Book Excerpt: When Vultures Die by Chidi Martin Obi

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At his master’s behest in the heyday of his haughty overreach when this party kingpin readily tore down many an iron gate, Zadok The Priest strutted his universe as Inyi Agba Oku, that dreaded mask of legend from Agbaja who brooked no challenges from spirits, lesser or greater. Other POWER lords from the southern provinces practically kowtowed before Zadok in unreserved submission to his supremacy when discussing winning manoeuvres for their so-called ‘structure’, an unscrupulous, goal-directed montage boasting victory-amassing strategies that rarely failed. Therefore, for the great president-tsar who ruled from The Capital in those days, that aged, grumpy, power-drunk kraken, our collective scourge this side of the Kworra, with tentacles in every lurid mess in the polity, our Nwata Kwochaa Aka Nke Mbu n’Ado, Olu na Ide, Chief Azodo Edmund Oraelosi, was his de facto anointer of lesser kings and courtiers in all the lands below the Confluence. Any worthy politician, or any office holder, big or small, from POWER, or from any of her numerous flimsy coalitions, mounted the seat with his watchful blessing.

Mighty Zadok was awash with an unprecedented barrage of free support in endless funding and armed forces doled out generously by the Emperor at the onset of the Fourth Republic, all to effect POWER’s intimidations, rigging and other compromises. The admirable and untouchable Zadok very well lived to the hilt the life of that proverbial favourite of tyrants, the Odalu Iwu Eje Nga. Therefore, it was foolhardy for anyone to challenge Zadok, both from within and outside the swaggering POWER of those days. And such was the travesty that played out in the entire country during the tonic and anaesthetizing first eight years of our tottering democracy.

But soon, and as my dear mother would say, nothing lasted forever, and so gradually our Zadok’s grip on POWER’s rigging machinery and other tools of intimidation and domination began to slacken. At the general elections to usher in the second leg of the Fourth Republic, Zadok’s home province was lost, and woefully, to an arguable upstart. This stranger into politics was an educated, exposed and witty global trader who crept into the contest from the fledgling PGA like an obscure underdog to eventually clinch the governorship in an unprecedented landslide over the ineffectual incumbent, a former POWER man who, booted out by his grossly-embarrassed party just before the contest, had to belatedly seek solace under an unpopular umbrella. In addition, POWER’s pint-sized, goateed, late-entry puppet, hoisted quickly onto the coveted seat through the usual controversial mago-mago pattern of which Zadok and his league of fixers and legion of foot soldiers masterminded, was roundly kicked out of the seat of power for good after some time, and through the courts, by the same dark horse, that chivalrous enigma from PGA.

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[End of Excerpt]

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