The Coward Politics in Isoko

Over the years, Isoko politics has been relegated to the background due to some self-centred and voracious acclaimed leaders that refused to grow politically at both the State and Federal levels. How long will Isoko nation play second fiddle politics in Delta State? The eye- service politics has done more harm than good to Isoko future politics if anything to go by. History will continue to repeat itself in the sense that Isoko politicians will always be as spectators not participants at crucial political issues in Delta State. With the present Delta State political arrangement so far, Isoko people have been taken to the cleaners (waste cans) without a second thought of fighting for their political rights. It is fast becoming a recurring decimal that no formidable political organization is ready to fight for the common cause of Isoko nation than pursuing selfish agenda for stomach sake and nothing else.

Not long ago when Isoko Development Union (IDU), the apex socio-cultural and political organization under the leadership of Major-General Paul Omu(Rtd) issued a statement on why Isoko nation should be given a Deputy Governor in 2015 and many applauded the move thought something tangible would come out from it, only to discover that it was a mere media fabrication and nothing more. In that statement that drew media attention when he said if the Deputy Governor refused to be given to Isoko nation, Isoko people will vote massively for the opposition party come 2015 but Deputy Governorship candidate of the PDP was given to Ijaw nation (Barr.Kingsley Utuaro).The game plan of an ex-Ijaw militant, Government Tompolo has come to past in Delta State. The issue here is that Tompolo brought out huge amount of money to secure victory for Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa at the last Delta PDP primaries. The perpetual marginalization of Isoko nation over the years is caused by Isoko acclaimed political leaders whose political influences end up in Asaba and nothing more. Even though Elder Peter Erebi, former President-General of Isoko Development Union has been nominated as a running mate to Chief Great Ogboru of the Labour party for Delta 2015 that does not mean Isoko people will vote for that party because it is not a national one. All the present local government chairmen have declared their support for the PDP which is a national one. So Isoko political leaders have failed to project the interest of Isoko nation and nobody is sure if Great Ogboru is real a candidate of Labour party or otherwise.

One frightening issue that keeps bordering my mind when some Isoko political leaders will say Asaba has decide whom to be the next leader of Delta State, so Isoko people should stand for him or her as the case may be. Both Ibori and Uduaghan have fooled Isoko leaders that refused to protect the region interest than receiving contracts from this self-made wicked non-Isoko politicians.The common nation anthem for Isoko nation is political appointments where they can be fired or redeployed to a lower position of Delta State leadership. The political arrangement so far indicates that Isoko nation has no say in 2015 in Delta State.IDU has abysmally failed Isoko nation over a political statement that could not see the light of the day. The worst is that Isoko nation was projecting a man they knew very well that he was not a politician in person of Tony Obuh but being persuaded by Dr.Emmanuel Uduaghan as a way to short-changed Deputy Governorship position to Isoko people. Who are the Isoko leaders that fooled themselves? Politics of compensation is more pronounced in Isoko nation than electing the rightful leaders to power. Neither PDP nor APC is the messiah of Isoko politics but emerging youth leaders are the answers to Isoko new politics if a real change must emerge in this 2015.As learned and exposed as IDU cannot make a political statement that can shake Delta politics than seeing the organization as mere rubber stamp. It would take another 20 years for Isoko nation to be recognized politically except our youths fight for their political rights than waiting for one Isoko politician to employ them as errand boys or body guards with monthly stipends. Now that Delta PDP has zoned all the leadership positions to all the major ethnic groups without fixing Isoko nation, then the political clause is already established. Delta APC is just running on ethnic politics which is not good for modern politics for the State except the Delta PDP zoning that has equitable distribution of power to Deltans.

Again, Isoko political leaders have sold their birthrights to non-Isoko politicians for mere contracts from the State. The last PDP primaries in Isoko shown that, some failed legislators were conscripted on the choice of the people without due political process. How can some few persons in Isoko decide the future for us? None of their cronies or families school in Nigeria and yet claiming to be deciding leaders of Isoko politics. Isoko politicians are only interested in receiving Chieftaincy titles either before or after elections as way to intimidate their poor electorates with lengthened manifestoes without fulfillment if elected. One of the Isoko politicians that have refused to receive Chieftaincy titles is Hon. Leo Ogor, the Oyibo of Isoko politics except awards. He prefers to be addressed as honourable member which some low ranking Isoko politicians have received over 5 chieftaincy titles from our desperate traditional rulers in the region. Hon. Leo Ogor has recently stood out from the crowd of failed Isoko politicians and nothing more. At 56, he is prepared to take Isoko Federal Constituency to the Promised Land. He is the only active Isoko politician that takes criticisms as a way to make his leadership relevant in Isokoland.The same IDU that failed to protect the interest of Isoko nation also failed to organize Isoko nation at 50 two years ago and today in history, Isoko nation do not have a definite culture or map where our children can deliberate on. Our amiable retired Professor Obaro Ikimi succeeded in writing the formation of Isoko nation and none of our present Isoko history lecturers have written on Isoko culture.

Lastly, Isoko politics is backward in the sense that we failed to promote unity in the land over the years.Isoko politicians should be ready for tsunamic change in Delta politics if we want our voices to be heard. If Urhobo nation can pay courtesy visit to President Goodluck Jonathan then, Chief Paul Omu must do something for Isoko nation to be recognized at the federal level not just participated in last national conference alone. Our Isoko state leaders must look beyond Asaba government house. It was real sad that no Isoko person contested for the last PDP or APC governorship primaries in the State. It is time for Isoko politicians to change for better now.

Godday Odidi
Public Affairs Analyst/Mindset Media Ltd

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Articles by Godday Odidi