The moment we begin to fear the opinions of others and hesitate to tell the truth that is in us, and from motives of policy are silent when we should speak, the divine floods of light and life no longer flow into our souls. - Elizabeth Cady Stanton
In 2014, I wrote a viral article titled ‘what if Ibori dies today?’ detailing what each Newspaper headline will run to town with if God decides to call you home while serving your jail terms in London. In the piece, I made a case on why you should be brought back home, since you are a victim of political power play. Two years after, you have not only arrived Nigeria but landed safely in Ethiope West, the political Mecca of Delta State. I watched the video of your return to Oghara to the joy of Deltans, such that may never be seen in years to come.
Your Excellency, I do not know the circumstances under which you were compelled to singlehandedly make your cousin, Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan the Governor of Delta State, even when most Deltans kicked against it. You vehemently refused to yield to the voice of the people, and like the force you are, you rode on and installed him as the king. Many people say it’s due to the fact that you wanted a blood brother to protect you while you are away, but I’m pretty sure that you know better now that successors do not always protect predecessors.
You left a Delta State that was heading towards the path of prosperity and if governed well, would have become the Dubai of Nigeria. You laid a foundation that was past windows level, only waiting for Uduaghan to take it to roofing level, while his own successor complete the painting and external decorations. You left a state that has three polytechnics to your cousin as well as a state where all the local governments have a mini stadium. You did not just end there; you built roads and bridges across many communities with electricity provided. It was clear that among the 1999 set of Governors, you and Donald Duke of Cross River State were the shining stars. Your legacies remain till date.
All that remained was just for Uduaghan to build on the existing structure, economically and politically. He was your Secretary to the State Government (SSG), who you trusted to carry on from where you stopped. In short, he was your ‘egbe wager’.
Now that you are back, forget all that you heard while you were in London and experience firsthand the things we complained about while Uduaghan reigned like Rehoboam. Take a trip around Oghara and you will notice that the community is still the way you left it. Ethiope West is not better off as Uduaghan completely abandoned Oghara and other parts of the local government to suffer. The Delta State University Teaching Hospital (DELSUTH) is not suffering today because Governor Ifeanyi Okowa abandoned it, but because Uduaghan never desired to make it independent but continued feeding it like a baby, when it should be yielding profit. Through the hospital, he siphoned funds in the name of buying equipments and building that were always inputted in his budget of fraud. Today, the economic recession is affecting DELSUTH that ought to be an Internally Generated Revenue body for the State.
Sir, Asaba is your home and I’m hundred percent sure that you can’t wait to visit it now that you are back. But before you visit Asaba, kindly visit Akwa Ibom State or Edo State to see what their governors who served same time, apart from Adams Oshiomhole did with funds that accrued to the State. When you are done with that, take a trip to your own capital city and see that Delta State is yet to have a capital, but a village local government headquarters. There is absolutely nothing to write about on Asaba, apart from the mansions that are owned by politicians. I will personally take you round to show you the properties owned by Uduaghan and his co thieves.
Forget about the usual tales of Delta State having multiple cities as none of such city felt Uduaghan’s impact in government. He left Warri worse than he met it, just as he left Agbor and Sapele same way he met it. You are back and will see for yourself.
Aha, let me tell you about the local government halls he called Government House. But before you enter, kindly visit new government houses in other states and you will be amazed that your brother built an Executive Prison. I need not tell you that the Government House building was over inflated just as fake building materials were used to construct it. That is not all, as all the electrical appliances are all faulty, except Okowa has changed them. Under your cousin’s regime, the Presidential wing caught fire twice due to poor electrical installation from the Air Condition. On one occasion, it was during Goodluck Jonathan’s presidential campaign. Jonathan was lucky he never slept in the State on that day; else he would have been burnt. Till date, no other media reported, except Secret Reporters. When making use of any of the washroom in Government House, please be careful as the tiles can fall off the wall and injure your forehead, leg or hand. If in doubt, ask your protégé, Okowa.
Why am I telling you just these few tales? Deltans will be on fire soon, as we demand for your cousin’s probe by the anti graft agencies as well as his extradition to the United Kingdom for trial and possible jail. I’m sure you know that Uduaghan does not travel through UK and cannot go there for fear of arrest, but rather travels through Germany.
Deltans in Nigeria and abroad are set to protest globally as you are already aware of. Do not see it as an attempt to send two relatives to jail, who incidentally served the State, but a patriotic duty by Deltans. This month February, the Diaspora United Against Looters (DUAL) will begin the first phase of protest to begin jail term for your brothers. You are back to the State and will confirm soon that Dr Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan has ruined Delta State and the gates of hell should be opened for him. Let him undergo baptism of fire and see how many Deltans or political leaders will stand by him as they stood by you. In my part two of this memo, I will tell you tales of Uduaghan political intrigues to undermine the political family you left behind and his meetings with loyalists since you were released.
Odidigborigbo, welcome back to your homeland; welcome back and take your place of pride, as the political equations of Delta State and South South change from now on. With you and Senator Godswill Akpabio, the political dance of the South South has just changed rhythm.
These little things matter…