Make Isoko get Federal appointment or we will do so, Oshiomhole challenges Okowa
By Jon Egie
Comrade Adams Oshiomhole of the APC has challenged Governor Okowa of PDP to make the people Isoko in Delta State get a federal appointment as soon as possible otherwise; the APC would do so if the Isoko people only do the needful.
Oshiomhole gave the challenge during the occasion of the reception ceremony organized by the former SSG of DTSG, Comrade Ovuorie Macaulay in honour of Chief James Ibori, Saturday, Nov. 18 at Ovuozorie country home in Owhe-ologbo.
Comrade Adams Oshiomhole in response to a question posed by Comrade Ovuozorie Macaulay’s welcome address said the only way the Isoko nation could get national recognition was to embrace the change mantra of PMB and vote for the APC.
Comrade Ovuozorie Macaulay had asked: “When will an Isoko man be named a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and when will an Isoko man chair a viable federal board? He pointed out that since 1999 till date, apart from the four years of Senator Stella Omu, Isoko people have never been given a federal appointment in spite of “our high level contributions to electoral victories and revenue accruing to Nigeria from oil” praying that the Isoko people were looking forward for help to remedy the situation.
Responding, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole congratulated Ovuozorie Macaulay for his steadfast loyalty and appreciation for the benevolence of Ibori. He attributed Ovuozorie’s unalloyed loyalty to his experience in trade unionism.
Oshiomhole said as a union leader he supported the struggle for resource control but the advocates of the struggle were surprised that most of the governors of the Niger Delta were afraid of Abuja excepting James Ibori who in Asaba popularized and mobilized the people to buy into the agenda of the resource control struggle. He also recognized former Akwa Ibom governor, Attah as been on who stood side by side with Ibori during the struggle.
Ironically, he said, by the time the struggle bore fruits Ibori and Attah had left office. He encouraged Ibori to be proud that his effort made Delta State better than he met it and advised politicians to learn to use their offices to better the lives of the people and communities.
Oshiomhole acknowledged the footprints of Ibori everywhere in Delta State saying that unlike those who fear witches and wizards in the village, Ibori maintained his relationship with his people, even in Oghara and added that Ibori knows where he is coming from and would not forget where he is going.
He said by the time he wanted to be governor of Edo State Ibori knew that god fathers in Edo State were the most ruthless, rugged, dogged and reactionary god fathers and to fight them he couldn’t use their platform and hence he opted for the APC, even though Ibori was friendly to him.
“James is a bridge builder, what matters really is not technical judgment, it is the judgment of the heart of the people. Ibori, many Nigerians still appreciate you and I congratulate you for retaining your army of supporters after many years of your being out of the country.
“Macaulay asked you a question and I think Macaulay was being unfair to you. The question he asked you was actually directed at Governor Okowa. When will an Isoko man become a Minister? Valid question, I give it to him. Why not? When will an Isoko man become chairman of NPA? Why not? But Macaulay you know the truth as a man of struggle, the system that benefits from the situation where an Isoko man has not been a Minister or Chairman of a federal board that system cannot change. So, to change that system you have to join the forces of change”.
Thunderous ovation followed Oshiomhole’s speech as the crowd applauded in agreement with his submission.
“I have the answer” Oshiomhole continued. “Halleluiah, I have the answer, I got the answer. I told Okowa that the only way he can prove me wrong is that today, he has to announce an Isoko man as the chairman of a major federal board or appoint an Isoko man as a Minister, if he doesn’t we will do so provided you (the Isoko people) do what you have to do”.
Another loud applause, long ovation followed Oshiomhole’s challenge to Okowa and assurance of hope to the Isoko people who yelled and hailed Oshiomhole.
Irrespective of political affiliation, Oshiomhole said, the supra party is the Nigeria project and on that “we are all committed”.
Taking turns to speak, Uduaghan, Okowa nor Ibori reacted to the Oshiomhole challenge. Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan simply enthused that the political profile of Ibori like a star has risen and would continue to soar. He called on communities in Delta State to support their leaders and put a stop to the Pull Him Down syndrome that has become the bane of Delta political life over the years.
For Gov Okowa, Deltans are excited for Ibori’s safe return home. He acknowledged Ibori’s achievements especially in the building of human infrastructure and a leadership family which he handed over to Uduaghan, was maintained and has grown large and though some of the family members had fanned out but they recognize the strength of unity and loyalty to Ibori irrespective of their present political bearing and affiliation.
“Uduaghan built on the legacy and I am still enjoying it. Although Ibori is not playing politics at the moment but we all converge at his feet to tap from his wealth of political experience”.
Finally, when Ibori spoke the crowd reverberated in ecstasy. He thanked the political leaders of Isoko who stood by him and are still standing saying that if a leader needed men and women who would serve he should forget boundary and pick the best man for the job. He acknowledged Oshiomhole’s support during the struggle for a better life of the people of the Niger Delta.
“My position is that you must have the courage to speak on behalf of your people” he said and encouraged every man who has the mandate of the people to do what is right for the people.”
Ibori said he was watching the political situation in Nigeria but that his satisfaction would be to see the democracy which was hard won, deepen and not truncated.