by Fejiro Oliver
“When people have tried everything and have discovered that nothing works, they will tend to revert to what they know best—which will often be the tribe, the totem, or the taboo.” — Christopher Hitchens
It is never in my blood to be sycophantic, and it is just too late to begin such at such a stage in my media career. It is for this reason that while being a media person to my Principal and boss, Senator Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), I still lash out at the PDP and Presidency whenever they err in my eyes. My Principal knows this and has no problem with it, so let this be one of such if it is seen so in this very short piece.
At the twilight of the PDP governorship primaries, I never hid my displeasure for the Urhobo Progress Union (UPU), not because they were against my boss but they attempted to force it down our throats that in a tribe where many tribes abound; they swore to hold the knife and the yam, cutting it out to whomever they love or sought their political patronage. I refused to be bought over with ethnicity and claim of being the ones with the highest population and thus should pull the strings. My anger knew no bound when they connived against my boss by bringing in a candidate of no electoral value to diminish a man who has worked for sixteen years for the party. It was in that anger that all their atrocities were made public to Nigerians which has remained their albatross today.
They still have a chance to reclaim their battered ego and if they so wish, I present to them a lifeline to hold on to or forever remain silent in the political gymnastic of Delta and Nigerians. During the Uvwiamuge Declaration which I was privy to and wrote on, it was made sacrosanct that the UPU will support JUST TWO political parties, namely the PDP and the All Progressive Congress (APC), depending on which of them picked an Urhobo son to fly their flag.
To those of us with political foresight, we knew that the PDP was either going to pick an Anioma candidate or Urhobo but for the sake of equity and knowledge that Delta at this moment needs an experienced man who can turn the State around for prosperity, we stuck with Okowa while the rest went with the numerous anointed candidates. The UPU despite all pleas to them to allow equity play stuck by their guns and played the gods of the land until their candidate lost out.
This is the crux of our cross. Seeing that the PDP has picked an Anioma candidate in Okowa, the die is cast which is to stick to the alternative by going for Olorogun Ortega Emerhor. Hold it, don’t judge yet. Information however available has again unveiled the UPU as a philandering husband who cannot stand by her words. Despite the Uvwiamuge Declaration, the UPU will in few days time be endorsing Great Ovedje Ogboru as the consensus Urhobo candidate, thereby jettisoning the so call clamored shout of the declaration. If the declaration must be taken serious for any reason, then it has to be ob eyed to the letter and not being selective with it. It is a long known fact that Emerhor will always be the APC flag bearer and thus should be the one the UPU will be supporting.
Let jus put a poser for the UPU. If they cry that the PDP has denied them the governor and therefore will not vote for the party in the State, will such also extend to the Presidential election? Let’s not be pretentious, the UPU will still go for President Goodluck Jonathan anytime any day. If the UPU cannot stand by her words and allow the contest to be between Okowa and Emerhor, while also voting Buhari, then let them forever cease to issue out any instruction on behalf of the Urhobo nation.
The UPU cannot claim to speak for us in political matters and issuing threats except they wish to form a political party named Urhobo Political Union. The Urhobos at this junction must be advised that the UPU cannot decide our fate as they have failed us time without numbers. All the candidates they ever supported have lost woefully. First, they supported the failed bench warmer Senator, Emmanuel Aguariwvado only for him to be disqualified during the primaries and here they come again after taking an alleged million dollars, they present David Edevbie who was thrashed again. Certainly we cannot allow such a union led us to perfidy.
Their soon to be endorsement of Ogboru should not stand in this moment that we seek liberation. Let the declaration be followed to the letter and Ogboru be asked to step down honorably. It is not just the wise thing to do but the moral thing both for UPU and Ogboru who has gone about seeking blessings from various quarters as he has always done, without success in elections (we will talk on him in subsequent series later).
But again, should we allow the UPU to throw their weights behind Emerhor? Far be it Urhobos. The fact that our name is used to coin the union does not mean we should follow a few disgruntled elders to lead us to our political grave. We have seen the light at the end of the tunnel and permit me to say iniovo that the light we see is Senator Ifeanyi Okowa. We have been opportune to govern this State during the time of Felix Ibru and James Onanefe Ibori and even partially during Emmanuel Uduaghan who share maternal blood with us, so why must we play the Oliver Twist in a land where we are all free born. If this be the mentality, then the Northerner should perpetually govern Nigeria, after they are the majority.
The youths who are the engine rooms of Urhobos are too sophisticated to allow the analogue brain of the ‘elders’ play on our digital intelligence in times such as this that we need a man who is Anioma by birth, but Urhobo, Ijaw, Isoko and Itsekiri at heart and Deltan in being. Until we take our destinies in our hands, we will remain pawns in the hands of few who use our name’ Urhobo’ to send their children abroad while preaching tribalism to us, yet during their days; they sang the National Anthem of ‘Though tribe and tongue may differ, in brotherhood we stand”. Have they suddenly grown so old or forgetful that the Anthem they sang meant nothing to them again that they attempt to throw a knife of discord in between us?
Forbid it dear Urhobos and Deltans that any person will be adopted as a consensus candidate and direct us to vote for such. Painfully enough, some of them do not possess the permanent voters card (PVC) as they dread standing for long in the hot sun or rain to cast their vote, but you and I who will suffer the consequences of any mistake will stand there to do the needful, so why follow any declaration when they will not even enforce it. Let him go, let Senator Ifeanyi Okowa carry the gospel of prosperity to our doorsteps. Let the man called Ekwueme which in pidgin means ‘O talk na do’ or ‘He does what he says drive the prosperity vision. Urhobos, no collective selfish decision was taken to decide your birth to be from the central and so no such should decide on your behalf who manage your political destiny when you have the singular power to do so. This declaration just makes no sense!
These little things matter…
Fejiro Oliver, Managing Editor of Daily Voice NG and Media Consultant can be reached on +2348022050733, +2348160067613 (SMS ONLY) or [email protected]. Engage him on twitter on @fejirooliver86