ANOTHER GOODLUCK IN THE BREW FOR ANIOMA PEOPLE

One of Nigeria’s
prolific and legendary literary gurus Professor Chinua Achebe, once wrote in
one of his novels, that “some mortals actually have their kernels cracked for
them by the gods”; while some others have to labour strenuously to crack their
nuts open by themselves. The aphorism above aptly typifies the political
benevolence of the newly sworn in acting governor of Delta state, His
Excellency, Samuel Onyekachukwu Obi. Governor Obi no doubt has blue blood
flowing in his veins, having be born to a royal family in Ute-Okpu kingdom of
Ika North east local Government Area, but it is certain that at no time would
it have crossed his mind that he could wear the adorable crown that he now
adorns, even though temporarily. Today, he is not just imagining it, by dint of
luck; he bestrides the Government House at Asaba in Delta state as the No. 1
citizen.

I wrote in one
of my recent articles titled “Gauging the Political Temperature of Aspirants in
Ika land” that Prince Sam Obi, as he prefers to be addressed, before his
catapult into governorship was one who had capitalized on unsolicited and
unpremeditated opportunities to have retained his seat in the Delta State house
of Assembly, despite evident dispute of such membership between him and another
PDP candidate in the 2007 election, Mr. Dumbiri Uweh. The case between them as
I write, is still before the same appellate court whose judgement nullified
Uduaghan’s election, and is awaiting judgement. Suppose the court was to give
its judgement today, what will it portend for the entire Ika people and Delta
state in general?  Should the appellate
court declare acting Governor Sam Obi’s election as a member of the House of
Assembly improper, then his current position and those he had held before now
as both a member and the speaker of the House would be rendered null and void,
without locus standi, ab initio. However, 
lets wait to get to that river first, but it does appear that it is not
yet Uhuru for some people like Chief E.K. Clarke who believe that the ousting
of Emmanuel Uduaghan has wrestled Delta state from the fangs of  Ibori’s dynasty.

The acting
governor no doubt has paid his dues along the corridor of power, having diligently
served the Ibori dynasty through his subservience and relationship with Chief
Dr. Ifeanyichukwu Arthur Okowa. Okowa has been Obi’s political mentor and god
father over the years and according to some people, he displayed unalloyed
loyalty. The position he now occupies eluded his mentor when he genuflected
before his own superior, Ibori in favour of the best preferred candidate,
Ibori’s crown prince and cousin, Uduaghan; during the 2007 gubernatorial
election. Okowa buckled to the chagrin of many Anioma people and the Urhobos
who were in his support. Despite his precarious status in his bid for the
Anioma senatorial seat, it remains to be seen how much influence Okowa will
wield in Sam Obi’s 90 day government as he was infamous for his role as a master
stroker and executor plenipotentiary during Ibori’s eight year tenure. What is
imperative for the moment is that acting governor Obi saddles the reign of
governance in Delta State and the bulk of executive actions or inactions stops
squarely on his table. To his advantage is the fact that he had been a member
of the state House of Assembly and also a speaker. It is hoped that this
affiliation and eventual romance will work favourably for him in the discharge
of his onerous functions and responsibilities placed on his broad shoulders. It
is not as easy as it sounds though, taking into cognisance the volatility of
Delta politics where so many contending forces counter balance and strive to
outwit each other.

The place of
opposition must not also be down played. Sometime in late September and early
October 2010, the acting governor went to sensitize the people of Owa- Oyibu
regarding his aspiration to return to the House of Assembly come 2011, but the
day became one that would remain indelible in his memory as he was pelted with
stones and all sorts of missiles by PDP members there. His crime was the
deprivation and marginalization of Owa-Oyibu, the LGA headquarters in the
allocation of developmental projects, between him and his mentor, Okowa. Some
people claim that whilst only the road terminating at His Royal Highness’s
palace from Owa-Alero and the one that links Oyibu to Idumuesa were tarred in
the headquarters, all roads, including farm roads in Owa-Alero and Uteh
communities had all been tarred. Solar powered street lights also adorn all the
nooks and crannies of the said towns while the one in Owa Oyibu, amounting to
not more than ten, were made possible by the illustrious sons of the town.
Apart from this show of rejection of Sam Obi at the home front, he also has an
axe to grind with the Ogidi of Africa and Chairman of Chairmen, Chief Humphrey
Iweriebor, by his association with Arthur Okowa who as it were, stole the shine
from the old man.

Furtherance to
the internal opposition occasioned by squabbles and exemplified by implosion in
the party structure in Delta state, and as a mark of the peoples’ frustration
with PDP’s manipulations and refusal to carry out acceptable congresses, many
PDP faithfuls are discreetly moving in their droves to the fast growing
opposition party, the Action Congress of Nigeria party. In the light of Great
Ogboru’s success at the appellate court, should he decide to cross carpet to
ACN as the party’s flag bearer in the re-run election casting of the toga of
DPP as it were, how much chance does Uduaghan stand to recapture the
gubernatorial seat at Asaba, judging by the spate of his unpopularity in the
state, especially from his own domain. Again, Niger Delta Elders have foresworn
to see Emmanuel Uduaghan behind bars for the nefarious complicity in cases of
looting, misappropriations and money laundering preferred against their
overlord, James Onanefe Ibori, both in Nigeria and in Britain. With the lost of
immunity status, Chief Edwin Clarke has sworn to foreclose on the court judgment
to have former governor Uduaghan apprehended and prosecuted. According to him,
neither Uduaghan nor Ibori would ever smell the Government House in Asaba
anytime again in this life time. He has said that petitions are on their way to
EFCC, Abuja regarding the matter and he and the other Niger Delta elders are
waiting anxiously for justice to be done for the benefit of average Deltans who
see his removal as a God appointed act and the last straw to corrode the
iron-cast back of the Ibori hegemonic grip on Delta State.

There is no
doubt that within his short tenure, Prince Sam Obi has several daunting hurdles
to scale, precedent to the conduct of a re-run election. Whether he has the
political will and the muscle is what is left to be determined. 90 days may
seem so far away now, but in actual fact, with the enormity of work available,
it appears to be only a twinkle of an eye. Posterity will definitely judge
acting Governor based on what he is able to make of these 90 days. His
political future is also dependent on what he does or refuses to do within the
period. Whether the present situation truncates his wish to continue in the
House of Assembly, it also let to be found out. If he allows himself to
continue to perpetrate the anti-people gimmicks of his predecessors, he alone
would receive the accolades, encomiums or condemnations from the boot-leakers
or the populace respectively. He cannot decide to throw both the bath water and
the child away by refusing to listen to his “ogas” inside the kitchen cabinet,
the party executives and Abuja connection.

This is hoping
he just does not continue to play along, praying for the 90 day period to come
to a quick end. His will and zeal, willingness to listen to and adopt wise
counsel could see him through what might turn out to be a nightmare should he
work contrary to the new rave of the nation’s voting process, that of “one man
(woman) one vote” propounded by the governor of Edo state, His Excellency,
governor Comrade Adams Oshiomole and his followers. The process that led Sam
Obi to assume membership of Delta state House of Assembly was fraught with
pitfalls and irregularities as has finally been affirmed by the ruling of the
Benin appellate court in Uduaghan’s case. As a beneficiary of the fraudulent
past, would the acting Governor have the audacity to want to effect any
recognizable change? What of the fraud perpetrating machinery (structure) that
has been built by them over the time, will he order for it to be disbanded or
use his position to further strengthen and perpetuate it?

As an acting
governor that does not hail from the core Niger Delta, the acceptance of Prince
Obi even for 90 days period by the Urhobos, Ijaws, and Itsekiris is doubtful.
Judging from the attitude of our brothers from that area regarding the position
of the governor, can he make any headway within them in terms of cooperation?
It is not in doubt that many sons and daughters of the area hold various key
positions in Delta state government, and that they also corner all the juicy
contracts available. Can the acting Governor effect any status change within
acceptable limits and time or should he just fold his hands and let things
remain the way his boss, Uduaghan has left them? Will Uduaghan remain the
shadow governor that manipulate things, a case of the voice of Jacob and the
hand of Esau, or will there be a complete and clean break from the evil order?
These and many more questions are left for the acting Governor to answer by his
actions or inactions.

Who knows, by
the divine grace of God and dent of good luck, Hon. Obi could just like
Jonathan Goodluck who become governor of Delta 
State and we pray it be so in the name of Jesus

Being the first Anioma indigene to have reached the height of acting
Governor since the creation of Midwest through Bendel state, and now Delta
state, Prince Obi should gauge his utterances, alliances and actions so that he
may leave his name on the sand of time irrespective of the time factor.
Congratulations Mr. acting Governor, wishing your Excellency a happy stay in
Government House. Remember to move in with madam and the kids, you know what I
mean?

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