The darkest place in hell are reserved for those who maintained their neutrality in times of moral crisis – Dante Alighieri
If Senator Ovie Omo-Agege decides to run for Delta State governorship in the 2023 elections, the only force that can stop him is the force of God and the will of the people. I don’t see him running, for the stage he currently occupies has grown beyond Dennis Osadebey. He is like a volcanic acid that can’t be curtailed. The Warri blood in him makes him aim for the very best leaving the crumbs for others to scramble for. In all of these, he is never desperate, rather leaving everything to God, chance and political leadership.
Like the King in the chessboard, he allows everyone go ahead first before moving in swag and style, losing little and conquering many. In conquest, he does not jubilate against the conquered and does not sneer at the politically wounded but retreat to his quiet moment and plot how to make them feel like it was a fair conquest. In doing this, he wins absolute loyalty and trust of them all. I have seen it time and time again and one incidence will suffice.
When he appointed a South Western person as his Special Adviser on Media and another one as Special Assistant on Electronics and New Media from same tribe, I wasted no time in condemning it, not because they were wrong choices. I vented my anger because there are tens of Deltans fit for such position and even if there are none, his first list of appointment should come from Delta. I felt like the conquered one who gave my all against my political family for him but now spited as I watch the very tribe we both belong not getting their rightful place.
Something was promised to be done in regards to the media section and what has never happened before was done and I felt like the conqueror (at least for that moment). That is the Omo-Agege political striker to you, fixing every piece of puzzles in their right places.
The wave of political appointment from him has swept both the All Progressive Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). One begin to wonder what his interest is by giving appointment to core PDP members who worked against him but never recognised by their own mother party. With his vacation in the United States of America, every state in South South have persons currently appointed under him. In his words to me “Fejiro, this my position no be for only Urhobo or Delta o. Na for everyone wey dey South South”.
But he is human and in being so, he makes his mistakes. He errs not because he wishes to. He errs not because he loves to. He errs because he is flesh and blood, subjected to limited knowledge and surrounded by too many distractions. He falters because those who should tell him the truth fear to do so due to what they seek from him. I seek such from him too but morality binds me first to him, after all, that is what brought us close and has bonded us till date. Isn’t that was the quote above said?
The Agege I know should have called all the House of Assembly aspirants that contested and lost in the last general elections for a meeting and assured them of appointments, even if not tied to his office, but other Federal agencies. Thankfully enough, he has grip of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) with his ally, Benard Okumagba as Managing Director Designate. This is where I expect him to push people like Prince Koyoyo and others to serve as Special Assistants to the MD since Efe Duku who also contested has been elevated to his Special Adviser. Why he has not done it, I do not know. For is it not said among them by Vladmir Putin that “there are no morals in politics; there is only expedience. A scoundrel may be of use to us just because he is a scoundrel”.
If the above can be said of the PDP in Delta State, it could have been better. But what do we see? Few weeks in Asaba to monitor event points to few people hijacking the appointments meant for those who truly worked and deliver their units and wards during the keenly contested election especially in strong places like Ughelli, Sapele, Ethiope West, Uviwe and Udu LGAs.
I peeped through the last eighty names of appointees released and saw names of people who didn’t leave their bedrooms on election day or did anything tangible during the build up to the election. I see names of PDP Chairman lover sitting comfortably on the lists and girlfriends of other political kingmakers dancing with appointment letters. The only service they rendered was warming the beds of their sugar daddies, while the young men and ladies who did their best on the political field and others on social media still waiting for the rainbow. Monkey work, baboon chop is the order of the day.
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa must be made to know that these same persons who stuff the appointment lists with names of people who never worked for him will be the first to deny him when the Omo-Agege hurricane that is already spreading will begin from next year. I can tell for a fact that people who deserve to get their appointment letters from the PDP government they worked for but neglected will get it from Omo-Agege and there is no worse defeat and pain than the one from a former loyalist turned foe, for they fight with blood and life to crumble that which the former suffered to build.
The beginning of a new election begins the very day a king is sworn in and Omo-Agege knows this. Loyalty will begin to shift from next year and it will depend on what Okowa decides to allow his foot soldiers who are giving him names of their loved ones do to the trust he entrusted them with. There are never friends among them he should know but loyalists and their pockets determine their loyalty. When the Agege hurricane starts, may it not be said that I was alive and as a close member of the governor’s team, who was privileged to see things, hear from the streets but never advised him. May it not be written that when the battle to take over Delta State in 2023 was successfully hatched and executed, Fejiro Oliver betrayed the political family that loves him, even though when they were sharing the luxury Liberty Estate with all facilities built with government funds among themselves, I was not part of it.
If these truth be my crime, that politicians who work are desirous of their appointments like Omo-Agege has done and is still doing for his party men is my crime, so be it. If political treason is to speak truth to power that girlfriends of party chieftains should not be appointed but sincere youths who gave their all be appointed, then let the judgment for offenders be pronounced on me.
When the die is cast and Okowa is out of power, be it known that most of them will not be there for him.
In 2010, when Fmr. Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan election was annulled, he didn’t believe it. As he left government house for the then House of Assembly Speaker, Sam Obi to take over, it felt like a dream to him. He went to the House of a top political contractor to stay, with his world shattered.
Sam Obi took over office, looked around the office and called for cabinet meeting, which he dissolved. While with some party member, Uduaghan called his phone; he looked at it, smiled and refused to answer. After sometime he called back and Uduaghan asked him why he has not been taking his calls and he replied “Your Excellency, you were not also picking my calls when you sat on this seat”. Uduaghan became humble for his destiny lies in the hands of the man that was once his subordinate.
The above scenario I’m very sure Okowa should be privy to, on how Sam Obi became just powerful in three months. The new Prado Jeeps and Toyota Corolla that Uduaghan bought and refused to share to appointees were ordered to be shared by him. When Uduaghan finally found his way back, he learnt his lessons, the lessons of a lifetime that all his political books never taught him, even though people who should have called his attention refused to do so out of fear of being blacklisted by him.
The lesson to learn by Okowa and the Delta PDP is to stop taking the people who staked their all for a ride. The lesson to learn is that power is transient and can only be sustained when the genuine people are empowered and those who deserve reward are not short-changed.
In 2015, few months after Uduaghan left power, one of the first stinker he got was from a popular news reporter who lashed out on how the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have invited him. Uduaghan was shocked, not because the story was false but this was a reporter that he made to build a duplex in Asaba and other benefits associated with his job. In his days as governor, none of these reporter will do so for they were loyal not to him but his pocket. You do not buy loyalty, you earn it.
If the reason for the governor not asking questions from unbiased persons on those who truly worked and deserves speedy inclusion in his government but listen to words from those who will help to ruin him once the time is ripe, I will leave him with this fable.
Years ago in an ancient kingdom, a servant offended the King and in anger, he ordered him to be thrown to his wild dog. The servant begged the keeper of the dog to allow him take care of it for seven days before he is thrown into the cage to be eaten up. The keeper agreed.
For seven days, he cleaned and fed the dog, taking care of its wound. On the seventh day, the King ordered that the big cage be brought before him, with the dog inside, which was done. The servant was then brought forward from his prison and thrown inside the cage. The dog went to meet him and stretched his paws towards him while playing with the man. The king and everyone around was shocked and ordered the servant be brought out.
“Why didn’t the dog devour you?”, he asked the servant.
“My King, I served you for seven years and for one error, you forgot all the times I saved you and all the good deeds I did for you. I served this dog for only seven days and even when he was hungry and I was his meal, he remembered the little good works I did for him”, the servant answered.
In tears, the king ordered that the servant be elevated to Chief Servant which is modern day Chief of Staff.
As the Agege whirlwind of appointment and political patronage sweeps across the land, may the fable above be a constant reminder that loyalty not caused by political or wealth influence remains the cradle by which dynasties are built.
DELTA STATE BOARD OF INTERNAL REVENUE CHAIRMAN APPOINTMENT
The race for the Executive Chairman of the Delta State Board of Internal Revenue (DBIR) rages as Monday Onyeme rounds off his tenure next month.
Ordinarily, there should be no competitor, for Onyeme has led the board more than anyone who has ever held the position. This is the first time in history that DBIR has not only been transparent but scandal free.
As the Chairman of the board, the IGR has not only been maintained but became the saving grace when oil prices fell down in the beginning of this government. The board needs someone like Onyeme back to consolidate for a Stronger Delta. Onyeme did not come to the board a poor man and will not leave richer than he came. Unlike his predecessors who acquired wealth after leaving, he already had his hotel and establishment all booming before he was drafted in to rescue the board that was almost crumbling. Today, Delta State is better off.
The reward for a good job is more work. When music is nice, you play it twice and even thrice. Onyeme is nice music to the ears and should be played twice.
These little things matter…
Fejiro Oliver, an investigative journalist can be reached on +2348022050733 (SMS ONLY). He tweets with @fejirooliver86 and IG handle of @elahuva