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Omenogor’s Resignation From PDP: Matters Arising



Omenogor's Resignation From PDP: Matters Arising


Since the birth of Nigeria’s Fourth Republic, a typical electoral cycle is marked by defections, resignation and movement of politicians from one political party to another. While the majority of decampees routinely advance vague reasons to mask their selfish interest, only few amongst them are fired by altruistic fervour to walk that path as captured in the recent resignation of Chief Dele Omenogor, a chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party(PDP) in Ukwuani Local Government Area of Delta State. He did not complain about his personal interest not being attended to but hinged his action on the plight of his community which he rightly alleged had been grossly marginalised
by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for nearly eight years he had been in the saddle.

Of course, the outpouring of solidarity with Omenogor after his resignation letter went viral on many platforms and shared by Amai indigenes and their compatriots within and beyond Ukwuani nation is understandable. For one thing, Omenogor’s decision reflects the consensual opinion of Amai people who are of the view that their beloved brother and leader stayed too long in a party with the logo of an umbrella which had become so physically damaged that it could neither shield most of its members from metaphorical rainfall nor the searing heat of the sun.

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Yet, Omenogor’s manifest disposition of a committed party leader may have stemmed from an abiding hope of a likely change of attitude by the Governor who he expected would one day begin the process of building Amai-Aragba road, being the only project requested by his people from Governor Okowa. As it stands now, the earth road which is slightly more dignified than a farm path would remain in that sorry state till the end of the stewardship of Governor Okowa, an Ika man whose campaign on the mantra of Anioma Agenda presupposed that he would address the basic infrastructural needs of communities in Delta North Senatorial district while attending to the other two senatorial districts as well.

It’s a cause for concern that Amai Kingdom is bereft of a single project that bears the signature of Okowa’s appellation as ‘the road master’. The utter neglect of Amai is pathetic as gleaned from the absence of vital social facilities which the same Okowa administration had built in some neighbouring communities and elsewhere. There’s no hospital in the kingdom despite its large size and population boosted by its status as the host community of Novena University, a private institution established in 2005. A water scheme established by the defunct Midwestern State had been comatose without noticeable efforts by the state government to reactivate it as being witnessed in many towns across the state.

The pervasive neglect is evident in the shambolic state of the community market which was abandoned by the local government authorities for more than ten years until the incumbent council chairman, Mr. Possible Ajede, embarked on its renovation after a series of agitation from Amai indigenes.

Similarly, the primary and secondary schools in Amai are bleeding from dearth of teachers. This pitiable scenario necessitated the engagement of private teachers that are paid by few public-spirited-persons that include Omenogor. Just recently Amai was left out in the recent posting of teachers by the Post Primary Education Board (PPEB) to secondary schools in Delta State. Perhaps the governor may have instructed them to do so!

The issue under discourse would have required some form of interrogation with a view to unveiling the reason for the Okowa administration’s prolonged marginalisation of Amai but on a second thought it’s difficult to see any discernible reason other than the extreme parochial inclination of the Governor which has defined his governance pattern so far. One cannot pinpoint any wrongdoing on the part of Amai towards Okowa or his community which probably would have emanated from an age-old land dispute but that’s not the case as Amai and Owa Alero are not proximate to each other to warrant such a disagreement. It’s sheer hatred in the absence of such a conjectural scenario!

But the growing instances of arrested development as cited above are not peculiar to Amai as most of the 36 kingdoms and clans that constitute Ukwuani ethnic nationality have received the same abysmal treatment from Governor Okowa. Thus, a comparison of the improved fortune of Okowa’s Ika axis with the stagnant ambience of Ukwuani area in Delta North senatorial district portrays an odious picture of discriminatory practice adopted by the Okowa administration as a policy in the mould of Apartheid. The man whom our people vigorously campaigned for has deliberately chosen not to develop our area unlike the manner in which he has transformed his land of birth from a rustic scenery to an alluring modern town.

Similarly, the Enuani section which comprises Aniocha North, Aniocha South, Oshimili North and Oshimili South Local councils is also reeling under the inequitable distribution of facilities by Governor Okowa. Save for few compelling projects in Asaba, Okowa would certainly have left the place bare and in a worse form like other towns and communities such as Adonte, Ewulu, Nsukwa, and Ejeme which are denuded of government presence.

All in all, Omenogor deserves commendation for walking away from a dying political party led by a governor whose idea of governance begins and ends with the concentration of life-enhancing projects in his hometown as though other towns are conquered territories. There are a thousand and one Omenogors who are disgusted with the state of affairs in the PDP, but the fear of the unknown has dampened their desire to break loose and assert themselves as freemen. For these men who are compelled by circumstances to remain where they are, we can only pity them and pray for their eventual liberation from the vice-grip of the PDP’s leadership in Delta State.

*ONWUSANDO, writer and public affairs commentator, is based in Asaba, Delta State.


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