Ethiope west pains: Will Ibori allow our people to be onlookers?

Image result for James Ibori pic
Chief James Ibori
By Kparobo Ehvwubare
As a young Nigerian who has lived to see politics in our country go from average to worse with regard to good governance, I felt it was necessary to look through the history of politics in Nigeria to track where its citizens and leaders got it wrong and also focus on politicians, today’s politics and how it has affected the development of our society.
Our path to democracy began when the federation of Nigeria was granted full independence on October 1, 1960. The Monarch (British) of Nigeria was still the Head of State but legislative power was vested in a bicameral parliament with executive power in a prime minister. The federal government was given exclusive powers on foreign relations, defense, commercial and fiscal policies, there was substantial measures of self-governance for the country’s three regions (North, East and West).
Then, political parties represented the main ethnic groups. The Northern People’s Congress represented largely the interest of the Hausa-Fulani in the northern part of Nigeria; the National Council of Nigerian Citizens represented the interest of the Igbo in eastern Nigeria while the Action Group represented the Yoruba in the West.
During the 1959 elections in preparation for Nigeria’s independence, the NPC won 134 seats in the 312 seat parliament, the NCNC with 89 seats and the AG 73 seats. The first post-independence government was formed by a conservative alliance of the NPC and the NCNC with Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa as the first Prime Minister. Nigeria then proclaimed itself a Federal Republic in October 1963 with Dr. Nnamdi Azikwe as the first President.
From January 15, 1966 began the successive military governments with Gen. JTU Aguiyi Ironsi from January 15, 1966 to July 1966; Gen. Yakubu Gowon, August 1966 to July 1975; Gen. Murtala Mohammed, July 1975 to February 1976 and Gen Olusegun Obasanjo, February 1976 to 1979. Democratic governance returned with Shehu Shagari under the flag of the National Party of Nigeria as the elected president in 1983.
The military came to power again in December 1983 to August 1985 under Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari. From August 1985 to August 1993, Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Babangida. He annulled the famous June 12 presidential election in which Chief Moshood Abiola of the Social Democratic Party won. I can say for sure that I was told of the unrest in the country with riots and protests in different parts of Nigeria. Babangida handed over to Ernest Shonekan in August 1993 to November 1993, Gen. Sani Abacha, November 1993 to July 1998 (Nigeria’s 7th coup), finally Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar from July 1998 to May 1999, which then also brought Chief James Ibori into power as governor of Delta State.
Abubakar appointed the Independent National Electoral Commission to conduct elections that brought in Obasanjo as a civilian president in 1999 under the People’s Democratic Party ending 16 years of consecutive military rule.
From my view, the military hangover on leadership has no doubt played some significant roles in the way our politicians govern today. For more than a decade, the government in power did not take into cognizance the wish of the people that elected them to serve and manage the collective resources for the benefit of the people.
In Delta State, elections has been by selection not the wish of the people, political hawks pick candidates that will serve them and their family till death, forgetting the masses rotting away in poverty.
For clarity, it was rumoured that the Delta central senate position was zoned to Ethiope west in the past and of course Chief Ighoyota Amori has been on the verge to get the position, but Amori always be at the losing end to political gangsters that know their onion, while political hawks always swooped on him and cart away the position with ease, while Amori look helplessly. Who bewitched Amori? Where did we get it wrong as a people?
2019 elections is around the corner and Chief Amori has been on the road again, told some of his teaming supporters that he was robbed of the previous mandate given to him, hence the need to reclaim that same mandate come 2019. As normal other aspirants will join the race to battle for PDP ticket with Amori; just recently, one of our beautiful Amazon, Evelyn Omavovwan Oboro indicated interest for the position, I know the music will soon change. Will Amori employ all strategy to get it this time? Can Amori get the party ticket? Can Amori get the ticket if the Amazon raise her legs? What about the desperate Augustine Omo-agege who can do anything to remain at the senate? Will Ibori allow Ethiope west to be onlooker this time? Will he exchange House of Reps position for House of Assembly?
This is a story for another day, for me, if Amori must get it right this time, he must put his house in order, pray for others vying for other positions in the local government. I will advise him proper in another epistle to be release soon.
For the position of Ethiope Federal constituency was also said to be zoned to Oghara in Ethiope west local government, a kingdom the position has eluded for decades, because of what could be described as chicken hearted politicians who only play local politics and are afraid of going to the Federal to knock horns with their Federal counterparts to attract dividend of democracy to the people, but they decided to remain in their local cave. What a pity!
Our ebullient son and brother, James Ibori took some of our people to Abuja through appointments, they failed themselves, family and the people return to play local politics.
Is there anything wrong, if they maneuver their way into Federal appointments or contest Federal positions and remained at the Federal level? My uncle in DESOPADEC now was once at the Federal. What went wrong?
Now 2019 is around the corner, it behooves on my people to take the bull by the horn and contest the position as member to represent Ethiope Federal constituency of the House of Representatives. The issue of who is to represent Oghara interest should not be considered at this point in time, sentiments will not help us at the moment, we as a people must know that we have been relegated for too long and as such we must take it as a pain to get it right this time.
The issue of Amori is in the race to senate and as such Oghara man cannot contest for House of Representatives should be totally discounrage. Because if Amori were to be at the Senate since 2015 and he is seeking re-election in 2019; are we going to tell ourselves that, Amori is seeking re-election and as such, Oghara man/woman should not contest? To me that is political phobia,laziness and absurd on our part, is there anything wrong if Amori is there as a senator and the likes of Ben Igbakpa, Godwin Akpovi, Kparobo Ehvwubare etc represent Ethiope Federal constituency at the Green Chambers?. Why are we not thinking beyond our nose?
Why are we so afraid of Federal politics? Who bewitched my people? Well, some of the answers to the above questions find expression to the roles played by some of our people, who will not get anything and would not allow others to get; but it also behooves on those interested in the prone job to fight their way out, success was never gotten with ease studies.
History has made us to understand that, freedom was never gotten voluntarily, it was fought for, and oppressors would never give you freedom with a smiling face. I challenge our people to take this as a pain. Where is Solomon Udele, who once contested for senate position during the 2011 re-run? Has he dashed into his cave never to take his political destiny to the next level? If there is no venture, then there would not be success. Who shall speak for my people?
Our politicians are ill-prepared for the task ahead in terms of personal capacity development. Through their godfathers and unidentified sources of money, they feel qualified, seek for power and satisfy their greed to the detriment of the people they were elected to serve. Our people have been a sleeping giant; a place with people that never question the motives and actions of those in power; a society with people that seem satisfied in their little corners, groaning profusely in their hidden cave. Are our people so ignorant or jittery? Where are our youths? Who shall dare the lion if he refuses to listen to voice of wisdom? Questioning the old order is not a privilege but a right. Who shall take us from the current shackle of darkness? I am very much ready to do my part, to get things right not minding whose ox is gored.
In the 70s and 80s, we had student associations and groups that were the voice of the people and constructively made their positions known on issues affecting the people in some part of the country and good governance including the infamous Structural Adjustment Programme, SAP introduced by Babangida in 1986 whose effect we still feel till today. Unfortunately, today, our students and youths are more concerned about what put crumbs getting from acclaimed leaders and are afraid to question the strata-quo. Rather resort to ‘Oga I loyal’
So, did we ever get it right as a people? We never got it right from the point, as the people have never demanded good governance and accountability from those elected into office, or will I say we have never elected good representatives? That is why we are where we are.
Kparobo Ehvwubare, is the publisher, sunreporters.com wrote from Oghara-Delta State. Could be reach on marksbare@gmail.com or 07067546856 (sms only).

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