The race to the Delta State gubernatorial in 2015 has never been this tensed with even the top aspirants not sure of their position after the votes are counted. For every time there seem to be palpable calm comes streak of difficulty and the dominant tribe in the State have not helped issues with their selfish thoughts. With their constant drumming of their so called voting blocs power in our ears and therefore they should be allowed to govern forever; we have not ceased to be amazed at every stunt they pulled. Famous among their agitations is the now infamous Uvwiamuge Declaration, which has succeeded in dividing a once united tribe. I am not penning this down to apportion blame but as an impartial observer and a judge of the public through writing; I deem it fit at this crucial stage of our history to pass such judgment this day.
During the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship primaries, I exclusively reported how the now impeached President General, Joe Omene and his bunch of greedy accomplice pocketed a princely sum of $1 million just to deliver the government candidate and we all know the end result. The $1 million bribe is the genesis of this crisis today and I do not regret the role I played in the whole saga. To some; I betrayed my tribe by selling out and spearheading the new media campaign for my principal, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, an action I will do again if it presents itself.
The above quote is what I go through everyday but I chose to stand alone that Urhobo will be great again politically even if I remain the last man standing. For those worthy Urhobo sons who have called me to come back home, leave Senator Ifeanyi Okowa to support an Urhobo son; the only clause I will do so is for Omene to come before the entire 24 tribes of Urhobo kingdom and render account of his inglorious stewardship as well as return the $1 million taken to sell out the union and apologise to all Urhobos and Deltans. Then I can now come before the tribe and also support one of their own. A herculean condition it is but it can be done.
I cannot be remote controlled by a man who is suppose to uphold the sanctity of a tribe but decides to sell his conscience. We cannot be led by a man whose house was a ghost land but overnight became a bank where bankers flooded to cart away money as if it was a Central Bank. We cannot be presided over by Ejirofo who prefers his pocket than the well being of a tribe and a State and would rather die than see his lean pocket empty. He has pushed us to the wall and today comes the judgment day. I remember vividly my days in the university where I was the lead actor with the name Jerry in the play titled ‘Morning yet on judgment day’. Today is one of such moment where history has graciously given me one of the lead roles in determining the true benefactor of the Uvwiamuge Declaration. This is the verdict.
During the UPU meeting in Agbarho, where the late erudite incorruptible sage of blessed memory, Gen. Patrick Aziza presided, the decision to support an Urhobo son for governorship was hatched and sealed. The whole atmosphere on that glorious day was all joyful as the Urhobo leaders once again dreamt of seeing one of their sons in Unity House again. In my individual capacity; I kicked against it not because my principal won’t be a benefactor of such declaration but it goes against the principle of fairness, equity and true conscience of man that demands that Delta North produce the governor. I argued in various fora that such position by the Urhobo apex body will only be detrimental to her well being if it is not well managed. I told all who cared to listen that what we have is Urhobo Progress Union and not Urhobo Political Union, but the all knowing elders called my bluff while the youths among them berated me for selling my soul to Okowa for political position.
In the UPU meeting, it was stated explicitly that only two parties MUST benefit from the mandate provided any of the parties gives their ticket to an Urhobo son. These two parties are the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressive Party (APC) on the ground that only both of them have national spread and Urhobos desire to play national politics and not state. No other party was even given consideration in the course of discussion neither were the names of individuals mentioned. In the course of the post declaration, rumors began to fly that the leader of the opposition in the State, Great Ovedje Ogboru will be vying for the position of the governor. He was told by those who truly love him to join either the PDP or APC but being a coup plotter known to be stubborn; he chose to ignore the clarion call.
Truth be said once and for all that the only person standing in the whole of Urhoboland that should benefit from the Uvwiamuge Declaration is O’tega Emerhor of the APC. To add anybody into the equation I dare to say is political daylight robbery. No one changes the goal post in the middle of the football match and this singular decision of the greedy deposed Omene is a sacrilege to the entire Urhobo nation. When the declaration was made; let it be made known that all the ancestral spirits guarding Urhoboland were all present and they will not fold their arms and watch Omene unilaterally turn the tribe upside down simply because some filthy wads of Naira and Dollor notes have been paid into his account. The current trouble currently facing the union is because the spirits are collectively fighting Omene and may end up claiming beyond the political soul of the Urhobos.
It is more worrying that some Urhobo youths who should be the engine room of the union and its future leaders will dance to the tune of Omene; probably because he has greased their palms with some chicken change of Naira. To deny Emerhor his right in the Uvwiamuge Declaration is to deny Urhobo of any political position. For all we know, Ogboru is a political bastard child as long as that declaration remains and he should be taken to the orphanage home where he has always belonged. No one hates Ogboru, but Urhobo is bigger than one man who feels that because he has some few followers; the Urhobos should bow to his wishes. Never again will the Urhobos be pawn in the hands of Ogboru and his co-travellers of failures. The money Omene has taken from him that prompted him getting a waiver should be returned and let Emerhor alone stand the election with my principal.
While we know full well that Okowa will take 50% of the votes of Delta Central, let Emerhor take the remaining 50%, at least to give the Urhobos the privilege newspaper title of ‘losing gallantly’, since they will have no votes from Delta North and Delta South, especially the Ijaw axis. Ogboru who has benefitted financially from Emerhor in the past should in the spirit of brotherhood step down for the APC candidate and watch the election from a distance. To tell Emerhor to step down for a born political failure is a slap on the business mogul face who can run a state better than Ogboru but less than Okowa.
Urhobos all over the world should rally round the new UPU PG, Tuesday Onoge to allow Uvwiamuge declaration stand for only Emerhor, even though the Urhobo nation may vote for President Goodluck Jonathan. I make bold to say that Okowa already has majority of Urhobo votes in his kitty and it is only wise that one true Urhobo son slug it out with him. The Onoge faction of the UPU should stand their ground as the authentic executive that we know while we watch the imposter group of Omene do the newspaper talking. The union left Omene the very day the $1 million exchanged hands. The UPU left Omene the day he decided not to leave politics for politicians, but partake in it. If he so love politicking, he should pick up a party form and be a party member than use our collective patrimony to enrich himself and service his concubines. If no one will tell the UPU the truth, I will. Mark this day that with UPU dabbling into politics and endorsing candidates instead of staying back to play the godfather, the union has succeeded in going into social and political irrelevance except vibrant true non political affiliated and selfless persons climb into the ship to steer it again. For now, I am so happy with the crisis they currently face and pray that it all ends up for the good of Urhobo land.
Senator De Ifeanyi Oghenemaga Okowa Urhobos and Deltans will vote for as Governor, Emerhor we know for Uvwiamuge Declaration and Tuesday Onoge as authentic UPU President General. To all those following the UPU faction of Omene; we can only wish their faction R.I.P.
Fejiro Oliver, Editorial Board Chairman of Secrets Reporters, Media Consultant and Human Rights Activist is also the Co-Convener of Coalition of Human Rights Defender (CHORD) and can be reached on +2348022050733, +2348160067613 (SMS ONLY) or email@example.com. Engage him on twitter on @fejirooliver86
Oliver, na wah for you. You love Okowa too much o! The problem is that our collective poverty as Urhobos in the last 8 years has been considerable. This is why the desperation for an Urhobo governor. For me I feel that to revive the fortunes of the Urhobos in the true sense especially economic emancipation, then the person to it is O'tega. I don't see Ogboru or Okowa as being able to deliver in this regard although they may be better politicians than O'tega. Can you really vouch for Okowa emancipatiing us as a tribe? IBO – I before others. This is my worry.