POLITICS OF DISCRIMINATION IN DELTA STATE

executive council. From all indications, nobody from
Ika South and Ukwuani/Ndokwa West Local Government Areas made it or has yet
made it to these categories of appointees. However, shameless and
hollow-headed  supporters of Dr. Uduaghan
and his faction of the PDP from these areas are giving reasons for Dr.
Uduaghan’s action as follows:-

1.       
As a
punishment for the affected local government areas where Dr. Uduaghan lost the
election to the opposition.

2.       
That
some prominent political leaders have been and are still criticising the Dr.
Uduaghan-led government for showing absolute contempt for some areas of the
state (mostly Delta North Senatorial District).

3.       
That
protests were mounted against Dr. Uduaghan’s nominees from these areas.

Let us examine each of the above reasons in detail.

i.                    
PUNISHING
THE ELECTORATE FOR FREELY USING THEIR VOTING POWER TO MAKE THEIR CHOICE.

Thank God that the agitation for “one man,
one vote” and protection of people’s votes were put into practice in the areas
where Dr. Uduaghan lost the election. When some of us were warning Dr. Uduaghan
to distribute the dividends of democracy equitably or be prepared to face the
disgrace of losing the election in our areas, his deceivers told him that we
had no followers and assured him of victory as long as he gave them enough
money to fight the elections. In the run-up to the April 2011 general elections
when Dr. Uduaghan saw that the pendulum was not swinging in his favour in some
areas and thinking that it was going to be business as usual, he tried to
intimidate Deltans by threatening that he would not make appointments from the
areas he was going to lose the election. Dr. Uduaghan went ahead to deny us our
dividends of democracy and used the money meant for our infrastructural
development, through his pretenders, to thwart the will of the people. At the
end of the day, the result of the election proved to Dr. Uduaghan who the real
leaders (ndi nwon ali) are as against the pretenders who had been
milking him. This should serve as a lesson to Dr. Uduaghan or any politician
for that matter. You cannot beat a child and tell him not to cry. For as long
as the government denies us our right, we will continue to protest by speaking
out and voting against that government.

ii.                   
PUNISHING
PEOPLE WHOSE LEADERS CRITICISE THE GOVRNMENT.

Any government in a democracy that forbids
people from criticising it is no longer a government of the people by the
people and for the people. At this stage of our democratic development,
autocracy should not be allowed to thrive. Freedom of speech and freedom of
choice are the constitutional right of the people in a democracy. The
government can only stop people from criticising it by giving them their share
of the dividends of democracy. A government that believes in empowering only a
few stooges who end up working against the interest of their own people is only
digging its grave. A wise government that embarks on people-oriented projects
like the Comrade government in Edo state does not fear the criticisms of a few
people.

iii.           PUNISHING
PEOPLE FOR NOT ALLOWING THE GOVERNEMENT TO APPOINT UNPOPULAR AND NON-PERFORMING
PEOPLE INTO GOVRNMENT.

In the April 2011 general elections, it was
only in Delta state that “order from above” was used to impose candidates on
the people, which was why the PDP had a rough ride in many constituencies where
it should have had easy victory. As if this was not enough lesson for the
party, the power that be was still limiting their choice of appointees to the
same recycled people who have nothing to offer the electorate. Using the above
lame excuses to deny the people of a representation in the government is
pretence of the highest order.

Having analysed the reasons deduced for denying the
people of some local government areas their right of representation in the
government, let me give my own opinion on the motive behind Dr. Uduaghan’s
action. As far as I am concerned, none of the above reasons holds water. The
only acceptable reason for Dr. Uduaghan to deny the people of Ika South and
Ukwuani/Ndokwa West in Delta North (Anioma area) is outright discrimination
against Anioma people. This is so because nobody drinks water more than a
person who was drowned in a well or river. In the just concluded general
elections, Dr. Uduaghan’s PDP had the most disastrous results from Delta
Central Senatorial District where over 60% of the votes were cast against him.
Not only that Dr. Uduaghan failed to punish the Urhobos for the vote of no
confidence, he rewarded them with the most strategic and relevant ministries
and positions. In Delta Central where Dr. Uduaghan was almost totally rejected,
he was able to identify quality people to man the most important positions but
he could not find one single person in Ika South worth serving in the state
government just because he narrowly lost the election in that area. What an
irony!

Discrimination against Ika South did not start with Dr.
Uduaghan. It is just a continuation of Chief James Ibori’s policy to deny the
people of Ika South their share of the dividends of democracy. Throughout the
eight years of Chief Ibori’s tenure and after four years of Dr. Uduaghan’s
administration.

NO SINGLE STATE GOVERNMENT PROJECT HAS BEEN
COMMISSIONED IN IKA SOUTH.  In addition to that, the only appointments of
Ika South people in the last 12 years were just to make up the number as the
appointments went to selfish people who were only after their pockets and
moreover, they were appointed into positions that barely enabled them to scrape
a few millions of Naira for themselves. Because their appointments were
personal favours to the appointees, they became morally bankrupt to demand for
dividends of democracy for their people and this bankruptcy has applied to all
the elected representatives who had been imposed on the people as candidates – gold
diggers!

In a real democracy, people use criticisms and protest
votes to produce the score cards of governments and governments appreciate such
people because their demand always lead to policy changes which in turn help
the government party to retain the support of the people. I want to use this
medium to warn the PDP (Delta State Chapter) to wake up to its responsibilities
and call Dr. Uduaghan to order. The highest Dr. Uduaghan will remain in power
is up to 2015 and if the PDP allows him to destroy the party before he leaves
office, there will be no PDP after him because no amount of intimidation will
stop the people from demanding their right. If Dr. Uduaghan’s PDP feels too
big-headed to listen to the opposition within the party and to genuinely
reconcile with them, we will continue to cry out. One of the strategies for Dr.
Uduaghan to try and break the resolve of Ika South people is to order the
contractor handling the only project in the area (Old Lagos/Asaba Road) out of
site. THE MESSAGE I HAVE FOR HIM IS THAT THIS WILL NOT TURN IKA PEOPLE INTO
SLAVES. IF WE HAVE SURVIVED THE PAST TWELVE YEARS WITHOUT ROADS, WATER,
ELECTRICITY, HEALTHCARE, EDUCATION INFRASTRUCTURE AND GOVERNMENT PRESENCE
OF ANY SORT, WE WILL DEFINITELY SURVIVE THE NEXT FOUR YEARS.

To the people of Ika South, I say that this is the time
we should stick together no matter how the government treats us. We have been
loyal and supportive to the Ibori and Uduaghan-led governments for twelve
years.How have we been compensated? Our “thank
you” has been insult, disrespect, neglect, and intimidation. Today, Ibori is an ex-governor like many
ex-this, ex-that. The names of many of these exes cannot be mentioned in public
in good light. Here we are, living freely and freely associating. Instead of
existing like slaves in the next less than four years, we should continue to
demand our right until Dr. Uduaghan attends to us or until he joins the long
list of exes into oblivion. Definitely, one day, God will send us a Messiah who
will listen to our cry. It does not start getting better until it has got
worst. What Ika South and Ika in general need more than anything else is to
rally round a credible political leadership that will speak for the people with
one voice either in government or in opposition. 

Editors Note:  This
write up had been submitted before the announcement of nomination of new
commissioner among which, one is from Ika South

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