IN the last quarter of 2006, President Olusegun Obasanjo’s attempt to change the Constitution in order to prolong his tenure beyond the allowed two terms had ended in predictable futility. Party primaries were delayed while politicians calibrated the political wind-vane of third term in full motion ahead of Nigeria’s 2007 general elections. In Rivers State, the richest of Nigeria’s oil-producing states in the Niger-Delta, Gabriel Tamunobiebere George, GTG, Toby was in his second term as deputy-governor and had been persuaded to throw his hat into the ring for the nomination by the Peoples Democratic Party, for the party’s governorship ticket in 2007. The customary screening of the aspirants took place before a party committee in Abuja on December 5, 2006. When it came to GTG’s turn before the committee, the questioning was minimal. The committee asked for proof that he had been paying his party dues, he provided that. What about his certificate of indigeneship? He had that too. A few more pleasantries followed by perfunctoriness, he was asked to go.
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