on conducting a free and fair primary. Dr Francis Igberase was particularly more insistent on a free and fair primary.

When he discovered that he was losing woefully, he ordered his thugs to disrupt the process. He told them to beat up Dr Francis Igberase because he was most vocal in refusing his request. His thugs IG, People Say, Kennedy and others descended on Dr Igberase with guns shooting aimlessly. I rushed to rescue Dr Igberase from them . Edionwele told them to also deal with me. IG used his pomp action gun and hit me on my head. He wanted to hit me again but Felix Ibhade blocked him. Edionwele told him to shoot me. But I escaped and was rushed to ISTH because I was bleeding heavily from the wound on my head.

I never welcomed Edionwele. But for Lucky Eseigbe whom I regarded as a brother and Alaafin I was having much respect for, there was no way I would have opened my gate for Edionwele. I find it insulting and amusing at the same time hearing that he gave me #1m. Some are saying #2m while others say #3m. I didn’t take money from Edionwele, Alaafin, Eseigbe or any of his agents. It is not in my character at all. Senator Ordia, Hon. Ikhariale, Engr. Gideon Ikhine are people I have anchored their campaigns in the past. They will tell you that I can never take money to betray any course I believe in.

Edionwele only attacked me because of the fact that I frustrated his attempts to infiltrate the Ebakota Movement in Esan Central after he was disgraced out of the governor’s camp.

I just feel that I owe the Ebakota Movement and those who believe in me these explanations. For those who are hell bent on tarnishing my name, I have no apology nor explanation.

Amb. Tony Okonigene

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments