Open Letter To Chief James Onanefe Ibori

Arise and be counted among men, for honor must be extended to whom its due. I’m compelled to write this letter to you, after a careful dissection of your governmental policies, deductive approach to State affairs and unalloyed support for the Niger-Delta struggle. There are however some pitfalls in the area of political issues confronting the three senatorial districts of Delta State, which needs to be addressed.

Real men discuss ideas, lesser mortals discuss actions of men; but I am constrained to write you in your capacity as the Governor of Delta State and I very well know that I speak the mind of rational and ardent followers of Nigerian political terrain with special interest in the political situation in Delta State.

It cannot be overemphasized that you have blazed the trail and distinguished yourself in most aspects of your political endeavor, especially in your refusal to be drowned by neo-colonial forces in modern day Nigeria. Judging by your actions and inactions since you assumed office as the governor of Delta State, I want to put on record that it is glaring that meritocracy has not been sacrificed in the alter of pedestrial parochial interest.

The intellectual community and people of Delta State in general understand the heterogeneous nature of the State, and as such appreciate your giant strides in ensuring that youth restiveness and ethnic/tribal nationalism is reduced to the minimum. I want to also put the record straight by appraising your steadfastness in ensuring that the voice of Deltalites in their struggle for resource control remains loud and clear. You have braved all retardation and intimidation; the dog has been given a bad name just to be hanged but we leave judgment to posterity. Chief James Onanefe Ibori, your admirers salute your courage.

I must also remind you that you must reciprocate the confidence bestowed on your highly exalted office by responding more to the aspirations of the common man. A lot needs to be done in the area of conflict resolution, with emphasis on resettling the displaced Itsekiri people, who are dotted across the State. Also required is a swift response to the plight of the riverine communities in Delta State. What are you doing to stop the practice of absolutism by warlords who benefit from the conflicts in the waterways? For there to be an egalitarian society within your jurisdiction, these problems must be tackled for an enthronement of total pacifism.

Your vibrant political articulations will be better appreciated with time and as such, what happens when you leave the government house Asaba should be a paramount issue at your desk. A lot of agitation and counter agitation is spurring from the various senatorial districts of Delta State on who occupies your seat after 2007. It does not require the beauty of Adonis nor does it require the intellect of Aristotle to acknowledge these contentions, and as well does not require the eloquence of Cicero to tackle these agitation, which can either mar or complement your monumental legacies.

A school of thought has it that equity and fair play has not been at its best in the distribution of social amenities and political appointments in your administration. In as much as I decline my position from such unfair and unguarded assumption, a lot has to be done.

Delta State is by all spheres a replica of Nigeria. Heterogeneous and ladened with diversity, its 25 local government areas has more than 30 dialects and as such there must be a glaring show of commitment in the grassroots to carry the electorate along. Since the creation of Delta State in 1991, it is an obvious fact that the two democratically elected governors are from Delta Central senatorial district.

Based on equity, fair play and the spirit of continuity, it is most reasonable that power should shift from one particular senatorial district to another. The Delta North has stated categorically that power should rotate in the interest of trust, confidence, equity and unity. The argument that Delta North senatorial district cannot produce a governor in Delta State based on the fact that the State headquarters is in Asaba is baseless and unconstitutional. Such argument is bound to sow a seed of discord in the hearts of Deltalites.

A man from FCT Abuja can as well contest and become the president of Nigeria, irrespective of where he comes from. Let there not be an attempt to practice apartheid in Delta State.

I did carry out an opinion poll sometimes in July 2004 in Warri and Asaba on which senatorial district should produce the next governor, and the Urhobo nation made me proud by the transparency of their wish for a true and viable Delta State. They maintained that at least for once, a consensus should be reached for any of the two senatorial districts (south and north) to produce the next governor.

It would be recalled that during the days of your campaign, you had total support from these regions. Some people take pleasure in being called the core Deltalites or true Deltalites. I wish to draw your attention to the fact that Delta North is dreaming because it is a calamity for them not to dream now; they understand that it is absolutely impossible to fail totally if they dare try.

Counting the stakes on your desk, it is a Herculean task to decide, but I urge you to listen to the lone intellectual voice in the wilderness, power should be equitably distributed for the governor and the governed to appreciate it. There are lots of sycophants plotting to upstage your legacy thereby making the mistakes of an earlier impression that some tribes are born to rule in Nigeria.

I conclude by saying: give them your ear, but few your voice. Take every mans opinion, but reserve your judgment; deliver and implement it like a Daniel.


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