2015: Delta State in search of a Moses.

 

It`s
not the strongest or the smartest that survives, but the ones most adaptable to
change” ……………….Charles Darwin

There
are three operative elements in the title of this article¬2015, Delta and
Moses. The year 2015 is an election year, a year that will interestingly bring
about  change of guards in governance at
the Federal level and many other states. Delta is a popular state in Nigeria
normally referred to as micro- Nigeria due largely to the fact that it is
inhabited by all kinds of interesting and complex people without any homogenous
language. Lastly, Moses was the meek man that led Israelites out of Egypt where
they were held captive for 430 years to a milk and honey flowing land promised
them by the Almighty GOD.

In our
own case in Delta state, we are in search of a leader like Moses who will take
over the affairs of our dear state in 2015. Moses as it were was not chosen by
God because he was from central Israel or northern Israel or southern Israel as
the case with Delta state, manacled  and
held hostage by three senatorial districts, but he met God`s standard for good
leadership and the ability to deliver the children of Israel out of bondage.
Who amongst those interested in the affairs of government house in 2015 will
meet the criteria for good governance, quality service delivery, equity and
justice? I hope we shall not resort to star gazing or some mascot to reveal the
identity of our Moses.

It is
not wrong to run with the crowd but you must find out why they are running and
to where in particular. There is a desperate need in our society today to
re-build the crumbling walls of integrity, honesty, values, selflessness, lack
of commitment and courage to change the course of history. The problems of
Delta State are fundamental and genetic in nature. They are deep rooted,
hydra-headed and intertwined with our history, never peculiar to any
government. The infrastructural decay, poor energy delivery, unemployment,
moribund industries, illiteracy and poverty have always been inherited from one
administration to another and it has been near impossible to solve all the
problems in one swoop. Presently in Delta State, we are in search of a capable
hand who will take over the affairs of our dear state come 2015.

The
journey towards 2015 has started and as this saying goes the journey of a
thousand miles begins with a step but it should be in the right direction. Are
we going to continue hopelessly as a people with leaders yet allowing our loved
ones to die in poverty and sicknesses? Where our  youths, both 
educated and semi-educated have employed themselves into negative vices
such as kidnapping and other brazen crimes in a State full of opportunities.?
The story of hopelessness in Nigeria is the same at all levels of government
with the crumbling of the society and failures in all directions.  All we have ever done as Deltans over the
years is forming leagues of discussions in our offices, homes, mechanic
workshops, market places to discuss fruitlessly the problems affecting us as a
people in our dear State which we have always been conscious of without
commensurate follow-ups. Nobody hears us in such idle chatters because they
yield nothing but futility. Yes, right from the first day Delta State was
created till date, the challenges strangling us as a people are still there,
not much has changed. It should be remembered that good leadership is not a
function of where the individual comes from but is predicated on the individual
capabilities. Yes, experience, maturity, humility, honesty, amongst others are
undeniable qualities any individual must possess to be qualified for good
quality leadership.

In the
case of Delta State, there are three senatorial districts namely, central,
north and south trying to choke air out of the lungs of the state, because of
which zone should produce the next governor in 2015.  We are almost on each other`s throat,
adducing all manner of reasons to justify the quest for power shift. The
cacophony is loudest from Delta north who has only gone as far as Deputy
Governor which they feel is not enough to articulate the yearnings of their
people. The central and south are united in their claim premised on the rider
that the state capital sits in the north and giving the north  power to govern in 2015 amounts to double
jeopardy as this will ostracise and alienate them for the period. Everyone
seems right in its own eyes but the issues which bother on uneven development
premised on the skewed location of some strategic land uses, resources
allocation, appointments, direction and scope of economic development are far
from being addressed. The agitation seems endless so far until equity is
perceived to have been achieved especially by Delta north presently taking
little cognisance of where the state capital locates.

 The central senatorial zone mainly dominated
by the Urhobos like their Hausa counterpart of the larger Nigeria have ruled
the state more than the other two zones of north and south. They have dominated
the political landscape of the state. They have the single advantage of being
the most populous, the most educated and versatile in politics and they put
their money where their mouth is. It was Chief Felix Ibru from central that
came to power in 1993, he traversed the state with developments for the short
period he served. He was the governor of Delta State and not the governor of
central. He took the entire state as his constituency, irrespective of where he
was from. All the three senatorial zones had their own fair shares of amenities
including Delta North and South. Then came the Odidigboigbo himself, Chief
James Onanefe Ibori  who dominated the
social, political, and economical landscape of Delta State from 1999/2007. He
built monuments in his time traversing the state irrespective of senatorial
districts. He was a detribalised Deltan and made a lot of land mark
developmental statements in the geography of Delta State. The monumental Bomadi
bridge which has changed the history of the Ijaws from that axis is a testament
to behold, and the Ijaws are very grateful to him for that unique insight to
give Bomadi and its environs vehicular civilisation. He proved political
pundits wrong by ensuring that all senatorial zones had their fair share as
demanded by their representatives at the State House of Assembly and the local
councils. Again like Felix Ibru, he was not a governor for central but for the
whole of Delta State.

Then in
2007 a southern minority from Itsekiri homeland came to power as governor via
the sagacious calculations of Chief James Ibori, in the person of Dr Emmanuel
Ewetan Uduaghan who is presently the governor of Delta State and not governor
for the south. His strong point is in the area of building institutions like
Samuel Osaigbovo Ogbemudia of the old Bendel State whose specialty was building
of institutions that are still standing tall today like Egyptian pyramids in
the now Edo and Delta States. Institutions help to galvanise and stimulate
growth and it remains the surest way to ensure economic development. It is good
to build individuals for purposes of empowerment but to sustain growth, you
must build institutions. Hence, we have the Asaba airport, a growth catalyst in
the north, the Koko export processing zone to handle exports of produce and
products, the Warri industrial park to create an industrial conurbation. There
is the IPP project at Oghara to contribute to the energy needs of the state,
and also a web of infrastructural developments traversing the state. These
developments in the foreseeable future will create employment and translate the
economic landscape of the state. They are located without bias to where the
present governor is from.

It is
worthy of note that from Chief Felix Ibru to Chief James Ibori and to Dr.
Emmanuel Uduaghan, none of them represents the mandate of the Aniomas from
Delta North.  It is now ripe for Anioma
to produce the governor of our dear state and the year 2015 is the period to
venerate the Aniomas politically, by allowing for equity and a sense of
integration into the core of Delta polity. The people of delta north are peaceful
and loving with little space for odium and grotesque behaviour against those
they have accepted as neighbours. The restiveness and agitation of the Aniomas
is understandable and they should be mollified by the other stakeholders from
central and south senatorial districts. In our search in Delta State for a
Moses to lead us in 2015, we should avoid the propensity for the absurd and
ethos of cronyism especially by the eventual victorious senatorial district.
For Delta North, it will be a pyrrhic victory because of the polarised dogmatic
nature of the state of our affairs, with the Aniomas perceived to be dirigible.

The
Delta north senatorial zone where the agitation has assumed a macabre dance,
may be feeling moot with the vituperations coming from their kith and kin.
Hence, it is germane to aver that Delta north should try to put their house in
order, if they want to be taken seriously. One is aghast that, the list of
those wanting to be governor is getting too long from the famous to the obscure
or infamy. The Delta North prominent person group should set up a Delta North
Consensus Committee (DNCC) to prune down the list of contenders with the
singular mandate of picking a consensus candidate that will represent the
interest of Delta North in the governorship race in 2015. Consequently, they
should carry-out a mock primary to sieve the materials and the filtrate should
be passed through a testing process agreed upon by all stakeholders. The fellow
who emerges should be adequately prepared psychologically, financially,
politically and mentally by the entire Delta North as a collective
responsibility. The Delta North consensus choice so agreed upon should be
presented to central and south senatorial zones for consultations and
acceptance to erase distrust and rumblings. We must see any choice as a Delta
people`s choice to encourage unity. We should discourage politics of acrimony
and pooh-poohed nocturnal activities that will engender distrust and exhume
past bitterness. Finally, our Moses must be a seasoned, tested administrator,
with enough political will to tackle corruption even if his godfather is
implicated. He must be a courageous bridge builder and a de-tribalised Deltan,
with the pedigree of citizen followership. He must parade past achievements as
score card or proof of credibility in quality service delivery, a team player
with a heart for the people. He or She should be an institution builder,
randomly accepted in all the three senatorial districts in the state. It will
be appropriate to ask our contenders what their pedigree is and their history
of followership in the activities of our dear state over the years? Our hope to
have a Delta State flowing with milk and honey is in electing the right choice
like Moses, come 2015.

 

Deaconess
Amaka  Egboro (Mrs), Politician and
Former contestant, Delta State House Of Assembly, Ika South Constituency under
PDP. 

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