By Allen Ughedi
A call-of-duty to our fatherland. It is an outcry for Deltans to reason and act together because in the end, we all have common goals and objectives for a better life and a better future.
This better life and future is based on the politics of Delta state. I have always maintained that every Deltan is free of his or her choice; but you cannot be free of the consequences of your choice. There comes a time when we must all sit back, review our lives and our reality, and begin to have conversations with only one aim in mind, and that is to chart a better way for our state to progress.
When you travel around, you see the general condition of Deltans; men and women, old and young, and of children, wallowing in distress in the midst of plenty.
Traversing the Delta landscape from one LGA to another, and from one community to another, you will witness exhausted and tired faces. You will see multitudes of idle, jobless and very disenchanted youths. With barely any hope for the future, they have taken to all sorts of vices like petty crimes, drug addiction, “yahoo-yahoo” or whatever suits their fancy.
We all know that “an idle mind is the devil’s workshop.” The converse is also true that “Busy hands achieve more than idle tongues.” How and why did Delta State sink this low? Are we happy with the situation of things? These are questions for Deltans to answer. Many are weeping silently in their souls because this is not what Delta State was meant to be, after the struggles that made it possible for it to be carved out from the old Bendel State. At that time, we can arguably say the state was better, but we wanted the best. Unfortunately, that has not been realized. Our people have lost that sparkle and desire; we have lost our pride and dignity. Most other states that used to respect and envy Delta State now looks at it with scorn and disregard, as though, “what a people. So blessed, yet so poor.”
Something went wrong. It happened when we handed over our state to a new leadership in 1999. There was a strong allegation that PDP won that election by massive rigging, but people were far too excited to worry. However, seeing the backwardness that has become of Delta State today, it is easy to understand why we must now pause and rationally question why we must continue to lend our lives to PDP, after committing nearly 20 years with trillions of Naira spent, without any bright spots of hope or anything to be proud of.
Under the present PDP governor, Sen. Ifeanyi Okowa, Delta state has become laggard. Lacking in vision, it has not optimized the income of the state with any particular focus. It could not even prioritize civil servants, teachers, LGA workers and retirees pay and entitlements until they protested. It tampered with DESOPADEC law against the original intent to develop oil producing communities.
Delta State has no landmark projects, apart from Asaba airport that was constructed by the last administration. Think about it!!! This is not about you nor me. We must try to reason together for the sake of our people, and to seek another option, whatever it may be.
Let’s put partisan interests that has held the people back aside, and begin an exchange of ideas. We need to open our eyes and our minds to fresh ideas.
And when you think about it deeply, you will come to the conclusion that the present situation has its roots in a lack of positive leadership. The PDP leadership in Delta State has kept a band of questionable characters who over the years have shown themselves to be weak on integrity, lacking in ability and commitment to the common good of the people. There is ample evidence of corruptive tendencies in its ranks, with many acts of wastefulness.
PDP had its chance. It had all the opportunity in many years to do things right. But as far as many of us can see, it blew this by itself. It is only recently that it has boldly come out in public to apologize to Nigerians for all its mistakes.
All we seek is a better Delta State. It is time for Deltans to come together to look after themselves by using that age-long power of COMPETITION. It is more like political “demand and supply”. It is time for political parties to compete vigorously for the votes of Deltans, and not as it is now when PDP makes it seem like the people have no other choice. PDP in Delta State needs to know that the days of rigging, ballot snatching and imposition are over, and that Deltans have a right of choice.
Next year, 2019, is a general election year and Deltans should try something else, just as many other states have done. Everybody understands the negative influence of a MONOPOLY, and it should no longer be encouraged.
Politics shapes our lives and defines our future as a people. Creating competition in Delta State politics is enough reason to be into politics. I can only hope that many more Deltans will heed this call to duty to our fatherland.