This is an insider account of how Don Wanny became notorious for bloodshed, kidnapping and armed robbery in the South-south part of Nigeria.
Sunday 7th January 2018 witnessed the final climax of one of the deadliest terrorist kingpins that has for about seven straight years terrorized not just Omoku Town in ONELGA local government area of Rivers State, Nigeria, but also the entire Orashi region, including Emohua/Ahoada axis of East/West Road all of Rivers State.
His real name is Igwedibia Johnson, but he gave himself “Don Wanny” as he advanced deeply into criminalities. He is originally from Aligu village, one of the smallest settlements within the outskirts of Omoku Town, in Rivers State.
Around 2011, Don Wanny was among the competing youths of Omoku struggling to secure recognition by Agip, an International Oil exploration Company operating in Omoku. Among other rival indigenous youths were Kingsley Ogwubuike aka Manor (Now Youth President of Omoku Town) and Emeka Agbabere the vice, and present Secretary General of ONSPAC, the vigilante group that chased Don Wanny out of town in December 2017.
Don Wanny chose crime as a greater path than any other legitimate means of survival. From a seemingly insignificant issue of seeking for Agip recognition, Don Wanny and his group metamorphosed into some very fierce militia ravaging the entire communities in ONELGA and its environs. He eventually got attention and recognition of Agip Oil Company as he and his loyalists were monthly paid some huge money for security or surveillance. But that could not satisfy Don who had developed the highest avarice and propensity towards crimes, proceeds of crimes, and has demonstrated entrenched interests in terror and the easy funds of same.
Soon Don extended his outreach against politicians and other well to do people within his enclave and began to harass, intimidate and terrorize elites from that extraction. It got to a point that bigger indigenous contractors to Agip needed to obtain clearance from Don Wanny before job execution.
Out of fear or for convenience some politicians/elites across the divide, subscribed to his demands just to allow peace reign and escape his usual terror, when they and family or friends visit Omoku; While several others who could not afford his demands or are disinterested, simply shunned the area since then since then.
In few years, what began as a mere agitation for Agip’s recognition soon snowballed into full fledge criminal network of armed men that specialized in kidnap, armed robbery etc. He was completely his own commander, as he enjoyed the ill-gotten wealth on mundane pleasures, and primitive showy display of wealth. Assuming without conceding that someone initiated him to crimes, nobody forced him to remain there.
Yes, there are rumours that many elites in Omoku may have allowed him to fester, in the hope that with time, Don may turn a new leaf like several other ex-militants. Or may have allowed him out of morbid fear of not being singled out by the ravaging waves of his criminalities, decapitated and made an escape goat.
Don knows no other means of living other than crime. He considered it the normal way of life, and strongly believes that as long as he continues to amass amours to himself, all authorities shall bow under his terror and threats.
But certainly, no elites with vested interests in that city sponsored Don to perpetrate and continue to perpetuate himself as a terrorist. Before now, Don Wanny has repudiated every suggestions and advices from well meaning Ogba people to change and leave crimes for good. But his warped sense could not permit him to reconcile himself, by himself, for himself with realities. Hence, his strong belief that greater crime could lead to greater satisfaction.
In fact, when the State Amnesty team got to Omoku and offered him amnesty, he received it halfheartedly and subsequently returned back to his normal life of course characterized by crime. He repudiated and violated all terms and conditions soon as he realized the program would not open the floodgates of easy money.
As he sank deeper into crimes, he alienated himself from not only the public, but from so many other responsible people that knows him personally. Since last year, the CTC Chairman of his Local government, supported by the local vigilante, and the military chased Don Wanny out of Omoku City and its environs. And there were rumors that he had been killed by then.
Irked by this action Don Wanny needed to make a statement that he’s not only alive but that he’s also criminally and terroristically relevant and potent. Hence, about the early hours of 1st January 2018, Don Wanny struck and killed about 17 vulnerable, harmless and hapless worshipers on their way from New Year’s Passover church service.
That was how he met his Waterloo, as the full expression and demonstration of State might came heavily against Don Wanny and his lieutenants, and the rest they say is now history.
The security agencies should not take holiday, and assume that every vestiges of Don Wanny is completely eradicated in Omoku, no way! In fact from discussions with the leadership of the Vigilante in Omoku, it’s their suspicion that some form of selection for successor of a new head might be going on right now within the camp of late Don Wanny. Hence the urgent need to comb the area more with a view to nib them on the bud, before they consolidate again.
For those who still engage in crime, I won’t advise you any longer to desist from criminalities. Continue. If Don Wanny’s violent end is not enough lessons for you, no wahala continue. You own go worse!
In overall, his death is an eloquent testimony to the truth that every evil era has expiry date. And has further lend strong credence to the long known adage; crime does not pay.
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