This is indeed a season of jubilation generally for deltas, the Anioma and particularly the lka nations whose sons and daughters have steadily and surely gotten into the centre of gravity of power or hub of governance of the federal republic of Nigeria and beyond.
And one of the reasons for celebrations is because history is also about to be made with the incumbent governor of the state senator (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa who is currently the running mate to the presidential candidate of the People Democratic Party, PDP, Turaki Atiku Abubakar in the 2023 presidential contest truly becoming the number two (2) citizen of Nigeria, if PDP becomes the winner of the presidential contest after the forthcoming February 25 polls.
That is on top of the good fortune of the state, in particular, Anioma and specifically Ika nations also being the homestead of the current Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele as well as being the origin of the current Chief of Defense Staff, C DS, general Lucky labour.
How can l forget,D r Ngozi Okonjo-lweala, the first non-Caucasian Director General of the World Trade Organization,WTO who hails from Ogwashi-Ukwu?
So, it was a sort of harvest or bonanza of sorts when many deltas carted home most of the national awards dolled out by president Mohammadu Buhari in honour of some accomplished sons and daughters of Nigeria on Tuesday 11 October 2022.
It is o,only awardees from delta state that en the privilege of two (2) siblings receiving national awards on the same podium on the same day.
And that is Mr Tony Elumelu, founder of HEIRS holdings ,a business conglomerate that received CFR and his younger brother,Ndudi Elume lu,OON ,who is the current minority leader of the PDP in the House of Representatives.
Other notable beneficiaries of the national awards range from traditional rulers comprising of their royal majesties and highnesses including D Dein of Agbor ,Obi Ikenchukwu Kiaagborejuz l,Olu of War ri,O game Atuwase Ill and Ovie of Agbon kindo m ,Ogunrimeme Ukori l,and the director general of World Trade Organization ,WTO, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweal a,plus a couple of renown banking titans; notably Jim Ov ia,chairman/founderZenith bank,Tony El umelu,Chairman of UBA,as well as Victor Etuoku ,Deputy Managing Director of Access Corporation, including military top brass,General Lucky Irab or,who is the current Chief of Defense Staff,CDS.
The other deltas honoured are members of the political class including the governor of the ta te , Ifeanyi O Kowa,deputy senate president, Ovie Omo-Agege and of course, minority leader of the House of Representatives,Ndudi Elumelu alongside other professionals of delta state origin from a broad spectrum of a,activities particularly in the media and oil/gas sectors including prince Nduka Obaigbena,publisher of Thisday newspaper and chairman of Arise Tv network as well as founder/owner of the RainOil,Gabriel Ugbechie and Julius Rone proprietor of UTM Oil/gas services,not forgetting Itsay Sagay, a legal luminary and a host of others too numerous to be listed here.
Hopefully,in tandem with the aphorism : charity begins at home,there would be a positive net effect of the good fortunes of the aforementioned delta state sons and daughter appointed into the high command or top echelon of the honor’s list of our great father land rubbing off on the good people of the ‘Big Heart’ state legendary for excellence in basically all facets of endeavors in our society ranging from sports ,art and culture,academia to media and financial institutions management and ownership.
But despite all the lofty and enviable accomplishments enumerated above that have put delta state head and shoulders above the other states owing to its wealth of illustrious fathers,sons and daughters,the state and its good people are often blighted by the purveyors of treachery that are magnifying the vortex of political power struggle in which the state is currently caught up and is capable of unhinging it from its steady path to collective progress and development in the best interest of the good people of the state that is the indisputable treasure trove of our beloved country and a microcosm of Nigeria as it is made up of multiplicity of ethnic groups.
Without a scintilla of doubt, it is the instrumentality of rotation of the governorship of the state between the three senatorial districts-Delta North, Central and South ,comprising of Anioa ,U Urhobo and Ijaw,ltsekiri/logo people respectively,birthed and nurtured by the class of 1999 political leaders of the state that is the reason politics and politicking have been relatively less fractious as each senatorial zone waits for its turn to produce the next governor after two terms of the last governor from the three (3)rotating zones.
That is basically why regardless of its diversity in ethnic composition politics in the state has been remarkably stable since the return to multi-party democracy in 1999.
The harmonious political atmosphere in
the state is a reflection of the fact that its people, although of multi-ethnic groups are not roiled by ethnic differences that could result in strife because there is mutual assurance that power would rotate between all the zones accordingly.
That is not the case in the larger Nigerian state where the principle of rotation of the presidency between the north and south has not worked out well and as such, power sharing between the multiple ethnic and religious groups in the country has degenerated into a contentious and incendiary issue threatening to result in the conflagration of the country.
It is an anomaly that the PDP presidential candidate, T Muraki Atiku Abubakar, AA has promised to correct if elected president in February of next year.
In an essay titled:”2023 Presidency Of Nigeria: Where Are The Igbo Candidates?” published in the mass media on October 29, 2021,l made a strong case for the Igbos to align with AA and assign one of their own as his vice presidential candidate to prepare him for the presidency, perhaps in 2027.
And it was refreshing that the PDP presidential flag bearer at a recent consultation meeting with the Igbos during his trip to the east pledged that he would hand over to an Igbo person after his tenure if elected in the February 24, 2023 polls.
That is at least light at the end of the tunnel for the Igbos as the current adventure by Peter Obi and Labor party towards clinching the presidency in 2023 in my view would be a very long shot if not mission impossible given that the odds are stacked against the candidate and his platform irrespective of the impressive activation of youth interest in politics by Obi candidacy.
Concerning the struggle for the governorship of delta state, it is relieving that the tussle for who would be the gubernatorial flag bearer of the current ruling party in the state, PDP has been resolved following the Supreme Court verdict of last October 21 in favour of the speaker of delta state House of Assembly ,Sherriff Oborovwori.
Therefore,since the storm is over, it is now time for healing.
At this juncture, as time for silence is over ,it is pertinent that l share my reservations (which l had withheld) about the outburst of a government hireling and apologist that had attacked me after l published an article titled: “Rising And Falling Of Delta State Political Family And Consequences “where l called for a truce before things gey unhinged between the gladiators jostling for the gubernatorial ticket immediately after the ruling party’s primaries in Delta state on 25 May,2022.
Ordinarily,l do not pay attention to polemics by ponies, especially of the pernicious huewhomo l detest engaging with as l reckon that they are attention-seeking rabble-rousers bent on rankling those who bother to pay them attention.
But in this instance,l have resolved to make an exception as l have realized
that it is a mischievous and overzealous employee of the delta state government or an acolyte that engaged in the unwholesome practice of denigrating my person via the unfounded allegations against me after twisting facts in a vile article titled: “Re: Rising And Falling Of Delta State Political Family And Consequences”.
And to achieve the objective of healing on both sides of the internecine war, there is a need to underscore the facts about my article that dwelt on the fratricidal crisis.
The indecorous piece purportedly written by one Andy Chukwuma made the rounds in the media, particularly EagleOnline of June 3, 20222.
Frankly,l can not discern the reason that a simple matter such as calling for an amicable settlement of a PDP family feud would warrant the hyperventilation of that fellow that decided to dance naked in the public square with the sinister intention of dragging my name into the mud in a futile attempt to tarnish my hard-earned reputation of balanced public intellectualism.
The bid to diminish and if possible, demonize me is a mission triggered by the misinterpretation of the issues that l raised in the aforementioned media intervention,“Rising And Falling Of Delta State Political Families And Consequences” published on the back pages of Daily Independent newspaper of 31 May 2022 and Thisday newspaper of 03/06/22 plus other media platforms.
The article was focused on the potentially calamitous fallout of the PDP party primaries in delta state held on Wednesday 25 May, 022.
In analyzing the process of recruiting gubernatorial candidates to fly the flags of political parties in the forthcoming general elections,l identified some flaws inherent in the present and existing political arrangement such as the enormous and overbearing influence and by extension vice grip that governors have on party delegates and harped on the need to revisit the rules to create a level playing field for all stakeholders in the political game.
Referencing the party primary elections in delta state which l witnessed as a case in point and by acknowledging the well-known fact that gubernatorial candidates not favoured by their state governors were mauled unduly by the governor’s preferred candidates, the pony who wrote the unintelligible rebuttal threw caution to the wind in the desperate bid to savage me.
But his skullduggery has fallen flat as it has become an implicating narrative or indictment of governor Ifeanyi Okowa whom the impetuous author of the satanic piece was perhaps trying desperately to protect.
Here is how he tried to also humiliate past governors by discrediting their efforts in organizing past party primaries and in the process diminished the incumbent governor: “Some of us remember quite well how under Governors James Ibori and Emmanuel Uduaghan, party primaries were a sham because results were written in the bedrooms of the powers that be.”
Considering that Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan’s “sham” party primary as the author claims is what produced Dr Ifeanyi Okowa as governor in 2015, has he not inadvertently shot himself in the foot by disparaging and discrediting the process of emergence of his principal, Dr Okowa as governor?
Also, is it not foolhardy that it is the governor Ibori organized party primaries now tagged “sham” by the footloose aid that produced governor Uduaghan under whom Dr Okowa served as Secretary to state government, SSG for four (4) years before becoming a senator and subsequently governor under another ‘sham’ process by governor Uduaghan that produced Okowa?
Why and who commissioned the fellow to engage in such a reprehensible exercise that has turned out to be a sort of gobbledygook because the write-up is laced with gibberish, ambiguities and contradictions?
The motivation for the shadow-chasing author that tried to malign me and ended up ridiculing the PDP and its past and present leaders have left most men and women of goodwill in the delta state worried and distressed because they understand the foundation of the political harmony that has held delta state aloft for the PDP in the past 23 years of the practice of democracy in our clime and are sensitive to what was at stake ,which is that the ability to retain the state in PDP fold was in jeopardy, if the threat of splitting up of the party via infighting was allowed to persist.
Not done with his goofs and gaffes, the so-called Andy Chukwuma who is likely to be a phantom,(since l have never heard of how much more meet him) made another allegation that conjures up the anecdote “mirror, mirror who is the fairest of them all” which is a cliche associated with the fable ‘Snow White’ an 18th-century German fairy tale about an evil queen with skills learnt from a huntsman that she is hell-bent on using to hunt down the daughter of the king whom she had murdered.
Is it not an open secret that Governor Okowa who is a foundation member of the delta state PDP political family is more of a beneficiary of chief Ibori’s political largesse than online that the nefarious author of the obnoxious article was hell-bent on deriding and disparaging in his spiteful write- up!
Here is how the author pontificated about me.
“I was at the meeting at the Government House, Asaba, in which Onyibe’s benefactor, Ibori, was present ….”
Strikingly, the same “labour, Onyibe’s benefactor” had earlier appointed, Dr Okowa as commissioner of Agriculture in 1999, Health in 2003 and persuaded Governor Uduaghan to appoint the same Okowa, SSG in 2007, before the same labour again helped same Okowa to win the gubernatorial contest in delta state in 2015.
Is the narrative above not simply a testimony of consistency by allies who have weathered storms together that are expected to continue to break new ground together?
I believe it should be glaring to deltas and all participants in and most watchers of delta state politics that for four (4) times and throughout chief lbori’s 8 years of stewardship as governor (1999-2007)and beyond, in fact up to 2015, he lifted governor Okowa politically.
And l believes Dr Okowa is eternally grateful for the political support that he received from Ibori.
Yet, to facilitate the sinister motive of the mischievous author, Ibori is tagged as Onyibe’s benefactor.
Readers would agree with me that there is hardly any other politician in Delta state that has benefited more from chief labour as governor and later as a political leader in the state since 1999 than governor Okowa and perhaps Emmanuel Uduaghan.
Why the wild allegation that my suing for peace and unity of delta state PDP family was mere because l am a benefactor of ex-governor labour, while downplaying the fact that l am indeed a peacemaker, and if you like, pacifist advocating for peace in PDP family that offered me the opportunity of public service between 2003-7.
That twisted narrative by the said Chukwuma was aimed at impinging on my Integrity.
In an ideal situation, governor Okowa who between him and ex-governor Uduaghan are by far the number one (1) and two(2) beneficiaries of labour’s political odyssey should have given a comeuppance to whoever initiated and paid the pony that penned the pedantic diatribe for such intransigence.
But politics in the delta state at that time was in the doghouse.
Hopefully, now that all sides of the conflict have sheathed their swords, the governor would do the needful by setting the process in motion for the healing of the unnecessary wounds inflicted while the fratricidal war lasted.
In any case, it has remained somewhat difficult to decipher why the imprudent author of the hubris glorified as a rebuttal attempted to pervert facts by embarking on that voyage of the destruction of the very fabric of unity that had been prevailing in the PDP political family in delta state.
This is why it would be unsurprising if owing to the negative blowback of the political differences between governor Okowa and the sex-governor born which has been compounded by the poorly executed hatchet job by Chukwuma’s vituperations; the governor might have detested the scurrilous rebuttal (owing to the distractive and destructive content) to the extent that he might have mulled firing that lass that goes by the name Andy Chukwuma (or his sponsor) for being such a gnat.
And the fellow who is challenged in his comprehension of simple English language and exhibited his shallowness by contradicting himself in his interpretation of the comment wherein I was referring to the current internecine war within the PDP family after the primaries, which he preferred to convert in his mind into post-election violence in the state to which he focused his rants thus :
“Onyibe must have been so surprised, or should I say disappointed ,that a week after the successful primary , Delta State is enjoying peace and stability without the contentions and violence associated with party primaries in the past.”
For the avoidance of doubt “internecine war” in the context of my article means internal conflict or rift within the PDP family with its baseline being 1999 founding members.
And what is more, the rift that l called attention to in my piece that enraged the author of the diabolic rebuttal is currently a real and present danger tormenting the PDP family in the delta ? tate.
That is underscored by the fact that with governor Okowa deviating from a substantial part of the subsisting governorship rotation arrangement between the three senatorial zones by picking his successor outside of the class of 1999, the PDP family became divided and the reality is that a new political family may be in the offing if his plans sail through with Oborefovwori winning and becoming governor in 2023.
That is simply the kernel of my thesis and the true state of affairs in the PDP family in the delta state at that time and to date.
I made the case in that piece that any claim to the contrary would be a denial of reality and today that prognosis has manifested with the emergence of Oborovwori who would most likely herald a new era of governance of the state outside of the class of 1999.
Clearly, “Violence associated with party primaries” is not within the ambit of my essay,therefore it is an illusory optic of the author of the satanic piece whose purpose although stealthy was to escalate the simmering discontent in the PDP family in the state from a mere spat into a crisis.
At this point, it is worth being optimistic that the intervention of elders to restore harmony in the party by applying soothing balm on the wounds of the loser by the winner in a battle that went all the way to the Supreme Court, would restore the party to its erstwhile status of having a formidable grip and firm hold on delta state politics that would enable it successfully fend off the aggression from the APC which is incidentally being driven by original PDP members who have cross carpeted from the PDP to APC.
But the vainglorious boast of the infallibility of PDP by the goon that wrote the scurrilous rejoinder is perhaps because he was expecting a worse crisis in the political space after the primaries and its absence has lulled him into denying the existential threat to the PDP family’s cohesion if and when the friction is allowed to fester.
It needs to be emphasized that no primaries conducted by both chief Ibori or Dr Uduaghan resulted in violence.
So violence by supporters after the primaries in delta being alluded to is a figment of the imagination of Chukwuma whose optic and understanding of internecine war is violent riots.
It is probably because he has not heard of and can not phantom the aphorism ‘still waters run deep.
Meaning that the appearance of
tranquillity on the surface does not always preclude or vitiate the fact that there may be a sort of molten magma of anxiety below that may be waiting to erupt in a volcanic manner and which thankfully as earlier stated, elders imbued with wisdom are addressing.
In light of the nihilistic motive of Chukwuma, the self-styled aficionado of delta state politics, which can be discerned from his distorted and disturbing narrative and convoluted conclusions, one is led to believe that he may be a mole with malevolent intentions and not truly a PDP member.
By casting aspersions on my person, he intended to vitiate my neutrality by impinging on my integrity so that my assessment in the referenced opinion piece may be invalidated.
Hence Chukwuma (assuming there is anyone by that name) referred to David Edevbie as my friend and the reason l was defending him.
How could l have been defending Edevbie unduly, when l stated the facts without equivocation that he and other contestants were mauled by Sherrif Oborefovwori the winner of the contest, who is the governor’s preferred candidate because of the pole position that governors occupy in the matter of elections conducted at sub-national levels where they are in total control of all political activities in their jurisdictions?
Who does not know that as the leaders of the parties in the states, governors often
have full control of the political structures in their respective states, so they can do and undo them?
It is a reality that is incontrovertible.
By no stretch of the imagination did l single out the governor of delta state to accuse him of any unwholesome practice, but l duly observed without fear or favour that the outcome of the party primaries in delta as well as other states in the federation is a systemic political leadership recruitment flaw which is diminishing democracy as a system of government at the sub-national level.
To buttress the point that l was making which is that party primary elections at sub-national levels are suboptimal, I even stated that in other states where the governors were supporting their preferred successors, the other contestants scored far less than Edevbie and senator James Manager earned in Delta state.
That implies that governor Okowa’s grip on the delegates via taking undue advantage of the vulnerable process of producing candidates through party primaries at the state level is not as ironclad as it was in other states, since governors all over the country have a sort of vice grip on the delegates simply because of the dictum: ‘he who pays the piper dictates the tune.’
Is that not a truism?
Given the underlying factors,l proposed that the rules governing party primary elections at the sub-national level should be reviewed and my recommendation is for a holistic rejiggering of the system by legislators in the course of future electoral process reforms and not just in delta state, but nationwide.
It is worthy of note that President Buhari in the course of rallying the support of APC governors for an agreement on his choice of a presidential candidate to fly the flag of the party had even alluded to the fact that outgoing governors currently enjoy the liberty of ‘delivering ‘ their preferred candidates as l had stated in the media intervention giving the author of the abrasive rebuttal prickly heat and indigestion.
So, governors’ unwholesome grip on delegates is not only a statement of fact, but it is also common knowledge.
Therefore, the conclusion by the hatchet job man that l was unduly defending Edevbie because he is my friend via the statement below is simply hollow and puerile because it is tantamount to defending the indefensible.
He wrote: His pain and frustration were palpable in his desperate attempt to discredit the Delta State PDP gubernatorial primaries, in which his friend, David Edevbie lost.
And so, for him, that means that Delta State is headed in the wrong direction “
Unknown to the lazy writer who did not engage in any modicum of research before spewing the hogwash is that the opposite is the case.
That is because Edevbie who worked under Governor Okowa as commissioner for finance and later as chief of staff until a few months ago is more of Dr Okowa’s friend than l am to David Edevbie.
Even more so because both Okowa and Edevbie had served under ex-Gov labour as commissioners from 1999-2007 which is a period of 8 years plus another six (6) years or so of Okowa governorship during which David worked under him both as finance commissioner and chief of staff.
And to contrast the miss leading conclusions of the ignorant hatchet writer on an ignoble mission,l only worked with both Edevbie and Okowa as a fellow commissioner under chief Ibori’s watch from 2003-7 which is not more than four (4) years.
When put in proper context,l am the outsider when it comes to working and personal relationships between Dr Okowa chief Edevbie and l.
So, based on the logic above, chief Edevbie is more of governor Okowa’s friend than mine because they worked together from 1999-2022 and l only worked with both for four (4) years,2003-7.
After all, it is common knowledge that Chiefs of Staff, CoS and finance commissioners are always close confidants of governors or presidents.
Take Mike Ogiadume who was CoS to former president Goodluck Jonathan. These leaders that became buddies when they served as deputy governors to chiefs Luck Igbinedion and Depriye Alamiesegha of both Edo and Bayelsa states respectively, and have remained so both in and out of office.
So also was Abba Kyari of blessed memory is the immediate past Chief of Staff, CoS to president Mohammadu Buhari who was his close confidant and long-term ally before he appointed him to the role.
The truth is that Okowa might have fallen out with Edevbie hence he did not support his governorship ambition, but that is a different kettle of fish.
I went into details about relationships and friendships in the PDP political family in delta state to drive home how far that cheeky and vile fellow was willing to go to demonize erudite leaders who laboured to build and nurture the PDP fact that was flourishing before the conflict that we are all currently scrambling to quell l.
The pattern of solid and broken friendships amongst the PDP family members may even be deemed a common practice or trend given that Dr Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan, Okowa’s predecessor that was also his best friend at a point in time was also not favourably disposed to Okowa’s bid to succeed him in 2015 until the intercession by ex-governor labour.
So, the political chicanery that precedes the transition from one member of the PDP family to another in the delta state is all too familiar. It is like the succession feuds that define traditional rulers’ transfer of power from one ruling house to the other such as the recent cases in Warri in delta state and Oniru in Lekki, Lagos state or chieftaincy title tussles and rivalries between individuals all over the country.
The aphorism: in politics, there are no permanent friends or permanent enemies, holds in this instance because politicians can easily switch from being friends to villains in the twinkling of an eye for political gains as has been the case in the delta state political family.
In the light of the above analogy, my assessment of the post-party primaries atmosphere in delta state was at-arms-length and an exercise that captured the political dynamics of that time to restore and foster unity which had taken flight from the party owing to the acrimonious fight for the gubernatorial ticket by the Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, DTSH on one side and former Chief Of Staff to the governor on the other side that created two factions in the party with the risky potential of splitting up the party that used to be one big family.
The potential splintering of the party does not feature in the mindset of the media hitman who further argued that he could infer from my piece that l was not only unduly supporting Edevbie,l was also advocating for the class of 1999 to continue to hold on to the reins of political power in delta state.
Although, he once again goofed on that score because l am not a member of the class of 1999, in any case, what’s wrong with that objective?
After all, self-preservation they say is the first rule of nature.
Is that not so?
What’s more, Governor Okowa is a beneficiary of the 1999 cohort initiative of succeeding one another because like Edevbie he was appointed a commissioner by chief labour in 1999 and that is the pedestal that he leveraged, perhaps on merit to become delta state governor in 2015 and the current Vice Presidential candidate of the PDP for 2023 elections.
The statement below is another revelation of how inconsistent and contradictory the pony writer was in his narrative aimed at casting aspersions on my proposition for peace, as he in one breath vilified me for his presumption that l am promoting the concept of sustaining a pre-existing system, then in another breath, he promoted the same sustenance of dynasty that he is taking umbrage against me for being in support of.
“Governor Okowa kept his card to his chest but allowed every interested person to contest as has been the practice since 2007”
Readers should focus on the line “… as has been the practice since 2007”
While it is okay for him to vaunt the retention of a practice that has been operated since 2007 on one hand, on the other hand, he is excoriating me for his perception that l am wishing that the class of 1999 retains the leadership of the state.
In my piece which is irksome to him and his ilk,l stated that it is up to the incumbent governor to change the political leadership game or sustain it.
And he did the latter, rather than the former which he is well within his right to do, and l have no qualms with that.
Continuing with his diabolical diatribe, the author of the wishy-washy rebuttal argued thus: “You can discern from the foregoing that Onyibe’s idea of power rotation is that it should circulate among members of his political class of 1999. What an insult! Imagine Obasanjo insisting that future Presidents of the country should always come from among his coterie of ministers, advisers, and political associates”
Of course, having his men/women and his party retain the occupancy of Aso Rock Villa was the desire of OBJ and the PDP, hence he midwifed and curated the handover to his successor, Umaru Yar’adua of blessed memory who is the younger of his former boss Shehu Musa Yar’adua.
It is also why a former PDP chairman, the late Vincent Ogbulafor at the peak of their PDP reign boasted that the party that he led would rule Nigeria for another 60 years or even in perpetuity.
But in line with the conventional wisdom, man proposes, God disposes, the political equation that changed in 2015 was fueled by the PDP family internal conflict that remained unsettled until the APC snatched power from them as the party was breaking up instead of building up.
Uncannily, Andy Chukwuma can be likened to the late Ogbulafor and PDP leadership at that time under former Goodluck Jonathan that failed to recognize the real and imminent threat to the ruling party at the centre, PDP that other parties were coalescing into one formidable force to challenge it, so it had to be prepared to defend its tuft.
May such misfortune not befall the delta state PDP family in the current dispensation.
At the risk of repeating myself, if adequate care is not taken, a similar fate that befell the PDP leading to the loss of the presidency in 2015 owing to the absence of proactive thinking may become a lot of PDP families in delta state due to the lackadaisical attitude initially exhibited by the leaders.
Meanwhile, Andy Chukwuma railed against the class of 1999 as if he is cancelling out the fact that Dr Okowa who is currently the state governor and vice presidential candidate of PDP had been an associate of labour as a commissioner from 1999 to 2007 and an SSG to Dr Uduaghan from 2007 to 2011.
With governor Okowa being an associate of Ibori as a member of that cohort of 1999 till date, does it not indicate that the governorship of the state has been circulating amongst that class until the speaker Sherriff Oborovwori became the candidate for the forthcoming 2023 contest?
Is the author’s nauseating postulations against the class of 1999 not so illogical as it validates what he termed an insult that l was advocating for the class of 1999 to continue to be at the helm of affairs in the Osadebe House seat of power in Asaba?
For the records, apart from suing for peace and reconciliation in the delta state PDP family, the other key message that l conveyed in that article was that there are flaws in the process of recruiting our political leaders at the grassroots level as evidenced by the exercise in delta state and proposed that the next National Assembly, NASS should consider a further review of the electoral laws, particularly at the grassroots level as has been done with the reforms of the electioneering process at the national level via the introduction of electoral act 2022 such that state independent electoral commissions can be more independent and perhaps as independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
The need to review the electoral process at the grassroots level was first mooted to me by Ostia Chidoka, one-time aviation minister under ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo.
He did so after the Electoral Act 2022 was passed by NASS and accented to by president Buhari early this year. He is of the view that since the national electoral law has been strengthened via the passage of the electoral act 2022, the grassroots equivalent needs to be equally made more robust.
I agreed with him and was waiting for an opportune time to make the case.
But the flaws observed during the delegates’ election in Delta state which l personally witnessed made it more stark, poignant and urgent to me.
That is why l made the case in the article that riled up that harbinger of disaster and merchant of falsehood that in his overzealous bid to curry favour from his paymasters ended up inflicting more damage on an already fractured PDP family in delta state.
So, by and large, my essay on the challenge faced by candidates unfavored by state governors was primarily advisory to PDP political family in Delta state as l was signposting the danger of losing the state politically to APC if the chasm caused by the ruckus that arose from the party primaries and the subsequent crises that it has stirred up in the political family that has been thriving since 1999 remain unattended to settle it before the general elections scheduled to be held on February 25 and March 11.
But owing to their affliction with myopia, the ponies in the media team of the opposing camp elected to demonize me instead of providing counterbalancing facts, if there are any to debunk the case that l made for rapprochement between them and the other party in the family feud before the strain in the relationship amongst members of the class of 1999 spills into streets.
In my final analysis, I am disappointed that the author of the divisive article could not add any value in terms of specificity by itemizing his grouse and counterbalancing them with verifiable facts that are unassailable in the rebuttal. Instead, he stoked more fire with his half-truths and hallucinations.
And he also claimed that APC people are cross-carpeting into PDP without proof.
But chief Kenneth Gbagi, ex-minister of state, Education, and one of the contestants in the PDP primaries has moved with his supporters into another party where he is flying the party’s gubernatorial flag.
Surely, the fellow who wrote the voodoo essay must be someone living in denial hence he failed to recognize the present existential threat to PDP monopoly of power in Delta state, otherwise, he would not be fomenting such trouble that is avoidable and could accentuate the chasm in the beleaguered party.
So,l am assuming that Andy Chukwuma or whomever he is a surrogate to is unwarrantedly attacking me by twisting the contents of my article just to tar me black to curry favour from governor Okowa and the now confirmed governorship candidate for 2023, speaker Oborovwori, both of whom l presume would have by now had a more holistic grasp of the issues that l raised in the referenced media intervention and a
Presumably, to the chagrin of the ‘hired gun’ he has failed in his nefarious enterprise.
In any case, attempts to assassinate one’s character after speaking the truth to authorities is one of the hazards that public policy analysts face every day as they put their professional lives on the line by contending with the risk of being assailed by impetuous political job men who have no limits to what they would do to salvage the integrity of patriots who speak up no matter whose ox is gored.
As the saying goes a stitch in time saves, nine so l expect the PDP family in delta state to urgently ratchet up fence fence-mending to rebuild the broken tapestry of trust which is a fallout of the keenly and gallantly contested party primaries.
That is the traditional practice after party primaries that pitched family members against each other, are over.
At a national level, the presidential candidate of the PDP, Turaki A Atiku Abubakar and APC flag bearer, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has already embarked on fence mea fence-mending to heal the bruises inflicted on those who got the wrong end of the stick during the At primary At contests At.
My desire Desiree PDP family in Delta state emulates what is happening at the national level by fixing the torn fabric of trust without further delay.
It is the motive for writing the article at issue immediately after the party primaries five (5)months ago, and it remains so, right now.
Commendably, although peace within the party is still fragile, the gubernatorial candidate of deltstatehe ate and current speaker of the house of assembly, Sherriff Oborovwori has pledged to do the same or is already doing some fence mending.
More so as his challenger in the contest for the ticket, chief Da vid Edevbie has exhibited good sportsmanship by conceding defeat and publicly congratulating the eventual winner, speaker Oborovwori.
By and large, presumably,y my noble call for a timely and peaceful resolution of the crisis within the party immediately after the primaries is being heeded as the party gears up to face a formidable foe in the general elections early next year.
Although, it may be coming slowly surely peace and harmony in the PDP family are the minimum requirements for what might turn out to be a successful 2023 governor-ship run by Sherrif Oborefovwori in delta state.
So, it would be such a happy ending if retaining the control of Delta state by PDP as one family becomes the crowning glory to the harvest of national honour that indigenes of the state from all facets of our society recently received.
But in the unlikely event that PDP loses the gubernatorial elections, what the leadership of the party may look back in regret is that it failed to act pragmatically, dexterously and on time to save itself from an internal implosion that was avoidable.
And that would be stunningly disheartening.
Magnus online, an entrepreneur, public policy analyst, author, development strategist, an alumnus of Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, Massachusetts, USA and a former commissioner in Delta state government, sent this piece from Lagos.
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