ISOKO POLITICAL LEADERS AND THE MISADVENTUROUS 'THANK YOU' VISIT.
Since the beginning of the Fourth Republic, Isoko can be unarguably counted as one of the less fortunate tribes; in terms of democratic turn-overs. Reason being that either by the premeditated design of those who seek that Isoko remain perpetually enmeshed in squalor and medieval cruelty, or by throbbing and satanic accidentality, those who have presided over our affairs have been foisted on us by a neo-imperialist centrifugal force, disreputable for incongruously undermining the wishes of the general populace.
The result of this scenario is glaring in all nooks and cranny of the two LGAs of the Isoko Nation; a fatally uneventful era with near absence or total collapse of basic infrastructure needed for the common man to live, while the accidental leaders live in opulence.
In most parts of Isoko, poverty in the most intrepid manner stirs the people in the face. Daily three square meals are no longer an affordable option to many; good and reliable health care delivery is imperceptible.
Good road networks and rural development and integration are no longer listed in the axis of government concerns. Government no longer alleviates the suffering of the masses; what it does is to rape and plug them into further impoverishment with cosmetic “empowerment” programmes hatched only for media consumption while our treasury is looted in the most scandalous manner.
To add salt to an already excruciating injury, Isoko political leadership, embarked on a most frivolous and insulting “thank you” visit to all the wards in the locality. This ill-motivated appreciation tour is coming after over 650 days of these same men planting themselves and cronies in lucrative political offices, in a manner best described as “a guerilla offensive on democracy”.
To discerning minds, there is more to this visit than an appreciation tour. Obviously a “thank you” in anticipation of another election in less that 30months time. They drove into the hinterland with their jeeps, and their presence to the unenlightened few whom they deprived of education, is akin to Christ’s triumphant entry. They dolled out money in accordance with their long-held outlandish and utterly discourteous view that the Isoko man is “cheap”, infact, cheaper that the cheapest food item.
In my Community (Emevor) for instance, party loyalist and serial sycophants queued in the federal highway waiting for them. These brainwashed fellows so forgot that the best appreciation a political office holder could give to his/her people was in form of vissible projects and unconditional alleviation of their sufferings.
They toured the communities without pointing at any single project tied to their names. Tins of tomatoes, bags of rice and salt, cubes of maggi, onions and sorry amounts, were given to the pauperized population to keep body and soul together.
These are “leaders” who have been in office for over 10yrs, some in government for 16yrs, others 8yrs, while the least, over 6yrs.
The practice of celebrating 100 days in office is not a Nigerian creation. It could be traced to French Emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte, who built France in 100 days after a flawless and milestone conquest of Europe. Even in Lagos State, in an era of extreme military brutality, Retired Brig. Gen. Buba Marva built over 100 roads in 100 days, and this elicited the present rituals of the celebration of 100 days in office by governments and political office holders in Nigeria.
But here in Isoko, ironically, no one places premium on development when counting days in office pitifully, ephemeral gains not development is placed pari-pasu the time spent in office. Isoko political office holders only follows the moving train of their colleagues in progressing climes by killing goats and distribution of cubes of maggi in commemoration of their days in office while their colleagues in other places count visible and people-oriented projects.
The misadventurous “thank you” visit which had the Senator representing the district, Sen. James Manager (in his 3rd term and aspiring to become governor), Federal Representative of Isoko constituency, Hon. Leo Ogor (in his 3rd term and aspiring for the 4th), member DTHA representing Isoko North, Hon. Tim Owhefere (in his 2nd term and aspiring for 3rd), SSG, Mr. Ovuozorie Macualay (over 10yrs in government, and aspiring to become Deputy Governor), Isoko DESODADEC Commissioner, Arc. Joe Ogeh, met the anger of the downtrodden as the people trooped out in droves to haul stones and sticks at them, with a chorus of “iji” meaning thieves, in Iyede.
Although, THE NATION Newspaper, in their notoriety for weird and gross reportage, labeled the people as ” DISGRUNTLED and angry”, but those abreast with Isoko affairs will attest to the fact that those perfidious fellows in bullet-proove vehicles deserves no better treatment than what they got.
consolatorily, esoterism holds tenaciously the believe that the “society begets the leadership that it deserve”. The connotation of this believe though only valid in saner climes, is that leadership is transcendental not accidental. And if this is taken to heart, then one can submit that Isoko has been beaten but not broken. It should therefore be a collective responsibility of all to ensure that our birthplace do not fall flat to the greed of those who are supposed to nurture it. The cronies of leadership that has ruled us in this democratic dispensation have plagued the land into depression as a result of their greed.
The Isoko man must square it up with the political vultures who “thanks” us for allowing them to steal our collective patrimony. Those who thanks us for allowing them to make us poor. But the first step to take in reclaiming our land, will be denying them the power they have stockpiled N1billion of our constituency funds to grab in 2015.
Written By Palmer Ogheneyole Nathaniel