Delta 2015: The position of Isoko Nation
The social and print media have been awashed with the criminal marginalization of Isoko nation over the attempt to nominate Ijaw person as the Deputy Governor to Senator Dr. Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa who is presently the Delta PDP flagbearer for 2015 in the state. For Isoko Development Union (IDU), apex socio-cultural and political organization to issue a letter on the criminal marginalization of leadership position indicated that Isoko nation has graduated from political spectator to political participant in Delta State politics.Isoko is the third largest ethnic group in Delta State and the largest ethnic group in Delta South but politically marginalized by powers that be over the years. Over 35 percent of crude oil and gas is from Isoko nation but not recognized politically at the federal and state levels.
It is so awful that Ijaw nation could decide the political arrangement of the PDP in Delta State for 2015 through an Ex-militant, Mr. Government Ekpemupolo a.k.a Tompolo.Among the three Delta South groups, only Isoko nation is totally marginalized in all ramifications. Though, IDU and other socio- political organizations in Isoko came a little bit late for the emancipation of Isoko nation. In terms of political arrangement in Delta State since 1999 when Chief James Ibori was a governor, Isoko people were classified as political maggots not ready for change. But social media has brought academic and political light to Isoko nation where nobody can trade unjustly on their political rights. The agitation for Deputy Governor for Isoko nation is too small compare to the massive contribution to Delta politics since the creation of Delta State on August 27th in 1991 by then Babangida's administration. It is only Isoko nation that has not tasted real political and economic recognition from the federal and state levels over the years while other Delta ethnic groups are part and parcel of past and present governments in power.
The fact remains that, those that represented us at the state level in Isoko nation succeeded in representing themselves only while Isoko problems were not discussed. Only Isoko nation that has only two local governments in the state but has one of the largest populations. It is not all about issuing letters but to organize peaceful rallies to counter the move of an Ex-militant who succeeded using the oil and gas money that belongs to Delta State to enrich himself only. It was alleged that the Ex-militant succeeded in using #1million to buy delegates against #500,000 given by a godfather of the same party making Senator Okowa to be politically unstable to know who to be his Deputy Governor in 2015.With the present political calculation of Delta politics, Isoko nation is nothing to write home about in terms of leadership positions where Ijaw nation had headed several key positions both at the federal and state levels from Alaowei Broderick Bozimo(Minister),Elder Godsday Orubebe(Minister),Mr. Ekerekosu(DG,NIMASA),PZ Aginighan (NDDC MD),Senator James Manager(2003-till date) and Bolowei Wellington Okrika.In Itsekeri nation, the same political injustice is repeated against Isoko nation,Mr.Roland Oritsejafor (Minister),Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta Governor 2007 to 2015),Mr.Tuoyo Matsuli (NDDC),DESOPADEC chairman and others. While in Isoko nation, Senator Stella Omu went for senate just once (1999-2003) and allowed Senator James Manager to continue his senatorship since 2003 till date. If Delta 2015 new PDP leadership structure is fixed, Isoko people do not have a say in the government, Speakership to Urhobo nation, Deputy Speaker to Ukuwani nation, Governorship to Delta Igbo, Deputy Governor to Ijaw nation. Does that mean Isoko nation is not qualified for any political position than local federal appointment at the commissioner level? President Goodluck Jonathan has not favoured Isoko nation than appointing an Isoko man as Managing Director of News Agency of Nigeria (NAN),Ima Niboro, an organization not profit-making than political grammars.
One thing about Delta politics, some ethnic groups run sentimental politics while Isoko nation remains the most accommodating people with integrity. We cannot continue to play second fiddle politics in Delta State. The Like of Barr Fred Obe of Ozoro Kingdom and also publisher of Isokoeye newspaper fought massively for the emancipation of Isoko nation but nobody supported that noble vision. If anything to go by, Dr. Ogaga Ifowodo, the former APC Aspirant for Federal House Representatives advocated for Isoko Ideology but nobody gave credence to that area. Even Emeakpor Odogu has fought for the new Isoko nation, having contested for Delta State House of Assembly since 2003 till date. He remains one of the vibrant politicians Isoko nation has ever produced. Now that Isoko nation has wake up from their political slavery of Delta politics, then political equity must be prevail now.
Lastly, IDU, Umeh Need Road Forum,Isoko Country Club, Isoko Club 2000 and other socio- political organizations must join hands to bring sound leadership to Isokoland.Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan made political mockery of Isoko eminent politicians by not supporting their choice candidate from the beginning. Now that Dr. Okowa has inaugurated some crops of Isoko politicians into his campaign organization that does not mean Isoko nation is recognized. It is just a political ploy to win his mandate come 2015 against the opposition party. The position of IDU through the President-General, Major General Paul Omu (Rtd) stated that if the Deputy Governor is not given to Isoko nation, then Isoko people will vote massively for APC come 2015.Isoko nation cannot be relegated to the background or taken to the cleaners like that. The like of Evang Solomon Ogba,Prince Erijo Johnson and others must be blamed for the political fiascos in Isokoland.It is time for all Isokos to fight for their political rights come 2015.We cannot continue to remain political appointees in Delta politics forever. Comrade Macualay Ovuozourie, Hon Joel. Onowakpo,Barr. Orezi and others belong to the University of Appointees in Delta State. It is sad that no Isoko man or woman attempted for the 2015 governorship position which invariably gave Tompolo the political impudence to influence Delta politics at all cost against the wishes of Isoko nation.
Public Affairs Analyst