RACISM is a heinous crime tolerated among Africans who are themselves victims. Its demonic venom is entrenched in our socio-political life, to achieve narrow ambitions through tribal periscope. Despite the pretence, we don’t access people who offer themselves for leadership on competence but on tribal or selfish considerations and no matter who is there, as long as he is not from our ethnic or political divide, we must pull him down. This is the “kabu-kabu” politics bedeviling our development. Sen. Ifeanyi Okowa who inherited a financially poor state is already a victim. The man was given the hoe and cutlass at inauguration but cannot use them to farm because famine had consumed the soil and made crops and grass lifeless, the rain to bring life and enhance fertility of soil is lacking. That is why Okowa is treading carefully to raise a discipline team to revive a dying patient. The dissolution of boards though necessary is examining a patient to find a cure, because some of these boards were corrosive avenues for all shades of persons who could not add value to the state. They encouraged nepotism, financial recklessness by churning figures which don’t tally with the reality on ground.
The joy is Okowa came through a free and fair PDP primaries devoid of political godfathers, he came through the people in general elections who elected him, that’s why cleansing the Augean stable rather than probe that waste time and resources is necessary. The criticism about dissolution of some boards and the Asaba capital development bill are ill timed, laced with primordial sentiments. It is a normal decimal for members of same gang, to engage in negative campaigns. How do they expect a governor that is a product of the people’s electoral power to condone incompetence? How can a governor accept a civil service commission that gave jobs not based on merit? How can Okowa who wants to perform rely on failed structures and liquidating corrosive platforms if he wants to fulfill his electoral promises? How can he abandon Asaba and Warri, the political capital and economic capital of the state without law as a guiding path? How do they think a governor that was a victim of manipulative injustice tolerate clowns, political sycophants?
The state has moved from these impediments that becloud our development, cleansing the rot to place food on our table, give us means of livelihood, security, peace and prosperity. Development is not about newspaper, radio or television propaganda but perception and appreciation of physical accomplished projects by the people. We are lucky to have people’s leadership that abhors praise singers as sycophantic political tools, that’s why Okowa admonished Deltans “Don’t kneel down to greet me or genuflect, as I am human like you, give adoration to God who made heaven and earth”. We are driven by competence, commitment and compassion to engineer growth and development under him. Okowa needs our prayers and understanding than the congratulatory messages we put on newspapers, to clean the dirty waste of humus that dot our political, social and economic life.
Our greed is so visible, some firms that share boundary with federal roads in the state have annexed parts into parking plots without any response from those concerned. Our environment is daily polluted, flood is encouraged by blocked drainage system that lead to nowhere, even with rivers and streams that surround our cities, the drainages are filled with wastes. Streets are turned into parking spaces or local authorities rent them to willing “owambe” party fun makers, negating public interest. We cannot continue like this.
Okowa’s predecessor gave many air-conditioned buses and cars to transporters across the state but some politicians hijacked them for personal use. It is a financial burden if these beneficiaries are not paying back as stipulated in their agreement. If they fail to pay, it is a disaster because you cannot run government on charity. There are many ailing state industries that are comatose in place of elephantic projects that have no economic relevance. There are many projects undone in place of few showcased ones, hence Okowa must be supported in his determination to restore our values. When Alhaji Ibrahim Waziri of Great Nigerian People’s Party (GNPP) in the second republic preached the gospel of “politics without bitterness” he did not know he had Okowa’s Delta in mind.s
We must move from this impotent barrenness to fertile concept where our diversity becomes our strength. Many strive on treachery and blackmail, Okowa cannot please these robotic goons at the expense of the people. We cannot live under ethnic clowns and sycophancy that Okowa’s critics employ. Okowa inherited many problems and as a woman hides her grey hair under artificial weaves, Okowa’s critics want him to continue in this deception that leads nowhere and blame him later for incompetence. His body language shows redemption, service and what we can give to our State rather than what we can get.
Corruption is endemic in our society; it is contagious because we deify it. Some traditional rulers scorn men of virtue to confer chieftaincy titles on political and social infidels for material rewards. Some preachers prefer prosperity in filth to poverty in clean hands, for benefits to build cathedrals that lack spirituality. The judiciary is infected with judges without conscience, as some Police men are known for extortion and compromising investigations. From the mothers that encourage their daughters to hawk their anatomic features to a political greedy pig is the chain of stench that drains our existence. We are all contaminated that Okowa must fumigate the state. The state belongs to all its sections; we should understand our differences to move on. This is how to create prosperity for our people in unity, identity of purpose.
Mr. Prince Abugo, a public affairs analyst, wrote from Uzere, Delta State.