RACE TO ASABA AND ABUJA: HOW THE ASPIRANTS STAND IN ISOKO
The embers that will stoke the fire for the race for Asaba and Abuja, the seat of legislative and executive powers and activities in Delta State, is being prepared albeit in subtle political moves.
Various political gladiators are stealthily maneuvering for recognition and considerations for the post held by Hon. Leo Okuweh Ogor as the Deputy majority leader of the Federal House of Representatives. Barring any last minute party decision that may return him for fourth term, the Isoko Constituency seat will be vacated by Hon. Leo Ogor, the deputy majority leader of the House in 2015. Hon Leo Ogor is one of the oldest and longest serving Isoko politician and the Federal House of Representatives member. Though, PDP at the Federal House of Representatives is now 171 members while the opposition Political party, All Progressives Congress (APC) is now 172 members that shows, Hon. Leo Ogor might lose his political position if he continues to stay in PDP in 2015,but he still remain relevant in Isoko PDP. Who among the lots is politically strong enough to step into the big shoes of Hon. Leo Ogor, Macaulay Ovuozourie, Prince Erijo Johnson, Hon. Benjamin Essien, Senator Stella Omu, Hon Ferguson Onwo, Tim Owherefe, Solomon Ogba and others? Anybody that is ready to contest with these big political magicians in Isokoland must be prepared to march dollar to dollar, naira to naira, connection to connection and ready to defect from an ailing political party to another if the need arises. Although, two prominent Delta sons are emerging as the governor of Delta State come 2015, which Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan is in favour of Rt. Hon Victor Ochei, the present speaker of Delta State House Of Assembly while Senator Ifeanyi Okowa in the National Assembly is also the choice of some notable Deltans too. Isoko is being slotted for deputy governor which Hon. Macaulay will stand for Isoko nation in 2015.
Though, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, Delta State governor has abysmally failed to conduct elections into the 25 local governments in the state which has negatively thwarted the hopes of many aspirants that intended to contest for chairmanship and councillorship elections, in spite that the governor inaugurated some electoral officers to conduct the election ,yet nothing has been done till now. To some extent, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan has creatively performed well in terms of infrastructural developments to make Delta a sought after State in Nigeria. Join us as we look at those speculated to be interested in Asaba and Abuja come May 2015. Most of these politicians have served two to three tenures still intended to contest for third and fourth terms. Are they the only Isoko politicians qualify for politics? Does that mean other Isoko aspirants are not competent enough to contest for these various political offices? In 2011 elections, one late Hon. Osiga Oghale of the Oleh Kingdom defected from PDP to ACN now APC contested against Hon. Leo Ogor who was still serving his third term and narrowly lost to our amiable legislator who used the power of incumbency and popularity to clinch the Federal House of Representatives ticket even when AIT discovered some fake voters in the system. PDP is one of the strongest political parties in Delta State and Isoko region while those that defected from the PDP to the opposition political party, Democratic People's Party (DPP) now defecting to the All Progressives Congress (APC) to clinch their tickets. Some of these political aspirants are noisemakers and serious-minded followers who know why they must contest.
In a simple mathematically permutations and combinations, Isoko politics is one of the toughest in Delta State where only some anointed people are qualified to contest or re-elected while those with tall dreams for Isoko people are not allowed to exhibit their political interests. Isoko South constituency 1 has not produced a candidate for second term except Isoko South Constituency 2 and Isoko North Constituency. Political appointees are more pronounced in Isoko politics than those that used their political powers and money to contest.
Prominent among these political characters are Hon. Leo Ogor, John Kpokpogri, Erijo Johnson, Paul Odhomor, Tim Owherefe, Augustus Erebor, Benjamin Essien, Dickson Ebegbare, Solomon Ogba, Macaulay Ovuozourie, Joel Onowakpo, Ross Iglegli and others. These men have been making moves to try to influence considerations in their individual directions. We are watching as their moves will characteristically crystallize into political horse trading, alignments and lobbying etc. Other aspirants are most likely to emerge as time goes on. The emergence of a candidate promises to be a big political show as the time draws nearer. How many of these political aspirants can boast of 80 percent empowerment programmes and scholarships for Isoko people either by appointment or elected? In Lagos State politics, politicians over there, empower their electorates with capital projects not liabilities as some Isoko politicians have exhibited in recent times. Some of these politicians' mobile phones only get networks during their electoral campaigns and nothing else. One of these set of politicians recently boasted in a town hall meeting that he does not pick anybody's call in his village except if a particular busy-body woman calls him or if he sees her missed call. Why should such a politician pick interest to contest again despite his arrogant display of his political position? Most of these set of Isoko politicians do not pick calls or reply text messages sent to them.
Again, 2015 is not like 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2011 general elections where political aspirants pay courtesy visits to Isoko traditional rulers and community leaders as the only supporters that will give them the automatic tickets to contest. Isoko youths have created various social media that will determine the best election if our self-styled and desperate politicians will not buy these persons over at time goes on.
Finally, some of these voracious and avaricious politicians are hurriedly sponsoring scholarship projects to pursue their self political interests come 2015.Even some of these political jesters have boasted to have over 1 billion asset to contest in 2015. Isoko nation will continue to live in a political isolation and marginalization rather than sustainable development. Political betrayers and pull-him-down syndrome are more metaphorically pronounced in Isoko politics. How many of these politicians either in power or out of power have done any visible project? Except few ones while others are interested in car empowerments to make mockery of Isoko politics. With these set of politicians in Isoko, 2015 will determine who the messiah of Isoko leaders become. It is time some our Isoko politicians should retire from Isoko politics and allow younger generation to contest election in Isoko.
BY GODDAY ODIDI. 08058124798. PUBLIC AFFAIRS ANALYST. LAGOS