No, not me. Haba! How can?
It is the connection to mad people that got me interested in the story. A friend who got sufficiently angry with Nigerian politicians in their manner of stealing said “Nigerian politician are mad people”. So when he read about the story, he thought the Nigerian Governor who made that statement actually met other Nigerian Governors in the Brixton Prison.
Now the statement is copyright to DSP of good memory. The story (at 7,701 words) is the longest I ever read in newspaper story telling. And it is Olanrewaju Onigegewura who tells it in his usual style and format.
Contrary to what Nigerians said about DSP’s escape from the United Kingdom in those days, the former Governor denied it. According to DSP, officers of the Metropolitan Police assisted him to leave their country. “Every other day, the Metropolitan Police came to my house. So one of those days, they took me out of London to an awaiting aircraft and when I asked where they were taking me, they said, look we don’t want your political problems. Go and solve it. The day we saw your Attorney General [Bayo Ojo] in court making that type of statement, we knew it was not a criminal matter but political and we are not interested in getting involved. So I was flown to Ivory Coast. They had warned me not to say certain things they did. So I was lucky a Nigerian was coming to do business in a chartered flight because I had no passport. I was just stranded in Ivory Coast in the evening when this Good Samaritan saw me. He was excited and asked what I was doing in Ivory Coast and I narrated my ordeal. So he said I should join him and he brought me back to Nigeria. I got home late. We flew to Lagos and the same aircraft took me to Port Harcourt. It was in Lagos that I called my ADC to come and pick me at the airport and that was how I got home. I never dressed like a woman to escape from London.”
For those who remember (Nigerians forget very easily, you know) Alamieyeseigha’s return was celebrated by almost everyone in Bayelsa. Thousands of Bayelsans trooped out to the Government House to welcome their hero. Seeing the multitude that came to welcome him, the governor was overcome by palpable emotion. He addressed the crowd in his native Ijaw language. He thanked God who brought him back from foreign wilderness.
According to him: “For 65 days or so, I found myself in the wilderness of foreign restriction and torment. However, God Almighty has used this travail to humble me and I pray Nigerians accept the will of God in my life…Today, I am back at my desk, forever committed to serve the people of Bayelsa and Nigeria.”
The full story is in Olanrewaju Onigegewura’s words is available at