TRACKING_____Slightly more than 20 years ago, we joined this great Nigerian, captain of industry and philanthropist, Olorogun Great Ovedje Ogboru, on a journey to see him provide progressive leadership to Deltans as our Governor.
Voluntarily, we came together with some of the most brilliant and vibrant students union leaders from Delta State to work with notable and credible leaders to oppose and change wrong leadership methods introduced and maintained by successive regimes of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in our State.
Henry Efe Duku, who shared the experience on his Facebook page, said in our quest for a better governed Delta State, we confronted the regimes of Chief James Ibori, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan and Dr. Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa on grounds of firm principles. Nothing personal. We simply disagreed with their approach to public governance in our state.
We spoke vehemently against both real and perceived leadership impunities and recklessness, including errors of omission and commission. We refused to accept mediocrities, brigandage, waste and wanton looting of our treasury as our best governance offerings. We rejected the notion that poor accountability must be accepted as a public governance norm in the Delta political space. We opposed the celebration of electoral crimes and decried ‘thanksgivings’ to God for electoral victories gained without genuine electoral mandate of our people. We did our little best to change the narratives of bad governance in our dear State.
As well-known, in line with the democratic dictates of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, rigorous political attempts have been made to rescue our State with the power of the ballot. We tried in 2003, 2007, 2011 (rerun), 2011 (General Election), 2015 and recently in 2019. In each of these six (6) attempts, we did not achieve our set electoral goal of forming a government to reorganize our State with Chief Ogboru as our Governor. This is despite the general belief that Chief Great Ogboru won.
It is common knowledge that with implicit faith in our judiciary, and as a matter of uncompromising principle, Ogboru has challenged the outcome of each election and painstakingly traveled from every Governorship Petitions Tribunal in Delta State from 2003 to 2019 up to the Supreme Court in search of justice. Sadly, in each instance, the Noble Lords of the Supreme Court has never accepted our side of the arguments. Today, the apex court did the same thing by dismissing the appeal filed against the victory of His Excellency, Dr. Okowa and his PDP at the Appeal Court, having been declared winners earlier by the Delta State Governorship Petitions Tribunal.
The recent decision by the Supreme Court has expectedly hurt many who had high hopes, though some with legal insights have been genuinely concerned about the electoral jurisprudence already well-stated by the apex court on dependence on ‘Card Readers’ as a source of evidence of accreditation of voters. This approach has been applied by the Court in a plethora of appeals, but the legal experts representing APC had put forward some novel arguments which the Noble Lords repelled.
I hold the firm view that one cannot talk about opposition in today’s Delta State without Ogboru’s personal sacrifices and charismatic mobilization of our people. In the politics of Delta, he is arguably the one man who is more popular than Coca-Cola. A good man well-loved by a great majority of our people.
So, today rather than mourn or bemoan possible mistakes from within and without (which is natural in all human settings, anyway) or lend one’s self to disorganizing theories, diversionary narratives, malicious lies and calculated mischiefs, I have chosen to celebrate and thank this great Deltan for all he has done as a leader, especially for creating a great army of present and future leaders who believe wholly in progressivism as a political ideology. May the good Lord bless this profoundly good man for raising people with great capacity to ‘make things happen’ according to God’s purpose. Good men, women and youths who love him dearly and hold him in the highest esteem. Dedicated ‘activist boys’ of yesterday who have matured into ‘men of reason’. Young leaders with independent minds to stand for what is right by the standards of reason, truth and good conscience only.
Finally, let us purge ourselves of negative feelings from today’s decision, knowing that the Holy Bible admonishes that, “in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus …” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
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