The Challenges Before Malik And Egbabor
With the present political structure in Isoko nation now, it is dawn on political analysts and commentators that politics played in 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2011 would be different from politics of 2015 because of laid down political enlightenment in Isoko land.
Isoko nation is the third largest ethnic group in Delta State but in politics Isoko is relegated to the background. It is sad that Isoko nation is yet to produce the governor or deputy governor of Delta State since its creation while Isoko people are refer to 'spare tyres' in Delta politics because we refused to take our political rights than lobbying for political appointments.
No wonder the present PDP state chairman Chief Peter Nwoaboshi told the present Delta State SSG comrade Macaulay Ouvozourie on the faulted Vanguard newspaper interview that the latter was a small boy in Delta politics. That expensive insult from the Delta State PDP chairman was not only Macaulay but Isoko people. It means we know nothing about Delta politics but that is by gone for now.
Come to Isoko grassroots politics, some of the elected representatives have abysmally failed to project the interest of Isoko nation than themselves over the years. PDP ought to be the lead political party in both Isoko South and North of Isoko nation. Some of these persons intended to jostle for one political position or the other are unelectable in the sense that some never performed well while in office and some are not capable to take Isoko leadership to the next level. Isoko politics has grown beyond physical wealth but people want to see how such acclaimed candidate can put his or her promises to work and nothing more.
Everybody wants to be local government chairmen in both Isoko South and North, but only few have bought the PDP chairmanship form to contest while others are mere 'poster men' trying to create unnecessary attention that they belong to either the PDP or the opposition parties in Delta State. In 2011 elections, some of the present elected PDP leaders never merited that positions but were conscripted on the masses overnight and the disadvantageous factor of it is that these so-called persons have failed on their electoral promises and want to be re-elected through their godfathers by all means.
Some that defected from the PDP to either DPP, LP, UPN, APGA or APC have since defected to the PDP for recent restoration of internal democracy but the fact remains that political prostitution is a common phenomenon in Nigeria's politics and so Isoko own is not different.
My problem is that the two Isoko local governments are nothing to write home about in terms of secretariat structures. Since August 21st 1991 when the first Isoko chairman, Chief J.U.E Agbaza assumed the leadership of the council and with other past chairmen of the council and till date, no chairman has able to build an edifice secretariat of International standard to Isoko South while Isoko North chairmanship started with Mr. S.O Efendu since Sept 1991 and other past chairmen, nothing could be traced from those leaderships.
Isoko politics must look beyond campaigning from one village to other, telling the masses what you intended to do if voted into power and other political lies you cannot fulfil. Comprehensive town hall meetings that represent all Isoko towns and villages should be organised for these desperate politicians that want power and fame at all cost. Isoko politics has been hijacked by Isoko power brokers whose stolen wealth speaks volume more than the real masses.
For Hon. Leo Okuweh Ogor, the present Deputy Majority leader of the House of Representatives to be endorsed for the fourth term by PDP elders' forum indicated that Isoko politics is not yet matured. Though, I am not against Hon. Leo Ogor going for fourth term of Isoko Federal Constituency because experience counts but he ought to serve as a father in Isoko politics. It is good Isoko people try a younger hand with free and fair approach to see if what Hon. Leo Ogor has done for 12years that the person voted for can do it for one to two years.
The issue that Hon. Leo Ogor will be given speakership of the House in 2015 if voted for is just mere political gerrymandering because the PDP vassals know the elitist person that wears the cap of speakership. Some Isoko youths have rumbustiously criticised the stewardship of Hon. Leo Ogor but his political performance for one year has convinced all Isoko critics wrong that he might improve if given the fourth term.
Though, many a time Hon. Leo Ogor has told Isoko press that cared to listen that his projects influenced to Isoko nation remains unbeatable. Some of the schools of thought have suggested that Hon. Leo Ogor should go for Senate not House of Representatives again.
At present, nobody can trounce Hon. Leo Ogor in Isoko, even though Dr.Ogaga Ifowodo of the APC and others can fight him politically but the latter do not have any political antecedents because they only appears on election time while the former always gives his weekly report to his constituency and he is known to the people. Hon. Leo Ogor is a grassroots politician not elitist one. Bookmakers cannot win elections in Isoko but grassroots makers will get land sliding victories.
Some few elected leaders whose political foundations are shaking right now are Hon. Benjamin Essien of either APC or DPP and Hon. Erijo Johnson of the PDP should be ready to congratulate Hon. Ferguson Onwo and Hon. Powel Ojogho.But PDP must not make any political mistake to nominate Hon. Benjamin Efekodo and Hon Erijo Johnson for both Isoko constituency 1 and 2 again if such a thing happens, massive defection will greet PDP for the second time which similar political miscalculations made PDP to lose Isoko Constituency 1 to DPP in 2011 elections.
The likes of Barr. Arch James Akporero and late Hon.Osiga Oghale Ovutowe contested against Hon. Leo Ogor in 2011elections almost ceded the victory to Hon.Oghale of the then ACN while James Akporero later defected to DPP and now back in PDP.
For the local governments, Hon.Constantine Itiako Ikpokpo (Malik) should know very well that politics is not run on protocol but the masses. He should watch those clustering around him, some for contracts and others for political appointments while those that suffered politically with him at first attempt to contest for Delta State House of Assembly or childhood friends must be remembered if eventually elected.Hon.Emmanuel Egbabor is not left out for this advice too. Today, Chief Askia Ogieh, even though he has been recently appointed as the deputy governor to Senator Dr.Ifeanyi Okowa for the 2015 Delta State gubernatorial race, the former Isoko South council boss from Uzere town had left unforgivable legacies to the masses.
The same political mistake must not be repeated in Isoko North; Hon.Emmanuel Egbabor must know his political background on monetary economics and journalism and while Hon. Sunny Elueni must understands the nitty-gritty of Isoko North politics. The challenges ahead of Malik and Egbabor are that their administrations must bring new face of leadership to Isoko in their various local governments if elected. Isoko has the poorest local governments in Delta State and Nigeria and that was why Isoko South LGA could hold two months salaries of workers that led to closure of the local government.
It said, that the two Isoko local governments have poor secretariats that look like primary schools. My point is that Delta State receives one of highest federal allocations and yet Isoko is relegated to the background. Every Isoko politicians should be active on the social media to know the plight of the people. Though bloggers, twitters, facebookers, snappers, youtubers and others cannot give vote but ability to reach out to the grassroots will secure the votes for 2015.
Lastly, anybody elected in Isoko should be able to run a transparent government with integrity and not using security agents to intimidate the masses. Everybody is watching how far these serious-minded pretenders, social media campaigners, money spinners will go. One last word, Isoko politicians should learn to provide scholarships for Isoko indigenes and Hon. Leo Ogor should use his influence to fix Isoko youths in the Amnesty programme of the Niger Delta region.
Both Malik and Egbabor must not run their governments on PDP godfathers but the masses' promises. They should see themselves as political history makers in Isoko politics. Again, if elected, they should be organising town hall meetings in their local governments to report back to the people not introducing policies that will affect the people negatively.
Public Affairs Analyst