No matter how hungry the Lion may be, the indisputable fact is that it can never eat grass neither can its kingship be stripped off him. Even in the midst of famine, the Lion will still dictate who have the larger share of any booty won to the kingdom. It’s not a matter of pride neither an issue of arrogance; it’s simply a natural endowment which the Lion cannot trade off. Come to think of it, why would it give up its powers when everything is at its beck and call?
This is no tales of Nso; neither a folklore of tales by moonlight but an allusion to the current happenings in the build up to the 2015 gubernatorial election in Delta State. While the Anioma nation has come out boldly to lay exclusive claim to the governorship prize as their rightful inheritance from 2015 to 2023, the Urhobo nation has rather assumed a more mature posture by declaring that the race is open to all and everyone in respective of where they come from be given the chance to compete. Despite their numerical superiority the Urhobo people have not intimated anyone into ceding the position to them or threatened a showdown with anyone should they lose a free and fair contest.
In all of these, the umbrella body of the Urhobos, Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) kept it’s cool, preferring to project it’s interest behind the scene. For this many, including myself had thought that UPU cannot defend her children like mother hen. Alas, the ways of the elders are not the ways of exuberant youths, as they proved all doubting thomases wrong when it issued a statement recently disowning some Urhobo Judases and passing a clear message that Urhobo is determined to reclaim the governorship of Delta State in 2015.
This statement which has sent shock waves through out the political world, officially confirmed the Uvwiamuge Declaration. Until now, many Urhobo sons and daughters with opposing political aspirations had said that UPU never made such a declaration challenging many well meaning columnists who wrote on it to provide audio or video evidence of the meeting where the declaration was made. At last, the words are out from the horse’s mouth and who can dare now.
Be it known across the breadth and length of Delta State and Nigeria that the UPU spoke the minds of the over 2 million Deltans worldwide. Every child whose blood flows from the Urhobo River is bound by the Uvwiamuge Declaration and should a curse be placed on whoever dares to go contrary, the curse will come to pass.
While the UPU watched, some Urhobo politicians who are where they are today because of Urhobo votes and patronage carried on as if UPU and the Urhobo people do not matter, plotting to undermine our collective interest by divulging information meant only for the ears of Urhobos.
How it gladdens my heart that the UPU took the bold step to mention few names involved in the unholy alliance against Urhobo.
Those among them who are interested in elective offices should retrace their steps because the day of reckoning will soon come when the Urhobo people will vote to determine who shall represent them. Surely Urhobo will not reward anyone who works against its interest with her vote.
For crying out loud, who is Ben Igbakpa that has suddenly eaten to his satisfaction and now challenge his chi to a political contest? Rather than make pronouncements for himself, he strut the political arena claiming to be speaking on behalf of Urhobos and calling on us to support Sir Anthony Obuh. Perhaps, just like UPU postulated he was speaking for himself alone. I am not sure that even his wife and children of voting age will join him into this dance of shame to political dungeon.
Urhobos will surely not sit down and be relegated to the background anymore in the politics of it’s state. Peter Nwaoboshi, the Delta State PDP Chairman must be drunk on some local dry gin or high on cheap weed when he said that the Urhobos have no stake in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Thank God this is an era of information technology anyone can access information from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to prove Nwaobshi wrong.
Available record in INEC shows that Urhobo gave President Goodluck Jonathan more than 800,000 votes during the last presidential election. Even his senatorial district cannot match half the electoral worth of Delta Central alone, without considering Urhobos in Delta South and even Delta North, yet he dare to spew fallacies from his lips.
Is he unaware that if the Urhobos did not vote for Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, there would have been a re-run in the 2007 election that brought him in? Even in 2011 re-run and general elections, Urhobo gave Governor Uduaghan more votes than he got from Anioma.
Nwaoboshi desire is that the governorship race should be left alone for his Anioma brethren. He should tell us, where in the history of Delta State elections has the race for the governorship been left exclusively for a section of the state? If Ifeanyi Okowa had won the PDP primary in 2007 against Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, would he have told the PDP that he cannot fly it’s flag in the general election because it is not the turn of the Aniomas? We are tired of over flogging the issue of geographical or tribal zoning, but permit me to say that it is an idea that has no place in democracy where power rotation is only between political parties as determined through the ballot box by the people. Only lazy men and political lilliputians still cringe to zoning in today’s competitive Nigerian political environment. Let the best man emerge to move the party and state forward. Whoever cannot stand the heat should leave the kitchen.
If Nwaoboshi feels the best way to boost his popularity among his people ahead of the senatorial contest of 2015 in which he is a contender is to take on UPU, he should be prepared to get the battle of his life. Rather than focus on his dubious quest of scheming out Ifeanyi Okowa for the Senate while pretending to give him the PDP governorship ticket, he is busy rabble rousing.
Yes, it possibly hurts Nwaoboshi that he is a minority but that is not enough for him to insult the sensibilities of the Urhobos. As the majority tribe in Delta state the Urhobo are free to do whatever they like with their numerical strength but the Urhobos have not done so, so why has the PDP State Chairman felt uneasy and worked up over the truth which UPU only emphasised.
As chairman of PDP in Delta State, Nwaoboshi should put the interest of the party above his personal interest. Nwaoboshi is blinded by his senatorial ambition, otherwise he should know that only Urhobo candidacy in Delta state governorship election will ensure President Goodluck Jonathan wins over 75 percent of the votes in the presidential election. What this Oracle as he is fondly called could not see, which is that President Goodluck Jonathan interest and by extension PDP interest in Delta state can only be served if the PDP gubernatorial candidate is from Delta Central, is known to all right thinking people. UPU has rightly predicted and known that Urhobo votes will determine where the elections swings in 2015 and there is nothing Nwaoboshi can do to change the situation.
For failing to understand the dynamics of the 2015 elections, Nwaoboshi has demonstrated once again that he is unfit for the office he now occupies. He clearly lacks sound judgement demanded of that office. He needs to be relieved of the position to save PDP the embarrassment he constantly brings to the party.
Someone should drum the Ogene for him that UPU is not Chief Mariam Ali who he can beat up and still have her suspended from the party she helped to build.
The ranting of Nwaoboshi has already compromised the incoming PDP primaries if he remains the chairman as he will be biased against Urhobo aspirants especially the one finally picked by the UPU. The time for him to go is now. What is more, he cannot be contesting for the Senate and still be the Party Chairman. No man is an umpire in his own race.
The Uvwiamuge Declaration shall come to pass. No one, not even Nwaoboshi and his cohorts in Urhoboland can change that. All Urhobos that are in any unholly alliance to thwart the Uvwiamuge Declaration shall be put to shame.
We refuse to be subjected to another 8 years of Egyptian moment by supporting a candidate outside Delta Central; even if he has the ‘heart of Urhobo’ like Prophet Nostradamus Olori Magege would say. We want an Urhobo like we had in Ibru and Ibori and on this there is no going back.
But it is not enough to stand on the Uvwiamuge Declaration without projecting into the future. After the storm comes the rainbow. The UPU should be aware that for days, their stand will continue to generate controversy and raise dust in the political atmosphere, and while this hara-kiri goes on, they should retire to their inner chambers and do what they must do to move the Uvwiamuge Declaration nearer to reality which is to come up with one candidate for the PDP primary which is just few weeks away. For now, many political analysts, onlookers and kingmakers in the State and beyond cannot take them so serious until they put their words to actions. Having received all the Urhobo aspirants and observed their performance on the campaign trail, UPU should immediately endorse a candidate for the PDP primary.
They cannot just sit in their meeting and reject the so called anointed candidate without presenting a candidate of their own. Graciously enough, the elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark has made it clear that not he or the governor will pick a governor for the state. This gladdening news means that anyone picked by the UPU will be going into the race for a fair competition without anyone hoping to be imposed on the rest. The sky is wide enough for all the birds to fly, but UPU must pick the Eagle that will fly higher. They have spoken enough and time to act is now, so no one can doubt the resolve of UPU to actualise it’s declaration.
These words you will remember…
Onajite Ese, a Journalist and Media relations expert writes from Lagos and can be reached on 09095885082 (SMS Only) or onajiteese@ gmail.com