It is obvious there is no limit to which the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) hegemony in Delta state under Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s grip would go in humiliating immediate past Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan for perceived sins the former governor should know better, even as he feigns innocence.
I agree with “Asamaigor” that Thursday 19 December awful show of shame that increasingly partisan Delta State Council of Traditional Rulers, staged in Asaba as “award of excellence in honour of” Okowa, his deputy, Kingsley Otuaro and former governor and ex-convict, James Ibori, was a sponsored charade to further ridicule Uduaghan.
Like Uduaghan, I would also ignore the hysteria of naming the implied sponsor who Uduaghan simply termed “you” when he vented his frustration on how an award of excellence by partisan monarchs in honour of past, present elected Chief Executives of Delta for achievements in state building could exclude the immediate past Governor.
The sponsor and foot-soldiers have also tried to prove that Uduaghan has no reason to cry fowl because traditional rulers also accorded him similar honour in May 2015.
They know full well, this sentiment doesn’t add up because it was an isolated farewell for then outgoing Uduaghan mainly by Delta North monarchs.
Perhaps, the only point of similarity to acknowledge in this misplaced analogy is that Uduaghan can’t deny that the Aniama monarchs’ grand reception in his honour back then was as much sponsored as the latest one meant to “spite me” in his words.
By objective measurement, since the start of democratic rule in Delta, the ranking of Governors performance would place late Felix Ibru ahead of Ibori, Uduaghan and Okowa, in that order as performance have continued to nosedive with successive administration under PDP.
Why would Ibru come first? With what he did in less than a year before Abacha threw him out, Olorogun would have been miles apart from the PDP hegemony in governorship achievements if he had eights years like his successors.
Besides, monarchs reward excellence by chieftaincy titles. It is not their place to stage partisan excellence awards. Even if they should, it is a mockery of governance and Deltans that Governors get recognised for filtering away the bulk of the commonwealth into private pockets without commensurate tangible service delivery.
It a sham that Okowa gets monarchs recognition for squandering the commonwealth on shoddy road projects, ineffective storm drainages, bloated appointment of aides and township development authorities and the “abracadabra” called job creation agency. It is far more disdainful for Delta as a state that Ibori got recognised.
Except the criteria for the award was which governor bought the most jeeps and released contracts for the monarchs, an excellence award should also take congnisance of character of the recipient.
Ibori may remain hero for PDP faithful he made billionaires, millionaires, but as a state, an ex-convict who took free shelter for years in a UK jail for stealing Delta blind as Governor doesn’t deserve excellence award by monarchs who should be custodian of truth and justice.
It is equally a letdown on Odidigborigbo that he conceded to attending a Delta kings’ award ceremony “sponsored” to “slight” his senior cousin.
What that easily tells Ibori supporters is the dwindling overlordship of their master who has drastically fallen from the ultimate power broker of Delta PDP to a pun in the power play that incumbent Okowa can even induce to spite Uduaghan.
As always, when these deliberate humiliation of Uduaghan manifests in the PDP, it provokes the basic rhetorical question, why should anyone be sympathetic to the victim? As a hard lesson learnt, Uduaghan must also begin to pay more respect to the truism in the axiom, “you can’t eat your cake and have it” A grammarian once told me the correct expression is “you can’t have your cake and eat it.”
Whichever better way to put it, when in 2015, the former governor retired top civil servant, late Tony Obuh, to imperiously lord him over founding Delta Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) member in the stature of rugged political player as Ifeanyi Okowa, he should have known he was staking the riskiest investment in his political career.
If Uduaghan had succeeded in lording Obuh over Okowa back then and be the alternate Delta PDP Godfather after Ibori, only God knows what would have happened to Okowa today. And as Ibori once said, “you don’t empower your political enemy”.
The genesis of the sustained humiliation of Uduaghan by Okowa and Delta PDP after the failed bid to retire Okowa’s political career started from this point.
That Okowa’s predecessor further failed to win reprieve in form of elective or appointive recognition under the All Progressives Congress in fighting back the party that brought him to prominence has made him more vulnerable.
By washing some of PDP’s dirty linen in public in the guise of now realising that APC was a more responsibility platform, he further stoked the fire of Okowa and PDP’s antagonism against him.
Resting my case, Uduaghan, on separate front, is further reaping what he contributed to sowing. The effrontery, impunity by which Delta monarchs now indulge in divisive politics started when Governors, including Uduaghan, started meddling and corrupting the Royal Stools by backing imposition of unpopular, unqualified or unwanted candidates as Kings.
Asamaigor and not a few in the Iwere Land must also be disappointed that not only was the exalted Olu of Warri present at the “sponsored” charade, but His Majesty, Ikenwole, it was who personally handed Okowa his award.
Many believe Ikenwole’s predecessor, inimitable Atuwatse II, wouldn’t have contemplated joining the bandwagon. Who does Uduaghan blame really? Okowa, the monarchs or the rats at home who sold him out to be crucified.
They went even as petty as dividing Kingdoms by sharing staffs of office to parallel fabricated stools, in desperation to win votes during elections.
Mosogar Kingdom was given to Amori, seperated without mutual consent, from Jesse, and in Abraka, an Army Chief got a parallel stool and almost spontaneous staff of office, even more recognised than the royalty that had existed before his.
Asamaigor didn’t deserve the humiliation by the Delta monarchs, but it serves him right. He can pretend and act holier than thou about his fate, but it’s all a matter of what you sow, you reap.
- Ruvwoghor wrote from Warri, Delta state