Friday, 23 January 2015

What manner of equity is PDP practising in Delta State?

                                            Ifeanyi Okowa
It is shocking that Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate for the 2015 general elections in Delta State could pick his running mate, Mr. Kingsley Otuaro, from the Ijaw Nation contrary to the unwritten agreement in the state’s PDP that the running mate to the governor in the 2015 political dispensation should come from the Isoko Nation! With the cry by the people of Delta North Senatorial District to produce the next governor for the sake of equity owing to the fact that that is the only senatorial district yet to produce the governor of the state, it was expected that Senator Ifeanyi Okowa and the people of Delta North would do everything possible to ensure that equity which they have been clamouring for over the years is practised but this is not the case in the 2015 political arrangement.
 Delta South Senatorial District consists of four ethnic groups: Urhobo, Isoko, Ijaw and Itsekiri. The Itsekiri ethnic group currently holds the position of governor, the Ijaw Nation currently occupies the senate position while the Isoko and Urhobo Nations are left as orphans. Ahead of the 2015 general elections, Senator James Manager, who currently occupies the Delta South Senatorial District in the Senate, has picked the PDP’s ticket to contest the senatorial election in 2015 while an Ijaw has also been chosen as the running mate to the governorship candidate from the same Delta South Senatorial District at the detriment of the Isoko Nation that was originally hinted to produce the running mate.  Is this type of equity Delta North has been clamouring for? 
Moreover, would it be too much for the Ijaws in Delta State to concede the positions of deputy governor and senator to other tribes-Urhobos, Isokos and Itsekiris in the Delta South Senatorial District of the state to garner support towards the re-election of their son, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in 2015? Is the office of the president not much more important than those of deputy governor and senator? Certainly, the office of the president is much more important than any other position in the country! Thus, it is a thing of pride for the Ijaw Nation to have produced the president of this nation and it is necessary for them to ensure his re-election by giving up the inconsequential positions of deputy governor and senator to other tribes in Delta State. Senator James Manager, an Ijaw has been in the Senate since 2003 at the detriment of the Isoko and the Urhobo Nations since the Itsekiri Nation has been on the driver’s seat as governor of the state since 2007. So, the Urhobos and Isokos in the Delta South Senatorial District have been sidelined in the governance of the state since 2007.
With this hardline position taken by the Ijaws in wanting to occupy the positions of deputy governor and senator, all in the same Delta South Senatorial District ahead of the 2015 general elections, how do they expect the Urhobos, Isokos and Itsekiris that are in the same Senatorial District with them to support the re-election bid of President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015? The worry of this writer is that the likes of Chief Ighoyota Amori, Hon. Monday Igbuya, Chief Olori Magege etc. who have been in the forefront in the demand for the next governor to come from Delta North for the sake of equity could allow this brazen abuse of power sharing in Delta State! How can these people who are the apostles of equity in Delta State allow this type of political arrangement that is tilted toward only the Ijaws in the Delta South Senatorial District? One would have expected these Urhobos who are crusaders of equity to have drawn the attention of PDP stalwarts in Delta State that for the purpose of equity, only the Ijaws cannot produce the senator and deputy governor from the Delta South Senatorial District! Till this moment, none of these champions of equity has spoken against this awkward political arrangement and vainglorious display of might.
 If the above mentioned persons see nothing wrong with this political arrangement ahead of 2015, then one wonders the type of equity they are talking about in Delta State. In fact, what does equity mean to these people? Does equity only mean the movement of the governorship position to Delta North while other political positions are concentrated in the hand of one tribe? If this political arrangement is allowed to stay come 2015, in the very near future, one ethnic group will produce the governor, deputy governor and the speaker. This is not good for our fledgling democracy that is being nurtured.
If the PDP allows this bizarre political arrangement to actualize in 2015, it will rankle the membership of the party in the state and also provoke protest votes during the 2015 general elections. Certainly, this is not a laudable precedent and will not promote harmonious coexistence among the heterogeneous tribes in the state. Therefore, this provocative political scheme should be revisited to guarantee peace and tranquility in Delta State.

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