BY GODSON ANIMAM
WITH INEC announcing the timetable for the general election, we expect that the different forces for the elective offices across the country will begin to mobilise. Delta is no different. For me and others who believe in our cause for equity and justice, we feel that as 2015 get close, the race for the tenancy of Osadebey House, Asaba will become more interesting. The truth is every qualified citizen has the inalienable right to aspire to any elective position, in saying that I believe that Delta state has obviously taken into account its multi-ethnic dimension by effectively evolving the rotation of political office including the office of the Executive Governor of the State in the current political dispensation.
Since 1999, the state has seen the emergence of Governors from different senatorial zones representing different ethnic stock which has greatly enhanced the stability. Now everyone in the state feels a sense of belonging. An ownership of this joint enterprise called Delta state. Currently the incumbent Governor of Delta state, Dr. E. E. Uduagan, an Itsekiri is from Delta South Senatorial District and he took over at the expiration of the tenure of Chief James Ibori an Urhobo from Delta Central Senatorial District.
It is in view of the above that we canvass support for Delta North, (Anioma) to produce the next Governor of Delta state come 2015. Our appeal for such support is hinged on the need to entrench equity, fairness and inclusiveness in our daily polity. I canvass this position on the strong belief that all senatorial districts and by extension all components parts of Delta state have capable people to superintend over the affairs of Delta state. It is therefore my firm belief that giving Delta North (Anioma) the privilege to produce the Chief Executive of Delta state will not entrench mediocrity.
Having laid the above premise, I want to make a case that an Ndokwa person deserves a special consideration in the coming dispensation. My position is hinged on various factors which support the belief that a Delta state Governor of Ndokwa extraction will be a plus to Delta state political stakeholders.
One of the major factors supporting the Ndokwa project is the fact that Ndokwa ethnic nationality in Delta state that shares close borders with and have lived and continued to live peacefully with all but one of the seven ethnic nationalities that makeup Delta state. The Ndokwa nation shares close borders with Aniocha/Oshimili and Ika ethnic nationalities in Delta North, the Urhobo ethnic nationalities in Delta South senatorial districts. This central position will enhance empathy and even development across Delta state.
This centrality has sprouted cultural and language assimilation as well as inter-ethnic nationalities features which make the Ndokwa person a true and detribalised Deltan. A Delta state Governor of Ndokwa extraction will ensure even spread of development across the state. This will make a Delta Governor of Ndokwa extraction a rallying point of all ethnic nationalities in Delta state.
It should not also be forgotten that though Delta state has made progress in promoting unity, there is the lingering fear, doubt and suspicion in different sections of the state over a number of issues, such as the location of capital, who has benefited the most, marginalisation, where does the oil income into the state coffers flow from, etc. In all this, Ndokwa represents a major bridge that can assuage all these.
Another factor is the fact that the Ndokwa ethnic nationality is the second largest ethnic group with three local government in Delta state. However, we are aware that we cannot go it alone, hence we appeal to our brothers across Delta state to support an Ndokwa person to ascend to the office of the Chief Executive of Delta state.
The third factor I believe that should favour the emergence of an Ndokwa person for governor of Delta state is our enviable economic position in the state coupled with our peaceful disposition. The Ndokwa ethnic nationality is home to huge oil and gas deposits. In fact, according to existing seismic and geological data, the area today known as Ndokwa estimated to house oil reserves in excess of 2.5 billion barrels of crude oil and home to the largest non-associated gas reserves in West Africa, well in excess of 100 trillion standard cubic feet of gas. Little wonder that the Ndokwa nationality plays hosts to the NOAC operated multi-billion dollars Kwale/Okpai Independent Power Plant which current generates 480 megawatts of electricity to the national grid thereby accounting for about 20% of current national electricity output.
However, the Ndokwa nationality also has very arable and fertile land. If well harnessed we believe that the Ndokwa soil can feed the entire South-South region. This is so because the Ndokwa soil is good for both cash and no cash crops. In fact, this position can be gleaned from the fact that the Ndokwa nationality is home of one of the largest rubber plantation to wit; the Michelin Rubber Plantation Utagbe-Uno, Ndokwa West LGA.
Despite the huge economic contribution that Ndokwa land has made, its political relevance has not been fully appreciated. For instance, the Ndokwa ethnic nationality has never had the privilege of producing a governor or deputy governor either in the old Midwest/Bendel state or the current Delta state. However, our brothers have had the privilege of producing a deputy governor and Acting governor of (Chief S. Ebonka and Rt. Hon. Prince Sam Obi), and our Aniocha/Oshimili brother have also had the luck of producing the Premier of Old Midwest Region and Deputy Governor of Delta state to wit; Chief Osadabey and Chief B.S.C. Elue. As earlier noted, I am firmly convinced that all ethnic nationalities in Delta state have qualified manpower to superintend over the affairs of Delta state and build on the achievement recorded by the present administration of Dr. E. E. Uduaghan.
Having posited the above, I therefore implore our brothers and sisters in Delta North senatorial district to support the emergence of a Delta state governor of Ndokwa extraction. This appeal is hinged on the fact that our brothers and sisters in Delta south and Central will be more disposed to supporting Ndokwa area because of the above points that we have made.
*Mr. Animam, a political analyst, wrote from Kwale, Delta State.