By Ekanpou Enewaridideke
ONCE upon a time there was a man – a man inexorably admired and treated as a demigod by this generation and the next generation for his accurate, ingenious transcendental bulldozer political moves in IYC and for his accurate deadly blows rhetorically delivered a priori against governors notorious for infrastructural strangulation of Delta Ijaws. This Torugbene-born man in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State, the proprietor and Commander-General of the ingeniously radicalised juggernaut he has purposely built to powderise the political machinery of any blundering governor in the territories geographically demarcated Ijaw territories by his own special cartographers imported from unknown western countries, was called Pereotubo Roland Oweilaemi at birth but after many years of creative perfection of his two proverbial policies, he is now called Barrister Pereotubo Roland Oweilaemi, the uncrowned president II of Ijaw Youth Council whose battered tenure is still struggling to acquire the outgrowth-status in the shrubbery.
Oweilaemi is a great man whose life has been made eventful and historically remarkable by two proverbial policies he has often pursued consistently as a lover of equity. He would have been Mr. Nobody in Ijaw nationality but for his consistent pursuit of these two policies – they are the policy of displacement and the policy of categorical pronouncement. These two policies are linked in ideation and implementation; so inextricably linked it would be difficult to know which one gives birth to the other in the mix. That he never wavers in the pursuit of these policies is the propulsion behind the fame and the large following he commands in Nigeria and beyond as a very proud son of Ijaw – the reason why he is always called upon whenever there is something important to do in Ijaw, particularly intellectual and political issues that demand age-long savvy. Oweilaemi feels psychologically tormented whenever his two crowned policies of displacement and categorical pronouncement lie fallow, progressively idling away, in the accumulation of filamentous green algae (spirogyra) and cobwebs. With rather dramatic occasional twitches, sometimes intellectually embarrassing, he would leverage on his consummate art of displacement of sacrosanct existing order and claim the space like a colossus.
An embarrassing striking instance when Oweilaemi leveraged on his art of displacement was on the 9 April 2017. Barrister Eric Omare democratically became the 7th president of Ijaw youth council on 1st March 2017 and inaugurated on 2nd March 2017. After the outgoing president, Eradiri Udengs, had consummated democratically the procedures for transmission of power to Eric Omare, the man called Oweilaemi emerged with a counter voice that he is the de jure president of IYC whose emergence is comparatively more in line with the constitutional provisions. It is against this background we now have two IYC presidents though the Ijaws know who is the authentic president.
Because Oweilaemi’s policy of displacement deployed against the IYC led by Eric Omare did not succeed, we thought it was the end of this outlandish policy; surprisingly this policy of displacement has just been dangerously deployed against the Governor of Delta State, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, his deputy, Kingsley Burutu Otuaro and the Delta Ijaw political Assembly, DIPA, led by its president Mr. J.T. Government. In his applauded dance of deliberate reduction, Governor Okowa, his Deputy and DIPA have been fanged by a systematic combination of Oweilaemi’s two policies of displacement and categorical pronouncement. The medium chosen for the communication of these two policies for mass dissemination was The Nation newspaper of 15 June 2018 entitled ‘2019-Okowa has done nothing to get our votes – Ijaw Youths’. Here the raw materials for the policies of displacement and categorical pronouncement are deposited by Oweilaemi for the public to applaud his policy-consistency and Ijawness in the struggle to move the Ijaw nation forward: ‘What has Okowa done in terms of development in Ijaw land to merit our votes?… to have done nothing to get the support of Ijaw people in the state come 2019… most of the projects he has been using to deceive the people are just on paper… that unless the “miraculous” happens within the next eight months, it will do everything to frustrate the election campaigns in its areas’.
Statistically-based information reveals that the Okerenkoko internal roads, Pere Road in Oporoza, (Warri South-West Council), Burutu internal Roads, Obotobo I, Obotobo II internal Roads, Sokubulou-Yeye Road (Burutu Council), Abare Road, Patani, Udophiri Road (Patani) and Bulou Angiama Road (Patani) are developmental projects already taken on by Okowa in the Ijaw areas besides the one billion naira earmarked for Ayakoromo-Igbo-Ideh bridge out of which two hundred million has been released to resume work in this 2018 Delta State budget. In the Vanguard of 30 May 2018 entitled: ‘A harvest of Projects, outstanding human capital Development – A testimony of Dr. Okowa’s Administration skills, Adept Management of men and Resources’, No. 78 and 83 in the chronological data of development projects embarked upon by Governor OKowa are verifiable highlights of Okowa’s performance in the Ijaw areas. Can Oweilaemi swear before any temple of worship that Okowa has done nothing for the Ijaws? Is he actually saying that the development projects in the Ijaw areas are not commensurate with the votes he got when everybody knows that human needs are always insatiable? Why not go to court as a lawyer and disprove Okowa if these advertised development projects do not exist in the Ijaw areas?
Fixated on his policy of displacement – a policy that is a plagiarised poor rendition of the principle of flotation, the physical law of buoyancy discovered by Archimedes of Syracuse who is a Greek mathematician, physicist, engineer, inventor and astronomer, Oweilaemi has entertained the ignorant public with his empty categorical pronouncement that Okowa has done nothing for the Ijaws developmentally when a wiseman would have told him appreciatingly to do more for the Ijaws. Only a quaint lover of alarmist lies systematically magnified could descend to this abyss of fact-distortion – this pathological abstinence from truth anyone can verify in Delta State.
To plough and claim comparative tracts of analysis, a pathology that predisposes one to constant outburst of Okowa-has-done-nothing-for-the-Ijaws, is comparatively preferable to authorship of a promissory note to frustrate and dismantle the campaigns of Okowa in the Ijaw areas conditional upon performance indicators over a given period of eight months before 2019. The Niger Delta Avengers once gave a conditional deadline of attack and it came to pass, crumbling the nation oil and gas installations to the point of economic recession.
For a man to say categorically Governor Okowa has not performed where there are veritable development projects in the Ijaw areas, and for the same great Oweilaemi to alert the public to his contrivance to dismantle the Okowa-Otuaro campaigns, he will definitely do it. Appropriate counter-machinery should be positioned against Oweilaemi’s dangerous ploy so that the Okowa-Otuaro campaigns in the Ijaw areas could come to pass because, according to the renowned folklorist, Timiebi Maika Ferebo, ‘a child that wishes an elder be gored by a lion rather than be mauled by a goat should be feared and cautiously watched’ – that famous Oyangbene-born folklorist quaintly cast as ‘the only traditional professor with the long lengthened sense’ by Molori A. Warifiniere of Ojobo town in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State. Oweilaemi is unarguably that child to be watched cautiously.
Peacebuilding, peacemaking, and peacekeeping as the sine qua non for rapid development of the Niger Delta is the refreshing, invigorating and vivifying intellectual ozone offered in the book Government, Security and Peace-building in the Niger Delta: Essays in Honour of Kingsley Burutu Otuaro authored by Mathias, Jarikre, Nsikanabasi U. Wilson and Abiodun J. Oluwadare – a book whose birth is a tribute to the peacebuilding capacity and efforts of the Deputy governor, Kingsley Burutu Otuaro. This is a work intellectually designed to awaken people to the desideratum of peace in the Niger Delta – to awaken readers to the methodologies needed to be adopted for peace sustainability for the birth of sustainable development. Oweilaemi’s insidious policy of displacement has remorselessly destroyed this temple of peace intellectually built, thus bringing this generation backward by many kilometres. The promissory threat to frustrate Okowa-Otuaro’s campaigns is an open letter to chaos and violence which the book seeks to eliminate in the Niger Delta. It is like NDA threatening and giving us the practical counterpart of their threats. Where Otuaro points to the mechanisms of sustainable peace realization, Oweilaemi points to the opposite; where development is desired, Oweilaemi contextually represents backwardness in his policy of displacement targeted at Okowa-Otuaro. No policies of displacement and categorical pronouncement directed at Governor Okowa as regards 2019 when the Deputy Governor is an Ijaw man could be more dangerous than Oweilaemi’s orphaned two policies of ME-MEISM and no YOU-YOUISM in the Niger Delta.
By whatever standard or method of data collection, collation, accumulation and analysis, Oweilaemi’s policies of displacement and categorical pronouncement sound rash and ill-conceived because they do not intelligently strike any intersection point with the realities available. The policies are too overly suffused with suffocating spirogyra to chart a navigable course for the people. Even when the fondly nicknamed political Egbesu of Africa, the political Akpabia of Africa, Senator J.E. manager, whose sacred words are carriers of political invincibility for power-seekers, whose words create rivers, bridges and roads connecting the people for transformation, when the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Delta Ijaw Political Assembly, Barrister Kingsley Burutu Otuaro, the Chairman of DIPA, Mr. J.T. Government, by the sheer avoirdupois of the development indices in the Ijaw areas, have consensually ENCORED the orchestrally counterpointed musical composition of Okowa-Otuaro and be allowed to be wafted to every homestead of Ijaw people because the song carries the probability of masterful progressive reinforcement, masterful reworking of its rhythm, refrain and melody in the years ahead for the preclusion of the accumulation and growth of filamentous green algae in the river of politics, why should one still be bothered by the venomous dance of Oweilaemi?
- After all these efforts followed by public communication of their consensual stand ‘DIPAD’ (fully supported by Delta Ijaw Political Assembly), the highly cerebral Oweilaemi the latter-day critic, the latter-day activist, the latter-day Isaac Boro of Ijaw, says the Delta Ijaws contextually deserve some strokes of the cane for that supportive verbal recklessness borne out of chronic limited vision and improvidence comparatively UNOKAIC like Chinua Achebe’s Umuofia. So Oweilaemi turns the first man to trample vaingloriously on the collective resolve of DIPA in 2019 without giving us a better alternative to Okowa-Otuaro ticket even in his proverbial far-sightedness and remote sensing acquired long before the birth of the DIPA elders? The remote sensing supposedly used by Oweilaemi in the analysis and assessment of development projects which apparently underpins his policies of displacement and categorical pronouncement, is unknown in the business of project-evaluation and performance-assessment of office holders because such business thrives on visible evidence and visible data systematically collated and analysed. Therefore remote sensing becomes another terminology wrongly infused into Oweilaemi’s two policies of displacement and categorical pronouncement viciously alloyed.
Most questionable in Oweilaemi is his claim of developmental nothingness against Okowa because nothing can give rise to something, because nothing can give rise to DIPA’S support for Okowa-Otuaro, because nothing can give rise to Senator Manager’s support for Okowa-Otuaro if there is absolutely nothing on the ground. This categorical affirmation of a claimed developmental nothingness against Okowa is the agonizing part because truth is being vindictively interred here to score non-existent points.
The ideas of Oweilaemi built into his maliciously alloyed two policies form a barricade to societal progression. This is why the policies should be exposed and murdered before they proliferate beyond annihilation or emasculation. Doing this counter-work constitutes the only potent inoculation against being influenced and afflicted by his pernicious policies individually pursued. By this positive stand I am clearly built and nourished by Lee Kuan Yew who says: ‘But wrong ideas have to be challenged before they influence public opinion and make for problems. Those who try to be clever at the expense of the government should not complain if my replies are as sharp as their criticisms’ (FROM THIRD WORLD TO FIRST, 131).
The office of IYC should be deployed broadly in any areas that would benefit the entire Ijaw nationality as an independent creation willingly let free upon genuine agitation, questioning national policies that would compromise the growth of this generation and the next generation of Ijaw people, not infatuation with non-existing development issues in Delta State. An IYC President, no matter the imagined agony and anger bottled, should verbally guide against categorical pronouncements bound to incubate violence and endanger society because all the wars or conflicts in the world were created by reckless categorical pronouncements like Oweilaemi’s. Oweilaemi should feel obliged to abandon his two policies and draw inspiration from Yew’s Singapore so that his often communicated vision would be one that would approximate to the Singaporean model that drives on pragmatic deployment of knowledge, diligence, sustainable peace-building strategies, cultural awareness, laying the groundwork for the happiness of the next generation through the culture of saving and prioritisation of education. If Oweilaemi could be guided by this groundwork, away from his two policies punctured here, he would not blunder again because this would mark a visionary approximation to the Singaporean standard, even if fantastically, as these words daily reawaken in him dead faculties, widely beneficial vibrations and contextually sensitise his rebellious conscience: ‘Why did Singapore develop and not the others, what was missing in the others? I could only tell you what I thought were three primary reasons: first stability and cohesion in society; second, a cultural drive to achieve and a thrifty, hardworking people always investing in the future, with high savings for a rainy day for the next generation; third, a great reverence for education and knowledge’ (FROM THIRD WORLD TO FIRST, 426).
The cause of Ijaw is not pretentiously championed by a media falsehood, media scarecrow, systematically created by Oweilaemi who claims Okowa has done nothing for Ijaw people in Delta state in terms of development. Let Oweilaemi organize workshops for talent-hunt and capacity-development. If talents are discovered and developed in different ways, people would be equipped to face the challenges of today and tomorrow. The talents of Ijaw youths cannot be discovered and developed when the IYC president who should lead the Vanguard for talent-development is the manufacturer of a conspiracy to frustrate the campaigns of Okowa-Otuaro; talents cannot be developed when there is a lurking danger teleguided and sponsored by Mr. Oweilaemi in the name of uncrowned floundering IYCSHIP unfortunately blessed with two different heads in one indivisible body – undeniably Oyintebeic like the proverbial two-headed snake in Ogbobabou forest.
Oweilaemi is not bothered by the today and future of the Delta Ijaws – part of which future is encapsulated in Okowa-Otuaro ticket. Talents that should be discovered and developed are now gathered and brainwashed by Oweilaemi to form a conspiracy to frustrate the developmental moves of Okowa-Otuaro in 2019. Gathering people to frustrate Okowa-Otuaro’s campaigns in 2019 is a demonstration of abuse of talents that should be developed to move society forward. This contextually throws Oweilaemi up as a hater of the Ijaws in Delta because his supposedly principled stand is contrary to the wise words of Lee Kuan Yew who affirms the power, potential and potency of talent-development in the transformation of a society: ‘When all this happened in 1949, I did not understand the importance of talent, especially entrepreneurial talent, and that trained talent is the yeast that transforms a society and make it rise’ (554).
The man Oweilaemi is a highly respected lawyer who occasionally sounds too complex and indecipherable in his verbal notation recognizably legalese in identity. The whole thing could now therefore mean a rare case of misunderstanding. Oweilaemi must have been grievously misunderstood by the public when he says Okowa has done nothing for Ijaw people; perhaps, he actually meant to say that Okowa has executed a commendable number of projects in the Ijaws areas of Delta state to merit re-election. His legalese, his arcane phraseology, must have caused this horrible misunderstanding. Now that it has been dialectically conceded that Barrister Oweilaemi was misunderstood and cast as a child who has perfected a conspiracy to dismantle the structurally rigged campaign ship, mistaking Okowa-Otuaro for a floundering, rudderless, non-performing ship already torpedoed by people who should be the custodian of the Okowa-Otuaro ship, let us gracefully render apology to him for a public communication misunderstood and therefore erroneously interpreted. Similarly, Barrister Pereotubo Oweilaemi should henceforth strive to be understood whenever he is on the podium, using only unambiguous language that clearly communicates the fact of the demise of his two policies of displacement and categorical pronouncement because they are the reasons why he has just been terrifyingly misunderstood.
Interestingly, now that Barrister Pereotubo Roland Oweilaemi has been unambiguously confirmed grievously MISUNDERSTOOD, Okowa and Otuaro have been equally unambiguously understood by him and the public. Therefore, this reincarnated Oweilaemi, this repackaged Oweilaemi, this rebooted Oweilaemi, this re-aligned Oweilaemi, this rebuilt Oweilaemi, this painstakingly coupled Oweilaemi brotherly bathed with the right anointing oil of truth, now radiating a new effulgence beyond conquest, marks the remarkable coda to my triumphant journey here – knowing fully well that, by this redemptive reversal, Oweilaemi has comparatively become Arkady Babchenko about whom Owei Lakemfa wrote skillfully in the Vanguard of 8 June 2018 entitled ‘Living with fake people’, that veteran journalist of Russian roots but resident in kiev, capital of Ukraine, who deceitfully feigned being assassinated in Ukraine on 29 May 2018 in order to provoke corresponding global outrage against Russia and jeopardise the Russian HOSTSHIP of the 2018 World Cup just like our own Oweilaemi whose target is to provoke public outrage against Okowa-Otuaro over imaginary non-performance claims and undeservedly deny them of re-election in 2019.
BY: EKANPOU ENEWARIDIDEKE
Writes from Akparemogbene, Delta State.