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- Mimiko inaugurates new Mother & Child hospital today
- N4.56b pension scam: Female accused hospitalised,trial stalled
- Construction workers hail FG’s decision on Lagos-Ibadan expressway
- Senate adjourns plenary for 1 week, dissolves to Appropriation committee.
- Blackout looms as Egbin power plant breaks down
- FMBN, NEXIM, BOA, IB lose N47bn in 6 months - CBN
- FirstBank wins Nigerian Bank of the Year award
- PDP tackles ACN over Tukur’s comments
- Electricity workers threaten strike over Wamakko
- ‘NDIC prosecuted 55 directors, staff of micro finance banks in 2011’
- Judgment in Oni’s appeal stalled, re-fixed for Jan 8
- Slain banker: Deceased had only 3 wounds -Accused’s father
- Appointments: S/West not marginalised —FCC
Delta: The politics of gubernatorial politics
DELTA State is an interestingly unique state. It is a state where you hear the voices of politicians of various persuasions and inclinations: third world Democrats of orthodox and maverick temper, utopian socialists, pseudo-Royalists, fraudulent and uncommitted revolutionaries, New Deal Democrats committed to developmental politics even though they possess the tendency to gravitate toward pepper-soup politics, wishy-washy liberals, committed Democrats and others of indefinable character. In their respective actions you see real political drama and its aroma as it oozes from the nostrils of possessed and expected structures of power alike. As these politicians jostle for power you find it difficult to engage in beneficial criticism and interpretation of what I wish to label as the politics of gubernatorial politics going on in the state of the “Big Heart”.
Of course, since the PDP clinched the State eleven or so years ago, the other political parties there became virtually non-existent and the dramatis personae in charge of them, in diverse ways, lost their charm and costume and lines as the ruling party, through its Inter-Party Relations Department, under the control of the Governor’s office, allegedly swallowed them up with cash and kind. Obviously, they lost their bearings and forgot every thing about their ideologies, ethics and manifestoes. But all this seems to belong to the past now. The recent Great Ogboru electoral victory at the Court of Appeal, Benin seems to have forced the ruling PDP to vomit back to life the other parties it consumed as said above. Yet in their new lifeness we perceive lifelessness. For there seems to be no party with solid structures on the ground in the State to claim and wrest power from the ruling PDP. The DPP of Great Ogboru, despite its new-found electoral life-line, cannot really engage now in the politics of victory. For one, the time is too, too short for the DPP to make any meaningful impact in the election despite its actions between now and election-day. The teeming crowd that graced Great Ogboru’s visit to Warri recently via the Osubi Air-Strip does not in any way guarantee him gubernatorial victory. At best, it helps to contribute to Ogboru’s polemical sloganeering which his newspaper advertorials accentuate and adumbrate. Nothing more.
Another observation to make here is that the PDP’s recent losses in Osun and Ekiti States will tilt victory in the direction of the PDP in Delta State based on political and nonpolitical criteria that will be at play and to which the PDP strategists will direct their focus and energy. Of course, as we engage, reflect and contemplate on the fortunes of Ogboru and other gubernatorial candidates in the re-run election, we are clearly aware that various ideological, political, historical, cultural and ethnical phenomena will be at work, but to make them work for the other parties will depend absolutely on how sagacious their strategists are. But I find it hard to believe that the PDP will go to their political and electoral beds with their two eyes closed and relinquish their historical advantage.
In tendering my observation – and perhaps interpretation – here I am not sweeping under the carpet the fierce war going on in the glaring camps and factions of the Delta PDP. It has been said that this war will definitely affect the chances and fortunes of the PDP in the re-run gubernatorial elections. It has also been said that the orchestrated alleged non-performance of the former Governor in his three or so years as Governor will impact negatively on him and his party in the re-run. But the camp of the former Governor religiously believes that he will bounce back to office and power. His supporters have said several times that the claims about Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan’s alleged non-performance were invented by those who preferred to see him as in opposition to their own notion of a popular/populist regime. They have also argued that the allegations of fraud of all kinds levelled against him are nothing but mere allegations which cannot withstand any critical inquiry or legal scrutiny. And Dr. Uduaghan’s detractors’ ultimate reason for their allegations against him is obviously cosmetic, political, ethnical and in every sense merely personal. All this would amount to a hugely debated question. But I am aware that a recent advertorial in The Nation and Vanguard newspapers by Udenta Udenta has given an authoritatively persuasive recommendation to Dr. Uduaghan in regard to some allegation in connection with his non-commitment to the President Jonathan Presidential project. Udenta Udenta, as I used to know him more than two decades back, was a young man of correct radical temper and sensibility. If Lawrence Udenta now called Udenta Udenta has not changed as his name has changed, then one can still vouch that the possibilities of his genuine radical temper and critical understanding have not diminished from his general comportment. Simply put, Udenta that I used to know would not tell a lie on this Dr. Udughan’s matter. Thus one fiction would likely lead to more fictions which inevitably would question the sincerity and veracity of the claims of Dr. Uduaghan’s detractors. Any attempt to knock Dr. Jonathan’s and Dr. Uduaghan’s heads against each ought to be declaimed against.
Despite the seeming wide gulf and many differences between the anti- and pro-Uduaghan forces and persons, the politics of the re-run gubernatorial election and all its flaws in the PDP political family shall at the end of the day, serve the end of electoral justice in Delta State. Whatever our perceptions of the PDP dramatis personae and of others in the other parties may be, it is our wish that the politics of praise, fairness and justice supplant the politics of blame, jingoism and rape in the forthcoming re-run gubernatorial election. May the new INEC possess the skill and wherewithal to enervate and realize this wish to our great and profound political joy in Delta State of Nigeria’s fiercely competitive multi-ethnical nationalities.
And as I always say, what will be will be – even if we don’t wish it to be. Conversely, what will not be will not be – even if we wish it to be, no matter how.
Finally, in my critical inquiry here into the nature of gubernatorial politics in Delta State, I may have affirmed George Orwell’s assertion that in “our age there is no such thing as ‘keeping out of politics’”. Yes, if we desire developmental and progressive change, whether or not we are partisan politicians or objective or subjective newspaper columnists, reporters and commentators.Share