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Published On: Sun, Jul 13th, 2014

David Edevdie: An Urhobo Gubernatorial Aspirant Without a Root

Delta State PDP Governorship aspirant, Mr David Edevbie

By Onajite Ese
LAGOS JULY 11TH (URHOBOTODAY()It baffles me how some Urhobos view the Urhobo nation as one piece of milk that they can suck and abandon and then come back again to suck its juice. It’s pathetic that some Urhobos view Urhobo as only a place to achieve their lifetime ambition when they desire but never deems it fit to give back to the very tribe that made them who they are.
If this were not so, how would David Edevbie has the guts to sing his songs of guber aspirations into our ears, so loud and clear that one is tempted to think that he is acting based on divine direction. Who are those fake Urhobos and hungry groups ‘urging him to run’ for the number one position in Delta State? Where are those mammals located that are deceiving Edevbie to take a shot at the number one spot in the big heart? Do we really have to blame them? I believe so strongly that David must have set up those lousy charlatans to go to the media and pretend to tell him to run, so as to give him a soft landing when he finally declares.
Forgive my rhetorical statement and question, but I can’t help but wonder what gave this guy the guts to come out from his hiding after many years to suddenly realize that there is a state called Delta and a place called Urhobo. David Edevbie has no moral right to come to Urhobo land and ask for our votes, now or in future. Edevbie was no doubt a powerful man during the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua’s administration; pulling strings that even the Ministers then could not pull, but those strings and connections he secured were mainly for his personal pockets.
Has he forgotten so soon that the ‘doctrine of necessity’ which brought in Mr. Goodluck Jonathan as Nigeria President was caused by him? Oh, he must have forgotten, but we can never forget, and even if we pretend to, history is always the immortal judge who will remind you of your past when you least expect it. As ‘s Private Principal Secretary, he held the then Vice President, Goodluck Jonathan by the jugular and stopped him from doing his work in the absence of his boss. Till date, it remains a mystery how David was able to smuggle out the budget for the year to Saudi Arabia armed with a copy of the 1999 Appropriations approved by the National Assembly for Yar’Adua to sign into law.
While the whole nation clamoured that Yar’Adua be allowed to receive treatment and get well, while Jonathan act in his stead, Edevbie swore with his gods that Yar’Adua was very fine. His journey to Saudi Arabia and his appearance with the documents duly signed by Yar’Adua, thus rendering Goodluck useless while government continued to run will remain a mysterious course of study for students of forensic science. This is a man who was part of the cabal that almost put the country into a mess, coming back home today to vie for the governorship position of Delta State. How shallow can men think.
Whatever mistake that will see him emerging as a governor in the state using the Urhobo name will be the worst political history in Nigeria and a dark day for President Jonathan. Edevbie presence in the Villa as private principal secretary was due to his closeness to James Onanefe Ibori who single handedly put him there to be his eyes; a job he successfully executed. Jonathan cannot be stupid to support such a man who never wanted to see him as President. Little wonder when appointments were to be made under the Jonathan administration, he was easily shoved out and replaced with Hassan Tukur. I still remember how he packed his properties and left the villa in the quietest time, shamefully without any fanfare. Competent sources reveaedl to this writer that all the correspondence exchange in the Villa then were always seen by David, who easily report back to his master.
Among all Urhobos, he has been fortunate to be in government at the state and federal level but no achievement can be pointed to him, neither can any bonafide Urhobo son or daughter come up to say s/he was empowered by him. He was not just a common Commissioner in Delta State, but the almighty Commissioner for Finance under Ibori where he was powerful enough and had the ears of the former governor who was his close ally to attract projects to his immediate community, but he could not. Today, he stands on the roof to open his mouth to tell Urhobos that he should be allowed to take the place of the majority, whose turn it is natural should occupy the Dennis Osadebey House.
If David has nothing to offer again and wants to waste the money he has garnered over the years, he should open a great institution of language and cultural learning where he will also be a student. You wonder why he will be schooled in an institution he opened? He cannot be said to be an Urhobo, as he cannot speak the Urhobo dialect. Is this not an insult to the Urhobo race that a man who cannot communicate in the mother tongue will stand before the almighty Urhobo Progressive Union (UPU) and great sons/daughters of the soil to demand for their votes? His many years of sojourn in UK has robbed him of his cultural heritage, that he has lost his roots completely. If we had our ways, David should have been thoroughly flogged during the last Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Delta Central sensitization rally in Ughelli for insulting our collective intelligence by coming to the venue in Urhobo attire. What was he thinking when he left his room that morning adorning it, a thing he has never done in his life? Does Edevbie think Urhobos are fools to give their cherished votes to a man who has not identified with her people? We certainly are wiser than that.
Forgive me, but I dare say that Edevbie, a look alike of the alumnus of Graduate business school is a deceiver who is only out with sugar coated tongue to deceive us. He is here to speak and coin out words of how he will manage the state finances should he be elected. Who else can talk more deceitfully to the ill-informed populace about finance than a financial ‘expert’ like David? A very good look at him and hearing him speak reveals that he has no single manifesto to better the lives of Deltans. It is also pertinent to know that all he preaches about is financial transparency, forgetting that governance goes beyond that. You don’t bring what you learnt in the walls of the University alone into governance. If it were so, Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan should only have concerned himself with giving Deltans a better health care since he is a physician and forget about building infrastructures. We need a man who will carry on the Delta Beyond Oil project, but Edevbie has shown that he will abandon it once he is mistakenly elected and go after his predecessors in the name of financial probity and accountability. Suffice to say that he is not a doer of what he practiced. Or is he not the same David Edevbie who the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) accused of laundering money for Ibori as a director with Vee Communications. Agreed that a section of the British prosecution acquits him, but the case remains a mystery today, as the EFCC has not said anything tangible on it.
Governing a state like Delta is not meant for a juvenile adult who feels he can bounce back into relevance by attempting to contest the guber race, using the Urhobo name to project himself. He has always said it that he is not a politician but a technocrat, and if he still remains to his stand; he should forget about politicking as politicians cum technocrats are the only ones that can stir the Delta ship. Unfortunately enough, he is only one and not the two. Edevbie should save Urhobos the chance of dividing her votes as I am very sure that he cannot even win his house hold whether in a free and fair election or even a rigged one. He has never contested election on his life, but only gotten appointment and if he feels that he is ripe to jump into the murky waters of Nigeria politics, he should start with the councillorship post in his ward and if he dares to dream big; he can attempt the House of Assembly position. But coming into the arena where tested and trusted politician who have more unassailable character and even wealth than him is a disservice to his immediate constituency who needs his money to better their lives. Arriving into the political theatre to flex muscle in the gubernatorial race is tantamount to the bird calling itself a bird simply because they all have wings.
While I still posit that every Urhobos should be given a chance to aspire and still remain true to such advocacy; I will not be part of a charade where some unserious individuals and pretenders who know within themselves that they stand no chance of having one delegate vote will conspire with God knows who to sabotage the efforts of the real aspirants. Edevbie belongs to these group of pretenders who I am tempted to believe is being sponsored to cause political commotion in Urhobo land. We must identify such people in our midst and tell them to their face to avoid the impending pains that comes with losing elections.
If Edevbie is doing this just to get political position; sorry, but no position is fit for man who could hold the nation hostage with some dare devil cabal. Such a man if given power will one day take the mace of the House of Assembly to Saudi Arabia if the legislators attempt any impeachment move against him or his favored speaker. For whatever reason he is doing it; it is not just just. We need a full blooded Urhobo man who is not a saint, but is not also a known sinner. Every saint has a past and every sinner a future, but Edevbie sins has outgrown redemption and while we do not condemn him, as we are not God, we also owe it a duty to tell him to his face that he is not in the first two hundred leagues of Urhobos that will ever be considered when a post like the governor is given out; neither is he among the league of five thousand Deltans that will be allowed near the gates of the governor’s office.
Urhobos and UPU especially should begin the screening of candidate who will fly the Urhobo flag in the 2015 guber race, so as to stop all these actions of men like David Edevbie who may spring up in the coming weeks. The faster we do this, the best for the tribe. Soon enough, a man whose only records on the media and internet forum are known to be bad will tell us someday that he did it for the best of the state or nation. Do yourself a favor by googling David Edevbie and you will be shocked to learn that nothing good came out of him. Delta is too great and important a State in Nigeria to be a laughing stock during meetings with other state leaders. Imagine having Edevbie as our governor attending the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) where many press men, media aide, and chief press secretary are gathered, and the attendant headlines that will follow. I can bet on it that the next minute news on the internet will be filled with headlines like : ‘Ibori’s money launderer now turned governor says…’, ‘Former cabal member and Delta State Governor warns…’ etc, with most wicked headlines coming from the London based Elombah.com, US based Sahara Reporters, Argentina Based Secrets Reporters and Abuja based Premium Times. If Urhobos and Deltans are ready to be taunted and insulted by other nationality because of her governor; I refuse to be insulted. If Edevbie is the best that the UPU and Urhobos can produce; count me and my generations out of the union, as I will be more than happy to donate my media space and airtime to project a candidate from the Ijaw or Anioma axis.
I’m very pained that when I should have used my precious time to deliberate on the issue of Okowa’s visit to Ighoyota Amori and his Urhobo Political Forum implication to his aspiration; I have to dwell on David Edevbie who suddenly woke up from slumber; thought about all positions in Delta State and settled for the top shot. Some people stay in London must really have been filled with day dreaming and taking shots of vodka that they are ready to dance naked in the market square with unrealistic ambitions; so pathetic. Edevbie belongs to the group of men were “Very few people are ambitious in the sense of having specific image of what they want to achieve. Most people’s sights are only toward the next run, the next increment of money” (Judith M. Bardwick)

Onajite Ese, a Journalist and Media Relations expert writes from Lagos and can be reached on 09095885082 (SMS Only) or Onajiteese@gmail.com

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