Nigeria: Is James Ibori worth celebrating?

By IndepthAfrica
In News
Aug 7th, 2013

Late last week was the birthday celebration of former Delta State governor, James Ibori, which he clocked 55 years.

While he is still serving a jail term in a UK prison, family, friends, and kinsmen, threw a birthday party for him. The
celebration began with a thanksgiving church service
where the Pastor, Rev Iweh Godspower, challenged the
congregation, to emulate Ibori. “It is a given that Ibori is a huge success, but that is not why all of
you left your homes and different towns to be in Oghara today – even though the man you have
come to celebrate may never know the individuals that have
come to do him honour. You have
come to Oghara today because Ibori is a man who after climbing
high in the social, political and
economic ladders of Nigeria, did not seize and throw away the
ladders in the way most Nigerian
big men usually do; he made the ladders available for others to
climb up too. And even when some people are too weak to make good use of that ladders, he
helped pull them up.

That is why
you are here today – never forget that and you go and do likewise, help others to climb up the
ladders of life and love”.

The crowd is reported to have included 7 first class traditional
rulers, Independent Oil Marketers, key professionals, and top
politicians from all the six geo-political zones.

The 3-day celebration for the imprisoned governor ends today
with a novelty football match.

For a refresher, on the 27th of February, 2012 accused of stealing US$ 250 million from the Nigerian public purse, Ibori pleaded guilty to ten counts of money laundering and conspiracy to defraud at Southwark Crown
Court, London.

On Tuesday, April 17, 2012, Ibori was sentenced to 13 years by Southwark Crown Court for his crimes. Among possessions
confiscated were: A house in Hampstead, North London, for £2.2m, A property in Shaftesbury, Dorset, for £311,000, A £3.2m mansion in Sandton,
near Johannesburg, South Africa, A fleet of armoured Range
Rovers valued at £600,000, A £120,000 Bentley Continental
GT, A Mercedes-Benz Maybach 62 bought for €407,000 cash, that was shipped direct to his mansion in South Africa.

Isn’t this appalling to celebrate people of questionable characters in Nigeria, I believe if after spending his 13 yèar jail term, he will be celebrated like former NPA boss, Bóde George. Shame on us!

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