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OPINION

Omo-Agege: Where is Urhobo mandate? By Kparobo Ehvwubare

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Life is really full of lamentation. Little wonder the book of lamentations captured it this way when it noted… how solitary the city was, full of people and how she became a window. She that was great among the nations; and princess among the province; how she has become tributary.

Similarly, the book of Ecclesiastes described life as vanity upon vanity which it notes was all vanity. The thing that has been, that which shall be and that which is done is that shall be done and there is no new thing under the sun (Eccl. 1:9).

As the world is becoming smaller and Nigeria and of course Delta Central as part is becoming so minute.
Activities of the ‘then and now’ are two opposite poles. The Delta Central of Bar. Akpor Ewherido, the sojourn of Ighoyota Amori in the senate and that of ours today are antagonistic of trio.

If the representation of Bar Akpor Ewherido brought 60% people oriented legislative development to Delta Central, and Ighoyota Amori should upgrade it to 80% during his sojourn in the House, where he brought almost all Nigeria senators to Delta Central was a pointer that Amori was out for serious business and it was the expectation of the good people of Urhobo nation that his successor or robber should do better.

Before now, Mr. Augustine Ovie Omo-agege was aclaimed to be God sent occasioned by his pretence to be humble and as someone who is closer to the people, would ameliorate the plights of the people through massive people oriented laws favourable, but what went wrong? How does our mandate went into oblivion in Abuja?

In his first two years in office, he pretended to be who he was not, painting Ighoyota Amori to be enemy of Urhobos among other Urhobo patriots, who has paid their dues in Urhobo land.

Being overzealous as he is, before his eventual suspension, he was said to be brimming stones and fire within the political party that brought him to power. Mr. Omo-agege was said to have told Otega Emerhor pointblank that he was now the leader of the party in the district, a development that spark off mixed reactions among party members.

Omo-agege was alleged to have sponsored some members of his political party to endorsed Great Ogboru as sole candidate governorship of the All Progressive Congress in Delta State, a move that was highly rebuffed in Abraka in attempt to endorse Ogboru in the said meeting. Omo-agege’s plan was to ride on Ogboru back come 2019. Since then among other dubious activities of his made party faithfuls to be uncomfortable with him.

Instead of Mr. Omo-agege to build bridges among party faithfuls, or even concentrate on his legislative business, he bought his way to, he was busy casting aspirations on Urhobos, and knocking horns with those he perceived to be enemies.

I was in sober yesterday, seeing my representative at the senate being booted out of plenary with 90 days suspension, trying to be more Catholic than the Pope and overzealousness to be in the good book of the Presidency.

Omo-agege was said to have bite more than what he could shew, thinking that the red Chambers was Urhobo land where he can insult people and usurp power and go free.
And I asked myself, who bewitched Urhobo? Was this the son of a noble Chief Judge? Why can’t Omo-agege maintain the integrity of Justice Omo-agege of blessed memory?

Well, some of the answers to the above questions find expression to the kind of person Ovie Omo-agege is made of, few years after the people are already fed up with him occasioned by his empty promises, vague decisions and subtle deeds. Truth is like a water prove, if buried remains the same.

Of course it behooves on Urhobos to elect Urhobo patriot to represent us at the National Assembly come 2019, with Omo-agege representing Urhobo at the senate, it seems Urhobos are caused. What is unveiling at the moment is a pointer that Mr. Omo-agege bought his way to the senate against the wish of Urhobos, they could not cry more than the bereaved, but have to endure what they could not cure, but it seems that God and the gods of Urhobo is on revenge.

Omo-agege why did you decide to disgrace Urhobos this way! It is so unfortunate that Omo-agege has brought our name to ridicule; I know Urhobos will not forget you in hurry.

Omo-agege! Thank you for disgracing us, may God bless you.

Kparobo Ehvwubare, is a public affairs analyst, social critics, media consultant, writes from Oghara-Delta State. Could be reach on marksbare@gmail.com or +2347067546856 (sms)

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OPINION

Kogi East Senate: A two-horse race

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By Ibrahim Isah

Online and offline, discussions on the forthcoming Senatorial contest in Kogi East have revolved around two economists and former bankers both with intimidating credentials, enthralling pedigrees but varying capacities to represent their people and deliver on campaign promises. While Dr. Victor Alewo Adoji is running on the platform of African Democratic Congress (ADC), Alhaji (Dr.) Jibrin Isah is running on the platform of the All Peoples Congress (APC).

Earlier Senatorial contests, especially the last two have happened with little or no fuse about the candidates. It was majorly about the Party platform and it the quality or capacity of the candidate. Clearly, the allure form party supremacy had foisted minions and non-performers on the constituency and the constituents who are ultimately the net-losers.

With increasing political awareness, great access to information via various social media channels, escalating impoverishment and shrinking population of politically apathetic, political Parties realized they needed more than just the platform to win elections. It was for this reason that the APC leadership in the State and Kogi East in particular co-opted and worked tirelessly to ensure that Jibrin Isah emerged as its Kogi East Senatorial candidate. It was not that rosy for Victor Adoji as his former Party, the PDP, chose to offer its ticket to the seating Senator, Attai Aidoko, without holding a primary election either in defiance or as an act of impunity. The thinking is that considering the dismal performance of the APC in the State, anyone who gets the ticket of the main opposition Party in the State could be said to have won the Senatorial election. That has turned out to be a huge miscalculation considering the hundreds on PDP members who dumped the Party not necessarily to join the APC but in support of Jibrin Isah.

However, Victor Adoji’s emergence on the ADC platform re-channeled the hemorrhage of PDP members in favour of the ADC and some APC members. Those who have not openly moved have only stayed back to achieve two things one of which is to be beneficiaries of the largesse that has been touted by the divisional party chairman and promised by the PDP candidate, Senator Attai Aidoko.

In a survey of fifty (50) people each across the nine local governments of Kogi East, Ninety Five percent (428 respondents) categorically said they would either vote for Victor or Echocho. Three percent (13 respondents) said they would vote for Amade Edime while less than one percent (4 respondents) said they would vote for Attai Aidoko.

When the question was reversed along Party lines, Fifty One percent (229 respondents) said they would either vote for PDP or APC. Thirty Two percent (144 respondents) said they would vote for the ADC, Five Percent (21 respondents) while another five percent (21 respondents) said they would vote for APDA.

Evidently, two variables (personality and party platform) would play significantly in how the electorates would make their choices in the forthcoming elections especially the Kogi East senatorial election. But, more than any other factor under consideration, the personality of the individuals would play a bigger role.
In the coming days, weeks and months, the involvement of the Igala elite class, various interest/pressure groups, affiliations and accessibility will do a lot to either shift or tilt the balance in favour or against any of the two leading candidates. Issues like the quality of their manifestoes, their performances during the various debates that would be organized as well as the pedigree of influencers they deploy would count a lot in endearing them to the electorates.

There is also the waning influence of major stakeholders across the two leading Parties in the Eastern flank of the State. Findings from the survey also revealed that, most of the youthful members of the parties see their elders as working only for themselves and their pockets and are not ready to take any orders from those they say have compromised hiding behind the doctrine of “Party id supreme” or in expectation of political appointment of contract.

While we could not get access to the membership registers of the two leading Parties to know the total members of both parties in Kogi East, we are told that the total number of Party members in both parties cannot be up to a hundred thousand. That is less than fifteen percent of the voting in Kogi East. Impliedly, most of those who decide the outcome of elections are not Party members but non-partisan voters. It follows therefore that the forthcoming election is going to be form, size and shape more about the personality and less about the Party platform.

In the final analysis, the Kogi East Senatorial election is a two-horse race between Dr. Victor Alewo Adoji of the ADC and Dr. Jibrin Isah of the APC and in the end, it comes down to the very little things beyond the scope of money, thuggery, window-dressing and godfatherism.

 

– Ibrahim Isah wrote from Idah, Kogi State

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OPINION

As Sen Attai Aidoko woos Kogi East elders with cash gifts, SDG contracts

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By Ibrahim Isah

 

After the court verdict of October 24, 2018 which seemingly asked Senator Attai Aidoko to vacate the Senate for Air Marshall Isaac Alfa, the embattled Aidoko has gone all out to pacify stakeholders, especially elders, in Kogi East. He is said to be on a visiting and spending spree with Greek gifts ranging from cash to promises of SDG contracts.

Aidoko who has fallen out of favor with his constituents on account of his dismal performance the past sixteen years he has been at the National Assembly, greed and high-handed mannerisms is desperate to return to the Senate with the hope of becoming the next Senate president which is the bait he is selling to his constituency in seeking their support.

While some of the Kogi East elders are notorious for selling-out and compromises and going back on their words, it is clear that the dynamics havs changed extensively against them as the well-honed elite class have become major stakeholder in the ensuing conversations. Groups like the ICDA, Ukomu, IYLA, ISA, Masses Assembly, NUT, and a large rainbow of interest groups have become very vociferous and most of them have openly spoken against Aidoko’s misrepresentation and desperation. Everything considered, Aidoko’s bait may not achieve much as according to a lady who spoke anonymously, “if the elders like, let them collect one plane each from Attai Aidoko. We are waiting for them. This time, we won’t allow them to destroy our children’s future after destroying our own. We are waiting and watching”.

But, one must agree that Aidoko is one hell of a politically smart Alec. He is said to have reached out to Atiku through the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki to let impress on Atiku the need to call all Kogi East elders who are bent on throwing him out to order. In his estimation, that will ultimately affect Atiku’s chances in Kogi East. Aidoko seem to forget that, what the Kogi Easterners have said in unequivocal terms is “anyone but Attai Aidoko”. Evidently, Jibrin Isah, Amade Edime, Yahaya Okai, Alhaji Wahab or anyone under any other platform will defeat Attai Aidoko squarely and roundly.

Senator Aidoko is banking on the PDP platform and the Atiku candidacy to saunter himself Into the Senate once more but the constituents have had enough of him and “would vote along personality lines this time”. Come to think of it how many of his “party members have benefited from his years in the National Assembly not to talk of the entire Kogi East? We hear he has kept a lot of his SDG cars, motorbikes, Keke NAPEP and money to influence votes this time around. Well, we are waiting” someone said.

In the end, we await the outcome of the Senator’s selective visitations to those he considers the most important to railroad him to the Senate once more.

In the last count, Sen. Aidoko has either met or sent emissaries to Alhaji Ibrahim Idris, Captain Idris Wada, Senator Nicholas Ugbane, Chief John Odawn and his former godfather, Dr. Amodu Ali. One common fear the stakeholders harbor is that, even in the unlikely event he is supported and wins, the victory will be truncated in court. This will the akin to the way through which he got one of his many court victories.

 

-Ibrahim Isah wrote from Idah, Kogi State

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OPINION

Uduaghan: 64 garlands for an indefatigable achiever

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By Julius Akpovire-Enyeh

 

When great men celebrate, even the stars bow in solemn hallow. As the immediate past governor of Delta State and the All Progressives Congress candidate for Delta South Senatorial District, Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan celebrates his 64th birthday today (October 22, 2018), the periscope is focused on a man who has given his all to create peace, tranquility and progress for his people and the Niger-Delta region as a whole.

Gradually, the former governor is stepping into the septuagenarian club, healthy, hearty, resolute and focused. As he ages, it is never a dull moment for a man who has spent the greater part of his life to render selfless service to humanity.

Describing Uduaghan as a child of circumstances with a great destiny is like stating the obvious. It is often said that some were born great, while others attained or achieved greatness. For Uduaghan, it is a combination of being born great and working hard to attain greatness.

At 64, Dr. Uduaghan has packed in that relatively old age, a record of achievements that is the envy of his peers. Born on October 22, 1954 in Abigborodo – Warri North Local Government Area of Delta State, his parents Chief Edmund D. Uduaghan and Mrs. Cecilia Uduaghan, may not have imagined the great heights their then little child was destined for. But as the legendary Professor Chinua Achebe would say, a chick that will grow to be a cock is known the day it was hatched.

That wise saying became manifest in the boy, Emmanuel, when he enrolled in Baptist Primary School, Mosogar in Ethiope West Local Government Area of Delta State, between the years 1961 and 1966 marking the commencement of his intellectual quest that saw him pass through the famous Federal Government College, Warri, between 1968 and 1974 and the prestigious University of Benin (UNIBEN) where he studied medicine and graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (MBBS) degree and a Diploma in Anesthesia.

Uduaghan began work in 1983 at the Delta Steel Company, as a medical officer. From 1989 to 1994, he worked in a number of hospitals including Westend Hospital, Warri; Benoni Hospitals, Benin City and Shell Hospital, Ogunu, where he was a Consultant Anaesthesiologist. In 1994 he set up a private medical practice. He has held positions in the Nigerian Medical Association in Warri, Bendel State and Delta State. He was also active in the Junior Chamber International (Jaycees) leadership development organization. A founding member and Chairman of the All Nigeria Congress Association for the Warri South Local Government Area in Delta State, a founder and executive member of the Grassroots Democratic Movement (GDM), and a foundation member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

A former Commissioner for Health, a former Secretary to the Delta State government and a two-term governor of the ‘Big heart state’. For those familiar with activities in Delta State, you will agree with me that one thing that is synonymous with the name, Uduaghan is development. As commissioner for health, Dr. Uduaghan improved the pay of medical staff and upgraded infrastructure.

For eight years that he was at the helm of affairs of Delta State, the state experienced massive development in all the sectors. His achievements are endless. He succeeded in turning the fortunes of the state around with the available resources. Dr. Uduaghan’s developmental strides speak volumes. Most of his legacies are still being enjoyed in the state presently.

Uduaghan distinguished himself in all the sectors he served. He is arguably one of the most successful politicians the Niger Delta have produced in recent times. His influence and popularity were not earned through a walk in the park, rather by the dint of his determination to make his people happy. His story is a very loaded one, his development efforts also extended to the Niger Delta region even though he was the governor of a state. He was deeply involved in negotiations with Niger Delta agitators and militants alike which let to peace in the region. Of course, where there is peace, there is development.

If one counts every infrastructure dotted all over the state, a greater percentage of them would definitely bear his finger of approval.

Even his ardent critics concede to him that his sojourn in office garnered stellar propensities that have till date remained a yardstick for measuring performance in that resource – rich state.

Uduaghan, a man of peace and a man of the people is married to another achiever and distinguished professional, Her Excellency, Mrs. Roli Uduaghan. Their marriage is blessed with two children.

As this enigma celebrates his birthday today, I join other teeming Deltans and Nigerians to wish him a happy birthday and pray that God grant him more strength to carry on’. Amen.

Happy birthday sir!

 

*Julius Akpovire-Enyeh is a Delta born journalist.

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