Nwankwo T. Nwaezeigwe, PhD, DD
Odogwu of Ibusa Clan, Delta State, Nigeria
President, Never Again Coalition against Genocide in Nigeria (NACAG)
Institute of African Studies, University of Nigeria, Nsukka
Author: FULANI ETHNO-ISLAMIC CONSPIRACY AND YORUBA SUBJUGATION—From Aare Afonja to Asiwaju Tinubu Lagos: Masterbuilder Communications, 2022 & 14 Ors
If guided by sentiment, after Chief Godwill Obielum, one other man I had wished to be the Governor of Delta State is Chief Great Ogboru—the living legend of South-South revolutionary fervor. Beyond reading his escapades as the flaming-spear of the abortive Major Gideon Orkar coup d’etat, I have had the privilege of coming close to him in the course of my short stint as political adviser to the veteran labor leader and erstwhile General Secretary of National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) Chief Frank Ovie-Kokori— another unsung South-South revolutionary idol.
I could recollect one elementary honesty-test I underwent under Chief Great Ogboru at Chelsea Hotel Abuja. Probably based on his doubt over my sincerity as Chief Frank Ovie-Kokori’s aid, I was abruptly relocated to another room infested with highly salivating US dollars scattered in freshly disvirgined bundles. When I saw the bundles of US dollars scattered menacingly at a conspicuous corner of the room I just laughed over it as the melodramatic concoction of somebody who was alien to what I stand for in moral principles. Indeed if money was my reason for joining civil rights activism them Chief Frank Ovie-Kokori shouldn’t have been my possible port of call as a godfather because he is a man no one can bought over with money against his principles.
Moreover I have a pedigree of self-regulating sincerity and moral principles to protect, which can widely be attested respectively from my days as a student of Anglican Boys Grammar School, Akwukwu-Igbo and University of Nigeria, Nsukka, as well as an academic staff of University of Nigeria, Nsukka and a prescribed Traditional Chief of my clan—Odogwu of Ibusa. I can stand up boldly to call any criminal in my Ibusa town by name without such a person having the gut to respond.
However, the truth is that the political realities on ground seem to surpass questions of sentimental political attachments of any kind. As the great ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle speaking of his equally great master Plato aptly put it: “Dear to me is Plato, but dearer still is truth.” The truth is that Chief Great Ogboru has always been on the wrong side of the political realities of Delta State and this makes him an impossible force against Czar Ifeanyi Okowa. On the other hand, the truth as established by both the realities on ground and principles of moral judgment is that Senator Ovie Omo-Agege stands out, not just as Ifeanyi Okowa’s major political albatross but the key to a new united Delta State.
Delta State needs a Governor who will go beyond Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s contemptible Czarist style of leadership constructed on abject micro-sectionalism that revolves round his Ika Northeast Local Government Area, ignominiously centered at his Owa enclave. That Delta North Senatorial Zone has a Governor as their kinsman in the person of Dr. Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa is a catastrophic political symbolism constructed on debility of moral judgment, diabolical self-centeredness, and institutional saboteur syndrome.
Chief James Onanefe Ibori was Delta State Governor and his Urhobo kinsmen still celebrate his positive impacts on the State till date. Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan was a Governor of Delta State and his Itsekiri kinsmen still celebrate the positive impacts of his tenure till date. Contrarily, Dr. Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa has been the Governor of Delta State for more than seven years till date and there is nothing positive to show among his Igbo-speaking Anioma kinsmen that demands their celebration of him. Is that not a curse?
Indeed without mincing words, what Anioma people celebrate today as the legacies of PDP Governments in the State were those monuments of development impacted on the State by Chief James Ibori’s Government. On the other hand, the hallmarks of Dr Ifeanyi Okowa’s Government revolve round what I define as his “Evil Triangle of Governance” which is constructed on Deviltry nepotism, Absurd opportunism and Clinical saboteur Syndrome, all of which thrive within the perimeter of chronic incompetence constructed on reverse intelligence.
On the diameter of deviltry nepotism, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa has a wife who not only serves as the First Lady of the State with all the appurtenances of office but receives salary and allowances as a Permanent Secretary in Delta State. Okowa’s daughter is also a serving political adviser to him. Is that not funny? The same daughter has now been nominated to contest the Delta State House of Assembly seat for Ika Northeast Constituency. What a pity for the conquered people of Ika Northeast. If nepotism does not beget chronic amnesia, then Ifeanyi Okowa should have sincerely understood how humble his beginning in politics was.
If he has forgotten, let me remind him that his political ascendency which unfortunately is now constructed on despicable opportunism, was first planted on the political corridors the Late Obi (Senator) Nosike Ikpo on which the late Chief Iwerebor—his father’s political godfather marched. Has he forgotten how Chief Iwerebor recruited his father as one of Obi (Senator) Nosike Ikpo’s thugs under Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s Action Group (AG) of the First Republic? Ironically, under Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s Second Republic Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), Okowa’s father was a contemporary of Senator Peter Nwoboshi as Chief political thugs of Obi (Senator) Nosike Ikpo code-named Political Assistants to the Bendel State Governor Prof. Ambrose Alli.
Was it was based on this pedigree of political servitude that Chief Iwerebor decided to compensate his father by recommending him as Secretary to Ika Local Government Council, from where he graduated to become the Chairman of Ika Northeast Local Government Council, and subsequently a member of Chief James Ibori’s kitchen cabinet in the present political dispensation?
The question is if Chief Iwerebor were to be as selfish and nepotistic as Ifeanyi Okowa is today by turning Delta State Government into a family political estate, would Iwerebor have nominated him as Secretary of Ika Local Government Council and subsequently Chairman of the Local Government Council? Or is Ifeanyi Okowa saying that Chief Iwerebor had no son or daughter to be nominated as Secretary of the Ika Local Government Council at the time? What Ifeanyi Okowa is telling the people of Delta North and Delta State at large is that he is the most intelligent man with the most intelligent daughter among the entire Ika Northeast Local Government Area.
A man of ruthless opportunism, Dr. Ifeanyi Okwa does not count integrity as a virtue of political leadership. Trained as a medical doctor which he never practiced for one day, he soon diverged into politics. From Local Government Council Secretary he moved on to Chairman of the Local Government Council, and then a Commissioner under Chief James Ibori’s administration. Under Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan’s first term administration he served as Secretary to the Government. Fearing that he might not be considered for another juicy appointment under Dr Uduaghan’s second tenure, he clandestinely outwitted Senator Patrick Enebeli Osakwe to become a Senator.
Becoming the Governor of Delta State after clandestinely riding on the back of unsuspecting Ijaw people of Delta South Senatorial , he again planned a come-back to the Senatorial seat by criminally generating an artificial conflict with Senator Peter Nwoboshi designed to force him out of PDP, which he eventually succeeded. Thus to be fair to Senator Peter Nwoboshi, it was not his wish to decamp from PDP to APC; rather he was a victim of Ifeanyi Okowa’s depraved opportunism— the same political witchcraft that forced the likes of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege and Dr Cairo Ojougbo out of PDP.
Sooner than expected, another contemptible opportunity defined as Vice Presidential Candidate to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar against his shameless publicly pronounced principle of equity in the zoning of the Presidency to the South emerged. Dr Ifeanyi Okowa shamelessly used the resources of Delta State to host the Southern Governors in 2021 who under his titular leadership pronounced under their respective oaths of honor and integrity of their offices that the next President of Nigeria must come from Southern Nigeria.
The same Dr Ifeanyi Okowa went against the same collective oath under his superintendence and shamelessly sponsored not just another northerner but another Fulani to emerge the Presidential candidate of his Party (PDP), ultimately sacrificing the collective will of Southerners and Nigerian Christians as a whole on the altar of his selfish ambition of becoming the Vice President of Nigeria. Is that not political witchcraft?
I have sat down severally to ponder how a sane human being who occupies the exalted office of a democratically elected Governor of a State could be so shamelessly petty and mentally slippery as to throw away the integrity of his office, the integrity of his profession as a medical doctor and, the integrity of his ethnic group into the political abyss of horrible treachery.
Dr Ifeanyi Okowa tells us that he had “Grade One” in his secondary school certificate. I tend to ask, can a “Grade One” material without honor and integrity be defined as intelligent? The answer is no. So Dr Ifeanyi Okowa in spite of his “Grade One” Secondary School Certificate remains from all indices of moral judgment a dubious and brainless man.
Dr Ifeanyi Okowa tells us that he is a medical doctor. The principles of the medical profession are constructed on humanism, honor and, integrity. Outside his present status of Governor, can Ifeanyi Okowa boldly claim any of the aforementioned qualities as part of his defining character? The answer is absolute no.
A chronic saboteur, at every stage of his political career, Dr Okowa has the instinctive proclivity to always sabotage anyone that presents himself as imaginary or real bulwark against his animalistic opportunism. He clandestinely worked against Chief Godwill Obielum’s overwhelming opportunity of clinching the Delta State Governorship candidacy again Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan. Ironically the same Okowa is not ashamed to showcase the same Chief Obielum among the notable political bigwigs his lame-duck campaign committee. Chief Obielum no smart! Na only Okowa smart! No bi so?
It is not a matter of dispute that Dr Okowa became the Governor of Delta State majorly by the grace of the overwhelming support of the Ijaw ethnic bloc of Delta South Senatorial District with his chameleonic promise of supporting his successor from among them. My question to the intrepid people of Ijaw ethnic nation of Delta State, especially the indomitable Senator James Manager and, Okowa’s malleable Deputy Governor is, how far my Ijaw people with Okowa’s promise?
Dr Ifeanyi Okowa parades himself as the only intelligent and smartest politician in Delta State. Every other person is unintelligent and a fool. He stopped Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan from imposing his preferred candidate Tony Obuh as his successor based on the line of succession devised by James Ibori’s kitchen Cabinet but was intelligent and smart enough to outwit other members of the same kitchen cabinet, including his master James Ibori, to impose his preferred candidate, thereby presumably overthrowing Chief James Ibori as the ultimate leader of Delta State PDP. Dr Ifeanyi Okowa is just a smart guy.