The political wind of 2019 general election is fast approaching like hurricane in every nook and cranny of the country. The beating of the election drum has risen to a crescendo. Now, all political gladiators have rolled their sleeves, battle ready for the exercise. The election fever itself has equally gripped every limb and sinew of all aspirants vying for one political post or the other. The electorates themselves are not left out in the euphoria of the scintillating election music. They are trigger happy and warming up to use their voting cards as formidable weapons to vote in any candidate of their choice, irrespective of their political leanings. Their political representatives at the state and federal levels, who appeared periodically like a new moon after the 2015 election, are now commonly seen in the streets appealing to the electorates to give them maximum support.
As the story goes, in Delta State, the story is not different. The election campaign is equally gathering momentum. Politicians of different colours and persuasions are now out canvassing for votes from their abandoned electorates who suffered democratic deficit during their tenure. It is now time for reckoning where our representatives will give account of their stewardship to the electorates, including how they spent the allowances given to them to develop their constituencies.
It is very painful that money and bags of rice have now started exchanging hands among the electorates. It seems humanity has sold its birthright to reason and unnecessarily being controlled by the terrible energy of lust and insatiable desire to get rich by fair or foul means. Those political guzzlers who cheated the electorates are not supposed to get a sympathy vote from them. And those idle, good-for-nothing political bench-warmers who mismanaged the constituency allowances and used the money to purchase “only seen in paradise” expensive mansions in Overseas and cruise expensive cars in the major cities of Nigeria are not supposed to receive our votes again. They only betray wry smiles that speak volume of deceits to the electorates. As if bereft of senses, some of our ignorant electorates hail them to the high heavens and make a nasty statement that they (the cheats) “have made it”. What an egregious folly!
At this juncture, it has to be stated categorically to all the candidates vying for any political post that the thick scale of ignorance has miraculously fallen from our eyes. All those political tricksters have to work like Trojan at this time around before they get free tickets to the Promised Land reserved for the serious minded politicians. Any aspirant who wants to vie for any post both at the Federal and State levels has a lot of questions to answer. The candidates will be able to explain convincingly what they would do for the development of their constituencies during their tenure if voted into power.
Be that as it may, it should be stated here that all those political cheats should bear in mind that Ika Nation can no longer fold their hands and also close their eyes to watch those they have voted into power and squandered the money meant for the development of their area. At this point in time, a momentous decision has to be taken to salvage Ika nation from slipping into political abyss.
Our people do not want again all those awara-awa tomatoes political neophytes to be at the corridor of power. Ika nation is naturally blessed with great political geniuses of untainted reputations nationally and internationally. What Ika people want is philosopher king and men of verifiable and articulate mental disposition to be our representatives. We do not want men who are politically deformed and who will go there to answer the position of ‘yes sirship’ while his mates are busy in the house, seriously involved in attracting projects to their constituencies. Neither do we want those who are always asleep in the house while parliamentary debate is going on. Ika people want politicians of enormous courage and tremendous reservoir of mental power, which, as magnet attracts iron filings, are able to attract development projects to their area. We want men who are as strong as the Rock of Gibraltar to usher in a new era of prosperity to the entire people of Ika land.
Emphatically speaking, we do not want charlatans or chronic know-nothing political troubadours whose stock in trade are to sing praises to their political fathers, even though they are cheating their people. We want powerful men of inexhaustible energy in the political front to be our representatives. And not Jekyll and Hyde mischievous political gadabouts who often squirrel away constituency allowances only to lodge in an executive hotels in overseas and squander the money with reckless prodigality, while the electorates writhe in pains like maggots in the struggle for personal survival. Enough of these shenanigans!
However, it should be mentioned here that we have all along been hibernating in the cyst of naked ignorance and materialism. We have foolishly sold our consciences in exchange for cups of rice and paltry sum of money to vote in a demagogue and unsuitable candidate, only to bring to us in return a harvest of disgrace as a dividend of democracy.
Until some good politicians of lively spirit take over the mantle of leadership in Ika nation, development projects will continue to elude us in perpetuity.
Painfully enough, the major problem we are facing is our gullible electorates who are hell bent on mortgaging their consciences only to vote in an incapable candidate. Talking to them to see the need for credibility is as difficult as dragging a child away from the nipples of its mother’s breast.
Moreover, it should be stated in this article that in Delta State, Delta Central and Delta South had ruled the state for eight years each without hitch. Now that it is the turn of Delta North to rule for eight years according to PDP arrangement in the state, Anioma people should support our “Kinsman” – Senator Ifeanyi Okowa to complete his eight years tenure. We should not allow this opportunity slip through our fingers like ogbono soup. Anioma people should not disappoint their illustrious son by acting like a hungry man, after washing his hands, crack a palm kernel only to find the kernel rolling from the stone and being quickly carried away by a smart chicken.
We should be very careful not to be in opposition at this time around. It is said that any man who decides to taste the forbidden fruit must be prepared to face the consequences as Adam and Eve did. It is high time we came to our senses and face the reality by voting massively for Senator Ifeanyi Okowa in 2019 gubernatorial election in Delta State.
A victory to the Delta State Government House in 2019 election is not an easy task. For Senator Ifeanyi Okowa to get an easy ticket to the hallowed house, he has some immediate problems to solve before the election. The first is the problem of primary school teacher’s arrears of salaries. The honourable Governor said it several times that Primary School Teachers are not under the State Government and it was the responsibility of the Local Council. During the tenures of Chief Onanefe Ibori and Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, the two ex-governors did not discriminate against the Primary School Teachers because they voted for them. In 2015 election, the teachers also voted for Senator Ifeanyi Okowa. Why are the teachers looked down upon by the present government of Delta State? The neglect of these gentlemen and women of noble profession has acted as a big crack to the solid foundation of Primary Education laid down by Chief Onanefe Ibori and Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan. This ugly development will eventually affect secondary and tertiary education students in no distant time. This is because pupil’s population in Primary Schools feeds Secondary Schools, and invariably institutions of higher learning. Some years to come, pupils and students who attended school in Delta State during this period would be lagging behind in an academic competition at the National level. Pupils in Delta State are now academically poorly fed by teachers who are starved of many months of Salary arrears. They can no longer put in their best again in the midst of extreme starvation.
In addition to the above, the governor will equally solve the problem of Retirees gratuities. It is very disappointing that up till now, the Delta State government has not been able to finish the payment of gratuities of 2013 retirees. Recently, the last batch of 2013 retirees went to receive their entitlement, but unfortunately, emptiness slammed their expectations when they discovered to their chagrin that a substantial amount of their gratuities were slashed and were not the same amount with their counterparts who were in the same salary grade level and retired the same 2013. They were asked to sign and receive the checks, which they vehemently rejected. They all returned home disappointed with tears streaming down their cheeks. If it takes four years for Senator Ifeanyi Okowa to pay only 2013 retirees, how many decades will it take him to pay 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 in addition to the recent 2018 sets?
The retirees in Delta State have suffered untold hardship with their families since 2013. Some of them have backlog of house rent to settle their landlords and some have withdrawn their God given children from higher institutions because of paucity of funds. Eating a meal a day is as difficult as climbing mountain Kilimanjaro. It is indeed a pitiable condition.
There are also other problems facing the civil servants in Delta State which are not edifying story to narrate here. If the governor fails to look into these problems with the urgency they deserve, what happened in Ekiti State gubernatorial election may replicate in Delta State. That time, Deltans will be singing nunc dimittis to PDP in the State. A stitch in time, they say saves nine.
By Peter Onwuegbuzie