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POLITICAL SABOTEURS BY DENPHIDEL AKPENYI

Election fever is spreading like epidemic. In the privacy of individual homes and houses, in public places, offices and market places, politics is being discussed who should emerge or who should not represent the people are the major discuss, when or where two or more are gathered.

The political consciousness of the people has skyrocketed beyond imaginations. Supposedly none partisan persons are no longer patient for political parties to produce candidates of their choice. Their patience is understandable. People have generally gone cynical and have lost faith in the political engineering. The political field is extensively wide and can accommodate all comers. Rather than participate to effect changes as desired, they chose to remain political spectators, shouting, clamouring and agitating, dispensing energies. There is too much motion, no movement, with nothing achieved.

There is no political locality without its political peculiarities, with its attendant positivity or negativities depending on which side of the coin is facing upward.

Ika South Local Government area of Delta State is peopled by hardworking, accommodating and generally wonderful people. Beyond this, they are sorrowfully individualistic, particularly the Agbor indigenes. Though, the most populated of the Ika nationalities seems politically marginalized.

From the very beginning, the average Agbor man was very independent. He was an island to himself. He was at once, a farmer, a husbandry person, a cloth weaver and a palm wine taper. He had all his needs within his domain. Nature was kind, land overtly fertile with the gift of a river. In addition to nature’s providence was history of ancestral warrior kings whose fame spread to the Nigers. In the 60s through 70s to 80s, the most prominent kingdoms in Bendel State were Benin and Agbor Kingdoms. The Oba of Benin was the permanent chairman of the Council of Chiefs while the Obi of Agbor was the permanent Deputy. History and culture had pre-eminent positions in the political arrangement at that time. In short, leadership, effortlessly came to Agbor people.

As important as history, culture and custom may be, it has little or no relevance in present political engineering.

Times have changed and things have taken new shape. Leadership or power is not given anymore based on mundane political reasoning. Power is taken, it is not given. Power is akin to a beautiful lady wanting to be courted. She is attracted to force of lobby and manipulative acumen of the ‘toaster’ and above all, the high propensity of the man to give and give, and give. Dormancy and nonchalance do not ignite power. It is grieving and heartrending to see my brothers chanting songs like a broken record that it is “our turn”. These agitations and clamour for the turn of Ika South in the green Chambers, judicious as it may sound, are bereft of hidden political knowledge that power is never negotiated for nor clamoured for but it is taken with force coated with diplomacy.

First and foremost, the quest for a political position is made by an individual and thereafter, a gathering of supporters of this political quest begins to blossom into a force with ripples of activities that become unstoppable, piercing across boundaries of friends, relatives, generally attracting people’s attention and support. Over time, the aspirants stand on issues and plans for the people are made known.

The promises or projected dreams of the aspirants must be seen to tally with his antecedent and pedigree. Money, almost always is never the beginning, the end or the prerequisite. Charisma, personality and outreach counts a great deal. Besides, there are many decent individuals who are anxious to sponsor persons with impeccable character. Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa was not the richest of the gubernatorial aspirants, yet people rallied round him.

In 2011, Hon. Chuks Okoh once made an impressive attempt at the House of Representative. He was not flatfooted and he never waited to be carried. He moved, he pushed and pulled. He was everywhere in the sister local government; interacting and relating. He was not inhibited. He failed in his attempt but refused to fizzle into political oblivion. He was properly schooled on the fact that he needed to grow from one political class to another.

In 2015, he sort for House of Assembly slot in PDP and was knocked out. He reasoned he was more popular and decamped to Accord Party and defeated his opponent against all odds.

A politician of such stock is what Agbor kingdom needs for the Green Chambers, a politician with an undying zeal and conquerors mentality. A mixer, a people’s man, detribalized enough to warm into the hearts of majority of the person in our sister local government, a boundary breaker, a compassionate people’s ambassador, standing for his people for all things at all times and whose door is perpetually opened. A politician who identifies with his people in times of pain and joy. A politician who is seen almost always with his people; burial and marriage functions irrespective of whose party it is, he is there.

A politician who fraternizes with the youths and idolizes the elders. Do we have such politician in our political terrain? Hon. Festus Okoh, Barr. Chiedu Ebie, Peter Idion, Hon. Ezedom Godwin, Jude Onyia, Davison Okafor, readily comes to mind.

In an event of glaring absence of willing and able aspirants with awesome outreach, the propensity to tag others who refuse to chant “it’s our turn” as political saboteurs becomes very high.

Politics is about meeting interest. There are personal and communal interests. Communal interest supposedly caters for aggregate interests of persons resident in a particular locality. The question now is, is it always so? At what point does personal interest supersede communal interest? When personal interest is at variance with communal interest, can that be adjudged treasonable and unpatriotic?

In the wisdom of those that enacted and promulgated our constitution, they carefully entrenched freedom of speech and Association. So long the freedom does not infringe on the liberty of others. In Duara, the home town of President Buhari is pronounced presence of PDP. In Boji-Boji Owa, the home town of the sitting wonder working governor of Delta State are conspicuous presence of APC working to unseat their brother. That is the way it is and will ever be.

Hon. Victor Nwokolo is seeking third term. Constitutionally, he is entitled to run as his steam can carry him. He is not the only Rep that has gone for more than two terms. If his colleagues can, why would he not give it a shot? There is the speculation that he could be made the Speaker of the Green Chambers if he wins again. Pardon my naivety, if he is made the Speaker and Okowa returns as the governor of Delta State and our brother remains the governor of Central Bank, what an awesome opportunity. The possibility of this happening in our life time is mind blowing and is more than enough to oppose the opposition of Hon. Victor Nwokolo.

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