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Goodnight Chief Barrister James Enejo Ocholi (SAN)

09 March 2016, 12:11 Hussain Obaro

The news of your demise through a ghastly motor accident on Sunday 6th March 2016 along Abuja- Kaduna road came as a rude shock an a calamity that has befallen us in Dekina local government, the entire Igala race, kogi state and Nigeria in general. So an African proverb which says "a straight (upright) tree does not tarry (live long) in the forest" is true? Despite being an accomplished legal luminary and a worthy senior advocate of Nigeria your decision to taste the waters of politics in 2011 didn't come as a surprise to many of us who had always admired your passion, commitment, and desire to better the lots of the oppressed, indigent and the down trodden in the society.

Even though you were relatively new in the political game your humility, gentleman style of politics and your readiness to always listen and consider opinions of others soon endeared you to many across the political divide in kogi state, not even the fact that the deformed congress for progressive change (CPC) on which platform you aspired and contested was a young political party of only a few months old at the time could deny you a vast array of political followership, supporters and sympathizers across ethnic, tribal and religious boundaries in the confluence state.

Even when you eventually lose the 2011 gubernatorial election, not because the electorates didn't favour you at the polls, but simply to the superiority of the PDP's rigging architecture at the time you unlike many politicians of your age group and professional status chose to remain on the side of the common masses, advocating for the enthronement of good governance, rule of law and an egalitarian society for all kogites.

After much persuasion and pressure from friends and close associates you agreed to throw in the towel ones more and aspire to the number one seat in the state in 2014, this time under the platform of a bigger, stronger and more formidable APC, but your bid to govern kogi state ones again ended in a fiasco due to the desperation of certain individuals who had already hijacked the party's machineries and channelled same to their political advantage. But like a straight, tall and upright tree is singled out by a sculptor in the midst of several other trees in the forest, you were singled out of kogi state to serve a minister of the federal republic under the leadership of President Muhammad Buhari.

Your appointment as minister wasn't a any surprise to many who understood the fact that no one at the time could've been a better 'change' agent and worthy of helping Mr President to actualize the 'change' he promised Nigerians than chief barrister James Enejo Ocholi. Your efforts at reaching out to all waring sides with the aim of stabilizing the political atmosphere in kogi state at a time the state was embroiled in a political quagmire and near constitutional crisis occasioned by the sudden death of prince Abubakar Audu didn't only portray you as a man of peace and tranquility but has redefined the political scene in the state across ethnic affiliation.

Nigerian youth, especially the teaming unemployed had looked up to you to use your vast wealth of experience in providing the much craved job opportunities but death decided to snatch you away from all of us at the time Mr President and indeed all Nigerians need your service and wise counsel the most. To many of us you are not just a fine lawyer, an orator, a complete gentleman, an advocate of good governance and a 'change' agent you are also a role model, a political teacher and a mentor. You came into this sinful world, you saw and you conquered but death has decided to shortlive your course and desire to improve and add value to humanity. Its indeed a 'black' sunday for all Nigerians, especially to those of us who belong to your school of politics. Rest in peace with your family until we meet to path no more...Adieu! 

- MyNews24

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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