With utmost respect to our dear and beloved leader, Chief Edwin Kiagbodo Clark, we find his recent vituperation against former Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan to be most unfortunate, indeed.
Whereas Chief Clark, while launching guided missiles at Uduaghan, All Progressives Congress, APC, National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomole, as well as on former and serving governors, kept claiming his sole concern was equity and fairness in the APC, as if he has suddenly become a member of the party, we wonder where he was when one man in the person of Senator James Manager, his fellow Ijaw, kept insisting on maintaining a stranglehold on the collective Senatorial seat of the various tribes of Delta South.
Delta South Senatorial District is uniquely configured as a highly diverse and cosmopolitan constituency of Ijaws, Isokos, Itsekiris and Urhobos making up the indigenous ethnic nationalities of the district. This diverse colouration of Delta South is what has necessitated the adoption of principles of equity and equality as unavoidable considerations and indispensable factors of public affairs and political interaction in the zone.
The logic underpinning this deeply rooted electoral formula resides in the need to give a sense of belonging to all the tribes in Delta South for the purpose of encouraging accommodation and fostering unity amongst all stakeholders.
Thus, dating from pre-independence times, political harmony across the zone has been predicated on a political philosophy of inclusiveness within which no ethnic nationality is deemed to be in a second class status with respect to any other.
Indeed, since the Second Republic, all stakeholders, leaders and the general electorate have endeavored to display a healthy respect for this principle which effectively ended up with a de facto political culture of rotational representation that saw the likes of Senator Franklin Atake an Itsekiri, Senator Francis Spanner Okpozo from Isoko and in fact, our leader and mentor, Senator Edwin Clark, an Ijaw, representing the good people of Delta South at different points in time and not until 2007 has this balance been threatened thanks to the highly self-centered and acrimonious political disposition of Senator James Manager of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP.
As far as we are concerned, Senator Manager is a man dedicated to only three persons: he, himself and the shadow of himself. This is a man who at every point in time has insisted on entrenching himself in one position forever, while seeking to create the false impression that he is a champion of Ijaw interests even though many from his own Ijaw ethnic nationality are already quite tired of him and beginning to wonder why if indeed he truly loves Ijaws, he has he not seen fit to groom another Ijaw man to take over from him!
Whereas he has already done four straight terms as a Senator as if the entire Warri South Senatorial District which is big, populous, naturally endowed, productive, economically vibrant and financially viable enough to form two separate states is now just an ordinary plot of land that Manager inherited from his father, we must confess that we are simply flabbergasted that against all reason, Manager is insisting on going for yet another term to make it a total of five terms as a Senator! Needless to say, we are even more saddened to find our illustrious leader, Chief Clark, seemingly allowing himself to be recruited into serving the selfish ambitions of Manager in this regard.
If we must continue to foster the healthy unity in Delta South and reinvent our long held political ethos of rotational representation lest we fall apart, how can one single fellow from a particular ethnic group continue to enjoy a senatorial seat meant for the various tribes of a district as diverse as Delta South?
And, if indeed, our leader, Chief Clark truly had a sense of equity, fairness and justice in his noble heart at the age of 91, he would have been forthright enough to point out to the PDP where there are people more likely to listen to him, that for there to be a sense of accommodation to all concerned in accordance with the rotational concept of the PDP, itself, it cannot possibly be fair for just a single individual from Ijaw to continuously occupy our collective Senate seat to the detriment of the other tribes, more so when the highest political officeholder in the state from Delta South is the Deputy Governor, Barr. Kingsley Otuaro, yet another Ijaw!
Indeed, how can anyone insist on going for a fifth term in office thus effectively personalizing a senatorial seat that historically rotates amongst the three major ethnic nationalities for a record total of twenty solid years?
Indeed, unless personal greed, inordinate ambition and a superiority complex have conspired to blind someone to reality, how can one man continue to trample down on others as if there are no longer any enlightened leaders qualified to occupy such seat even among the Ijaws not to talk of the other tribes whose turn has been effectively confiscated by Manager who is determined to be a Senator for twenty straight years?
It cannot possibly portray unity for one man from one ethnic group to monopolize a senatorial seat meant for all in the zone. Indeed, on the contrary, it portrays unconscionable greed and unacceptable insensitivity that can only undermine the unity of Delta South already made fragile thanks to Manager appropriating everybody’s property to himself.
This coming 2019, the Senatorial seat of Delta South cannot remain domiciled in the private pocket of a single individual and must now move on to the next stage in the cycle of rotation amongst the various tribes.
While our general preference is for the Senatorial seat to go to either Itsekiri or Isoko, we feel that for the purpose of resetting the mechanism of rotation and restoring balance to Delta South, it should go, this time around, to the Itsekiris who, rather astonishingly, have never occupied the seat since the restoration of democracy in 1999!
As to Uduaghan, the hard truth we must all face this election cycle is that in order to send Manager packing, we would just have to rely on someone with the political background, clout, pedigree, carriage and war chest like Governor Uduaghan to get the job done through APC or the party will only be joking in Delta South.
Infact, we are convinced that our leader, Chief Clark, himself, has come to the conclusion that Uduaghan is the only one with any realistic chance of defeating Manager. Indeed, we find it rather unfortunate that Chief Clark, has become so desperate that the fear of Uduaghan retrieving the Senatorial seat from Manager has now constrained Clark of all people to start professing to love APC even more than APC itself to the point of taking Panadol for the headache of a party he does not belong to!
As good children who would not want our parents to bring themselves to public ridicule, we would like to remind our leader and father, Chief Clark that he should remember that history has an uncanny way of repeating itself.
We accordingly urge him not to forget that in the past when he made it his top mission in life to prevent Uduaghan from becoming a Governor, God ended up making Uduaghan Governor for eight solid years! We are therefore quite pleased to inform Chief Clark that his newfound commitment to preventing Uduaghan from becoming a Senator has only served to further convince those of us who were not necessarily supporting Uduaghan before that God is about to make him our Senator!
We note with respect that Chief Clark keeps shouting over the rooftops that he is no longer involved in politics. We however also note, indeed, with even greater respect, that he keeps involving himself in politics and in a rather divisive and highly disruptive manner.
Even at 91, our great leader cannot pretend to us that he does not have a soft spot for PDP. In any case, he is not a member of the APC, has never displayed any sympathies for the party and cannot now seek to convince us that he has suddenly developed a strange new love for the party that sent him into long overdue retirement!
We would therefore respectfully appeal to Chief Clark to find more elderly ways of enjoying his retirement and if for any reason he feels so restless as to be compelled to prove the point that he is only retired but not tired, then he should restrict his interventions to the PDP, the party we all know he is sympathetic to for no matter what Chief Clark might have to say to us at 91, we are happy to assure him that we are not fools and that we are aware that at the very least, he was once a member of PDP and has never been a member of APC!
We are happy to assure our illustrious father, Chief Clark, that we, his children are about to make him proud by sending Senator Manager to join him in retirement. We assure Chief Clark that having been tutored by him, we consider ourselves as those who learnt from the best, and it is with the knowledge we gleaned from him, that we invite him to seat back, relax and marvel out how we set about showing Senator Manager the door out of the Senate for good.
Jolomi EGBE, Owei TIMINIMI Mamuzo OKORO, Efe EBOH.
On behalf of DELTA SOUTH UNITY FORUM, 28 NPA Bypass, Warri.