When in 1999 an apparently diabolical team swarmed into government in Delta State we little expected that their vicious and dreadful siege on our treasury would last for sixteen years. Two to three years into their messing up the hard-earned democracy, creating and confronting us with instant Augean stable and completely rubbishing our sensibilities, some of us counted it obligatory then to stand out and fight. We knew we were out to confront a monstrous system, but that was not to matter to us.
About a year and half after our enlistment, Great Ogboru returned from exile and ‘came calling’! The opposition was quickly inclined to collapse all its structures and put them behind him, and I was ready to turn over to him and his dream my media machine which I had hitherto put behind the opposition and behind Fred Brume during the infamous Ibori-Amori resource control tomfoolery which was only meant to get more monies into the personal global accounts of the spoilers of our treasuries. At the time Ogboru joined us in the struggle, there was no doubt in our minds that Ogboru will be a change agent of some sort if he could but make it to the state house, which explains why I did scores of articles for him including few elaborate interviews I granted the press.
But for about twelve years now since we stitched together in the struggle and we readily ensconced him on the driving seat, he kept navigating wrongly anytime he gets the mandate; always getting the mandate to no end because, as it turned out, he knows nothing about the end-battle or the battle between getting ashore, which the people’s mandates have been, and walking with the mandates to the statehouse, the ultimate terminus. Always failing to evolve a tack but believing the same method will always bring different result! He has no strategy to make things difficult for buyers of INEC staff (permanent or ad hoc) and Police officers’ consciences; no strategy to stymied that; and, of course, we come to sense that his antecedents has not enthralled INEC and Police personnel enough to the point of their resisting and refusing to be bought by the spoilers of society, nothing in the past that tells them (these government personnel and ad hoc staff of INEC) that Ogboru is a friend, one of them and that in him they have a sparkling future which they must protect and fight for by not selling out their consciences (to the Ibori clan) because of pot of porridge which translates to ruining their guaranteed future fortune. Their lenses have not seen an Oshiomhole in him. That is to say too that they, probably, see him therefore as not really being drastically different from those spoilers of society, and so are readily willing to be induced and suborned by our treasury profligates and their carrots that blinds; that blinds these receivers’ eyes to the sticks, pains and hopelessness of the past and of the future.
Consequently, these spoilers of Delta State are still there today only changing from the brute daredevil lions of yesterday to the lurking devious serpents of today, the former doing the stealing foolishly and recklessly (apparently with the help of the then SSG who is helmsman today) and the latter cunningly and deviously. The result is that even with the few window dressing dotting few places today because of the challenge of Oshiomhole’s Edo, the rot is still as behemoth as ever.
So, the agent of change, and we speak of Ogboru, who could only change the voting pattern or who could only get the people’s mandate (courtesy of his hitherto popularity made more so by the media machines of some of us) but knows nothing about the Oshiomhole’s type of plan of action that both get the mandate and secure or consummate it against all odds is not what we need now. We need one who has such a plan of action and more than that one who can roll such plan into action here in Delta. In Otive Igbuzor our hopes brightens up. With Otive, who recently made known his intention to govern the state, the people know that even a better than Oshiomhole is come. And as it is usually with Labor and the Civil Service in the country, Delta labor force and Civil Service will frustrate all attempts to buy their consciences before, during and immediately after the elections. They will guard their consciences now for they know their future and fortunes depend on it. The elections now will be won, without any recourse to the law courts; and if the Delta Mafiosi throw up any voodoo results, a legendary notoriety they have earned overtime, we will walk our ways from the shores (the people’s mandate that is) through the courts with very handy, clean, authentic and massive records and evidences to the State House, Asaba. That is the network, very permeating, being put in place.
We want to get it all right now, get it right beyond mere mandate, and get it right in the end. In Ogboru we have been spited enough, the spoilers have mucked and ridiculed us enough just because Ogboru has failed to always get it right in the end. It was old Freidank, a German poet of the 13th century, who said in one of his verses:
“Hold no man’s actions up to spite
If in the end he gets it right.”
Ogboru has won the guber elections many a times, indeed, won it all the times he ever contested but he has not at anytime gotten it right in the end, and the spoilers of the state have spited us continually with his court cases because Ogboru has not been able all these many times to present evidences enough in the face of overwhelming evidences. He doesn’t know how to get it right in the end. He does not know the nature of his battle, and so has no network in place to help him get it right in the end. His battle is beyond getting the electorate to give him their mandate, which he has been getting anyway. We cannot continue like this. No! Enough of the spite! And all that is coming to an end now in Otive Igbuzor.
Ogboru has long fell apart at the seams, and as the bells rang dead on him sometimes way back and you asked ‘who next’, you heard the whistling and humming. Though not easy to decipher at that point you can tell by their sweet faces that something newsy is around; then came the low-pitched sounds and eavesdrops, but you reasoned it was nothing to run away with yet being still shadowy; then it hits you direct, loud, clear and unmistaken before it quickly became streets chat. But will he or will he not! And how verifiable is it? So, given your background you thought you should still keep your hands akimbo. And then, the man came! An epitome of values-imbued, values emitting creature, he strode in with towering credentials, profile of record performances and clean past to present; and it was no surprise at all, therefore, that his unique, incomparable and achievable vision for Delta had a ready place in the hearts of all. Thus, he let the cat out of the bag. It was on Independence Day, the very day yours sincerely came back to the country completely unaware of the goings-on: Coincidence? No, Providence! And as this top social crusader, human right activist par excellence, leading scholar and friend of and fighter for the downtrodden strode away that day, all knew a new era, wonderful epoch is the contract this man and Deltans are in for.
William Shakespeare may teach Ogboru and the rest of us here. Shakespeare’s “primrose path” (Hamlet) has not led Ogboru to his desired haven in our corrupt clime. “Ambition”, Shakespeare would say, “should be made of a sterner stuff” (Julius Caesar), and, of course, in our case it should be exercised within the ambit of democracy. Ogboru wants to walk the primrose path in an Ibori-Uduaghan superlatively bungled democracy and extremely corrupted system that they have bundled us into, to achieve his dream. He lacked the total, unstoppable, far-reaching and, above all, fence-breaking and obstacle-demoli
shing ambition that can come by sterner stuff. He lacked sterner stuff such as Oshiomhole had that completely secured him his mandate despite mounting and fiendish obstacles placed by buyers and killers of consciences of men of the Police Force, INEC etc and which sterner stuff Igbuzor had over-flowingly and like Oshiomhole would, therefore, employ to secure his mandate full-length “at one fell swoop” (Macbeth). And after that, his sterner stuff will be applied in good governance and married with “the milk of human kindness” (Macbeth) which again he (Otive) is filled and brimmed over with. Yes, sterner stuff and milk of human kindness meet together in the marvel that is Otive Igbuzor.
Indeed, Otive is a combination of ordinarily or seemingly opposing ideals, principles and values. In him seemingly different sweet extremes meet. They have worked well in him; worked well in others, home and abroad, through him; and they promise to work good for Deltans come 2015. We mean that in Igbuzor we have a rare mix of boldness and humility, daringness and caution, speed and thoroughness, radicalism and sobriety! A rare mix of what ordinarily are opposing tendencies and or actions, but blending positively so well to make him the complete and accomplished manager he has become! Only rare managers are thus equipped. And he would work all of them up for good management or governance here in our state. It is a case of being balanced upstairs and so knowing how to deal with cases and opinions of extremes for the benefit of all. His antecedents guarantee that Deltans are out for a candidate who knows how to manage extremes of views, positions and men with the result understandably startling! For whereas Ogboru has shown he is bereft of the underpinning ingredients that can up the struggle, Igbuzor’s purview of these issues and much more are enthralling just as his grasp of what needed to be done are highly comforting and succoring.
So, though the rot in our midst may be nastily behemoth, though the monstrous siege on and unrestraint purloining of our treasury mystifying, though Ogboru’s inability to know how to roll with the punches, and in this case to burst the schemes and elections ringing ring of Ibori-Uduaghan and co (of PDP, in INEC and the Police) and consequent on that, though his inability to successfully run with our sundry mandates may smell and spell huge unapprised approach and or ineptitude in ending well and right in the end, and though Deltans have remained battered, spoiled, hopeless and heart-broken all these many years because of all these, there is now hope in the horizon. Otive Igbuzor represents that hope.
In him we cannot but shout and bellow our much denied hurray and run with the lifeline of uhuru (from the crooks) and cut the developmental course that will help chat for our state the road to an El Dorado inviting enough to the developed world. With the likes of the Awos, Delta of today has more than enough to do that. And Otive’s past guarantees this great future! After his tenure we should be able to lift up our hands heavenward and say: THANK YOU LORD JESUS.
Indeed, Providence has supplied the man Otive Igbuzor to realize the great need of Delta after sixteen years of apical mis-governance by kakistocrats who stole five mandates, one given to Moses Kragha and four (including a bye-election) given to Ogboru. Today, the renewed opposition (The Third Force) under Igbuzor has come to the rescue. Otive Igbuzor is the man to help us (including Ogboru) out of the problem of apical profligacy that our treasury has been subjected to these decades, out of the complete societal ruin as a result of that, and out of this inability to get it right in the end or to ease out the spoilers of us all. Beyond that, Otive is into the race to offer sacrificial, value-oriented and God-fearing governance come 2015. This is what we need now. This great need of Deltans couldn’t have come at a time like this if Providence has not equipped a man to meet it. That man is Otive, and it is surely hurray and uhuru time!