RE: IKA YOUTHS INDICTS IKA POLITICAL LEADERS – Eugene Uzum

My attention has been drawn to a publication in Anioma Watch published on 27th September spanning to 3rd October, 2011. In this dispensation where serious socio-political issues are competing for attention, one would ordinarily not react to issues without depth, premised on political patronage in order not to give them unwarranted relevance, but for the purpose of putting the records straight, and reorienting individuals and institutions in dire need of redirection, the real progressives decided to do this rejoinder.
The allegation that Ika politicians have not performed, and are still not performing as presented in a press statement by Ika Progressive Youth group through its Public Relation Officer, Mr. Emmanuel Osiesi, is ill-conceived, and unacceptable. Ika has produced political leaders who have distinguished themselves in local, state and federal governments both in appointive and elective positions. It is on record that one of the finest and seasoned administrators in this democratic dispensation in Delta Sate government is of Ika extraction. A pan Anioma magazine (Trends magazine) recently awarded an Ika son, the politician of the year 2011. It is not  in doubt that some Ika citizens did not do very well as they failed to deliver the dividends of democracy in line with the mandate they had. They ended up bringing Ika nation to disrepute as it was on national television and other media houses. These are persons who refused to accept the holistic approach of surrendering to honesty, transparency, experience and credible leadership.
Ika political leadership has done well and is still doing well, in line with their political terms of reference. This present administration is a little more than 100 days old. Government needs time to formulate politics, budget and  appropriate to deliver the dividends of democracy. I think this group needs political education, especially on the various arms of government, and their functions.
The Executive  arm of government implements politics, therefore, construction of Old Lagos-Asaba Road is an Executive function and at best, Ika politicians can only persuade, lobby or influence its construction. The only time an Ika man had the exclusive prerogative on Executive issues was when we had an Acting Governor. The Acting Governor did his best, considering the short time of his tenure. In all however, posterity will judge.
The positive contributions of Ika leaders cannot be over emphasized. Today, an Ika son is representing Delta North in the senate. It is on record that since the inauguration of the 7th Senate, Anioma is getting an effective representation at the senate. We have probably the most vibrant new entrant in the senate . Anioma ably represented  the South-South in the senate review of sales of government companies by the Bureau for Public Enterprise. Anioma is also represented in the ECOWAS Parliament and is now being seen and heard in various Ministerial Committees.
The ecological issues facing Delta North, especially Owa and Ogwashi-Uku is receiving  government attention through the persuasive articulation of the distinguished senator. How can this  faceless group justify their assertion? It is my opinion that we need a pragmatic reorientation to create a robust political culture, and move from these ‘pull him down’ syndrome that has failed and will continue to fail. Must meritocracy be sacrificed on the alter of pedestrian parochial interest? The answer is N0.
We have efficient capacity builders at the National Assembly, and it is important that we key into their model to alleviate the problems of political poverty as demonstrated by the quality of the press statement released by Ika Progressive Youth Union, Ika nation is tired of criticism. It is time to talk solution.
Youth bodies across the State e.g Urhobo Council, Ijaw Youth Congress, Ugborodo Trust, etc are busy agitating for the dividends of democracy like state creation, employment quota, location of oil companies and infrastructures etc. A youth body in just one senatorial district is claiming they are the sixth largest tribe in Nigeria, but Ika nation is dotted around three Local Government Area one in Edo State, two in Delta and pockets of Ika voices are heard in Imo and Nssuka axis of Eastern Nigeria. What is Ika Youth doing? Let us dwell on issues  that unite us rather than those that disunite us. Let us live in the present and not in the past, let us think of creating a true Ika identity; it is not too late to start. We have a leadership; let us sheath our swords and work for the collective interest of our fatherland.
Ika ka nma
Barrister Eugene Uzum
is a Public Affairs Analyst

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