IT surely is stale news that at this moment Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan is just another Deltan, donning the vintage black hat and the swaggerstick of the cultural milieu. Indeed many a man would call him the ex-Governor.
The aftermath of the protracted struggle for justice by the indefatigable Great (he is indeed great) Ogboru. This brings to two people who would cringe at the mention of Ogboru’s great name.
The first person is Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, the gap-toothed former occupant of Aso Rock Villa, who had to hide under his office table and run hell-for-leather out of Lagos with his tail tucked between his legs when Ogboru and Mukoro decided that they and indeed all Nigerians had had enough of the balderdash that he foisted on Nigerians during his maximum rule.
So it was that a rerun is in the air even when Delta State and indeed the entire nation were gearing up for 2011. Never mind the almost inopportune moment. It is one of the curious jokes of political dynamics that justice can come at any time, even at the eleventh hour.
Despite Uduaghan’s much-touted monumental achievements in office, some of his aides are cashing in on this to decamp to other parties and contest the rerun against him. Prominent among this group is Omo Agege who has decamped to ACN where he hopes to fly the banner of the party against his former party member, even when he was not one of the candidates in the original election and does not by that fact qualify.
I thought even we who are not learned but simply educated would know this integral thing, let alone a learned man such as he is. This is vintage political prostitution and opportunism, for one to hope to reap where he has not sown. Is it not a substantial piece of irony that it was Ogboru who enforced the justice which Omo Agege now hopes to exploit, even when Peter Okocha who was part and parcel of the original election has come back into the fold of his former party, PDP, just like Atiku did.
That is why Omo Agege’s declaration to participate in the rerun under the ambit of ACN is naivete carried to brazen heights. As it is now it is either Uduaghan reclaims his mandate or Ogboru defeats him, either of which does not favour an Omo Agege. So what is giving this maverick politician confidence? Our people have a saying that when you see a dancer dancing at the roadside, his drummer is certain to be holed up somewhere in the depth of the jungle.
Maybe Omo Agege has some secret magic wand hidden from us which is boosting his confidence and will nullify the legal disqualification we are soon to see.
It is imperative to note that out of the nine parties that participated in the nullified election, it is going to be a straight fight between Uduaghan’s PDP and Ogboru’s DPP. So it would not be out of place to advise this ACN candidate to allow the people to choose between these two parties and let the people’s choice be allowed to work unhindered.
As for great Ogboru, if there is something this stormy petrel has proved, it is the efficacy of conviction and persistence. With the plethora of negative verdicts that had preceded this spectacular, epoch-making victory a faint heart would have thrown in the towel and embraced compromise as an expediency. But not Great. So unflinching and unwavering was his determination and iron resolve to see justice done.
Although lawyers are quick to quip that justice delayed is justice denied, the Ogboru connundrum has belied this pervasive logic and given many people hope that afterall justice delayed at times can be justice affirmed. The obvious morality of this victory therefore is that people should not take refuge behind mute passivity and cold complicity when evil or injustice parades itself.
That is what Professor Wole Soyinka, in his book The Man Died, moralises on. The man dies in him who keeps silent in the face of tyranny. And this is instructive as we prepare to launch our nation into another political dispensation.
Nigerians in their hundreds of millions should be ready not only to vote but also to follow up their votes and make them count. That is when we shall have appropriated the Ogboru mentality and morality.
As for the man in the eye of the storm, as it were, Dr. Uduaghan, there can be no gainsaying the fact that the legitimacy of his victory faces a litmus test. If all the hoopla and parrot-cries of his subordinates, in particular and political jobbers, in general about his “monumental achievement” are anything to go by, the urbanely black-hatted physician should not have any problem worming his way into Government House Asaba a second time.
Unless every plaudit of his had been tongue- in-cheek and the touted achievements have been disproportionately dressed up for mere window-shopping.
Gab EJUWA, a journalist, writes from Lagos.