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Published On: Thu, Jan 9th, 2014

Delta Gov: Sideso Support for Orubebe and Urhobo Chances in 2015

By Oghenekevwe Laba
In 2015, Delta State Governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan will depart from the state house having spent two terms as Governor of Delta State. His departure will throw the contest for the position of Governor of Delta State open in 2015.
Although, several candidates from Delta North Senatorial Zones have indicated their intention of occupying the number one seat of Delta State believing it is their turn if zoning is to be considered, but there are candidates from other zones who have also made their intention known either through their utterances or body languages in public occasion.
Be that as it may, the one that struck people of Delta State most is the recent declaration by an Urhobo Monarch, HRM Emmanuel Sideso Abe I, the Ovie of Uvwie Kingdom for the governorship ambition of Minister for Ministry of Niger Delta, Elder Godsday Orubebe.
The Monarch who spoke during a visit of Orubebe to his palace commended the Minister on his achievements since his assumption of office, just as declared support for the Minister’s Governorship ambition as governor of Delta State come 2015.
The Monarch was quoted in page 42 of Vanguard publication of January 8th , 2014 titled, “Uvwie Monarch declares support for Orubebe’s political ambition”, as saying the people of Uvwie would support Orubebe on his political aspiration in Delta State.
In what can be considered as tactical endorsement and partisanship by the traditional ruler in Urhobo land, the Monarch was reported to have openly declared his support for the political aspiration of the Minister of Niger Delta, Elder Goodsday Orubebe as the one to led Delta state come 2015. Such declaration , if it is true, is embarrassing and unexpected from an Urhobo Monarch hence his declaration is detriment to the course of the Urhobos in Delta Central whose interest he represents in Uvwie kingdom. The Monarch action of calling on Uvwie to rally support for Orubebe is a betrayal of Urhobo course.
His action is not only embarrassing, but it could be described as a sellout of the Urhobos and fall short of a monarch who want development for the Urhobo people. It is embarrassing because a situation where the Urhobos are strategising on whose credible Urhobo sons or daughters to present as a Governorship candidate mostly when zoning seems to have been set aside, an Urhobo Monarch who suppose to support the course of the Urhobos is drumming support for an Ijaw candidate whose people has openly condemned over non-performance.
Has Chief Edwin Clark, a prominent Ijaw leader not openly condemned Orubebe’s political ambition? Has Sideso forgotten so soon that just last year, Ojobo youths in Burutu LGA pelted Orubebe and his entourage with stones when he visited the community for non-performance? There are so many other instances which ruled out Orubebe as a credible candidate for the exulted position.
Although, the Monarch has freedom of choice, but one is forced to ask Sideso what justification does he has to drum support for Orubebe. One has to look at someone performance and achievements before recommending him for a higher task like that of a governor of Delta State.
Evidence are bound that as Niger-Delta Minister, Orubebe has performed below expection. His performances are only on pages of newspapers, television and online media. The East-West road has gulped billions of tax payer’s money and it is still uncompleted. He claimed to have empowered thousands of youths but there is no evidence on ground to prove it. Beside, Orubebe is not qualified to go for the position hence Uduaghan who ruled for whooping two terms is from Delta South, the same zone Orubebe came from.
Now to the Urhobo factor. The Urhobos have been shouting marginalization ever since President Goodluck Jonathan came in as President of Nigeria. And it is evidenced from all ramifications that the Urhobos have been greatly marginalized. The Urhobos are not appointed into any strategic position either at state or federal level. The people are wallowing in abject poverty despite their huge economical contribution to the economy of the country, while those in small ethnic community are booming in wealth because their sons and daughters are strategically positioned.
This is the time for Urhobos to reposition themselves by presenting a credible candidate for the post of Governor come 2015. This position must not elude the Urhobos. It is either the governor or nothing. Democracy is a game of number and Urhobs has the number to surmount other ethnic tribes. The idea of supporting a candidate from another tribe in the spirit of zoning should be jettisoned. Let’s believed on the ideology of “My own is my own, their own is their own”. Urhobo cannot continue to play second fiddle in Delta State. Those who are selling out Urhobos like the Uvwie Monarch should have a rethink.
This is the time the Urhobos should put their political differences aside, come together and brainstorm on whom to present as a governor. The Urhobos should have a single voice on this issue. Once beaten twice shy. The Urhobos cannot afford to be beaten for the second time. Urhobo should fight against the theory of ‘Oga on Top’presenting a governorship candidate for the state as it was done in the case of the last Delta Central Bye-Election. If the ‘Oga on Top’ picks an Ijaw candidate for them in PDP, they should move enmass to another party and present a candidate who will represent them. A word is enough for a wise. Urhobos has suffered enough humiliation and they cannot continue like this.
Oghenekevwe Laba is a Lagos based journalist

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