By Annabel Ogheneganre
When Senator Ifeanyi Aurthur Okowa ran his re-election race in 2019, he never faced the kind of heat he is facing today. I never knew a day would come when Okowa, despite his claim to mesmerizing political sagacity and cleverness, would run the kind of ‘kitikata’ race he is running today to install his stooge, Rt Hon Sheriff Oborevwori.
Shortly after his failed bid to be Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria despite his claim to political invincibility of never losing elections, it dawned on him that the table has turned against him and that the people he has been counting on has since left him. He decided to hit the ground running. But it was too late. Today, the man is shuttling from Church to Church to beg for votes. This he never did in 2019 during his re-election campaigns.
The man is staring at defeat face to face and has resorted to begging the civil servants not to end his political career. Directors and Permanent Secretaries have gotten alert of N40,000 to N50,000 each in obvert vote buying spree. Every civil servant in Delta State has been given N10,000 obviously for the elections. He now understands that the civil servants are important and not happy with him.
When almost a year ago, his Rivers State counterpart appointed 200,000 Special Assistants to help mobilize voters for his interest in the general elections, Governor Okowa, who dared betray the southern claim to the next presidency, did not consider it wise to do anything close to that.
Today, he is cap in hand, begging the party officials he treated with disdain with all manner of appointments days to the gubernatorial elections. As Fejiro Oliver would say, indeed, ‘Okowa is a bad boy.’
PANIC MODE ACTIVATED: One thing is clear, the fear of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege is what is driving Okowa crazy into trying to buy the conscience of Delta state civil servants with over N1billion naira just few days to elections. Panic mode has been activated.
Okowa has directed all revenue drivers at both state and local government levels to suspend same in a bid to court the peoples support. With the introduction of the BVAS machine and the reforms in the electoral system, power has truly returned to the people. This is the only reason an arrogant tyrant like Okowa could direct his ‘cult boys’ to stay action till after the elections.
Today, Okowa is shaken, stunned, dazed and traumatized. It has never been this bad for the emperor of Owa-Alero.
Let me sound this note of caution; it was the Late Sir Juju and Udjabor, in one of their creative presentations, that said ‘Once you beat a native doctor, do not stop halfway. Make sure you kill him lest he rebound to hurt you with vicious darts of his diabolism’. Ewh’Obo, je wh’Obo’. Deltans should not make the mistake of voting Governor Okowa’s stooge on Saturday. The best thing to happen to Delta State is a complete routing of the protégés of Governor Okowa who could sustain and cover up his tracks when he leaves office.
Governor Okowa and Chief Kingsley Esiso are the worst thing to happen to Delta PDP in recent times. The rate at which former and serving government officials are defecting from the sinking PDP is enough to prove to all that all is not well with the state. Okowa’s boys have resorted to name calling, writing off the defectors as Ibori’s old boys who want to regroup to take over power from the younger generation. Who are these e-rats trying to delude with infantile lies? Does Sheriff Oborevwori, a 60 year old man belong to the younger generation? If those older generations of political war horses decide to support Sheriff Oborevwori today, will they still be credited with such derogatory epitaph?
What is happening today is that Deltans have grabbed Okowa by the balls. Those balls will fall off on Saturday March 18 once Senator Ovie Omo-Agege is declared winner. The jubilation that will reverberate all over Delta State would be bigger than when Sani Abacha died. Delta civil servants have a rare opportunity to punish their slave master on March 18 and that opportunity must be exploited to the maximum.
The only man with the capacity to drive the evil gang in power from Asaba is Senator Ovie Omo-Agege of the APC. The power to change the evil gang is in the hands of the people and that should not be taken for granted.
Whatever relief Ifeanyi Okowa is offering in form of tax rebate, revenue drive suspension, market taxes, garage ticket sales suspension and other forms of reliefs from the sinking PDP ship that has been in power for 24 years must be rejected. The only opportunity to punish the slave master is voting Senator Ovie Omo-Agege on Saturday.
The OBIDIENT ANGLE: Let me reiterate the fact that a fallacy being marketed in the political space is the position of the Obidient believers. Obidient is different from Labour Party. Labour Party was only a political platform for Peter Obi to marshal his Obidient political ideology in the presidential election. Many Obidient members belong to the PDP, APC and non-political actors particularly the clergy most of whom are educated. To credit Peter Obi’s political sagacity to anybody flying the Labour Party flag is to make mockery of the movement. That cannot fly. Those PDP and APC faithfuls who signed up for the Obidient movement have since returned to their political parties and can never vote for Labour Party on March 18. We must learn to separate the wheat from the chaff so as to properly locate the Obidient movement as a political movement anchored on credibility, integrity and capacity of the candidate for election. The only candidate that fits into this political ideology in the March 18 election is Senator Ovie Omo-Agege.
Deltans should rally round Ovie Omo-Agege to draw down the change we clamour for. We cannot continue to retain PDP in Osadebey House and still expect any change in the management of our resources. But for the threats to his grip on Delta State, Okowa will not open the state vault to dish out money in billions for the people to vote for PDP. He didn’t do it in 2019. He took everybody for granted particularly when Chief James Onanefe Ibori was with him. Today, Ibori has moved on and most of his followers have dumped Okowa. The defections will continue till March 18 and the result from the field will shock Okowa to his marrow. He should simply throw in the trowel. Most of those around him are not telling him the truth. The party is over and the time to surrender is now. Ovie Omo-Agege is the next Governor of Delta State!
Annabel Ogheneganre of the Urhobo Voice Newspaper writes from Garki, Abuja. (Please send reaction to email@example.com)