Delta 2015: The unfolding smear campaign

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THE recent publication of a cartoon advert entitled “”Delta 2015, Governorship Race”  (Vanguard newspaperJuly 22,2014, page 61), to all intent and purpose is the onset of a series of smear campaign directed at  assassination of the character of key political actors from Delta North who are considered to be strong contenders in the 2015 governorship race.

The advert was purported to have been put out by a group called “Ndokwa Coalition 4 Okowa.” The cartoon character depicted one of the leading governorship aspirants promising to provide electricity while offering the electorate lantern.

In the background of the cartoon is the issue of the N4.2 billion the controversial N4.2billion contract that was purported to have been shared by Principal officers in the House of Representatives Power Probe which looked into how the sum of $16.5 billion was spent in the power sector from1999 to 2007 with out any commensurate result.

Some members of the Power probe were alleged to have collected contracts worth N4. 2 billion which they shared amongst themselves at the time they were probing the power sector and the case was subsequently charged to court where the accused were acquitted. It was discovered that the REA ruse was a plot hatched by some persons who were heavily culpable in the scandal to kill the report of the House Power probe.

It was during the time of Prof. Bath Nnaji that it was discovered that at the time the money was alleged to have been shared was not even released at the time of the power sector probe. Some of the civil servants who were suspended on the account of this REA hoopla were recalled while the agency which was closed was reopened.

The events that transpired during the power probe is not the focus of this report, rather it is proper to put in context what the evil minds behind this smear tactics want to accomplish by racking up muck. It is also important to establish the premise of this argument.

Let it be stated that both Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa and Ndudi Elumelu are capable of handling this blow out directed at their campaign. It is not the business of this writer to hold their brief, but as a concerned Anioma person who is equally conversant with the power probe and the scheming that went into the ill fated probe to state a few points for posterity.

What is important to this writer is what this advert and the subsequent ones that are coming are meant to accomplish.

Granted that the advert presented itself as coming from the Okowa campaign group or by a group that supports  the aspirations of Dr. Okowa, such advert with a vile content will not come out so brazenly against a fellow aspirant at this stage and it is doubtful that Dr. Okowa a consummate systems man, endorsed such advert for publication.

That is not to say that Dr. Okowa is not clean, given the less dignifying path he took to the Senate 2011 and the allegations of betrayal at the 2007 Ogwashi Uku.

But his campaign team and associates would not as puerile or malevolent to drag him into an open battle with Hon. Elumelu, without knowing the consequences of such an action in Ndudi’s constituency.

It may seem that the Cartoon advert was designed to benefit Dr. Okowa but in actual fact, the brains behind the advert have the singular intention of dragging Hon. Ndudi Elumelu into a needless and energy sapping destructive battle against each other.

The political pygmies used Ndokwa land for their divide and rule tactics of pitching Ndokwa and Ika people are arch enemies of Aniocha and Oshimili people whom they call Igbos, therefore, unfit to be in Delta State. When Chief Godswill Obielum contested for the PDP ticket in 2007, he was reminded of his “Igboness”, unashamedly.

They played this card at the National Conference and an Ika man hired to work against the demand for a state of theirs now. But the traditional rulers and majority of the sons and daughters of Anioma spoke with one voice and denounced this individual.

It is even ironical that those who are opposed to Delta North aspiration for the office of the governor would not want them to have their own state and end all the acrimonious relations.

Those who conceptualised this evil plot also have in mind the wider objective of sowing the seed of discord and suspicion among Delta North aspirants who would be fighting each other over the plot been orchestrated by the people who are opposed to the idea of power shift.

The same group that went after Hon. Victor Ochei as the Speaker, with allegations of financial impropriety in the failed Delta Independent Power Project. They saw Ochei as some one they cannot pocket if he becomes the Governor hence they trumped up false claims that he was boasting that he could mobilise a heavily compromised and lily livered Delta House of Assembly to impeach their benefactor. Ochei was seen as one of the formidable aspirants. After his fall, they boasted openly that the likes of Okowa and Elumelu would fall before the contest.

So far, the aspirants from Delta North have shown that in terms of their credentials, experience and exposure, they are capable of giving the state quality leadership.

It is neither the interest of the Governor nor that of Delta central to promote this smear campaign against a people that have done more than their fair share to ensure that peace and development have prevailed in Delta state.

The idea of introducing “born to rule ideology in Delta State” is  flawed because no ethic group has the demographics to monpolise political power in perpetuity and if other ethnic groups gang up against Delta North, today, they would have sown the seed of their political bondage.

That political power must rotate is a wisdom that holds out equity, justice and fairness for all, irrespective of tribal mark, mother tongue, faith, gender and ideology. There is no second class citizen in Delta Sate or in Nigeria indeed.

Hugo Odiogor, a journalist, wrote from Lagos.

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