WHY DELTANS MUST REJECT IBORI'S SIDEKICK
The annulment of Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan’s election as governor of our state is a victory not only for Deltans but also a welcome development for the democratic process of our time. And if we are to move forward, Deltans must reject Uduaghan, Ibori’s sidekick, in the upcoming gubernatorial re-run.
For the past eleven years, the people of our great state have been subjected to the politics of selection, intimidation, suffering, and killings. The re-run of the 2007 gubernatorial election is an opportunity for the people to reclaim democracy from Ibori’s cabal with Emmanuel Uduaghan as nominal head.
Make no mistake about it: Emmanuel Ewetan Uduaghan is James Onanefe Ibori. The two are one and the same, except that one was the de facto governor– governing without lawful authority. The other was the real governor (until Tuesday, November 9th, 2010).
An Uduaghan governorship means four more years of Ibori’s control over our state from prison. A good example of the oneness of the two was when the Uduaghan administration obtained a court order from the Federal High Court, Benin City, restraining the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) from investigating the finances of Ibori’s regime from 1999 to 2007.
While all attention is on the annulment of Uduaghan’s election and the extradition of James Ibori to London for money laundering and massive looting of Delta State’s treasury, the message is being lost that Uduaghan, as governor, was an incompetent, a gross failure, massively corrupt, and that he mis-ran Delta State in the manner of Ibori. The Uduaghan-equals- Ibori theme needs to be pushed not just by the Chief Clark’s group and Chief Great Ovedje Ogboru, his opponent in the forthcoming re-run election, but by every Deltan, from Jeddo to Orugbo, Aboh to Ozoro, Kiagbodo to Oghara, and Ughelli to Asaba among others. It needs to become a mantra: A vote for Emmanuel Uduaghan is a vote for James Ibori.
It is no surprise that Uduaghan was removed from office for stealing the people’s mandate. Instead of going back to Abigborodo to brief his kinsmen of his stewardship; thinking it is politics as usual, he ran to his adopted city of Abuja, where he thinks he can use the machinery that be to force himself on our people once again. The Uduaghan administration was a lot of things: It was a secret cabal, corrupt, and a cavalcade of incompetence. If incompetence were a criminal offense, he'd be behind bars while he was commissioner of Health under the Ibori’s administration. After all, there is abundant evidence that, in terms of leadership, he is a spectacular flop as Governor. But seen from the point of view of the Deltan, what it increasingly resembles was a bad forced-marriage. Deltans finds itself married to a guy who turned out to be a complete dud. He has spent more time in Abuja than in Asaba.
Personally, I just don't care whether it's an Urhobo, Ijaw, Kwale, Isoko, Igbo or Itsekiri, who emerges as governor of Delta state. The system is too broken, too corrupt, and too secretive to be fixed by breed of politician we have in the state today, unless he or she possesses the heart and courage that we almost never see in politics today.
But for anyone to think that a vote for Uduaghan would be a wise one is beyond my comprehension. I supported him in 2007 under the aegis of Concerned Deltans Inc.USA. I traveled to Nigeria to campaign for candidate Uduaghan because I believed in his campaign promises. After 3 years in Asaba, he has been a monumental failure and a fraud.
In defending Ibori’s trial in London, Uduaghan once said that, “Ibori was a wealthy man before he became governor of the state, adding that his 8-year tenure actually stalled his business interests.” The recent testimony of Theresa Nkoyo Ibori (nee Nakanda) has shown otherwise. Uduaghan has shown why Deltans can’t trust him to govern them.
Uduaghan should not be contesting an election but should be arrested, tried, and sent to prison, where he rightly belongs.
Felix Ayanruoh Esq. is at [email protected]