“There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.”
Martin Luther King Jr
Delta State Governor, Mr Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa has not left anyone in doubt that he will not only contest the 2019 February gubernatorial elections, but his body language clearly shows that he is ready to bulldoze his way into our revered Government House the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) style of 2003-2011.
From all I know, the 1999 elections was not free and fair but it was not as brutal as 2003- to 2011, since most of the political gladiators were new to governance and Ghana Must Go had not been introduced then. The PDP started their madness of thuggery and rigging in 2003. The 2015 that brought Okowa into power can also be said to be free and fair, since he came in as an underdog, fighting against the then State Governor, criminal Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan political son in Anthony Chuks Obuh, thus he earned our sympathy and we threw our support for him.
His recent actions and political observation to keen observers betray a man who is ready to go extra mile to be elected again. Is it because he has underperformed? Is it because he has not lived up to expectation like his Rivers State counterpart, Nyesom Wike? We will all get the answers after May 29th 2017.
It is pertinent to know in this write-up from the horse’s mouth that my anti corruption crusade and ongoing protests against Uduaghan does not have the endorsement of Okowa as many believe. The former Governor who is a notorious thief and should be stoned to death on the street by Deltans is only looking for whom to blame for his sins and hypertension and thus blaming his successor for nothing he knows nothing of.
Okowa is not only weak to fight corruption but may just be swimming in it as a governor and thus do not have the moral courage to fight Uduaghan. God forbid that he will even use me against Uduaghan, when he does not know the meaning of loyalty or value friendship. The governor is not only lily livered in fighting corruption but endorsing it, going by the men he has surrounded himself with in office.
In my fight against corruption and politicians, It has always been me against the world; me against them. I have always swam against the marauding tide to get things done right and never sought permission or assistance in whatever guise from politicians to embark on it. My principle is ‘If I perish, I perish’, but because it has always been with good intentions, I have always come out unscathed and even stronger and better when I am blackmailed or maligned by small forces loyal to the gangs of political criminals.
One of the best decisions taken this year by any of his aide is the resignation by Terry Obieh, who was his Special Assistant on Youths and Development. According to Terry; Okowa is not worth dying for, and I cannot but agree. This is why I find it amazing that people will link my battle to redeem the state from corrupt men, starting from Uduaghan to him, when I know that he does not value people who are loyal to good cause, but instead pull his enemies and antagonists closer; giving them appointments and dishing out our common contracts to them.
He does not only deny you before people but as a governor will also abandon you when you are in problem and yet Deltans believe that he’s one of the best persons to work with or work for. Only those who have been with him as a Senator and those who dealt with him during elections and as a governor he aligns with, while ignoring and even saying bad of those who risked their lives when no one believed in him as a governor and even after swearing in.
To Okowa, James Ibori made him governor from his London prison. To Okowa, our votes are useless like the ‘P’ in Psychology. In his thinking, we are tools to be used to get to the top, and once there; he kicks the ladders through which he climbs, glorifying in his vain power that was made possible by ballot and not bullet. He knows no friend and followers while he feasts. Those who believed he never listened to side talk must begin to have a change of who the man Okowa truly is. He does not only listen to it, but act on them. He now loves sycophancy and encourages; the very Achilles heel of all great men.
Whatever his now powerful contractor who has suddenly become the State Julius Berger, importer and exporter of Government vehicles, Lawrence Oshiegbu tells him is true. It doesn’t matter if they are all lies, he just acts on them. The sudden power of Oshiegbu is not only a pathetic case to our state that has produced great men, but a slap on Deltans that a man who is not in government determines for us what the governor we elected and supported should do. Oshiegbu dirty files need to be visited by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and it’s only a matter of time before it will happen. He can place a million dollar bet on this!
The return of Ibori has emboldened Okowa to believe that 2019 will be a walk over for him. How wrong he is! The Delta State that Ibori left behind is no longer the same Delta State that he has come back to meet. The starch and banga soup politics they played is no longer what we as a people are used to. We are not just refined politically but ready to take our destinies in our hands and kick out any oppressive government that empowers only friends and families above the interest of the state. His only preparation for 2019 is Ibori, Ibori and Ibori and if you know what that means, you will begin to look for your voter’s card to do the needful.
The sudden ego of Okowa that with Ibori’s arrival, Delta Central will be an easy ride to capture is a dream he should begin to wake up from, as Urhobos cannot and never be decided to by a group of cabal who decides who get what. If Okowa is banking on Ibori to deliver Delta Central for him, then it’s a dream in futility as only his works can deliver him. For a state that the wealth should be centralized but he has chosen to Ikanized to his Oshiegbu and Company Ltd, we are also more than ready to pay him back in his own coins.
His only fortune is that the very useless Delta All Progressive Congress (APC), led by Otega Emerhor with all their good fortune has not been able to decimate the Okowa led government with all its obvious and hidden error. With all the money in their disposal, they are yet to have a ferocious media team like its Rivers, Akwa Ibom. Ekiti and Cross River States counterpart. For a party that claims to be opposition but cannot bring a government that has nearly failed the electorates but empowered the Lawrence Oshiegbu gangsters to its knee; it is worrisome. Okowa as a governor has been allowed to still rule the media space, even though it’s glaring to the blind that this is a cosmetic government of the more you look, the less you see.
Make no mistake about it, 2017 to 2019 will not only be a hot year for these unofficial Okowa halleluyah politicians like Ross Oredi and Oshiegbu but a time that they will explain to the EFCC their sudden wealth in less than two years of being close to their Ika Governor.
Okowa aka ‘Ego aria’ governor should brace up for the political battle of his life, as we cannot allow him to play the local game of ten ten and ludo with our lives again, like he did in 2014 to 2015. Aides who are bold enough like Terry should start throwing in the towel by resigning and bidding goodbye to a man that does not value their loyalty but the side talks and petty gossip from his numerous sycophants and political hanger on. To Okowa, loyalty is a word now alien to him. To him, loyalty should probably be shown by drips of blood, and the aides may just be ready to be slaves for years before he can appreciate their works. My one kobo advise to them is Mark Twain’s word that “Loyalty to country always; Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.” This government from every look of thing does not deserve such uncommon loyalty.
For anyone who still have hope that Okowa is the messiah we have waited for, it is time to ask him “are you the one or should we wait for another”. After May 29th 2017, I will make the answer known from my own unbiased perspective of his person since he ascended the throne. There is no law that states that a governor must rule for two terms. When we cross the official two years in office, Deltans and not endorsement by same musketeers will determine the destiny of Deltans and collectively chose their governor. It will be the moment of political revolution in line with Richelle Mead statement that “The greatest and most powerful revolutions often start very quietly, hidden in the shadows. Remember that.”
These little things matter…
Fejiro Oliver, an Investigative Journalist, Media Consultant and Human Rights Activist is also the Co-Convener of Coalition of Human Rights Defender (CHORD) and can be reached on +2348022050733 (SMS ONLY) or firstname.lastname@example.org. Engage him on twitter on @fejirooliver86.