THERE IS HOPE FOR IKA SOUTH -HON Godwin Ezedom

Hon. Godwin
Ezedon is unarguably a major stakeholder as far as Ika South politics is
concerned. The one time chairmanship aspirant OF WHAT has over time played key
roles in the political  development of
Ika South. In this interview with Ika
Weekly during the week, the seasoned educationist and community leader
spoke  on variety of issues on the 2011
elections, expressing hope that Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan and elected leaders
from Ika nation  will not fail Ika
people.

Excerpts:

May we meet you
Sir.

I am Hon Godwin
Ezedon, one time member, care taker committee in Ika South Local Government and
also a former political aide to Hon Pastor Mrs. Cordilia Onya, Project Director
of the Dualization of the Old Lagos/Asaba Road. Added to that, I was a teacher
from 1980-1994. Before I retired voluntarily from the teaching profession in
1994, I was the assistant secretary to the Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT, in
the whole Ika Local Government Area. When Ika Local Government was split, I
became NUT secretary in Ika North-east, until I retired in 1994. After my
retirement, I went to Lagos, where I 
worked with some establishments before moving to Abuja where I spent
about three to four years working and doing some businesses over there.

In 1996, I came
down to Agbor to contest for Ika South chairmanship position under the defunct
National Centre Party of Nigeria NCPN. I contested with Hon Ben Obuh who was
the chairmanship candidate of Grassroot Democratic Movement, GDM, Hon Sunny
Nwolokor, Democratic Party of Nigeria, DPN, and Sam. Nwa-Igumbor of the United
Nigeria Conscience Party, UNCP. At the end of the day, Hon. Ben Obuh won the
election, that was in 1997. After I lost the election, I went back to Lagos but
finally came back to Agbor under this dispensation in 2001. Even before I came
back, I have been a member of the PDP since 1999.

As a stakeholder
in the just concluded April 26 governorship/state house of assembly election,
can you tell us exactly what transpires within the PDP in Ika South.

Yes, I was a
stakeholder during the governorship/state house of assembly election in Ika
South, both before and after the election. Before the election, the state
campaign council inaugurated a campaign committee in Ika South. Our Queen
Mother, Queen Victoria Ikechukwu was the co-ordinator. Hon Ben Obuh I think was
the secretary. We also have notable politicians from Ika South as members. The
Queen Mother knowing the task ahead enlarged the committee council as soon as
it was inaugurated, that was when we came in. We campaigned from Ward to ward.
Wherever we were going during the campaigns, the Queen mother was always with
us, she actually did her best. In fact, the success we recorded in the
elections was because of her motherly status. Because of the position she
occupies every body respects her views and listens to her. She is a woman that
does not welcome sentiments. When you are wrong she calls you and corrects you.
The position she occupies brought everybody together even those who were angry
after the primaries and decided to stay aloof. She was able to bring all
aggrieved PDP members together including those that have crossed to other
political parties.

BUT PEOPLE STILL
CRITICISE HER DOMINEERING ROLE IN POLITICS

I think that is a
very wrong notion. They are not being fair to her at all, because I know that
all the meetings preceding the campaigns were held in her residence. You see,
her inviting the women folks, the youths, politicians, even non-politicians
were invited. In some cases she will hold activities from morning till late
into night. During the campaigns, where ever Hon Doris Uboh and Hon Martin
Okonta were going she went with them. That shows her great commitment to the
PDP. So anybody criticizing her is not fair to her at all.

YOUR COMMITTEE
WAS ACCUSED OF WITHHOLDING THE MONEY SENT FOR THE GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION, AS
THAT WAS THE REASON WHY DR. EMMANUEL UDUAGHAN LOST IN IKA SOUTH

I do not think that
is correct. Some of us who were in the campaign committee witnessed how money
was shared for the different purposes that it was meant for, particularly in
the first two elections, that is the national assembly and presidential
elections. People should not say what they do not know. The ones she handled
were the national assembly and presidential election. Monies sent for those
elections was distributed in the presence of all the campaign committee
members, party agents and chairmen of wards. In some occasions, she bought
cartons of biscuits to party agents in different polling units in Ika South so
that they will be able to stay till after accreditation. Sometimes, she cook
food for them. This has not happened before. So anybody accusing her of
withholding money sent for the governorship election is not saying the truth.

MAY BE YOU ARE
SAYING THIS BECAUSE YOU WERE PART OF THE COMMITTEE.

No, outside being
a member of the committee, people who know me know that sentiments are luxuries
which I cannot afford. I stand for the truth always.

SHOULD WE SAY
THAT UDUAGHAN LOST IN IKA SOUTH DUE TO ANTI-PART ACTIVITIES

Yes, in Ika
South, the story is different, some of our leaders during the past elections
were involved in anti-party activities, telling their followers to vote for
candidates that were not in PDP. Because of that, there was a lot of void votes
for the governor as some persons ignorantly thumb printed in more than one
place. I experienced that in my own unit at Agbor. Nta where people in the name
of voting for DPP for state house of assembly and PDP for governorship
went  and voted against PDP. If not for
the anti-party activities among our leaders, the governor would have gotten an
excellent result from Ika South. Our leaders, I do not want to mention names
failed to deliver the party.

DO YOU AGREE WITH
ELDER JOHN EHIKWE’S ARTICLE: IN IKA WEEKLY LAST TWO WEEK’S EDITION, TITTLED
AGBOR: A HOUSE THAT IS DIVIDED

To a very large
extent yes, because if you look at the way we are going, there is always
competition, and leadership tussle in Ika South. If a particular leader is
going this way others are going the other, you find that they hardly arrive at
a consensus, that is why there is high level of anti-party activities in the
local government. When a party takes a decision, members are supposed to obey
and abide by it, that is how it should be. Even when they said there is an Agbor
agenda, they all did not carry one candidate. Those who proposed the Agbor
agenda were not working with one accord. How can there be a united Agbor  when there is no truth. With these  kind of attitudes, it is a divided house, but
efforts are being made by some Agbor sons and daughters to see how we can get
out of this mess, because if the problems continue the state government will
always look at us in that direction. I think there will be total solution
when  true political leaders emerge. True
leaders like the Queen mother whom people see as a figure of unity. If
such  person emerges as a leader, I think
things will be alright. Her coming into politics no doubt has become a blessing
to us. As stated earlier, if not for her, we would not have recorded the level
of success we had in the elections.

BEFORE NOW YOU
WERE POLITICAL ASSISTANT TO HON PASTOR CORDELIA ONYA, WAS SHE ONE OF THOSE THAT
PLAYED ANTI-PARTY ACTIVITIES DURING THE ELECTIONS

No,
Hon Pastor Mrs. Cordelia Onya contested the PDP state house of assembly
primaries with other contestants but Hon Martin Okonta eventually emerged as
the winner. As loyal party members, we agreed with the party decision. Hon
Cordelia worked for PDP in all the elections, she did not work for any other
party. I cannot weep more than the 
bereaved, so there is no way I can go to another party when the person I
am working for is in PDP. Why we did not talk 
of leaving is that you cannot beat the hand that feeds you. As true PDP
members leaving it for another party will destroy what we have built.

THERE ARE
SPECULATIONS THAT YOU MIGHT BE APPOINTED AS CARETAKER COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN IN IKA
SOUTH.

Well I do not want
to make comment on that because the governor has the prerogative of appointing
members of caretaker committees and until that is done, I do not have any
comment on that. Anybody talking is talking what he or she wishes and I don’t
think there is anything wrong with that.

GOV. UDUAGHAN
THEY SAID IS NOT HAPPY WITH IKA SOUTH BECAUSE HE LOST IN THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT,
ARE YOU SURE HE WILL NOT USE THAT AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO PUNISH IKA SOUTH

Although His
Excellency, governor Emmanuel Uduaghan 
lost to the DPP in Ika South, but it was just a very marginal
difference. The governor himself is aware of the problem in Ika South, I do not
think he has any reason to punish us because it was not deliberate. If you look
at the whole local government area in Delta State you will discover that Ika
South has the highest number of oppositions. The opposition parties on their
own are very strong, coupled with the supports they are receiving from PDP
leaders. I think in his wisdom, he will not punish Ika South

SHOULD WE HOPE TO
SEE A CHANGED AND BETTER IKA SOUTH IN THE NEXT TWO OR THERE YEARS

Like I said
before, if the right pegs are put in the right holes things will be better. We
are hoping that the right persons will emerge, if they emerge, certainly, we
will move forward. But if not, a situation where people do not love themselves,
where people read negative meaning to every visit people make, they can never
be progress, until we stop asking people why are you in Dr. Cairo or Hon Ben
Obuh’s house, until we understand that we are brothers, until we appreciate and
respect people, we will not move forward. If all those preaching unity are to come
together, things will be fine. In 1997 when Hon Obuh was declared winner of the
of the Ika South chairmanship election which we contested together, I told
Chief Okungbowa, I am going to congratulate Hon. Obuh and I went to say
congratulations to them. That is how it should be. Every one may not be
thinking the way I am thinking but it should start from someone. For instance,
you have been coming here for me to grant you interview, which I was refusing
but now I see the need to grant you an interview because there are some
reactions on the 2011 elections that I want to comment on.

GENERALLY SHOULD
THE PEOPLE OF IKA SOUTH EXPECT ANYTHING GOOD FROM THE GOVERNMENT THIS TIME

 Yes, why not. The expectations are high. But I
want to assure you that we have a very strong representation in the senate in
the person of who  Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa no
doubt will deliver. I refer to him as our best. By the grace of God he is going
to represent us very well. For Barrister Victor Nwokolo, he is a member of
Accord Party but he is going there for Ika people. I am hoping too that he will
perform well within the limits of what he can do to better the lots of Ika
people. For governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, I think that he has done very well in
the past but people are yet to know that. Some of the things he has done will
take a long time before people will feel the impact. He is not a propagandist.
He does his things in his own way. The Asaba International Airport for instance
which they have test run, when fully operational is going to be a bridge
between the East and Delta State. The airport when fully utilizes is going to
be the busiest in the country. However, in this his second tenure I think he is
going to be a wonderful governor. For Hon Martin Okonta, he is somebody who has
always told people why he has performed optimally in his past representations.
What happened was that he has not been very “free,” because of some godfathers
intrusion on him. Now that he is “free,: I am sure he is going to do better
than what he has done in the past. He has promised to give his best and I
believe he will do just that.

FINALLY, YOUR
MESSAGE TO THE PEOPLE

I would want to
tell my people that there is ray of hope because sometimes you do not need
anybody to tell you that there is fire on the mountain. With the kind of
election we went through, it is expected that our representatives in government
will not be reminded to perform. They know the difficulties they passed through
in the field before they emerged winners, so we are hoping and very sure that
they will not disappoint.

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