By Fejiro Oliver
Let it be known publicly that I have never really given it a thought on who occupies the Dennis Osadebey House. My only concern has been that a man who can take Delta close to her destination be the one to lead me and millions of Deltans. Again, it is a known fact that I remain unapologetic by maintaining that the man who will govern my state must not be anointed by the governor, but he must also be the one who will be in good term with the outgoing governor. We do not want a Delta where the successor and predecessor will turn the State into a cold war zone as currently being experienced in Anambra State between Governor Willie Obiano and his benefactor, Peter Obi.
Is this supposed to be an open letter to Governor Emmanuel Ewetan Uduaghan on his 60th birthday celebration? I don?t even know. Is this supposed to be a plea to the amiable governor? Again, I do not know. But this is not to say that I am confused, I honestly do not know what to tag this epistle, but I do know for sure that this will get to the Uduaghan as previous ones have always done. I really do not need introduction to the Delta State Governor, as he has read all my reports on his administration and offered rebuttal to some; just as he was aware of my kidnap by the Niger State government. Succinctly say, I am a member of the government family, even though I have refused to be biased in my job towards them. It is this friendship I enjoy from a distance with them that mandates me to deliver this message to Uduaghan.
As I watched Channels TV streaming live the birthday programme of the governor, I looked closely at the man being celebrated for building a Delta beyond Oil and he looks 40 years; still fresh and youthful. I listened to all the Speakers speeches, hoping seriously that one of them will advise him on the right steps to take towards the selection or election of a governorship candidate in Delta State, but none of them did. I will not question their wisdom, but will not let that go unaddressed.
Be it known this day that if there is anyone who wishes the governor well, I will stand out tallest. My criticism of him are all done in efforts to make him a better leader, and as he finishes strong, heavens may not forgive me if I do not take up the mantle to talk to him once again. At 60, Uduaghan is naturally close to the door of meeting his ancestors and let no one say ?God forbid?, for it is the apostolic truth. If the scripture be fulfilled in its first part, then the governor has just ten more years to spend on this earth, which may all end with him being in the Senate. But as always, I wish him to live above a hundred.
As you bask in the euphoria of celebrating a worthy 60th year, Deltans have pleaded with me to plead with you to depart gracefully and leave behind a legacy of a worthy successor. Delta State is a mini Nigeria that cannot be left in the hands of a political novice, simply because your interest will be protected. Delta State is too complex a State to be left in the hands of professional civil servants simply because you believe that they are your die hard loyalist. Be not deceived, Mr Governor, for if nobody will tell you the truth, I stand at your door today, knocking to give you this epistle that you may read.
We have seen governors anointing supposedly loyal civil and corporate gurus to take over them, but get stabbed at the back, while we have seen governors allowing the delegates make a free choice of the candidates and the supposed non loyal aspirants who become governors turn out to be a faithful loyalist of the out gone governor. I will not mention names, but they abound around us, Mr Governor.
We do understand that the right for you to support a candidate cannot be negotiated. We do also know that the desire for you to have a successor who will not shut his/her eyes on you cannot also be disputed. But truth be told, the desire to have a healthy, peaceful and more prosperous Delta is more rooted in your heart than your personal desire. It is this truth that I bring to you today. News rent the air that you have chosen a candidate to succeed you, but we refuse to believe it knowing that as a father to all, you are merely supporting anyone who wants to succeed you.
Your Excellency, Delta State deserves to be led by a political surgeon to stitch up the operation you have carried out. Graciously enough, you are a medical doctor and it is only natural that a man who has been tested as a professional in his chosen field and a politician should succeed you. I beg to leak a secret to you at this moment. When Gov. Godswill Akpabio plotted to have Udom Emmanuel succeed him as governor, he lured him from Zenith Bank to become the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), knowing full well that the SSG is the engine room of governance and whoever has held such position can effectively govern a territory. This secret is what you should apply in Delta State, by supporting a man like you who has held the position of an SSG like you once did.
As you celebrate your 60th year, give us the gift of a governor who will carry on with your legacy of Delta beyond Oil, a man who has played the politics of governance beyond the state level; a man well accepted within the three senatorial district, a man who has a mind to bring prosperity to all Deltans. You do not want to bequeath to us a State where the leader is a stooge of some political elements and will sign our budget in the private houses of those who installed him. Know ye this day that Delta State is meant to be led by a technocrat cum politician, not just a civil servant who has been termed super secretary.
In an era when men pray that their successors should be greater than them, you will be doing us a great evil by using the machinery of State to rig the elections all in a bid to install a man whose achievements are not known in the State and who may not be able to equal your records. Bid us a good farewell by allowing the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) delegates have a free hand to elect who their candidate will be. Let not the curse of the land follow you and your generations should you seek to upturn victory or stand truth on its head.
Be not deceived by the sycophants that you are the best thing that happened to Delta and thus must forcefully installed a candidate on the people. I have never supported a candidate but for 2015, I have looked beyond the fourth wall and know that at this moment in history, duty beckons on me to present to you a man after your/our own heart. I bring to you good news of a man who you have always loved to succeed you, but obviously too experienced in governance, which has become his bane. His experience in governing a complex state like Delta is what many sycophants of yours believed will make him not loyal to you.
Oh Governor, the gospel truth is that the man I bring to you to replace you holds you in high esteem, and contrary to doomsday prophets; he has confided that he owes you allegiance and loyalty if he succeeds you. I truly hate to be involved in politics, haven built a reputation as an unbiased journalist and columnist, but for the good of the State, I break this professional bond. As you celebrate your birthday, we do not need anything special from you; but all we seek is that there is a man before us, whose humility thrills not just me but the entire Delta.
60 years is no time to offend human, neither is a time to offend your creator who is watching the last minute steps you will take concerning the next governor of the State. As I listened to the anger management lecture during your birthday anniversary, it is our hope that the anger you nurse towards any candidate would have been cured. I wish you well than all the trumpet blowing followers singing your praise today and waiting for you to make the huge mistake of crowning a man who will not command the goodwill of Deltans of followership like you do. They await your political downfall and ridicule which will come should you go ahead with the plan to impose a candidate on the PDP, that will see the State being lost to the opposition.
Dr Emmanuel Ewetan Uduaghan, Deltans have asked me that on this birthday of yours, there stands a man shoulder tall above other candidate; a man who has held same position as you have held; one will not only build on your works, but will surpass it in ways that when you look back at this very moment, you will thank your ancestors for making a good choice. Deltans have appealed to me to appeal to you to give to them a man who will stitch up Delta State after the political surgery that you have performed. Oh yes, Deltans are pleading that a medical doctor like you be your able successor.
Sir, on this day that you look back and count how far the journey of six decades have been, with the many blessings of God accrued to you, and the ultimate crown of making you a governor against all odds; we are asking you for this birthday gift; give us Senator Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa as the next governor of Delta State. This alone will be the best parting birthday gift you can give to this generation and the ones unborn
These little things matter?
Fejiro Oliver, Managing Editor of Daily Voice NG and Media Consultant can be reached on +2348022050733, +2348160067613 or [email protected] Follow me on twitter on @fejirooliver86