DELTA 2023: Why Ijaw gubernatorial aspirants must shun politics of divisiveness, blackmail
By GbaramatuVoice Editorial Board
It is a common knowledge that the race to occupy the Osadebe House, Asaba, Delta State, come May 2023, has begun.
Making the development interesting is that the Ijaw ethnic nationality, predominantly resident in six councils of Delta State, with these councils domiciled within the Delta South Senatorial zone, has insisted that their ethnic nationality must produce the next governor in 2023.
For separate but related reasons, the argument by these revered leaders of the Ijaw nation in the state is validly important. First and very fundamental, like other ethnic groups in the state, the Ijaw people in the state is in the Newspaper’s opinion littered with illustrious, self-contained and quietly influential sons and daughters that can eminently govern the state.
Secondly and very vital is that the Ijaws have, in the past, made huge sacrifices, contributing to the socio-economic sustenance of the state and supported other ethnic nationalities over the years emerge governors in the state.
Very germane and worthy of mention is the fact that the present project/decision by the Ijaws to have one of their sons/daughters occupy the number one position in the state, can only be achieved through demonstration and existence of unity among all the aspirants of Ijaw origin. This observation becomes even more relevant when one remembers that time-honored parlance which says that ‘united we stand, and divided we fall.’
Bearing the above fact in mind, the GbaramatuVoice, the most authoritative information source in the Niger Delta region and staunch promoter of Ijaw national unity, recently observed with dissatisfaction, and view as unpatriotic a calculated attempt by some contenders, their foot soldiers or agents to cause division among the Ijaw people in the state in ways that will deplete their (Ijaw) delegates’ voting strength preparatory to, during and after the party primaries.
The Newspaper is particularly pained that some aspirants and their cohorts have, against all known logic and contrary to the wishes, expectations and desires of the Ijaws in the state, taken to outright blackmail of fellow Ijaw brothers/contenders whom they sense may have upper hand at the contest.
This development, in GbaramatuVoice Newspaper’s view, remains highly regrettable.
Meanwhile, while the GbaramatuVoice, as a responsible and responsive newspaper calls on these Ijaw political gladiators involved in this heinous expedition and politics of divisiveness, callousness and blackmail to desist from such act, there are, of course, some salient points that every well-meaning Ijaw son and daughter in the state must not fail to remember.
First, is the fact that at no time or period have the Ijaws in Delta State gotten so close to the government like now, so, this is our time. All that is needed is peace, unity, love and spirit among the contenders/aspirants and collective push among all illustrious sons and daughters of Ijaw origin in the state.
Secondly, we must not fail to remember that other ethnic groups and senatorial zones in the state are equally interested in the same position and any mistake on our part, particularly this act of politics of divisiveness, callousness and blackmail of fellow contenders/aspirants, can make this opportunity slip off their hands and go to another ethnic group or senatorial district.
We must not fail or fall into this trap. We, therefore, properly encourage and support all aspirants to be friendly, peaceful and civil in the present pursuit of their dreams.
Nevertheless, the newspaper holds the opinion that whoever, whether individual or group, that will directly or indirectly, be instrumental to the occurrence of any calculated ugly development that will see this golden opportunity slip off the hands of Ijaw people, the god of Ijaw nation will not forgive but punish such individual or group. Their names will go down in the history of the Ijaw nation as traitors, and their children will be ashamed to be born of them. Yes. The children of Ijaw origin, yet unborn, will see them as the real enemies and traitors of Ijaw land of Delta State because they disappointed the people and the ethnic nationality in its utmost time of need.
Again, as the state braces up for the 2023 election, the newspaper also reminds other senatorial zones and ethnic nationalities in the state the fundamentals of democracy — guaranteeing the individual’s right to go against the masses and say no according to the dictates of his conscience. It also guarantees the right to call for change, when people cling to tradition out of fear and frustration. Likewise, the present challenge in the state demands deliberate deviation from political party and sectional interest, to achieve collective state interest anchored on equity and justice.
“The destiny of the ship is not in the harbor but in sailing the high sea’’ and so shall our collective responsibility be, not to destroy this great state (Delta) but join hands to nurture and sustain it. If we are able to manage this situation and other challenges, it will once again announce the arrival of a brand new great state where peace and love shall reign supreme. But, then, no society/state or nation enjoys durable peace without justice and stability without fairness and equity.
If this is the true position, the newspaper sees no reason why other tribes should not support the Ijaw governorship ambition in the state. It is common parlance in politics that whoever contributes to the common purse, must draw from the commonwealth.
On the final note, we call on Ijaws brothers vying for political positions to, forthwith, put a stop to this politics of bitterness and in its place, embrace politics of unity and oneness. They should look both inwards and critically to spot candidates with the brightest opportunity and give such candidates unalloyed support.
This is the way to go. It is the civil action expected of their caliber.
By GbaramatuVoice Editorial Board