ISoko South Constituency 1: Between Essien and Fineboy, Who takes over?

Since the creation of Isoko South Constituency 1, no candidate has ever served two tenures in the Delta State House of Assembly. It is not because that the elected officers are not qualified to be re- elected but the political gremlin had been created over the years. Isoko South Constituency 1 comprises Irri, Oleh and Emede. These three towns will like to produce their candidates for Delta State House of Assembly come 2015.Though many people are interested to contest for the position only waiting on the fate of the ruling political party and the opposition party in the state.

Chief Benjamin Okiemute Essien is a retired naval Officer with integrity and the present member of the Delta State House of Assembly representing Isoko South Constituency 1 under the platform of the Democratic People's Party (DPP) and serving presently as the chairman on security, ethics and privileges. Hon Benjamin Essien was elected into the Delta State House of Assembly in 2011 after he won the then incumbent member in person of Chief Benjamin Efekodo of Oleh kingdom. Though, Hon. Benjamin Essien is fondly called as “Disobey” by his veritable admirers. He joined the murky waters of politics some years back after the completion of his first degree and Master's degree at the Delta State University (Abraka) and later established a notable security firm called “Hamilton guards limited that remains a sole security consultant to Globacom across Delta State and Nigeria. He was already an established entrepreneur in Nigeria before joining Delta State politics as a card carrier of the PDP and contested in 2007 and lost out rightly to his PDP opponent then and angrily left the party for DPP that gave him a political hope of life, after losing several millions of naira to some desperate political elders and leaders of the party then.

Hon. Benjamin Essien felt politics is all about giving your best, unknown to him, he realized as an elected political officer you must dance to the tune of political godfathers without following the electorates' demand which made him left PDP for DPP. In 2011 elections Hon. Essien contested under the platform of the DPP whose party belongs to Chief Great Ogboru and he won the then incumbent member of theDelta State House of Assembly, Chief Benjamin Efekodo.Hon. Benjamin Essien is one of the popular politicians in Delta State who has proved his critics wrong that elected political officer is meant to provide social amenities to the people not amassing wealth. He has also empowered youths with cars and others in Isokoland.Some of his political columnists campaigned against him in 2011 elections that his father was from Cross- River State while his mother from Isoko but he proved to them that politics has nothing to do with background or otherwise.

Hon. Benjamin Essien is one politician in Delta state that has distinguished himself from the crowd. He has judiciously used the constituency funds to alleviate poverty in Isoko South where he is presently serving in the House. In politics, there is no permanent friend or enemy but some disgruntled Isoko politicians want to see politics as do or die affairs and nothing more. In 2011 elections, Hon. Benjamin Essien narrowly won the election which the Delta state manipulators almost thwarted his career if not God intervention at the eleventh hour. His position is bigger than Hon. Dickson Ebegbare fondly called by admirers as “Fineboy” a man with ingenious vision. Hon. Benjamin Essien is serving under a speaker, Rt. Hon Ochei Victor in the house.

Chief Hon.Dickson Ebegbare, the Emamusu 1 of Olomoro Kingdom and the present Vice- chairman of Isoko south local Government Area of Delta State serving under the chairmanship of Engr. Goodluck Idele of Uzere Kingdom. Hon. Fineboy Ebegbare has been in Delta State politics over one decade and understands the nitty-gritty of grassroots politics. He once contested for councillorship election with the present Isoko South PDP chairman, Chief Hon. Obi Eneruvie and lost and never bothered. Though, Hon. Fineboy had the best political campaign in Isoko then than his opponent. Politics in Delta state then was not as strong as it is today. As a young man, who had his primary and secondary education at Ivrogbo-irri and went into sand dredging and later into palm kernel business and oil which brought him into limelight of Isoko politics. He is one of the young Isoko politicians that prepare to serve political leaders in the state and today, it has paid it off for him. He later went to Delta State University to bag his first and second degrees with distinction. Both Sons of Ivrogbo- Irri are masters 'degree holders from the same university wrestling for one position in the Delta State House of Assembly. Presently, Hon. Benjamin Essien is doing his Doctorate degree in one of the prestigious University and writing a book on his political career and others. Hon. Fine boy is the grandfather of Delta state politics because his mentors are egg-head politicians. Hon. Fineboy Ebegbare was once appointed as a supervisory councilor for works under the former Isoko south chairman, Chief Askia Ogeh of Uzere kingdom with overwhelming achievements in the council. Both Essien and Fineboy are from Ivrogbo- Irri town intending to contest for Delta State House of Assembly for 2015. It is not a crime for both sons not to contest for the same office in 2015.

Hon Fineboy Ebegbare belongs to the PDP while Hon. Benjamin Essien belongs to the DPP. In any leadership, if there is no competition, leaders will not sit tight. Both leaders meant well for Isoko South Constituency1 and nothing else. It was also rumored that Hon. Benjamin Essien secretly defected to the APC against 2015 on his re-election but it was all illusion of distractions from his political foes. Scale of preference and opportunity cost must be thrown to the public to decide whom to vote for in 2015. Other aspirants from other towns will be interested to contest for the same position; it all depends on the electorates because the era of money politics in Isokoland is gradually dashing out of the system. The scale of preference will read as “How many youth empowerments have you done since you are elected or appointed? How many widows, widowers and orphans have you empowered? How many skill acquisition centres have you built? How many people have you employed as an elected or appointed political officer? It all goes to other political aspirants vying for the Delta State House of Assembly in 2015 too. What have you done in your community that prompted you to contest for the house? All Isoko electorates must be wise in 2015. To some extent, Hon. Fineboy has also empowered some few persons as the Vice chairman of Isoko South in Delta state within a year. All these factors will decide whom to vote for in 2015 between Essien, Fineboy and others. Again, how many calls or text messages do you receive and reply as a public officer too? Purchasing of cars are not empowerment but liabilities to the users. Most Isoko politicians are only interested in purchasing cars to their faithful and nothing else.

Again, some schools of thought believed that Hon. Benjamin Essien has an edge over Hon. Fineboy as an incumbent serving Delta State House of Assembly but others believed that the latter can win if all his political machineries are put together because nobody has returned to the house in second time since its formation of the constituency in 1991. Out of the two political contestants from Ivrogbo- Irri said” I will match naira to naira, dollar to dollar, my asset is over 1 billion naira while the other said Delta State House Assembly 2015, we shall fight to finish not cutlasses or bottles”.

Finally Both Essien and Fineboy are political highfliers with inconspicuous veracity and they have reached their top of political careers in Delta state. The former is elder to the latter while both attended the same primary and secondary schools. It is not a crime for both not to contest for the same office at the same time. It is the choice of the people to vote their candidate comes 2015.

By GODDAY ODIDI. 08058124798. Public affairs Analyst. Lagos.

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Articles by Godday Odidi