By Emma Aziken
The uncanny ways of politicians would never stop to amuse many otherwise innocent persons. Two events in the last week in Delta and on the Plateau buttressed the unsteadiness of relationships that politicians carve among themselves and their shifty predilections.
Up till a few weeks ago, many news editors in the country would confess how they had been steadily tormented by email news releases from the press office of the erstwhile Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Monday Igbuya.
Igbuya in almost every outing was praising Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State to high heavens. Okowa, according to Igbuya had been destined to govern Delta State for two terms. Indeed, Igbuya had started the second term campaign for Governor Okowa even while the senator turned governor had not even settled for his first term.
“Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has distinguished himself as a dynamic, articulate and vibrant governor. I am proud of his achievements,” Igbuya was quoted as saying in one of such numerous emails that flooded the email box of this correspondent.
The relationship between the two men was of course built on a collaboration that preceded the advent of the two men to the office of governor and speaker.
Igbuya had before the intrigues that characterised the 2015 Peoples Democratic Party, PDP governorship primary been well acknowledged as a right-hand man of Okowa’s predecessor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan. During those difficult days just before the 2015 PDP governorship primaries, when the two medical doctors, Uduaghan and Okowa were known to have temporarily put aside the long history of family relations they had cultivated, Igbuya’s allegiance also shifted as he moved from Uduaghan’s camp to Okowa’s.
Indeed, there were assertions that he was gifted the speakership after Okowa’s emergence as governor for his efforts during those brief uncertain days of political intrigues that Senator Okowa led the rebellion that derailed Governor Uduaghan’s 2015 political agenda. Some others, however, insinuate that the godfather then in London dictated what happened.
Whatever, following his enthronement as speaker, Igbuya’s unceasing chants of a second term for Governor Okowa must have embarrassed even the governor himself. But he never showed it. Underlining the chants were claims in some sections of the Okowa camp that Igbuya should be viewed with suspicion. The more that message of suspicion echoed, the more Igbuya publicly idolized Okowa, praising and pressing him for a second term.
Whatever happened to their
relationship remains the butt of political gossip which only the two men would tell in due season.
So it must have been shocking to many when news emerged earlier this week that supporters of Igbuya were in the forefront when attempts were made to disturb a public engagement of the governor in Igbuya’s Sapele constituency. The supporters were apparently acting out of annoyance at the removal of their man as speaker. Their beef it emerged was that Okowa who had reportedly intervened to stop the House members from removing Igbuya previously was unable to reverse his removal.
What happened between the two men remains a matter of chatter that would one day unfold in the fullness of time just as what happened between Igbuya and Governor Uduaghan unfolded.
Just as the 2015 elections redefined the relationships in Delta, the PDP primaries also redefined the well known paternal relationship between former Governor Jonah Jang and one of his favoured political disciples, the federal lawmaker, Rep. Edward Pwajok.
Pwajok served attorney-general and commissioner for justice in the two terms of Governor Jang and was alongside the late GNS Pwajok and a handful of other acolytes regarded as the men who dictated the pattern of governance on the plateau during the Jang era.
Remarkably, both Edward and GNS were in the running to succeed Jang, but as the office would only take one person, Jang pushed the PDP ticket to GNS and hence the beginning of what some saw as the acrimony between father and son.
That acrimony took another shape on Tuesday when Edward Pwajok after dithering procrastination defected from the PDP to the All Progressives Congress, APC.
Adding insult to injury for Jang was that Governor Simon Lalong, his successor, was there in the House of Representatives chambers to welcome Pwajok into the APC fold.
The developments in the Delta and on the Plateau go a long way to strengthen reasons why a politician may not be your best friend!