By Ogwezzy, Richardson
Political factions have been a common phenomenon in Nigerian politics. Factions exist before and after elections. Because of political factions, a member of a political party may decide to vote for a rival party. Where factions exist, dividends of democracy are hampered. Hence people clamour for political unity because unity is strength. It is a fact that political factions are a scourge and cankerworm in Nigerian politics, but the issue of Ndokwa nation is at its peak. There are factions everywhere but the case of Ndokwa is different. In other ethnic nationalities for example, there are many factions but they have recognizable leader(s) and these factions do not affect attraction of meaningful development unlike Ndokwa. Have we not realised that Ndokwa nation is the least developed in the state despite our God’s given natural resources and political attainments?
I have observed that the major cause of factions in Ndokwa nation is traceable to a non recognizable leader(s) as spelt out in the political party constitution. In Ndokwa everyone wants to be known and seen as a leader. Anyone that gets a political appointment in Ndokwa goes out to carve a niche for himself or herself as a leader. This is why every appointee is a leader in Ndokwa nation. There is nothing bad in being a leader by virtue of your position but a recognizable leader should be identified for critical issues. Multiplicity of leadership has never taken Ndokwa people to any level.
From my political analysis, Ndokwa is expected to produce the next Deputy Governor and a Senator for Delta North Senatorial District, come 2023 according to PDP zoning arrangement. How can this happen, when political factionalism is at its climax. Come 2023, Mr A will say am vying for Senate, Mr B will say am Deputising, some will be petitioning, others castigating and at the end Pull him Down Syndrome(Ph.Ds) will set in. consequently, at the end we will lose out. Ndokwas have always been at the losing end in Delta/Nigeria politics. All these are attributed to political disunity.
In a kind of flashback, during Sen. (Dr.) Ifeanyi Okowa’s first term in office, many Ndokwa politicians were given appointments more than before. In his second term, larger numbers were given appointments. Currently, the engine room of Delta State is manned by Ndokwa indigenes, yet we are complaining of poor infrastructural facilities. We are living in water and using our spittle to wash our hands. It is because we could not form a formidable force to confront the government and achieve developmental success.
Sen. Okowa foresaw the political plight of Ndokwa people and felt a plethora of political appointments will be a panacea to alleviating the suffering of Ndokwa nation and give room for political emancipation. The appointments given to sons and daughters of Ndokwa nation seem to create greater political divergence at the detriment of the common people. Rather than working in unity and cooperating for a common goal, we continue to fight ourselves for our own selfish reasons. No wonder our late music legend, King Ubulu said, people agitate for kings, but he who God has made a king must emerge.
Time will fail me if I start mentioning a few occasions where we missed government establishments due to our political divergence. A State Polytechnic was approved for Aboh, during Dr. Uduaghan’s administration but the polytechnic has gone into oblivion. If our leaders were speaking in one voice, ideas of kickstarting it in a Secondary School in Aboh as a temporal site would have come in and the school would have been functioning by now. A polytechnic at Aboh plus or minus would have given job opportunities of not less than a thousand persons in Ndokwa irrespective of avalanche of business opportunities and development. Aboh and her environs would have been in a place of God’s initial plan of rapid development like Ozoro and Oleh towns in the state.
Apart from that, few years back, Sen. Peter Nwaoboshi and others proposed a bill for the establishment of a Federal Polytechnic in Kwale. The bill passed various readings in the Senate and House of Representatives, but at the end, it was not assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari. If our political leaders had gone to the presidency at the nick of time for a thank you visit, maybe, what we are seeing would not have been. Can any ethnic nationality loose institutions like that of Aboh Polytechnic or proposed Federal Polytechnic, Kwale just like that? God forbid!
Another saddening and annoying issue to Ndokwa nation is that of Okpai gas plant in Ndokwa East Local Government Area. It generates electricity to many states in Nigeria including Aso Rock Abuja, whereas there is no electricity in Ndokwa nation.
For you to have a clearer picture of the impact of political disharmony in Ndokwa nation, just have a cursory visit to communities in other ethnic nationalities in Delta State. Isoko, our nearby neighbour for example, is experiencing all round development that will baffle you if you visit there. Is it roads constructed to their farm roads where development will not be reached in two decades? Kwale has no visible passable roads. Aboh is a no go area and Obiaruku, please tell me your assessment? Is it on availability of Infrastructural development, establishment of tertiary institutions or Federal appointment? If I may ask, how many Ndokwa indigenes have Federal Government appointments? Even in the NDDC that we are very legitimate to occupy. These political offices such as Senate, Board Members and Commissioners we are enjoying sooner or later will be denied us if there is no political unity. Then we will know that there is fire on the mountain.
The issues of polytechnics are past, currently, on Sen.(Dr) Okowa’ table there is a proposal for the establishment of Industrial Park in Kwale. I personally know that large hectares of land have been earmarked for the project. I equally saw on newspaper that money has been paid for the kick off of the project before oil crash and Covid 19 issue. Because of the economic situation of the country, alot of Ndokwa indigenes are viewing the project with prejudice. In my own opinion, the opportunity has not eluded us. Let our leaders converge fast and go to the Governor for a thank you visit on the proposed Industrial Park. If they have done it, this one will be termed visit due to economic situation. If no hope on the proposed Industrial Park, we can opt for another option. If one way closes another opens.
Furthermore, I will equally use this medium to inform the people of Ndokwa that the Federal Government’s idea to sell marginal oil fields is looming. Many ethnic nationalities are warning the Federal Government on the inherent dangers and suggesting reasons that suit them. Ndokwa has never under any circumstances expressed their ill-feelings nor think of suggesting to Federal Government to give allotment to Ndokwa indigenes. Statistics has it that Ndokwa has the highest gas production quantum in Sub Sahara Africa, but nothing to show for that. It all boils down to the political leadership crack. Anyone can debunk some of my facts. But, such should forward cogent facts for the benefits of Ndokwa.
I tell you of a truth, political divergence has not favoured the Ndokwa nation. We need political convergence to ensure political harmony that will usher us into political hegemony over others.
A plausible way I feel Ndokwa Nation can get rid of political factions that has orchestrated our low pace of all round development is to identify a political leader in Ndokwa nation. This is because a masquerade that does not have “aduku”(one that leads him) falls inside a pit, so an Ukwani adage says. The question now is, how do we know who is to lead us? As for me, any person who has achieved (attained) the highest political office (position) from among the three Local Government Areas, whether such is still in office or not, provided he or she is politically vibrant, willing or active politically, viable and relevant in the present political terrain should be given first preference as number one leader. Secondly, the member representing Ndokwa/Ukwani Federal Constituency should be considered second in command. Thirdly, all political office holders (both past and present) in Ndokwa nation will be weighed in order of office from House of Assembly, Local Government Chairmen, Commissioners, Board members, SAs, PA and Councilors etc.
The issue of the need for political unity in Ndokwa should be treated as “oshobe” work for all Ndokwa sons and daughters. This is because Ndokwa is a system, hence all hands must be on deck to ensure that there is political unity and when unity is ensued, it will positively affect every facet of Ndokwa.
The issue of NNU, our Ndokwa apex socio-cultural organization while UPU, IDU, Itsekiri National Council, Ijaw Study Group, Onu Ika etc are counting on their achievements in their ethnic nationalities, we are battling with factions among NNU. Petitions and counter petitions on who to lead or who is not to lead and intending court cases. If the political institution in Ndokwa has been established and standardized, issues presently rocking NNU can be easily resolved. Let me at this juncture disabuse our minds of many of us that felt that the existence of political factions in Ndokwa is beneficial to him or her. NO! It is a wrong assumption. You/we benefit more when there is unity. For Unity, Ndokwa Can Stand. Besides, do you know tomorrow? When you are in position to reposition Ndokwa political institution and you did not, consider what posterity will say about you, even when you are alive or go to life beyond? The first political appointees in Ndokwa that showed lackadaisical attitude towards developing the Ndokwa nation, those that are alive are nowhere to be found. Are they not regretting it today? Let us remove the hands of monkey from our soup for it to look like the hands of humans.
It is worthy to note that when I say political leaders, I mean leaders in all political parties in Ndokwa nation. All political party leaders should be united to attract political dividends from government. If it requires joint political party leaders’ effort, all will join provided the end point is success for Ndokwa nation.
At this point in time, I must thank all Ndokwa people who necessitated this write up. Ndokwa sons and daughters at varying lengths who saw the urgent need for political unity, development, political directions and I am therefore, compelled by my spirit to write this article as requested and pleaded for, by many patriotic Ndokwa sons and daughters and I deemed it fit to write and publish. Anyone that gets this message, please harden not your heart, make your little effort to propagate the message to all people concerned for little drops of water makes a mighty ocean.
Having said this, and I have x – rayed the political leaders in Ndokwa, by my smattering knowledge and I stand to be corrected. The Most Distinguished Senator of Federal Republic of Nigeria. Senator Patrick Osakwe, is one that had attained the highest political echelon, followed by Hon. Mercy Alumina Isei and our World class Legislative maestro, Dr. (Pastor) Ossai N Ossai who is presently representing Ndokwa/Ukwani at Federal House of Representatives, Abuja.
With due respect sir, the Most Distinguished Senator of Federal Republic of Nigeria, Sen. Patrick Osakwe, without gainsaying and by all standards, you are our God’s foremost political leader. Next is our legislative maestro, Dr. (Hon) Ossai N Ossai. I, on behalf of Ndokwa sons and daughters and people that necessitated this write up, humbly and passionately appeal to you our Most Distinguished Senator Patrick Osakwe and our World class Legislative Maestro Dr.(Pastor) Ossai N Ossai, to use your good offices to pioneer a meeting of Ndokwa people undermining their political differences in order to proffer solution for the way forward for Ndokwa nation, so that Ndokwa will take her pride of place in Nigerian politics. When a lasting solution has been reached (achieved), leaders at LGA, Ward, even community level will be determined in like manner.
Ogwezzy Richardson is from Emu Obodeti, Kwale, Delta State.
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