As Urhobos, being the politically savvy people we have always been, are and will continue to be, we should have realised by now, how best to tactically play our political game in the state, keeping strict focus on result oriented approaches to securing our political welfare as the full-fledged Deltans that we are.
Whether we like it or not, gone are the days when some of us kept boasting of ruling the state ad infinitum as if it isn’t a state we share with our fellow Deltan brothers from other tribes. In any case, we have clearly seen where and how those at the forefront of making such insensitive boasts in the past ended up, to the extent of becoming the hapless chief apologists of those they once denigrated as unfit to rule. Funny enough, even those who once danced to their clueless and politically illiterate supporters chanting “no Urhobo, no Governor” have become the chief campaigners for another Governor from Delta North vide the APC or whatever other unserious platform they keep touting about these days!
A wise man does well, to be well and alive, not only to his strengths and advantages but to his weaknesses and vulnerabilities as well. The true sage goes even beyond that to appreciate the capacities of others whom it has pleased God to create along with him even as he quietly identifies their exposure to his own abilities. To be fixated on one’s own profile as if your fellow men are complete nonentities is to embark on a fool’s errand to a destination where disappointment surely awaits.
Unfortunately, serial disappointment has been our lot as Urhobos since 2007 and for me, the more we continue to fail to realise that it has pleased God, in His infinite Wisdom, for us to share a state with others who are equally His children as we are, even so shall we keep reaping disappointment at the hands of the miserably politically incompetent ethnic jingoists amongst us who come round every four years enticing us into wasting our votes when they have absolutely no viable strategy for actually getting into Government House.
At the End of the Day, we are all God’s Children
If we say we must come back to power in 2019, we would effectively be saying that our brothers from Delta North are second class citizens fit only to rule for one term of four years. Such a position is not only false and unfair, it is at the same time, politically idiotic, for if Delta North is second class to Delta Central in the political equation of Delta State, then by implication, Delta South is also inferior and when we have ruled once again from 2023 to 2031, and it gets to their turn once more, nothing stops us from seeking to restrict them to just four years or to simply prevent them from taking their turn in the first place! Such “better than thou” tendencies only serve to alienate other zones with the effect of leaving us, all alone without reliable partners in a state in which it should be crystal clear by now that Urhobo cannot realistically go it alone.
I am very proudly Urhobo and if I died and had to come back to this world again, I would want to be an Urhobo man, indeed from Okpe, and as a matter of fact, from my father’s village, all over again. Yet I do not believe that being proud of one’s ethnic identity or cultural roots necessarily renders one a tribalist nor indeed entitles one to be tribalistic when it is the same God that created each and every one of us into each and every tribe or ethnic nationality there is across the globe.
Naturally, I would want Urhobo to be Governor. Why not; am I not an Urhobo? Yet, unless one is being rather foolhardy, you do not live life in accordance with what you want but according to what you can actually get. That is just facing reality and squaring up to life according to how God, Himself, has structured it. Quite often, when we insist on having it our own way in life at the detriment of the interests of others who were also created by the same God that created us, I personally believe that it is God Himself that intervenes and ensures we do not have it our own way, if only to bring us to our senses while ensuring that others of His children are not shortchanged by being subordinated to our personal greed.
Urhobos are smart People…
There is no way any clueless character out there will keep shouting no “Urhobo, no Governor”, and expect his idiotic fantasy to come to pass when there is simply no demographic or electoral path for Urhobo to become Governor of Delta State on its own! So what do you do? You face reality; you consider and reconsider; you contemplate, assess, strategize, dialogue and you negotiate. That is how wise people live their lives and what is even more precious to me is the fact that, this philosophy of life is at the very core of our ethos as Urhobos.
…And we are good people too
Urhobos hate oppression. We despise greed, disdain self-centeredness, reject stinginess, oppose arrogance, repudiate pride, and rebel against highhandedness. As Urhobos, it is historically in our character to confront oppressors and humiliate the proud. We are a fanatically egalitarian people and it is certainly not part of the culture we have been handed down by our glorious ancestors to seek to oppress others while insisting that we ourselves should not be oppressed. Urhobos are not thieves who will take from our neighbors what we would never tolerate that they take from us.
No Man nor Tribe is an Island
Yes, as a tribe, we form the majority ethnic nationality in Delta, but as a senatorial district, though ours is the most populous zone, we are still a minority to the other two senatorial zones combined. Thus from the point of view of senatorial zones, our state is effectively a tripod of fundamentally co-equal senatorial zones, none of which could ever possibly go it alone and ever get into Government House! The only viable equation for sustainably ruling the state is for power to rotate amongst all three zones and for all three to get eight years each. Simple.
Now since, there cannot be equity if Delta North is denied the two terms totaling eight years that both Delta Central and Delta South each got, they must complete their full tenure and hand over to an Urhobo come 2023. However, the only reliable means of achieving this is for Governor Okowa to complete the turn of Delta North since any other candidate from Delta North cannot possibly be trusted to do just one term and willingly handover to Urhobo come 2023.
Show me the Nigerian Politician that promises to do only one Term and I will show you a Liar from the Pit of Hell, itself
Anyone telling us he is an man who will do only one term in office as Governor is a most insolent scammer that must be immediately told in the most unmistakable terms that he has come to the wrong customer! Urhobos will not be any pathological liar’s mugu. Surely, unless one is a cursed fool who willfully relieved himself of his senses by the wayside, you cannot be told by anyone that he, being one of the Nigerian politicians that we know all too well, is going to do just one term and take a hike when he is constitutionally entitled to do two terms!
Even if I told my daughter that I am going to do just one term when I am legally entitled to seek a second one and she believed me, I would be rather disappointed she could fall for such utter crap, even from her own father! Which Nigerian politician will do just one term? The one that is a typical Nigerian like the rest of us or is it some spanking new Nigerian, somehow miraculously minted somewhere out there on Planet Mars? So all these political crooks going about telling us that it is possible to find someone from Delta North who would do one term and quit the stage should immediately be put in their proper place by all sensible Urhobos!
Now, since we cannot deny Delta North their second term, we must then ensure that they get no more than that second term and the only way of doing this is to ensure that no one but Okowa is Governor from 2019 to 2023 since constitutionally, he must then vacate his post and handover to someone from Urhobo. To allow anyone else from Delta North to become Governor in 2019 is to play a completely foolish game and to take a risk of utterly imbecilic proportions!
Thus, quite apart from the fact that from what is on ground politically in Delta, Okowa is set, as usual, to take his opponents and detractors to the cleaners and is already well positioned to return come 2019, our best bet as Urhobos is to ensure that we are fully and securely at the epicenter of ensuring he returns so that we become vantaged co-owners of his administration while ensuring we would not have a new Governor form Delta North who wants to stay beyond 2023 to contend with when power should be seamlessly rotating back to us at that time.
To be patriotically Urhobo at a Time like this…
So to be a true Urhobo patriot in this day and age within the compass of the gubernatorial realities of a state like Delta cannot realistically reside in being a pseudo-irredentist, mindlessly insisting on an Urhobo Governor in 2019 when to face reality is to realise that we just have to wait till 2023 when it becomes our just turn once again according to the political consensus that has already become concretized in the state.
Indeed, to be an Urhobo patriot is to be pragmatic, to face reality squarely in the face, and, to reason with the head instead of with the heart by coming to the realisation that we are better served by living and let live with others with whom we share this state. For me, to be an Urhobo patriot is to face hard facts on the ground instead of losing one’s head in laughable kindergarten slogans of “Urhobo must rule” without any hope of bringing such delusional sentiments into fruition.
As regards realistically meeting the specific challenge of who should be Governor come 2019, to be an Urhobo patriot is to support Delta North to complete their just turn as have the other two senatorial zones so that both Delta North and Delta South appreciate us, given our population size, as good and conscientious big brothers who do not cheat their fellow men, even as we are entitled to insist that having conceded to our fellow Deltans, we ourselves must be given our due and not shortchanged in any way going forward. That is how to play a good hand in the poker game of politics, how to build goodwill in one’s neighbors, and, how to craftily position oneself as the power behind the throne.
Which Okowa do these Jokers think they are going to defeat…
The man Okowa is a shrewd and adept political tactician. All these people prancing about boasting they are set to restrict him to one term will be outfoxed and humiliated by him at the end of the day. I prefer to face reality and be is friend rather than his opponent for it is in so doing that I am better positioned to benefit my constituency.
…And what even made these People, Leaders amongst us?
Yet even those who are greedily eyeing the just second term of Delta North and seeking to deny them their full eight years have not been able to tell us what the average Urhobo man has lost simply because an Urhobo man is not Governor! I know all of these people one on one and frankly when they complain that Urhobo is not Governor, it is immediately clear to me that they are bemoaning the fact that they are presently not in a position to line their private pockets as they were used to doing in the past rather than alluding to any real disadvantages the average Urhobo man or woman has suffered simply because an Urhobo is not Governor.
In fact, the entire thing is really just a nauseating scam. Simply because there is no free money to offload into your own pocket, you pretend that your not being Governor is my problem as if had you been the governor I would necessarily benefit as an average Urhobo man more than fellow Deltans from other tribes!
What has the average Urhobo Man lost simply because an Urhobo is not Governor?
If we may ask, since Okowa became Governor, how has the average Urhobo man suffered more than the average Anioma man? Interestingly, amongst all the Anioma people I know, I have still not found a single one whose lot is necessarily better than mine simply because Okowa is presently Governor of Delta State. Even more instructively, currently there are actually more state projects completed, ongoing or upcoming in my Delta Central than in Delta North and in my particular constituency of Okpe-Sapele, for example, there simply has never been any government that paid more attention to both Local government areas as the Okowa administration has done and continues to do! So how have I been in any way shortchanged that it is an Okowa rather than an Umukoro that is my Governor.
The truth is that primitive ethnic sentiments aside, no one really suffers anything, as such, simply because it is not his person that is in power. What is happening is that some fat cats who used to feed fat on our common patrimony are currently licking their wounds and pretending they are our collective wounds when they cannot even point to anything they ever did for us at anytime in their entire political careers.
Most of these ethnic jingoists are extremely clannish men who discriminate against fellow Urhobos who are not from their localities while pretending to be authentic Urhobo patriots with a pan-Urhobo worldview. Go and scrutinize them properly and you would be disgusted at their shamelessly village orientation vide which they surround themselves with mostly persons from their own localities, insisting on handing all juicy appointments, contracts and other available opportunities to their fellow village men and women! So, for God’s sake, who is really fooling who?
I may not be Wise King Solomon but I still thank God I am not easy to fool at all. If you are personally out of power or at any rate unable to come to power – chiefly due to your unserious and inadequate approach to politicking – that is your personal problem and I will not take Panadol for your headache when the man in power, though from another tribe, has not shortchanged me, my zone or my tribe in any way!
Which Ika People are they even talking about?
Even those accusing Okowa of favouring Ika people, when they themselves have always favoured persons from their own localities, if I may ask, how many Ika aides does Okowa even have? I know all of Okowa’s Ika aides and these guys are basically his immediate or domestic staff. To accuse him of nepotism on the strength of the handful of Ika people around him is to be unconscionably hypocritical. What was he supposed to do, anyway? He should have come to power and turned his back on the people he has always known from his own locality as if he is now a big man with no time anymore for the people back home? What would you think of anyone who did that to his own kith and kin? Indeed, what would we say of any Urhobo man who came to power and suddenly had no time anymore for us, his fellow Urhobos?
Yet to be fair to Okowa, unlike what we are all lamenting in Abuja where the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Of Staff to the President as well as practically all the security chiefs are from the President’s part of the country, Governor Okowa’s Secretary to the State Government is an Urhobo from Delta Central while his Chief of Staff is an Ijaw from Delta South. These are the most critical positions in any government after the chief executive and his deputy and yet on the strength of a few personal aides the governor has from Ika, certain persons I can personally confirm to be rabidly tribalistic are trying to con us into believing our Governor is a clannish person! Nonsense!
I mean, you should see how Governor Okowa relates to our people and treats them with the utmost warmth and greatest respect as if we come from the same village with him.
Who but a Bastard will not carry his People along?
Yet if we may ask, if there were no Ika persons around Okowa would you respect him? What sort of a leader abandon’s his own people? If you can’t lead your own household is it me, an outsider that you can lead? If Okowa can’t carry his own people along, is it you or me that he will be able to carry along? If I was a Governor and you couldn’t find any Urhobo people around me, would you be able to respect me? Let us be true Christians and be fair to our fellow man for God’s sake.
When our brother Governor Ibori was Governor, did he not carry us along? Where there no Oghara people – indeed people from Ethiope West – around him? What sort of a leader would he be if he had shunned his immediate locality to fixate all of his charity on persons from afar? While Governor Uduaghan was at the helm, would we not had considered it extremely odd if there were no Itsekiris at all around him? Is that a normal state of affairs? In any case, Governor Okowa has far more aides from Urhobo than from any other tribe in Delta State just as we have more commissioners manning some of the “juiciest” and most strategic ministries and portfolios, for that matter! How then has Urhobo been shortchanged simply because a non-Urhobo is Governor of a state he is equally a citizen of?
Who is really your Brother at the End of the Day?
Please, nobody should come and start deceiving us that simply because he is our fellow Urhobo man, he will take better care of us than someone from another tribe as Governor. At the end of the day, they are all just looking for their daily bread and a platform from which they can insanely enrich themselves, their wives and their children, with nothing meaningful trickling down to the average Urhobo man that will make him any richer than the average man from another tribe!
I do not know of a single Urhobo billionaire that will tell me that it was when an Urhobo man was Governor that he became a billionaire or that it is because Okowa is now the Governor that he has suddenly become a pauper. Funny enough, I can point to, and actually confront countless members of other tribes who became billionaires when we the Urhobos were ruling the state!
As for the average man out there, nothing is going to improve your life or create hardship for you simply because your tribesman is either in or out of power! just forget it.
Before Uduaghan became a governor, there were certain Itsekiris I happened to be taking care of. While he was the Governor, I still kept taking care of them. Now that Uduaghan is no longer Governor, I am still taking care of them. So what did the average Itsekiri man benefit simply because his brother was a Governor?
What’s more, before Okowa became Governor, there were several Ika people I was rendering assistance to, on a fairly regular basis. Now that Okowa has been Governor for three solid years, I am still solving all kinds of problems for them and yet some pathetic retard somewhere is talking bullocks that Ika people are suddenly swimming in milk and honey simply because their brother is Governor! Please find some other tales by moonlight to tell us or just shut up!
As we Urhobos say, it is who calls you a person that you also call a person. It is the same principle enunciated by Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself who, when He was told His relations were waiting for Him outside, told the people that it is those who are with Him that are his father, mother, brothers and sisters!
Proud as I am to be Urhobo and in spite of all the fights I have fought for Urhobo, I cannot say with any degree of confidence that I have necessarily benefitted more, either in business or in my profession, or indeed by way of pure goodwill, from fellow Urhobos than from members of other tribes. I am sure there are countless Urhobos with similar experiences and I think that it is part of what God uses to open our eyes that though our tribes and tongues may differ, we are still all his children, and it is for that reason He quite often brings us our closest friends and biggest benefactors form tribes other than our own!
At any rate, and as we have quite often seen in governance in this very country of ours, even as tribalistic as some of us Nigerians like to be, someone in power from another tribe may end up developing your area more than someone from your own ethnic nationality! It was during the administration of Olusegun Obasanjo, for all his faults, that we got NDDC and 13 percent derivation for us Niger Deltans in spite of all the bottlenecks he chose to introduce into the process. Our own brother, Jonathan, for all his wonderful gentlemanly qualities ended up building more schools, roads and railways in the North than anywhere in the South including the Niger Delta!
The same scenario is often replicated in the various states as even Governor Okowa, himself, is presently demonstrating right here in Delta! At the end of the day, the manner in which the man in question reasons is often of infinitely greater significance than where he hails from and once his vision is of a sufficiently cosmopolitan colour, it doesn’t really matter what tribe your leader belongs to.
I can say that the good doctor, our Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, is such a man and I respectfully recommend that as Urhobos, it is by supporting him for a second term, that we prime ourselves to become even stronger stakeholders in his administration, a position from which we are better able to benefit ourselves as a tribe while protecting our interests as a senatorial zone preparatory to 2023 when it becomes our just turn to produce a Governor for the entire state once more.
APC as the very Worst of PDP…
Governor Okowa has always maintained a strict pan-Deltan approach to his politics and he is a true Deltan we can all relate to and a patriotic Niger Deltan we can all be proud of. Those salivating for Okowa’s job will end up doing so in vain. They have no case against the man and not even one of them can tell us he is a better man than Okowa. The people in APC today are the very worst of PDP who left because they could not compete on the battlefield of politics. APC has absolutely no legitimacy to sermonize or lecture at the expense of PDP and by God’s grace, just as we have rejected cattle colonies and killer herdsmen, even so shall God empower us to resist the APC come 2019.
Barr. Jesutega Onokpasa, Delta State. 07037212475. Email. firstname.lastname@example.org