EXPERIENCE has shown that democracy is the best form of government, especially in Nigeria.
Most of us who experienced military rule will never pray for a repeat of such experience, an era when even freedom to life is determined by the dictator.
In Nigerian politics, since the days of slave trade, no one can wish the people of Ndokwa away in the scheme of things. The old Aboh Kingdom determined trade factors for the whites. During the Mid-West region and up to the defunct Bendel State administration, Ndokwa nation had people at the helm of affairs – the Okolochas, the Ijomas, the Alabi Isamas and, of course, the Iwegbues, the Egugbos, the Osakwes and several others.
In Delta, the Ndokwas blazed the trail again by contesting for the governorship position with Prof. Eric Agume Opia slogging it out with Olorogun Felix Ibru.
My friend, will say, “every flower has its season” and with the birth of democracy in 1999, there was a lull that some Ndokwas started asking where the people got it wrong. But, did they really get it wrong? The answer will be a capital NO. It is just a different approach, adjusting to the tides that came with democracy.
Looking back to the fact that Dr. Joshua Enueme, Chief Ifeanyichukwu Onwukamike, and a few others asserted themselves before a big masquerade in the person of Chief Godwill Obielum dared all and introduced a new style of politics in Delta.
The new political arrangement enthroned by Chief Obielum’s entrance into the governorship race will be a matter for discussion in the future. At the moment, Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa is the Governor of Delta State who has also taken the politics of Delta State a notch higher by becoming the first Deltan to emerge as a Presidential running mate of a major political party. He is the Vice Presidential candidate of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
This piece has become necessary because in less than one week, the PDP in Ndokwa nation held two major political meetings. One was convened by the Ndokwa Core Group, a political pressure group, which was held at the residence of the Deputy Governorship candidate of the PDP in the state, Chief Monday Onyeme, at Ibabu, Onicha-Ukwuani, Ndokwa West Local Government Area of Delta State. By Sunday, another stakeholders’ meeting was held at the residence of an elder statesman, Rear Admiral Mike Onah (rtd) at Utagba Unor, also in Ndokwa West Local Government Area of the state.
Ndokwa/Ukwuani Federal Constituency is so strategically located that it shares boundaries with the three senatorial districts of the state, as well as with Edo, Bayelsa, Rivers and Anambra States.
Because of the uniqueness of Ndokwa people, there is hardly any part of Nigeria that they cannot be found carrying out their businesses peacefully. Just a few days ago, some of those in Kaduna called to say that they were prepared to host Governor Ifeanyi Okowa as they were happy that he emerged as the Vice Presidential candidate of the PDP against all odds.
On the fateful Sunday afternoon that latter meeting held, yours sincerely was at the residence of Rear Admiral Onah (rtd), OON, not as a journalist but as a politician. The political side of me made me to stop over at my village, Ugiliamai – it is important to be abreast with happenings at home. Ugiliamai is a neighbouring village to Utagba Uno and from there, I joined Mr Ken Ebuekwu, initiator of “Team Ebuekwu Support Group” of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to Utagba Uno.
Typical of Rear Admiral Onah, in his down-to-earth relationship with people, he was on hand to receive those who were attending the meeting.
Of course, as the Chairman of the party in the area, Ogbuefi Lucky Okuji, was among the first persons to arrive the venue with some members of his Executive.
At the meeting were Rt. Hon. Ochor Christopher Ochor, Deputy Speaker, Delta State House of Assembly; Chief Monday Onyeme, Deputy Governorship candidate; Secretary of PDP, Delta State chapter, Engr. Dan Ossai; Hon. Charles Emetulu; Hon. Nnamdi Ezechi; Chief Festus Ochonogo;, Chief Isaac Onyesom; Barr. Sam Osasa; Dr. Samuel Ossai; Hon. Chika Ossai; Hon. Aneke Ifemeni; Rt. Hon. Olisa Imegwu; Barr. Sam Chukwuji; Barr. Ernest Ogwezzy; Chief Vandapuye Abanum; Barr. Emmanuel Egri-Okwaji; Chief Christopher Osakwe; Comrade Joshua Opia; Chief Major Babs Agali; Prince Osamuta; Hon. Chukwudi Dafe; Chief Godday Aboh; Engr. Patrick Kaine; Chief Vincent Osilonya; Okolo Hessington; Hon. Evelyn Ologun, Sir CSO Udeme, Barr. Richard Isama, among several others.
From the statements made, Ndokwa nation is mobilizing nation-wide support for the Alhaji Atiku Abubakar/Governor Ifeanyi Okowa joint presidential ticket.
All the political parties in the state have picked their deputy governorship candidates from Ndokwa nation and it is happening when Sen. Okowa is the Governor.
The governor, it would be recalled, had assured Ndokwa nation that they would play pivotal roles in the politics of Delta State ahead of 2023 general elections and PDP was the first to literally zone the position to the area.
Again, the people believe that they stand to benefit a lot if Governor Okowa succeeds as the Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria.
To them, his emergence will be a blessing not only to Nigerians based on his track records in the Senate and as Governor, but will also benefit Deltans and Ndokwa people in particular.
Rear Admiral Onah said, “I am happy with the turnout of Ndokwa nation at this meeting.
“I thank Ndokwa nation for the way Sen. Patrick Osakwe was given a befitting burial.
“Since we had the primaries of the PDP, we have never met like this. In politics, aspirations differ; in politics, you win some, you lose some, but individual goals should not supersede collective goals.
“Let there be unity, let there be understanding among ourselves; we should stop the bickering because we are lucky that our man from Delta State, our Governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa is going for the position of Vice President.
“We are having this opportunity for the first time to produce the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and, again, Ndokwa nation in particular is happy to produce the Deputy Governorship candidate for the PDP, Delta State, Chief Monday Onyeme from one political platform, the PDP.
“We must stand firm and let those making unwarranted noise to sit down and do the ideal thing by voting for all the candidates of the PDP. We should take this message to every Nigerian so that we do not miss this opportunity of having a Vice President and Deputy Governor.”
A chieftain of the PDP in the area, Chief Festus Ochonogor who is the Commissioner for Housing, Delta State, challenged the stakeholders to replicate what Rear Admiral Onah did by going to their respective units and wards to ensure that every eligible voter go all out to canvass for votes for the PDP.
Others who spoke at the meeting including Dr. Samuel Ossai, Rt. Hon. Olisa Imegwu, among others, assured that members of the party would go from the unit levels to reconcile everyone to ensure bloc vote for the PDP.
The beauty of what PDP is doing is that they believe that 90 per cent of those in other political parties in Delta are members of the PDP who are aggrieved and with proper reconciliation, they will return to the PDP.
Again, the Ndokwa nation PDP family is moving beyond the shores of Delta to mobilize every Ndokwa man across the globe to convince other Nigerians on why they should vote for Alhaji Atiku Abubakar/Governor Ifeanyi Okowa presidential ticket.
The days ahead will surely be interesting and one thing is sure: the Ndokwa voice will be heard loud and clear in the political landscape of Nigeria.
Fidelis Egugbo is a Special Assistant, Media to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State.