By EKANPOU ENEWARIDIDEKE
BIBLICAL scholars maintain that Jesus Christ once had a moment of transfiguration. Moments of transfiguration are historically rare moments weighted to communicate a significant message.
Understandably, moments of transfiguration can only come upon one for whom God has a special message and assignment because transfiguration as a word does not journey aimlessly and so shall it be with those to whom transfiguration journeys.
In the sojourn of Otuaro on earth he has had many days to himself without being questioned. In the sojourn of Otuaro on earth no day has ever submitted itself to his proprietorship.
The story has always been that of the deputy governor being at work in supportive frame for the success of the functional policies of Okowa without any day designated as a special day to him. However, in the political life of Otuaro there was one particular day everybody waited for. To some the waiting would be another waiting for Godot in Samuel Beckett’s play Waiting For Godot; yet some believed the awaited day would come fully someday.
The positive thinkers/believers won! The day everybody eagerly waited for actually came on March 15, 2022. It was the day Deltans gathered and waited for Otuaro whose coming had long been rumoured. And it was the day Otuaro experienced transfiguration at different levels which only the keen observers/interpreters can identify because Kingsley Burutu Otuaro was not even aware that he was historically in his unprecedented state of transfiguration – an unprecedented transfiguration that made Deltans speak the compulsive language of bitter kolanut to Otuaro!
It was a remarkable morning on March 15, 2022. At 11 O’ clock in the morning Deltans had come together in different culturally attired groups. It was a gathering of Deltans from different ethnic groups. This was the promised day for the opening of the campaign office of Otuaro for his governorship ambition. On the accurate day Otuaro began a walk to the campaign office for official unveiling; he had to hoof to the venue because countless solidarity cars had made the road impassable. I mean the cars and buses of people who had come to participate in the campaign office – opening ceremony. It was a sudden traffic congestion on DBS road, Asaba.
From many kilometres to the campaign office the road had been lined with cars, buses and people. At one O’clock Otuaro was still awaited in the campaign office where early comers had occupied the whole space and it was difficult walking through the crowd to the place.
Otuaro’s walk began at 10am and it was at 2.30pm Otuaro walked to the campaign office. A walk to the campaign office took over three hours because the crowd was large and thick like thick clouds scudding across the sky when the sky seemed provoked though there was no visible sign that the sky was provoked as the day was not rainy or windy. It was a very clement day!
By the time Otuaro arrived the campaign office he looked visibly exhausted but when he cradled the microphone confidently like Teiarau in Enewaridideke’s novel Spiked Beyond Spikes to speak to signal the opening of the office, the seeming exhaustion on the face disappeared. Even the cheers and the hailings from the excited crowd were enough to expel any exhaustion.
Characteristically, Otuaro chanted the mantra KBO three times and opened the office in the name of God and declared he had decided to contest 2023 Delta State governorship election because he had the vision to continue the good work of Governor Okowa. Deltans would be developmentally rewarded with smiles if the Otuaro’s vision was given a space to be seated and be allowed to experiment his development theories and ideas in the language of continuity in developmental governance. The crowd was correspondingly moved by Otuaro’s categorical communication of his governorship dream because at a time it was rumoured by some Deltans that Otuaro had given up his governorship dream. The canters behind the creation of the propaganda that Otuaro had given up his governorship ambition have been correspondingly countered and silenced by this official opening of the campaign camp called Otuaro Campaign Office.
Now that the awaited day for Otuaro has come and gone, the propriety of Otuaro’s governorship dream would be the next engagement. However, a consensus struck analytically through general acclaim based on the political experiences and statistics historically validated, the Delta State governorship space can be occupied by anyone from any of the three senatorial districts provided the person has the competence and vision to pilot the affairs of the state like a competent captain at sea on a voyage. Right from the birth of Delta State, governorship elections had often been contested by all the senatorial districts of the state towards the democratic enthronement of the most popular candidate among the contestants as winner.
The truism that the Delta State governorship election is always contested by all the three senatorial districts in the spirit of democratic competition is a known historical fact attested to first by the Delta Central Senatorial District in their 2015 Uvwiamuge declaration which held the position that the Delta governorship space was not zoned to any ethnic group or district. A re-affirmation of the 2015 Uvwiamuge declaration that Delta State governorship has not been zoned to any district came from Governor Okowa whose 2015 governorship election drew candidates from other senatorial districts of the state. It was a healthy democratic exercise which eventually threw up Okowa as the winner.
Truthfully and ideologically married to the position of zero-zoning, Governor Okowa holds the democratically healthy and commendable position that he will not throw his weight behind any candidate. The likely governor of Delta State in 2023 would be a product of God and the harmonious working together of Deltans. The known fact that there is no zoning and that Governor Okowa is neutral in the governorship struggle are inspiring developments for Otuaro because it is a guarantee of a level playing ground for all the would-be governorship candidates.
With zero-zoning and governor Okowa’s affirmed neutrality the Delta State 2023 governorship election will be the best and the most credible election because the winner will be the best among the candidates as it will not even provoke rancour and antagonism in the end. Who anticipates rancour and antagonism in a transparent process! This is what Otuaro actually craves for prayerfully in an environment that holds unto the principle of zero-zoning and neutrality of Governor Okowa – a governor who is always firm in his principled declarations.
Distressingly, the Otuaro for whom I went to Asaba, who is the personification of accessibility, could not be seen and met by me because it was difficult to walk through the crowd and see Otuaro. Many people including the village boy could not see him because it was, contextually, a moment of transfiguration for Otuaro away from some who went to see him in his transfigured state though Otuaro did not even know that it was a moment of transfiguration for him. In his transfigured state His Excellency Otuaro was attired in pure white clothes preoccupied with a demonstrated dictation from the top political figures in their hey days in the Midwestern and Bendel State days when the governorship and the Deputy governorship were fully at the disposal of the Delta Central Senatorial District.
Strikingly, the transfigured state of man always tells different stories. In the transfigured state it was clearly communicated to His Excellency Otuaro that there was no barricade to his governorship dream rooted in the political experiences of Delta State both in the Midwestern and in the Bendel State days. In fact, his transfiguration took two manifestations: From a Deputy governor of Delta State he has been transfigured into the 2023 Delta State governorship aspirant, and further from this transfiguration into another transfiguration, His Excellency Otuaro has been communicatively assured by the respected past political figures/leaders of the Midwestern and Bendel State days that he was at liberty to eagle as a white eagle into Osadebe House in 2023 and become the developmental incarnation of his own transfiguration witnessed vicariously on 15 March 2022 at the campaign camp called Otuaro Campaign Office created to counter the canters who create propaganda to kill and desecrate the transfigured path of His Excellency Otuaro whose transfiguration is a prefiguration of the developmental transfiguration of Delta State in the safe hands of the only white eagle well-tutored on how to fly into the proverbial Osadebe House in 2023.
Deductively, His Excellency Otuaro’s transfiguration enjoys a third state. At the third level of His Excellency Otuaro’s transfiguration he was consumed and beclouded by the surging crowd that came to participate in the opening of his campaign office in Asaba. With the venue of the campaign office lined by cars, buses and countless people, His Excellency Otuaro historically lost his proverbial charm of accessibility because even the village boy could not penetrate the surging crowd and see him.
It was historically His Excellency Otuaro’s day of transfiguration from a Deputy Governor of Delta State to that of the 2023 Delta State governorship candidate! I did not see Otuaro on 15 March 2022 not because he has violated his principle of accessibility but because the crowd was too thick for me to walk through and see him. He did not even know that I was in Asaba because his two eyes were too small to catch sight of all the people who came to solidarise with him over his opened campaign office.
I actually felt psychologically destabilised that I did not see and hold His Excellency Otuaro in Asaba on the campaign office day because the transfigured Otuaro is not that Otuaro known to me though I am psychologically consoled that the principle of zero-zoning and Governor Okowa’s neutrality would be the architectural design for the 2023 Delta State governorship election – which is a licence bound to open up the democratic space for any governorship candidate from any of the three senatorial districts in Delta State. I hail Governor Okowa for his affirmed firm political neutrality in the oncoming governorship struggle because that is the demanded irreducible minimum standard and foundation for His Excellency Otuaro, the white eagle, to eagle into Osadebe House in 2023!
Enewaridideke, a poet wrote from Akparemogbene, Delta State