Isoko Nation: One Heart With PDP

By: Willy Bee
THE people of Isoko Nation- northwards and southwards in its two local governments within the Delta South Senatorial District have always identified with the PDP since its triumphant entry into the democratic space 15 years into this new century, to the point that one of their very own, Emmanuel Ogidi, had been Chairman of the Delta State PDP.

To further acknowledge the PDP-ISOKO bond overtime, I remember what present Chairman, Uzor said at Oleh that, “you should not listen to them. They (the opposition guber candidates) are coming to Isoko Land to pick their deputies.”I say it is all cheap antics of the opposition in hunting for certain personnel from the area, I say it is only a poor strategy because Isoko is one with PDP as shown by the campaign support for Okowa and all ISOKO PDP candidates: if it’s not from the PDP, what the opposition is deceptively offering is mere political games and the Isokos I know are above that.

On the eve of another roaring and progressive gubernatorial campaigns for 2015 in which Dr. Okowa is bearing the PDP party flag along side with Barrister Kingsley Otuato as his deputy Governor, one joke cropped up the other day that while it is instructive to note that one outgoing medical doctor is jockeying to take over from Dr. Uduaghan, another lawyer in Otuaro is mobilizing to replace Professor Utuama, who in addition is a SAN.

That is not the end of the jocose lines. They also aver that while Uduaghan and Utuama were often referred to as U&U, we are likely to have in the Okowa dispensation as soon as they sail through an O&O, symbolizing OKOWA AND OTUARO. That is as far as the jokes go.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015, as part of my monitoring of the Okowa Campaign Travelogue (I’m likely to release a book on it as I did in 2007); back to Oleh and Ozoro, I was a part of the massive turnout in both towns. One was swamped by the sea of human heads, breath and forms milling around the campaign ground as the whole of Ozoro and later, Oleh, was in the interest of ‘PROSPERITY FOR ALL DELTANS’, had all arrived body, mind and soul to St. Michael’s College grounds and the Oleh Stadium respectively. The campaign grounds were turned into a political celebration of an incoming O&O administration in Delta as dancers and party hands were behind each of the candidates, dressed in colourful attires, proclaiming the PDP victory because what is written on earth is already written in Heaven!

At the gate at Ozoro, the Ovuozorie Macaulay Foundation had a bold billboard eliciting support for Dr. Okowa for Governor. As I moved in further through the myriad crowd of PDP followers, I saw another unmistakable billboard, “2015 VICTORY TRAIN: JONATHAN, OKOWA, MANAGER and OWHEFERE”.

The crowd was well organized and by 11 am, every available space had been subscribed and I also stumbled on some welfare drinks and meat pies as I sat with some journalist-colleagues of mine where I sat for the two hours or so the event lasted. I think, for any participant in the campaigns, especially, if one is more than 60 or 70 years, it is advisable to be an early bird and find for yourself, a comfortable sitting place.

It is worth mentioning for the records that the Delta South Senatorial District is helping to midwife the 2015 governorship candidate and therefore, the onus rests on the leadership of the district to continue to work extra miles to reassure the PDP that they are up to the task and that the proud sons of the Isoko North and South would vote PDP.

Before leaving for Oleh, the second lap of the campaign train, some ten minutes drive from Ozoro, as the cars and jeeps snaked their way through the available routes, what I saw was support for PDP ALL THE WAY.

The flag bearer spoke along the same lines of special agricultural programmes that would come into play and two, other industrial estates would be established to help the youths and the women in same way as the Warri Industrial Park and industries/projects.

One curious group I saw in Ozoro came with billboards with an inscription: “The Urhobo United EX-MILITANTS To Rebuild Nigeria Supports Jonathan and Okowa”. This, to me, gives the other view of the Urhobo Nation which in earlier times had been said to be holding onto the Oviamwangue Declaration which seemed to go counter to what the ex-militants were saying.

At Oleh, the PDP leadership also cried out to the Isokos of Oleh. One aspect of the campaigns which had remained consistent so far is the PROSPERITY FOR ALL DELTANS sung high by some DELTA MUSICIANS, mostly of the reggae genre led by RAS KIMONO, ORITS WILLIKI, YELLOWMAN and Stella Monye who came to perform as a group as opposed to the regular faces and names like Sam Okpozo, and Daddy Sokkey. They performed to the admiration of the crowd, most of who jumped in the dancing fun. There was an original one that took the airwaves, titled IN PIDGIN, “OKOWA, OUR MATA NA HIM MATA” and later changed to “OUR MATA NA THEIR MATTA”, referring to the twosome: OKOWA and OTUARO.

The Oleh Stadium with harmattan-scotched grass, almost over hydrated because of the milling crowd saw the political leadership of Isoko South. The mass movement that PDP has become in the past 15 years has made it impossible to be supplanted by any opposition groups and like in many areas of human endeavour, defecting from a winning team to a new party, is seen by most politicians as a deliberate attempt to commit political suicide.

Top leadership of Isoko included a former Senator, Mrs. Stella Omu, who announced the names of all the candidates from the Isoko South being showcased to the crowd in the following order- Erijo for the DTHA, Mrs. Esievo Orezi for Constituency Two, Chief James Manager for Senate, Leo Ogor for Reps. A campaign organization by name “Ithitivbe” led by Mr. Joel Onowakpo also sent solidarity messages to Dr. Okowa and Otuaro. Mr. Joel is the Executive Chairman of the Delta Revenue Board.

Other PDP dignitaries were Bahorun Askia Ogeah, Solomon Ogba, Chief Etaluku, an elder statesman of Isoko when he declared Isoko South is for Jonathan and Okowa and Leo Ogor, the Lion at the House of Representatives. Etaluku told the crowd the ISOKO PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN- PDP ALL THE WAY. The Director-General of the Campaign Organization, Dr. Otumara told the crowd that Okowa is the ordained Governor in Delta State while Senator Patrick Osakwe added his voice. Minister of the Niger Delta Ministry, Dr. Steve ORU referred to the PDP as the biggest party in Nigeria and Africa and that Okowa as an experienced politician, will deliver on all his promises.

Dr. Okowa@ Oleh: “the Oleh Stadium is overflowing and I want to thank you for the gathering here today. And also meet my running mate, Kingsley Otuaro. I will develop Oleh and make it more like a mega city.” The other campaign promises were technical education, agricultural revolution and health insurance scheme for the people of Delta State. And a special place in his heart for the youth and women. How touching!