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Social Media has Improved Isoko politics-Pastor Odidi

By GODDAY ODIDI

Pastor Godday Aguriase Odidi is the Founders of Isoko Mandate Group, Creative Writers Association, Niger-Delta Political Analysts Association, Isoko Needs Development, Niger-Delta Ministers Platform, Niger-Delta Praise Gospel Forum and Mindset Media Limited. He is one of the Isoko young advocate writers in the 21st century projecting the interest of Isoko nation far away in Lagos. He is a Lagos-based media professional to the core. In this special interview with Mary Amos of Isoko Today newspaper, he explains why social media has improved Isoko politics, the need for Isoko youths to stand for their political rights come 2015 and other bordering issues affecting Isoko nation.

Excerpts...
Let us meet you sir?
I am Pastor Godday Odidi from Ivrogbo-Irri town, present Publicity Secretaries of Ivrogbo- Irri and Irri Federal Union, Ajegunle branches in Lagos State. I was bred and brought up at Ivrogbo-Irri town in Isoko South Local Government Area of Delta State. I am also a trained economist cum writer. I had both my primary and secondary education at Ivrogbo-Irri and later proceeded to Lagos State University for my first degree and a Diploma in Private and Property Law from University of Lagos. I am the CEO of Mindset Media Limited, Founders of Niger Delta Mindset Hall of Fame Leaders, Innovators and Entrepreneurs and others.

Sir, your late father was a Lagos-based Staunch PDP card carrier and even contested for an office in Lagos State, Are you toeing the same political path of your late father?

Point of correction! I am not a politician but a trained political analyst and ordained pastor for 11 years ministering the word of God in Nigerian prisons and others. It is God that saved my life since 2001 when I fully gave my life to Jesus Christ. I don't like to be addressed as a Pastor because many see me as a Journalist. I spend more time with God than writing. I was a Youth Leader and a Pastor for thirteen good years in one Pentecostal church in Lagos. I am the present Assistant Pastor of the Lord of Arm Church International in Lagos too. I have featured in major political and social talk shows in Nigeria like Patitosgang, Inside- Out with Agatha Amata,Ayo Show, Funmi Iyanda Show, Insight Show, Channels TV, AIT, DBN,TVC,Supercreen TV, Galaxy TV,Eko Fm and others as guest analyst. My father was a staunch member of the PDP at Ajeromi- Ifelodun in Lagos State. He contested for councillor and Vice chairmanship position in 2011 but lost out to the then ruling party ACN now APC. My father was one of the leaders of South-South forum in Ajeromi-Ifelodun, former Ivrogbo-Irri chairman, Ajegunle branch, Irri Federal Union representative and active member of Ozoro Progress Union and others. He was a retired military officer too. Both PDP and APC members wanted me to join them to use my media to project their interests but I refused abruptly. I like politics but I hate some of their ungodly activities. I am a PDP member in spirit. With how PDP won Ekiti State election on the 21st of June2014 indicated that PDP is trying to practice genuine democracy in Nigeria.

When did both your grandparents and father died?
Thank you very much for this questions. My grandfather died on July 8th 1997 after one month of my secondary education. He actually taught me about the word of God because he was an evangelist. My grandmother died on October 9th, 2011 and my father died on June 9th, 2013 in Lagos.They were my great mentors on earth most especially my late grandmother. I wish my grandmother was still alive to see the product that she made.

How do you combine ministry and journalism together?

With God all things are possible. I still meet up all my God given assignments on earth. I have a timetable for every job I do on earth. As a young man you must work hard to achieve success in life. Nobody helps you until you help yourself. The road to success has a process that is why some of us are working for greatness. Your family can give you education but they can't give you success.

When did you start writing on political issues in Nigeria and have you written any book at all?

I have been editing books for people but I have not published any book. I started writing fully since 2005 from community newspapers to National level. I love writing on Isoko issues because I discovered that over the years, Isoko nation is relegated to the background. I am called to use my pen to change Isoko leadership.Isoko politics is silence in Nigeria. People still refer Isoko nation as Urhobo.

You said that social media has improved Isoko politics, how?

I can tell you that since the formation of Umeh Needs Road (UNR) Forum by one Barrister Afahokor Danjuma Duncan of Umeh community in Isoko South LGA, political enlightenment has been brought to Isoko nation most especially the enlightening ones in the forum and others. I met Barrister Duncan at Oleh last year with my Igbo colleague when we came to cover late Chief Egbo's burial through Hon. Evans Egbo, the present Isoko South PDP chairmanship aspirant where we interviewed him on Nigerian politics and Umeh Needs Road Forum. He spoke the minds of Isoko youths and others. Both old and young politicians are now sitting tight and ready to consult before contesting for any election unlike when people were conscripted on the masses to vote for them in the name of one godfather or elders forum in Isoko.Ekiti State governorship election would be apply in Isoko that is one man, one vote, one woman, one vote and one youth, one vote in 2015 and the coming Delta State LG polls in October. Everybody wants to contest in Isoko but what we need is the best candidate from a solid background. I am a friend of UNR forum and I have benefited from most of the Isoko information posted in the forum as a writer. It was one of my friends, Mr Jerome Asedegbega, the founder of Ivrogbo-Irri erudite forum which I am also a member to build Ivrogbo youths for better education that introduced me to this UNR.He told me that my write-ups needed to be posted in this forum for Isoko people to read. I never obliged to it because he wanted my progress in life. Though my articles are read all over the world.

The recent political endorsement of Hon. Leonard Okuweh Ogor for 4th term in the House of Representatives by Isoko PDP elders forum, what is your take towards this?

Hon.Leo Ogor is not my enemy because I have interviewed him on his political stewardship in the National Assembly last year. He is an experienced politician with integrity. But PDP elders' forum cannot endorse Hon. Leo Ogor without the consent of Isoko youths.Isoko nation belongs to Isoko youths not elders.Hon. Leo Ogor must also consult Isoko youths first both in Isoko and Diaspora. Nobody was born as an experienced politician on earth. It can take one day or a week to learn legislative issues, so the issue of Hon. Leo Ogor is an experienced politician should be jettisoned in Isoko.He has brought many political developments to Isoko since 2003 till date. He must be commended for that but Isoko nation must decide his fate in 2015 with others.Isoko politics is wide. The elders' forum cannot speak the minds of Isoko people. It is so painful that IDU is not politically active at this present political dispensation.

Do you see PDP as a reliable political party in Isoko?

Yes of course! PDP belongs to Delta State and Isoko nation.DPP, LP, APC and others do not have structures again unlike in 2011 elections when everybody saw DPP as the saviour party then. Other parties can still win if they have good candidates that can match PDP own.PDP has learnt its lesson in Isoko.If you don't do well, the people have the right to vote you out of power. It happened in 2011 elections in Isoko South Constituency 1 when DPP candidate won PDP one because the latter disappointed the people he represented at the first tenure.

You sound like a politician but you are not, do you see Hon. Benjamin Okiemute Essien who comes from your village going for second term in Isoko South Constituency1?

We are from the same village but I am not the one to decide his fate in 2015.Let the people in that constituency decides his fate. I am a Lagos based writer.Hon. Benjamin Essien has done many things in his constituency but the problem is that people see politics as Ghana must go bags where every demand must be accepted. If you are representing any position in Isoko now, you must be ready to spend money at any given time. I also heard that Barrister Powel, Hon. Fineboy and others in PDP want to contest for the position of Hon.Benjamin Essien in 2015.It would not been too easy for Hon.Essien.Isoko politics has grown beyond rice, beans, cars, motorcyclists and others.

Do you support Isoko nation producing the next governor of Delta State in 2015 or more local governments for Isoko nation?

Please you ask me questions as If I hold any political position in Delta State. I would like you to forward this question to Hon.Leo Ogor,Hon.Macaulay Ovuozourie,Hon.Solomon Ogba, Hon.Benjamin Essien,Hon.Erijo Johnson,Barrister Owhefere,Hon.Joel Onowakpo and Isoko PDP elders' forum. I don't answer questions I don't know. I want Isoko to have Isoko East, Isoko West and Isoko Central local governments because our present population is more than two local governments now.

What is your media strength in Isoko?
It is 40 percent because I don't live in Isoko but Lagos. I come home every month because of my newspaper I publish. My joy is that young Isoko people are now vying for political offices that are my friends like Malik Ikpokpo, Evans Egbo, and Jerry Odugala, Emmanuel Egbabor and just mention but a few.Isoko politics has improved. If you don't serve well, you can return to second term. Money no longer buys votes in Isoko again. Some elected political office holders are now crying because they can't go for second, third or fourth term again. Some of these so-called politicians representing us now don't pick calls or reply text messages sent to them. They are bigger than the people that voted them in power. We want leaders not rulers or intimidators in Isoko politics. I am using this medium to tell Isoko politicians that are vying for one position in Isoko to learn from the mistakes of those past or present leaders in power.

What is the way forward?
Isoko people should vote their choice candidates in any given elections in Nigeria.Isoko youths should separate themselves from thug politicians that we use them to cause trouble in Isoko in 2015.We must not sell our rights out for car or money that will not last in our lives.