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Published On: Mon, Dec 22nd, 2014

Okowa, Ejele, Uduaghan, Ibori and Future of Delta

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By Jesutega Onokpasa
LAGOS DECEMBER 22ND (URHOBOTODAY)-Earlier this year at page 12 of the Vanguard of Monday, May 26, 2014 a certain Cornelius Etaghene Onoriode caused to be published an advertorial I found to be exceptionally objectionable and a most brazen insult on the sensibilities of the good people of Delta.
According to the author, the Delta Political Vanguard, DPV, is a political behemoth under the leadership of Hon. Michael Diden, aka Ejele, whom according to him is ‘a political icon, notable philanthropist and cleric’. He went on to add to his bizarre piece, a list of notable and not-so-notable politicians in Delta whom he claims are members of the group. While I concede to the author, his entitlement to promote his group, I equally find it completely in bad taste that he should do so by a resort to the deployment of blatant lies more appropriate to political brigandage than to factual political analysis. Now that Senator Ifeanyi Okowa has emerged as People’s Democratic Party, PDP, candidate for the governorship of Delta, the infernal positions canvassed in that distasteful article are worth reassessing.
That the DPV, going by its membership as claimed in the article, is arguably an organisation of some strength is an open question. However, it was therein claimed that the group somehow singlehandedly delivered Governor Uduaghan in 2011. According to the infantile publication, governorship aspirants, ‘knowing that the DPV has done it before and is at the verge of repeating the feat of installing the successor to Governor Uduaghan in 2015… have left nothing to chance to win the support of the group.’ Apart from the grammatically impoverished status of the write-up, I find it most insulting that Michael Diden should thus pretend that his obscure organisation single handedly installed Governor Uduaghan in 2011. Diden thus insulted the Governor by insinuating that Uduaghan is his political godson. In reality it is Diden who is validly describable as just one of the numerous political godsons of the Governor and in fact, a major and serial beneficiary of his patronage.
Furthermore, the contribution of the DPV to Governor Uduaghan’s reelection was at best remote and entirely vestigial. Uduaghan ended up being suspiciously and controversially delivered by many groups and individuals, most of whom ended up being used and dumped as usual. To thus belittle the efforts of numerous party elders, chieftains, stalwarts and stakeholders who doggedly and significantly contributed to Uduaghan’s re-election, the DPV has only succeeded in interpreting itself as a group to be taken seriously only on account of its disrespectful disposition and its penchant for peddling blatant lies. I naturally find it most disappointing that such falsehood should emanate from a group headed by a self-acclaimed evangelist. Moreover, the completely stupefying lie that the DPV controls up to ‘70 per cent of the PDP delegates for the primary election to the office of the governor’, can only further expose the group as an aggregation of rabblerousing hustlers as opposed to a body constituted of politicians worth taking seriously. If they had 70%, how come Okowa did not get 70% of the votes at the primaries?
Yet if indeed the DPV single handedly delivered Uduaghan, how can that possibly recommend it to Deltans? Is it not the same Uduaghan that everyone in Delta is fasting and praying should pack his load and leave our long-suffering state alone? Is it not the same Uduaghan that has tormented us for the past eight years and is now gearing up to further torment us for another eight years of excruciating slavery through Okowa? Apparently drunk on the euphoria of its chronic megalomania, the DPV in that semi-illiterate piece, tactlessly went further to arrogantly insult every other gubernatorial aspirant in Delta by claiming that its ‘leaders…soon disappointed the rampaging governorship aspirants as they settled for Senator Ifeanyi Okowa…’ Who – for God’s sake – is a rampager? Is it the likes of Dr. Festus Okubor, Professor Silvester Monye, Engr. Victor Ochei, Chief Godwin Elumelu, Chief Godswill Obielum, Prince Sam Obi, Dr. Ngozi Olejeme or Chief Tony Nwaka whom the likes of Diden can validly describe as rampaging governorship aspirants? What about other aspirants from other senatorial zones? If Okowa has no regard for his fellow aspirants from Delta North, is it those from Delta Central and Delta South that he could possibly have even an iota of respect for? Can Barr. Kenneth Gbagi, Elder Godsday Orubebe or Barr. Festus Keyamo be validly described as ‘rampaging governorship aspirants’? What a painful insult to every other political heavyweight in Delta!
To describe these other eminently qualified aspirants in Delta as rampaging rascals is the height of political rascality and only serves to frame the DPV itself, in the toga of a rampaging group of political desperadoes. Many of these gentlemen and women are not only senior to and more experienced than Okowa or Diden, his Man Friday and errand boy but have superior political pedigree to anything the distinguished Senator may boast of. I thus found it most unconscionably irritating that an organisation led by a man like Diden would make bold to disrespect these party elders and chieftains by recourse to such uncouth diction.
As if to add insult to injury, Diden claimed that Okowa ‘is the most qualified among the aspirants for the top job.’ What arrant nonsense! This is political infantilism and crass ignorance unintelligibly misassembled into a newspaper advertorial. What in fact qualifies Okowa to be ‘the most qualified among the aspirants for the top job’? If we may ask, is Diden’s ‘most qualified for the job’ candidate not the same Okowa who was thoroughly rejected by his own Ika South people on account of having neglected them when he had the opportunity of citing beneficial projects in their locality? Did they not then, in anger, dismantle his billboards in their area upon which armed thugs were unleashed on them to the extent that the person suspected of pulling down the billboards was gunned down? Is this not in fact a recent event still under police investigation? Is Okowa ‘the most qualified’ on account of the fact that in an arrogant bid to take over a plot of land from Barr. Alex Ikpeazu, hoodlums suspected to be working under the orders of the distinguished Senator attacked and killed an Agbor man who happened to be one of Barr. Ikpeazu’s workers? Is this not yet another case still being investigated by the police?
In 2011, did political thugs chanting slogans for Okowa not unleash mayhem against a serving Ambassador, Godson Echejile, causing severe sharp and blunt force trauma to the head and neck of the gentleman? Is this victim of heinous assault not the same Echejile who made him a Commissioner in the first place? Is Diden’s Okowa different from the one who has little or no regard for his benefactors including the likes of the late H.C. Iweriebor who brought him up politically only for Okowa to reward him with a barrage of insults up until his death? Are we talking about a different Okowa from the same man who was practically delivered as Senator by the joint efforts of Prince Sam Obi and Engr. Victor Ochei, both of whom he later spared no opportunity to ridicule, deride and denigrate in the public domain?
Has Diden’s sweet bride, Okowa, not been severely criticized by his own Ika people for diverting most projects earmarked for Ika in general to his own village, thus neglecting other parts of Ika land, including Boji Boji? Is it a man who cannot take equitable care of his own fellow Ikas that Diden hopes to sell to the rest of us as ‘the most qualified among the aspirants for the top job’? Is it the countless drainage projects Okowa allotted to his cronies, which though have been paid for, are yet to be executed, that qualifies him to be our Governor? Is it the abattoir in Agbor which remains abandoned that should recommend Okowa to us? Is it the Water Reticulation Project, also in Agbor, which is a monument to contractual rascality that we are supposed to rely on as one of Okowa’s qualifications ‘for the top job’? How do these embarrassing failures add up to the credentials of a man qualified to be Governor?
I find Okowa to be a rather alarming fellow especially against the fact of his medical background. We rather love our doctors as life savers and cherish them as quintessential gentlemen and women to whom suspicion of perpetrating violence is entirely inappropriate. It is thus most frightening that a medical doctor of all people should be suspected of orchestrating the violent episodes adumbrated above. Fortunately, unlike Diden who has thoughtlessly swallowed Okowa, hook, line and sinker, those of us with discerning minds insist, as intellectual stakeholders, on peaceful elections come 2015 while unequivocally condemning all violent tendencies leading up to the polls.
Perhaps in Diden’s peculiar mindset, Okowa ‘is the most qualified among the aspirants for the top job’ entirely because he has promised a ‘chop chop’ government according to Diden’s ‘Monkey will work and Monkey will eat’ template. Well, we are people and not monkeys in Delta, and we take a rather deem view of a government that will only come for the exclusive ‘settlement’ of a cabal in the corridors of power. This enticement to ‘come and chop’ only reveals the Okowa-Diden tag team as an unacceptable addition to the present spate of unprecedented underdevelopment we are saddened to witness across Delta under Governor Uduaghan. Such a misguided government will only end up further tormenting us more than we have already suffered during the locust years of the Ibori/Uduaghan era, consequently re-entrenching an era in which cabalistic tendencies arise to mass our common patrimony into a few hands to the excruciating detriment of the welfare of the rest of us.
In any case, as to Okowa being ‘the most qualified’ according to Diden, we naturally assume that only someone who is himself qualified to be Governor would be able to validly make such a sweeping verdict. Diden’s imperious assertion should therefore only be given a second glance if Deltans consider Diden to be qualified to be their Governor. Thankfully, Diden doesn’t want to be our Governor, knowing full well that he is morally, intellectually and politically not qualified. What Diden wants to be – at least for now – is the Deputy Governor of Delta under Okowa. This nevertheless returns us to the same challenge, for according to the law, a man is only qualified to be Deputy Governor if, and only if, he is also qualified to be Governor. Instructively, Evangelist Diden, whom we are entitled to hold up to a very high standard of private and public morality, apparently wishes to achieve his tall ambition through the shortcut of the back door. To our utter bemusement, it appears Diden is warming up to transfer his INEC registration from Koko in Warri North LGA, to Elume in Okpe LGA, if he has not already done so! What a stunning capper from a true man of God!
Diden was Chairman, Warri North LGA and is presently Commissioner representing the Itsekiri ethnic nationality on the board of the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, DESOPADEC. He is also the Chairman of Gelegele Community in Itsekiri land. We find it utterly bizarre that a pastor, of all people, would be an Itsekiri man today and for entirely political reasons, metamorphose into an Okpe man first thing tomorrow morning. While I genuinely believe in miracles, I can however solemnly affirm that not even the sleekest cat in the whole world can be a leopard by day only to become a lion in the middle of the night. No one should ever be permitted to eat his cake and have it, in this alarming manner of a greedy hunter. It is incontrovertibly a macabre act of grotesque ungratefulness that his latest stratagem amounts to using and dumping his fellow Itsekiri as it suits him. We doubt that the Itsekiri race will take kindly to such ingratitude and allow Diden to bite the finger that fed him in this unconscionably audacious manner. We can however assure Diden that neither the Okpes nor their fellow Urhobos will stomach such an insulting act of misguided braggadocio from him. The former Chairman, Warri North LGA, present Chairman, Gelegele Community and serving Commissioner representing the Itsekiri ethnic nationality on the DESOPADEC board, cannot suddenly become an Urhobo man overnight to emerge from Delta Central as Okowa’s running mate. If Diden ever had any Urhobo roots and was ever proud of them, he should have identified himself as an Urhobo man a long time ago!
By aligning himself with Diden in this disgusting manner, Okowa has only shot himself in the foot by unwittingly exposing his gross contempt for the Urhobo nation whom he had all along pretended to hold in the highest esteem. Those Urhobos who betrayed David Edevbie to vote for Okowa in the PDP primaries should hide their faces in shame. Since Okowa cannot identify a single genuine Urhobo man or woman to run with, the Urhobos are entitled to write him off as an objectionable fellow prepared to arrogantly force an impostor down their throats as his running mate from Delta Central! Most of us in Delta are now resolved to stand for justice and find this to be irredeemably inequitable. We are therefore quite happy to assure the good people of Delta that such an infernal insult and brazen act of fraud will not be part of the process that will provide them with a Governor to succeed Dr. Uduaghan and free us from the bondage of the Ibori/Uduaghan political family come 2015. Okowa is not our messiah. He is the political son of Ibori and Uduaghan. He is not our hero. Our hero is coming and this time around he will not be cheated out of his God-given mandate! Deltans unite; your liberation is at hand!
Barr. Jesutega Onokpasa is Sapele based legal practitioner

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  1. Moses Compton says:

    Rubbish, you sound like a complete sectarian. Deltans will vote for Senator Okowa irrespective of your venom and hatred for him. Ogboru is a reject, O’tega and Ogboru both will be rejected by Deltans.

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