BETWEEN ADU AND IDU
Isoko Development Union (IDU) remains one of the oldest Socio- cultural organizations in Nigeria which operations started in the early 40s and not politically and economically viable for national leadership. Isoko Development union comprises men and women wings yet its operations still not projecting the positive image of Isoko nation rather making the leadership as regional affairs. Isoko Development Union ought to be the mouth piece of Isoko nation but past and present leaders never made any intellectual provisions for quality leadership than financial embezzlement of the union funds. IDU is fully registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) with sizeable membership of the union. Even IDU in UK branch was highly organized in the 60s by those that believed on the oneness and unity of Isoko nation. Isoko nation is relegated to the background in terms of Delta State leadership and Nigeria which many refer to as “Neglected marginalization” while others agitated for sustainable development in the land.
Isoko region provides 28 percent of crude oil and gas to the Nigerian economy yet no visible infrastructural developments are sited except few ones. As big as IDU, it has no conducive civic centre where meetings can be held; even the major IDU civic centre sited at Oleh in Isoko South Local Government Area is yet to be completed with high profile financial allegations rocking the IDU apex leadership over the years. The top executives of the union have failed to agree on one leadership allowing IDU to be used by some infiltrators who never new how IDU was established by our fore- fathers. No formidable projects have been executed in Isokoland since its creation than leadership tussle. 2015 is at the corner, IDU is yet to present a roadmap for Isoko nation for future development rather making Isoko nation as a marginalized and neglected region with no creative mission to fulfill in Delta state politics. Many schools of thought have described IDU as a stool while its primary assignments are left in the hands of leadership manipulators who want power at all means. IDU is a union with personable Isoko sons and daughters but not ready to fix Isoko leadership. Some groups within IDU claimed to be promoting integrity within the union while their community leadership funds have been embezzled by these so-called disgruntled elements. IDU has got its wrong by electing leaders at their old ages which these persons would have served as advisory members of the union not taking any lucrative leadership.
IDU has completely lost its socio- cultural direction than fighting over mere position which has no national or international recognition. IDU cannot celebrate Isoko nation at 50 because its present leadership is poorly organized. To some extent, some IDU faithful members have duly supported the developmental progress of the union. The status quo and modus operandi of the union are yet to be defined because its leadership has no inclusiveness of the youths of Isoko nation. How many Isoko youths have benefitted from the union since its formation except few? Despite IDU has crème da la crème of Isoko sons and daughters in their different professions, yet Isoko nation is not politically recognized in terms of politics and economy. IDU ought to be a voice for Isoko people rather protecting individual interest. Isoko nation has 19 clans with several villages, hamlets and towns while some are located in Ndokwa east, Ndokwa west and Bayelsa State and others. The unity of Isoko nation is highly threatened to the core. IDU has not served its purpose of creation which operation is not different from Isoko community leadership where members answer roll calls and take group photographs on annual calendars of the union. Even organizing end- of-the year party with no definition rather displaying of expensive attires and automobiles as achievements of the union. IDU is yet to make any formal presentation on the stand of Isoko nation while interested in merging with other tribes to produce Delta State governor come 2015 and preaching peace to Isoko youths. No Isoko man has emerged as governor or deputy governor of Delta State since its creation and only has just two local governments in the state and as the third largest ethnic group. How long will Isoko nation play second fiddle in Delta State politics and yes sir format. The former IDU President- General, Chief Dr. Gregory Oke Akpojene was kidnapped and voluntarily released with the sum of #7million to his captors last year. He also tendered his resignation letter to the union over what he described as leadership arrogance and rascality. Just recently it was rumored that he died and with other callous allegations to discredit his person. But he was called upon to finish his tenure which our respected Rt. Gen. Chief Paul Ufuoma Omu of Igbide kingdom was elected as the new President- General of IDU which many applauded as he possessed quality leadership while some schools of thought said he is too old for IDU leadership. Most of the IDU branches and units across Nigeria are not functioning rather than taking group photographs in local media and others. Court injunction is one of the IDU problems which have drawn the union backwards over the years. No formidable Union without short-comings but IDU failed abysmally to mend or admit its error. Asaba Development Union (ADU) is more effective in Delta State politics because of the high profile Asabarians that occupy key positions at the state and national levels.
Asaba Development Union has a formidable women wing that can produce the next Delta state governor in 2015 without uncertainties. IDU women wing still dreaming for better positions in government. To the extent that ADU could invite all Deltans including the Isokos to participate in their 65th anniversary of the union and award ceremony of their highly placed daughter, Dr (Mrs.) Juliet Ngozi Olejeme, chairman of Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF). Most of the IDU leadership in both men and women wings are not influential to bring intellectual leadership to the platform of Isoko people rather fighting over temporary contracts from the state government and nothing else. IDU has various branches across the country including London, but abysmally failed to project the image of Isoko nation. The Isoko Advancement Network (IAN) that was formed to protect the political interest of Isoko nation by Delta State SSG, Comrade Ovuozourie Macaulay is yet to play the music of change and action than dying in political silence. IAN is now a buried organization with no vision to accomplish. 2015 is not far again. With all the community unions in Delta State like Ebu Development Union (EDU), Urhobo Progressive Union (UPU), Aboh Development Union (ADU), Ubulu- Uku Development Union (UDU), Obotie Progressive Union (OPU), Itsekeri Development Union (IDU) and others, ADU is more politically effective with a noble vision to accomplish in Delta 2015. UPU is now described as majority to minority leadership in Delta state. Though, Urhobo Progressive Union and Itsekeri Development Union are the visible voices of Delta state politics since its creation. Delta state has 25 local governments with three senatorial districts.
Isoko people in politics still practicing errand politics and yes sir format which has held sway of the region over the years. IDU should be scraped to create another formidable union that will protect the interest of the region. It is a disgrace to the entire union that Isoko day cannot be organized in spite of the constituted committee set up by IDU. Isoko at 50 is yet to be celebrated by the union than some of the veritable union members granting local media interviews to run down the union and apportioning blames to the executives. The Lagos ADU women wing comprises 10 units including Alimosho, Apapa, Festac Town, Ikeja, Illupeju, Isolo, Lagos Island, Satellite, Surulere and Yaba The president of ADU, Lagos branch, Chief (Mrs) Nkechi Chizea has duly paid a price of quality leadership to better the lots of the union. Her influence brought Dr, Olejeme to give ADU the sum of #10million cash and to sponsor 10 women to Israel. How many IDU Isoko women can do that? It is not a union to display costly attires and jewelries but to showcase the vision of Asaba people to international communities. The only organization that tries to put such programme together was the South- South Women Organization which was pioneered by super Comrade Joseph Evah but never saw the light of the day anymore.
Finally, Delta State 2015, Asaba Development Union (ADU) is sturdily behind the support of Dr. Ngozi Olejeme as one their supporters in the building of Lagos ADU civic centre. Though, other Delta North aspirants are also aspiring to be the next governor of Delta State but the fact remains that only those with political creditability will be voted into power come 2015. ADU has proved to the world that they are not a union that exhibits expensive attires but how to make Asaba a progressive region with one common cause.
By Godday Odidi. Public Affairs Analyst, Lagos 08058124798.