By Onoriode Amrakpoyerin
Better Delta State, a registered non-governmental organization in a press statement published on the 7th August 2021 drew somewhat of a satirical flak from the recent political consultation embarked upon by Senator James Manager to a former Governor of Delta State Chief James Onanefe Ibori.
Describing it as the meeting between the two James, the Chairman of Better Delta State indicated that far flung from the two James of the Holy Scriptures – Apostle James a Disciple of Jesus and King James who authorized a version of the Bible, this meeting between the two politicians come as a fitting metaphor in our rare attempt to find a way to respond to the immense confusion amidst observable paradoxes both anticipated and unanticipated, that appear to underline the search of a next suitably qualified candidate of the Peoples’ Democratic Party in the Delta State 2023 gubernatorial elections.
According to him “when people prevaricate over interests, we see first and foremost the existential proof of politics rather than subversion and the grand opportunities and resources they stand to waste in their grab and gabble politics as if, if a causal link between politics and interests is not established, the beauty and progressive nature of politics cannot attract as much attention.
The Chairman Mr Onoriode Amrakpoyerin hinted that “In dwelling on this hypothesized ‘interests’ we find that the fascist elements who in their classic phrase ‘on top’ achieve a temporary solidarity after they refused to be leavened by the cultured nature of progressive politics, often end up with a solidarity like that of the “Gorgon sisters” after losing their eyes, stating that, when we raise these objections we may confusingly come to many as being psychologically critical as if we have a score to settle with the Delta central political establishment which continues to contend for space to create a political autonomy of its own.
The Better Delta State Chief Executive officer asked rhetorically if the meeting between the two James – the genuflecting Senator James Manager and the patriarchal former Governor James Ibori in July 2021, is not a veiled admission that perhaps there is as yet no where it was ever contemplated that power was going to be rotated among the senatorial zones in the ruling PDP? He asked this question based on the known fact that the genuflecting Senator James Manager is a member of the touted Ibori political family and by that fact should be conversant of its outlined agendas, were any, in the context of its immediate, near and long term projections.
He argued that “if the genuflecting James, in his wisdom visited the patriarchal James to consult on his gubernatorial aspirations, it provides a ready clue that the Senator knew so well that a zoning agenda was never part of that political family’s contemplations and to that extent was more than willing to impose his own version of a political future.”
This according to him only goes to provide a sustainable proof to affirm what Governor Ifeanyi Okowa said that the idea of zoning in Delta State PDP was a ruse. This visit by the Senator and the response of the patriarchal James speak to the gravamen of the Delta central perception that perhaps they are yet agents of an illusory History; the CEO was quoted to have said.
Describing zoning as an artificial tool designed to manipulate political productions, the Better Delta State CEO further argues that “zoning is simply fetishistic as its agenda is driven more by a tendency to perpetuate capital and political control in a process where the clan of feudal fascists realize their values and reproduce their domination. Not only that, the illusion of autonomy of the producers of this zoning agenda, as well as the process by which its knowledge is produced and deplored, partly instantiate the translation of dominion into hegemony, for this illusory autonomy masks the actual political design and power relations which drive the zoning animations” the CEO said
He insisted that “no society survives this nature of artificial manipulation of its well- intended sons and daughters in positions of political leadership as they only subsist to produce for the faceless group that project them, which according to him, comes at the expense of the greater good of the State and her people.
Mr Amrakpoyerin who appears conversant with the nature of the PDP Delta State politics said that “what we know is that the whole idea of zoning never existed as a formalized structure. It was essentially conjured in the minds of a small number of people and the illusion of its continued existence was used to the perceptual peril of those who believed in it.” He likened its conjurers to Niccolo Machiavelli “who thought that a prince ought not to be concerned with ethics but only with the best means of achieving his end. This Machiavelli went on to praise the actions of Cesaire Borgia, fourth son of Pope Alexander VI, and ex Cardinal who had broken countless promises, murdered his friends, including his brother, ransacked cities, seduced his sister, defeated in battle after having escaped from a Spanish prison, being exiled, miserable and despised by society.”
He said “what has subsisted in PDP primaries in Delta State since 1999, is the participation of aspirants that cut across the different ethnic groups and according to him “the peremptory meeting of the five term in National Assembly, Senator James Manager to the patriarchal James Ibori simply illustrates this truism. He said, “Nothing is more clarifying of the misconception about zoning than the tendency to see it as an immunity – a narrow self- referent notion which makes its justification as a claim which politics has to confer and uphold implausibly.” He insisted that what is needed in Delta State at this importunate period of its political history is not so much the reproduction of the same tendency that has bedeviled its development.” He argues that “the economic future of Delta state lies with us and cannot be wished away as hamitic hypothesis.”
He said that “beyond what the Delta central conceptualizes as its main inspiration to desire shift to it in the gubernatorial power ratio, our compelling need at this time should be more about putting stress on emergent phenomena than on evoked realities. We need more of several patriotic touches on the political process that constricts rigidities and defies all previous attitude that has held our state hostage.
The success of this historic trend will largely depend on an extensive distribution of inventive models in shopping for who next succeeds the present governor rather than depending on the imaginary zoning faux pas.”
This line of thought according to him “is predicated on the assumption that Delta State will continue to remain a PDP honed state but we cannot at this time afford to underestimate the forces clamoring for change and therefore to ignore their protest, as Edmund Burke did in his classic statement of the conservative viewpoint “because half a dozen grass hoppers under a fern make the field ring with their importunate chink …. Pray do not imagine that those who make the noise are the only inhabitants of the field; that of course they are many in number; or after all, they are other than the little shriveled, meagre, hopping though loud and troublesome, insects of the hour.” How naïve and how fatal such views often are!
In summing his enigmatic prosaic congruence of the two James, Better Delta CEO concludes that “what Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa should do must depend on the basic indexes provided in the body of our literature.” “He should show commitment and insights as an impartial umpire and work to maximize the opportunities of the historical moments. The Governor has to be very creative and flexible in his strategy and he has to make complex maneuvers even to achieve small advances. He must ensure the state must not be left in the condition it was when His Excellency snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.
Delta State has largely become a predatory state and the arterial connection to that predatory instinct has meant that the State has become essentially rentier and has mortgaged its possibility to the pursuit of personal rather than the general good of the state.”
Mr Amrakpoyerin argues “that the clamor for another Delta central candidate at this time of our political evolution cannot be sustained. It is first unscientific and signally lacking in competitive systemic discretions. What appear to look more analytically viable and politically convincing is to shop for a candidate from an ethnic group other than the urhobo. This is so because the indexes and rationalities have shifted from patrimonies to knowledge exhibition. Sentiments or sloganeering would be too cheap and unsympathetic to the toxic political atmosphere. We ordinarily would advise for an Ijaw candidate with a comprehensive compelling credentials that can penetrate the twin domains of unrivalled patriotism and intellectual probity, with a credential of intellection, manifested as consensus, balance and proportion, a candidate with an assertive worksheet who can offer a compelling appeal to the central and northern senatorial zonal counterparts, a candidate that has benefitted from the hindsight of how government works who is further complemented by additional information from the vantage point of derived intelligence.”
“We need more than a common enough candidate, one that symbolizes the hope of the party and the aspirations of the people, not a candidate who needs political power to foreground his serial linkages to unproductive representations of the people. We need an unconventional politician, one who like Umara Zulum Governor of Borno State was sought for and helped to lead his people at a crucial time of that states’ groveling inflictions from criminal insurgency, a candidate who possess opinion and will, one who has honor, who will not lie, who can stand before a demagogue and damn his treacheries without winking. We do not need a candidate who wants to learn on the job but one who already knows the job and knows the pitfalls on the road so that he can safely steer the ship of the state from the damning icebergs on its path. That is what the complex politics of Delta State yearns for presently,” the Better Delta CEO was quoted to have said.
- Amrakpoyerin is Chairman, Board of Trustees, Better Delta State.