Restoring The Mandate Of The People Of Warri South Constituency 2
BRIGHT AKPOBOME OBODO contested for the Delta State House of Assembly Warri South Constituency 2 under the platform of the Labour Party in the 2015 general elections. This Constituency, (i.e. Warri South Constituency 2) comprises the below listed six wards: Pessu (Ward 7), Okere (Ward 8), Igbudu (Ward 9), Edjeba (Ward 10), Okumagba 1 (Ward 11), Okumagba 2 (Ward 12).
On Saturday 11th April, 2015 the people of Warri South Constituency 2 came out to declare their political will and desire to have a true representative in the Delta State House of Assembly, to set the pace for true representation. In a bid to actualize this vision, they trooped to the field to cast their vote for the candidates of their choice. LO AND BEHOLD! Field results from the polling units showed that the Labour Party candidate, BRIGHT AKPOBOME OBODO won the election in the constituency overwhelmingly.
Somewhere along the line, some high level maneuverings and conspiracy took place at the INEC office. The man Dennis Omovie was already shedding tears when it became clear to him that he had lost, to the extent that another candidate who also contested that election on the platform of one of the opposition Parties beckoned on him (Dennis Omovie) to honourably concede defeat and consequently, congratulate Bright Obodo as the result that emanated from the polling units, and which was right before the eyes of everybody at the INEC office indicated that Bright Obodo won very clearly and convincingly. Rather than heed this advice, he (Omovie) began to make unending phone calls that put much pressure on the then Governor Emmanual Uduaghan and other PDP big wigs. When the pressure got to a point, Dr. Emmanual Uduaghan was forced to assist Dennis Omovie ordering the deployment of military personnel (Army and Navy) who stormed the INEC office in their numbers; and after a while, exchange of some sorts took place inside the office of the Electoral Officer (E.O.) of INEC, Warri South, and all of a sudden the leaders of the team of military officers and two DPOs came out of the office and changed their language of conversation from neutrality and peaceful settlement of the arguments on ground to that of, ordering all our supporters to leave the vicinity (Esisi Road), and consequently drove everyone away with many of us lashed and flogged with horsewhips, wood, and make-shift wire whips; some persons fell into pits and others on the tarred road while being chased by the soldiers with many of them sustaining injuries of various degrees!
The outcome of their actions was that Dennis Omovie was illegally declared winner of the election by INEC contrary to the unit results from the field. Again, the people’s mandate had been stolen by an undeserving candidate, and the whole constituency was thrown into a sad mood and state of total demoralization.
The Labour Party candidate, Bright Akpobome Obodo, being a peace-loving and law-abiding citizen, addressed his supporters and admonished them to remain calm and law-abiding, as the right and lawful thing to do was to seek redress in Court. He eventually filed a case at the Delta State Election Petition Tribunal, praying the tribunal to declare him the rightful winner of the said election and consequently restore the mandate of the people of Warri South Constituency 2 which they had bestowed on him through their votes. It is a fight of faith; it is a good fight; a fight for JUSTICE to be done; a fight to restore the RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO CHOOSE THEIR LEADERS. It is going to be a fight to finish!
Our engagement in this struggle and fight for the restoration of the people’s mandate is based on our absolute conviction that “Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and nature”, and this is supported by the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Our freedom as a people to choose our political leaders is sacred and must be treated as such. It is non-negotiable; therefore there is no going back in the fight to get back our stolen mandate. We are marathoners by default, and as such we don’t give up in any race; for God has bestowed on us the rare grace to finish every race we start, as well as the grace to finish it victoriously.
It is important for Dennis Omovie to know that he has been rejected by the people of Warri South Constituency 2 and there is no two ways about it. Having occupied the seat of the member representing Warri South Constituency 2 in the Delta State House of Assembly for twelve years (3 terms) he had all the opportunity in this world to prove himself worthy of the people’s vote. He had all the time to affect the lives of the people of the constituency positively. Unfortunately he mismanaged and indeed grossly abused that privilege and opportunity. It is very sad to note that he is not even known by the ordinary man in the street in the constituency. One wonders how he was expecting to win through lawful vote cast when majority of the electorates in the constituency do not know him; they only see his face on campaign posters and billboards.
Man is free at the moment he wishes to be! The people of Warri South Constituency 2 have come to full realization that this is the time to embrace their God-given freedom and as such have decided to get it by all possible and lawful means; it is time to fight for their freedom and reclaim what was dubiously taken from them. According to H. L. Mencken, we must be willing to pay a price for freedom; This is in line with the assertion of Franklin D. Roosevelt that “In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved” and for us in this struggle, we believe that one major way to obtain and enjoy this freedom is to choose our political leaders by ourselves-and this we have done through the ballot on 11th April, 2015; thus the people of Warri South Constituency 2 have made up their minds to pay the price for the restoration of their freedom; their freedom to choose who represents them at the Delta State House of Assembly for 2015-2019 tenure.
Why the People Moved to Remove Him
According to Helen Keller “the most pathetic person in the world is someone who has sight, but has no vision.” This is the grievous attribute possessed by the man Dennis Omovie which the people rose to bring to an end by the machinery of their votes, because they desire visionary leadership at this point in time. It is horrible to note that ordinary people resident in the six wards that make up the constituency viz-a-viz Pessu, Okere, Igbudu, Edjeba, Okumagba 1 and Okumagba 2 wards do not know the man called Dennis Omovie who claims to be representing their interests at the State House of Assembly. There is no trace of relationship between him and the people. For twelve years, he could not make a single impact on the lives of the people, no meaningful developmental project to show government presence in the constituency. Infact, the Constituency is the worst and most backward area in the whole of Warri South Local Government Area.
While reasonable people were busy strategizing on how to secure the support and votes of the electorate he was busy planning and boasting of how he would spend money on INEC-to induce INEC personnel and employ the services of thugs to scare away voters so that they could succeed in manipulating the results of the election. May be he succeeded in achieving that, because it is no longer news how that his thugs attacked opposition Party agents at The Ogwan R’ Olodi which housed units 1, 2 & 3 in Okumagba 1 Ward 11, and how they came for similar attack at Olodi Primary School where you have units 1, 2 & 3 in Okumagba 2, Ward 12 and which is also the Ward collation centre; though they failed in the latter as they were repelled by gallant youths and opposition party faithful who were adequately prepared to neutralize any form of terror. However, it is worthy of note that his seeming success will be short-lived as he cannot occupy that seat illegally again. The era of illegally occupying elective position is over, and this we want to bring to the fore of all and sundry.
The failure and leadership ineptitude of Dennis Omovie is greatly manifested in his inability to sponsor any viable and people-oriented bill in the House for the long period spent so far; shamefully, he never said anything relating to bringing developmental projects to his constituency; he monetized every scholarship slot allocated to the constituency which never got to the grassroot. All he succeeded in doing was to amass wealth for himself-buying landed properties, building hotels and living extravagantly. How can such a man get the votes of sensible electorates at an era when one of the major criteria for genuinely winning elections is to perform or have a worthy reputation? He is not aware that lip-service good governance is not enough; it has to be pro-people and pro-active. Good governance is putting people at the center of development process. In this regard, the obvious submission is that Dennis Omovie has failed woefully and does not deserve to be in that House as a representative of the people of Warri Constituency 2; and indeed he cannot remain there.
As if that was not enough, in his campaigns prior to the election, he told his allies that the utmost reason why he was contesting the election and going for a fourth term was to assume the position of Speaker of the House since he would be about the longest serving member of the House if he scaled through. To the people of the constituency, this is totally shameful for a man of his status. To prove his irrelevance and legislative worthlessness in the State House of Assembly, he lobbied with huge amount of money to see that he gets the speakership position, but LO and BEHOLD he lost out woefully to Hon. Monday Igbuya; worst of the whole matter is that he didn’t even get compensation with any office as a principal officer as far as the house leadership arrangement is concerned-Oh what a shame! If indeed, this man had anything meaningful to offer, even if he lost out in the speakership race, he would have gotten a very key position in the leadership of the house. To us as people of Warri South constituency 2, there can be no better way to substantiate the fact that the man Dennis Omovie is indeed a failed legislator, unproductive representative, inept leader and an irrelevant political horse rider than his failure to get any principal position in the current House where he is currently occupying a seat illegally and temporarily.
It is on record that this same Dennis Omovie was also dragged to the High Court by one Mike Ikpuri who is claiming that he defeated Omovie at the PDP primary election, and ought to be the flagbearer of the PDP in the April 11th2015 State House of Assembly election for Warri South Constituency 2, but that Dennis Omovie bought his way through by manipulating the system and using financial inducements to get the powers that be in the PDP to have his name in the INEC list for that election. That matter is still very much ongoing in court and is heating up at the other end of the road. Indeed, the man Dennis Omovie has a reputation of seeking elective political position through the backdoor and shortcuts, but this time the game is over for him, because whoever.
It will interest the public to know that this man has started selling many of his property in a bid to raise cash for settlements, financial inducements cum bribing his way through; but for us as people of that constituency, we believe that he is just fulfilling the Scriptures in the Bible book of Job 20:15. He shall indeed vomit all the people’s money which he had seized to himself and had swallowed for twelve wasted years as a legislator in the Delta State House of Assembly; before he’ll know it, he would have been bankrupt. He cannot escape the consequences of this robbery mission which he got involved in at this critical time of dynamism in the polity.
To the Judiciary, being the last hope of the common man after God Almighty, we have brought our case for redress. The facts are clear; the evidences are overwhelming. All we demand for is JUSTICE. Justice for the people of Warri South Constituency 2, and an end to impunity and recklessness in government;-an end to imposition of leaders and illegal occupants of elective positions in government. In the words of the highly revered Martin Luther King Jr. Injustice anywhere is a threat to Justice everywhere.” We encourage the Judiciary to rise up to the occasion to ensure that they deliver justice in this case, as the people can no longer bear the burden of irresponsible and self-centred persons in government. To be candid, the people of that constituency are resolute and absolutely confident that our mandate shall be restored, and the people of the constituency shall troop out enmasse to celebrate their victory; and that this shall happen in no distant time from now.
According to Moshe Dayan “Freedom is the oxygen of the soul”. We are also believers in the assertion of Pericles that “Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it. It suffice therefore, that if the people of Warri South Constituency 2 must stay alive to enjoy good governance via a vibrant, pragmatic and pro-people representation at the State House of Assembly, then the most viable option to actualize this is to fight for their right and freedom to choose who represents them-a fight which has already been set in motion by seeking redress in Court, with an unprecedented and magnanimous support of the electorates, and which must be taken to its logical end.
According to AbrahamLincoln, you can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, BUT YOU CANNOT FOOL ALL THE PEOPLE ALL THE TIME. The electorates in the constituency have made it very clear that they can no longer be fooled by a failed and self-imposed representative. This is why the people of Warri South constituency 2 rose up and took their destinies in their own hands to cast their votes for their preferred choice candidate in the person ofBRIGHT AKPOBOME OBODO. The people have spoken through the exercise of their franchise and the illegalities perpetrated by Dennis Omovie in connivance with INEC in Warri South cannot stand the test of time. Their days are numbered; it is the end of the road for them.
Indeed this is the end of the road for all election fraudsters and failed political leaders in Delta State. It is the end of the road for Dennis Omovie in Politics. We therefore advise him to save his money and investments for his future and that of his family, rather than selling his property everywhere to try to buy justice. It’s a pity that, that era of CASH AND CARRY JUSTICE is over, without Dennis Omovie knowing. To the people of Warri South constituency 2, we say don’t lose heart! Never give up! Our victory at the Tribunals is sure. Our time to celebrate is very near. The time to enjoy true people-oriented, visionary, developmental and pragmatic representational leadership and good governance has come, and has come to stay. We shall laugh last and laugh the best; for it is said that he that laughs last, laughs the best.
Watch out for updates of every development as they unfold. Join the chariot of GOOD GOVERNANCE AND PEOPLE-ORIENTED LEADERSHIP! Join the fight for the restoration of the people’s mandate!
God bless Warri South Constituency 2
God bless Delta State!
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria!
The writer is a social commentator, activist, and resident of Warri South Constituency 2 and writes from Warri.