Isoko South Constituency 1 And 2, Ferguson Or Essien, 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 sad that some of the self-styled political leaders elected to serve in this coveted capacity abysmally failed to deliver the dividends of democracy in their constituencies over the years.Isoko region is from the minority group in Delta State and needs people -oriented vision to carry the electorates along in terms of quality leadership.
In 1991, Hon.Mrs Catharine Ilolo was the first woman to emerge as Isoko South Constituency 1 representative at the Delta State House of Assembly. She served only one term but was shortly truncated by the then military government.
Isoko South Constituency 1 is full of political actors and dictators who want to impose their choice candidates on the electorates by force. The problem with Isoko South Constituency 1 is that the political blue print is yet to be defined by those that claimed to be elders and leaders of various political parties in Isoko.
Everybody wants to emerge as a candidate without due political process. No wonder Isoko South chairmanship aspiration is gradually heading to court because of retinue of promised aspirants that want to be chairman by force.Isoko South Constituency 1 comprises Irri, Oleh, Emede while Isoko South Constituency 2 comprises Aviara,Uzere and Olomoro.
Can Hon. Benjamin Okiemute Essien be re-elected 2015 to break the long jinx of Isoko South Constituency1? Though, Benjamin Essien's political foundation is yet to be redefined because the DPP sometimes ago wrote him a comprehensive letter to ask if he was still a member of the DPP or not while ago APC also accused him of anti-party activities. But Hon. Benjamin Essien immediately replied the DPP as a bonafide member of the party. Many DPP and APC members are now defecting to PDP and LP over what many described as political arrogance displayed by some of their elected political officers.
In 1999 to 2003, Hon.Lucky Okperi served in the Delta State House of Assembly for one tenure and he is from Oleh town. In 2003 to 2007, Hon. Ross Uredi of Idheze-Irri was elected and served one term and Hon. Benjamin Efekodo of Oleh kingdom was elected from 2007 to 2011.Though Hon. Benjamin Efekodo disappointed those that elected him into power while the opposition party took advantage of his weaknesses and won with wide margin.
Leadership tussle started from the defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP) in 1991 and the politics of today has significantly transformed for better. Despite the long legal battle between Hon. Benjamin Efekodo and Hon. Benjamin Essien, the latter won the case to clinch the ticket of Isoko South Constituency 1.But some schools of thought believe that Hon. Benjamin Efekodo has turned a new political leaf for better performance if PDP can give him a trier again for 2015.He is the chief sponsor of Irri traditional council of chiefs calendar for 2014 and others.
While Dr.Uduaghan's protocol officer, Barrister Powel Ojogho also vying for the Isoko South Constituency 1 and he is from Oleh. Oleh and Uzere communities have been dominating the politics of Isoko South in recent past years. It all depends on the PDP to know between Efekodo and Ojogho to give the ticket.
Some have tagged Efekodo as a failure who never performed well while in office then and intended to go for 2015.He has a slim chances for now.Hon.Ross Igelige, nobody knows if he belongs to APC or PDP but indicating interest to contest for Isoko South Constituency 1.One thing about Isoko politics is that everybody wants to be added to political history books of Isoko nation and nothing else.Hon.Benjamin Essien must know that incumbent factor no longer works in Nigeria's politics. Ekiti elections have taught many politicians great lessons.
Hon.Dickson Egbebare Fineboy, the present Vice Chairman Caretaker Committee also indicated interest to contest for Isoko South Constituency 1 against Hon.Benjamin Essien of the same Ivrogbo-Irri town but decides to remain silence for now or still consulting his political godfather, Chief Askia Ogieh.
In Isoko South Constituency 2, 1999 to 2003, Hon. Prince Johnson Erijo of Aviara was elected into the Delta State House of Assembly. In 2003 to 2007,Hon.Silas Ureh Buowe was elected and he served one tenure and 2007 to 2011,Hon.Johnson Erijo was re-elected and 2011 he was dubiously re-elected against the wishes of the people of Isoko South constituency 2 over High Chief Iduh Amadhe of Uzere kingdom, who belonged to the Labour party, won that election but the power of Asaba through the supports of Chief Solomon Ogba and Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, he was able to sail through and Chief Iduh Amadhe still believed they robbed him of his victory.Hon.Erijo has served three consecutive terms in the Delta State House of Assembly and intended to manipulate himself for fourth term. There is no project he executed in his constituency and remains one of political leaders in the house that recently nominated the present speaker.Isoko politics is not run on friends again but on stewardship.
Now that Hon. Ferguson Onwo of Olomoro town, a former Isoko South chairman between July 24th 2002 to June24th 2003 intends to contest with Hon.Erijo in 2015, the battle line of victory is drawn that Hon. Ferguson remains the choice of the people. He is a perfect gentleman who is accepted by the people. As a former senior adviser on NDDC matters, he has what it takes to deliver the dividends of democracy to Isoko South Constituency 2. One thing about Isoko politician is that when they are elected, they easily forget those that assisted them to win elections but Hon.Ferguson Onwo's own will not be the same.
If Onwo eventually voted in, he must fulfill the promises he made to the people while campaigning. He must use his position to influence projects to the constituency represented. Ferguson Onwo is not active on social media and only registered his photograph and he must join Umeh Needs Road Forum to know the plight of the people now. Most Isoko politicians don't know the value of the media in Nigeria.
In 1991, Isoko North Constituency, Hon. Emmanuel Okoro was elected and he eventually emerged as the first Isoko speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly. In 1999 to 2003, Rev Dr. Paul Akeguwre was elected and served only one tenure. Late Hon. Igbrude was elected and he also emerged as the speaker of the house whose tenure was prematurely terminated for alleged corruption levelled against him. In 2007 to 2011, Hon.Tim Kome Owhefere was elected and in 2011 he was re-elected to serve Isoko North Constituency. He is also planning to be re-elected for third term and yet to have political rivalry in Isoko North Constituency.
Lastly,It is time for Isoko people to vote wisely in 2015 now that DPP,LP and APC have lost their political relevance in both Isoko South and North.The choice of candidates should be determined by the electorates not godfathers of Isoko politics. We must vote for credible and accessible candidates with clear visions not criminal-minded ones. The best candidates will be being x-ray before 2015 while the choice belongs to Isoko voters. We must take Isoko nation to the next level not voting for politicians that would not pick calls or reply text messages.
Godday Odidi 08058124798.
Public Affairs Analyst Lagos.