To me, politics in Nigeria is a conspiratorial race to be ahead of others. Hence, a politician’s worth in our country is tied to and proportionate to what he can attract to his constituency and by implication his constituents.
It is no news and not novel that Delta State ranks amongst the richest states, if not the richest in Nigeria now. This is due largely to the abundant oil and gas buried in the bowel of Ija land in the state; accruing petrodollars to the state treasury through the Federation Account, 13 percent Oil Derivation Fund, Ecological Fund, etc.
With the Petrodollars used in paying the state bills, leading politicians from Urhobo, Isoko, Ika, Oshimilli (Igbo), etc have singularly or collectively attracted lots of legacy projects to their ethnic nations and encouraged and promoted qualified hands to the pinnacle of their chosen careers since the advent of the forth republic in 1999.
Under the Governor James Onanefe Ibori administration from 1999 to 2007, the Urhobos attracted to their land Delta State Polytechnic, Oghara; College of Physical Education, Mosogar; and the Faculty of Medicine/University Teaching Hospital, Oghara.
They also connected almost all, if not all Urhobo towns and villages, including but not limited to Okwagbe Waterside, Oforigbala, etc by River Forcados, a predominantly Ijaw area, to the national grid and by road network.
On their part, the Isokos attracted Faculties of Law and Engineering of the Delta State University, Abraka; and a Polytechnic to Ozoro. This is in addition to the network of roads that are now crisscrossing their entire landscape.
The Aniomas were not left out, as they were also able to attract a campus of Delta State University, Abraka, to Anwai; and a Polytechnic to Ogwashi-Ukwu.
Mainwhile, Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, as governor of our state from 2015 to date, has also developed and transformed his Delta North Senatorial District, particularly his once rusty and sleepy home town, Owa-Alero, to a kind of Dubai.
He has built a university campus more befitting than a main university campus; Advanced Diagnostic Medical Centre; Mother and Child Hospital; Teachers’ Institute Training Centre; Federal Road Safety Training School; and Teaching Hospital, etc, in his home town, Owa-Alero.
Okowa has upgraded the College of Education, Agbor, to a university and made the former Delta State University, Anwai Campus, an autonomous university with lots of infrastructure under construction in them.
The Governor has constructed and is still constructing a network of roads, including a flyover, and lots of other infrastructures in his Delta North Senatorial District.
On employment and empowerment of Deltans cum positioning of civil servants in strategic and juicy offices in the state, it is an open secret that Okowa did not see Delta as a multi-ethnic state, with the lopsidedness in favour of his Delta North, particularly his Ika tribe.
Very unfortunately and sadly, in spite of the fact that Delta State has been receiving stupendous amount of money as monthly allocation from the Federation Account and 13 percent Derivation Funds since 1999 to date, the goose that lays the golden egg for the state – Ijawland – hasn’t been given commensurate attention. Infact, the Okowa administration has since abandoned Ijawland and its people, as if they are not part of Delta State!
Deltans, is it not unimaginable that Governor Okowa established three universities with a campus in his hometown, bringing the state-owned universities to five, with none, not even a campus in Ijawland?
The all important Ayakoromo Bridge that former Governor Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan conceived, awarded and started construction work in 2013, which Okowa inherited and promised to complete in his 2015 and 2019 campaigns and lately again in 15 months time but abandoned long ago, was finally revoked recently.
Similarly, the School of Marine Technology, Burutu, which looks like a glorified primary school, not even up to Cavegina Primary School, Warri, in terms of infrastructure on ground, is nowhere on the list of infrastructures Okowa is building.
Also, the Bomadi-Ojobo Road that spans about 90 percent of Burutu South State Constituency which has been cleared, excavated and sand-filled to Torugbene, but still very far from it’s terminal point at Ojobo, is below the standard of a befitting Earth Road. As a matter of fact, it is now a death trap to motorists and commuters.
Does this corroborate what Deltans, particularly members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have been saying, whenever and wherever two or more are gathered, that “Okowa is only serving himself, his family and village, Owa-Alero, than the good people of Delta State”?
Oh yeah…is it not unimaginable why the Ijaws are now saying too that “the sacrifices from them to PDP candidates, particularly Okowa, with their massive support and votes that brought and sustained PDP in power since 1999 to date in Delta State without commensurate legacy projects sited in Ijawland and non appointment of their children to positions of relevance in the State Executive Council, agencies and parastatals have left an indelible mark of callousness and ingratitude on all that have governed the state, principally Okowa”.
Weep for Delta Ijaws for the slavery romance with PDP in the past 24 years. Whither Ijaw leaders; still for your stomach infrastructure?
Nowadays, unless you lobby the people with money to get fake supporters , the truth you preach and put into practice will be denied by even your relatives, making you stand alone without a single supporter. I am not perturbed for speaking the truth, and indeed to power!
Where are the Ijaw political leaders? Most of you claim to be very close to Okowa. Are you aware that he will be leaving Osadebay House on 29th May 2023?
Ijaw political leaders, elections are here again, what are you going to tell our people this time; vote PDP and Okowa’s stooges in Delta State and the Atiku/Okowa ticket when the Ijaw nation in Delta State has been abandoned by same Okowa?
Having played ‘Judas Iscariot’ amongst Southern Governors on where Nigeria’s next President should come from, is it when he becomes Vice President in his dreams that he will remember or you will draw his attention to the plight of the Ijaw nation? What he delibrately refused to do as Executive Governor, I am afraid he will even remember as Vice President that is like a spare tyre!
It is most unfortunate that a great number of Ijaw leaders are still carrying Okowa’s cross, encouraging and preaching “Atikulooting” for President and “Okowayo” for Vice President in the deceitful name of party politics or party supremacy that looks cultic; praising the duo unduly for the crumbs given you that you call patronage.
Honestly, your selfishness, apart from being legendarily absurd and irritating, is tantamount to a slave glorifying his or her neck shackles as gold.
I blame the naivety and lack of selflessness in political bargain by Ijaw leaders, particularly the office holders, past and present, in the mould of Senator, House of Representatives Members, Ministers, Deputy Governor, House of Assembly Members and Commissioners from 1999 to date. Are you equating your personal gains and comfort to the development of Ijaw nation, hence you are quiet? What an irony!
It is an open secret that you have only succeeded in exploiting the timidity and lack of political and socioeconomic exposure of the Ijaws for this long. Yes, by your exhibition of egocentrism in leadership, resulting in the abandonment of the Ijaw Nation, to say that you have failed the Ijaws woefully is an understatement!
As you continue in the unprincipled and unprogressive politics of personality cults, fueled strictly not by great ideas, or geared toward the welfare of our people, but by your selfish gains, you will soon find no space in the political field.
This is because awareness has dawned on all in our ethnic nation, as the scales of timidity and lack of exposure have been peeled off the peoples eyes.
The 2023 General Elections will not only test the democratic credentials of the Ijaws, it will also show that they can free themselves from the shackles of political stronghold of any person or group of persons with the belief of perpetual political entitlement and dominance.
There is no doubt that this will teach the oppressors of the Ijaw nation, within and outside, never to underestimate the focused energy of a people that have resolved not to be taken for granted.
I hope and pray that the blind fanatics who eat the crumbs falling from Governor Okowa’s Table would have a mental reset.
Fellow Ijaws of Delta State, this is the time to take our destiny in our hands by rejecting the PDP and its candidates from top to bottom. Chart a new part that we can visibly see to develop our land and people.
The rumour mill is awash with the good news flying all over Delta State and beyond that, Godsday Orubebe, a highly revered, respected and priceless national political asset, before accepting the appointment to lead the Senator Ovie Omo-Agege governorship campaign, had reached agreement with all stake holders of the party, particularly Omo-Agege and Bola Ahmed Tinubu to give due attention to Delta Ijaw development.
This, Tinubu had confirmed by pledging in the open before our leading freedom fighter, Government Ekpemupolo, (well known as Tompolo) and the cream of Ijaw nation at Oporoza, when he visited recently.
On his part, Omo-Agege, while embarking on his campaign, affirmed in all Ijaw towns he has visited that he would establish a Campus of Delta State University in Ijawland; that, he will complete Ayakoromo Bridge and the very important Bomadi/Ojobo Road.
He has also promised to improve on the existing infrastructures and build new befitting infrastructures in the School of Marine Technology, Burutu, and that he is going to embark on massive human capital and infrastructural development of Ijawland.
Yes, for the first time, the Ijaw nation in Delta State, which has been the deciding block in the state elections, has entered a pact with the next governor of our state, Ovie Omo-Agege, by God’s grace, and indeed all the stake holders of the APC.
Therefore, the All Progressives Congress, with our visionary and lionhearted son, Orubebe, in charge of the Omo-Agege governorship campaign council as Director-General, is the sure way to Ijaw survival in Delta State.
It is hoped that the Ijaws cannot wait to fulfill their part of the agreement by massively voting the APC candidates, particularly Tinubu and Omo-Agege, so they can reap the dividends of democracy and undoubtedly the spoils of the offices of the duo mentioned above.
On the above note, may God give the Ijaws, including the enemies within, the grace to overcome selfishness and work collectively for the betterment of all Ijaws by voting Tinubu and Omo-Agege, and all that are contesting under the platform of the APC.
God bless Ijaw Nation!
God bless Delta State!
God bless Nigeria!
Ebiegberi writes from Atlanta, Georgia, United States