Group Writes Oborevwori On Need To Consider Ijaws Over Delta State Government Secretary Position 



Your Excellency,
We congratulate you from the purity and sweetness of our hearts on your meritorious victory in a gladiatorial electoral contest with friends and brothers. From angles of participation and observation, the recent governorship election you emerged with triumph was a contest in war proportion. All Deltans, either by tribal sentiments, political affiliations, religious allegiance, or personal convictions, were drawn into the arena to push you into the track of victory or out of it. It was a fierce battle yet an exciting spectacle because of the bloodless dimension it followed. Despite the many shades of betrayal and the troubling tales of disappointment, it is clear how you show yourself a noble sportsman by extending magnanimity to all and sundry without minding who was a foe the previous night. This rare quality of political maturity ought to be imbibed as a general principle of good politics. We hope the Ijaw political class will find it honourable to adopt it as a way of life.

We are inspired to write this open letter to you by the unanimous voice of the Ijaw people in Delta State that the time indeed is ripe for the SECRETARY TO THE STATE GOVERNMENT to be produced from the Ijaw ethnic nationality. We align ourselves with this position because the underlying argument is predicated on iron-strong facts. It is indisputable that since the creation of Delta State, none of Ijaw extraction has been appointed substantive Secretary to the State Government. This reason alone is enough to propel ethnic interest in such a prestigious position. Considering its status as the most prominent tribe in the Delta South Senatorial District in terms of population and oil production quota, it should be natural for Ijaw to have the right of first refusal regarding any dividend allocated to Delta South. Another reason that seems to be compelling enough, though contestable, is that only the Ijaw-dominated Local Government Areas of Bomadi, Burutu, Patani, Warri North, and Warri South-West demonstrated uncompromising support in all of Delta State for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by ensuring victory for the party in all the elections. This is no exaggeration.

Your Excellency, this heartfelt request enjoys the blessings and support of all Delta people with a good conscience. The sympathy and solidarity for the cause are more from the Isoko nation, which now has a Senator from a rival political party. The Isoko cooperation tells much about their nature as a people inclined for justice and fairness. Those who keep records of the times and seasons in politics understand with clarity that, after enjoying the offices of the Secretary and, consequently, the Governor of the state within the same season, the Itsekiris would be justified to compete for the Secretary post only after a reasonable space of time. It is expected that, as close neighbours, they would add voice to this humble appeal in support of the Ijaw nation. In times of similar pursuits, especially during Dr Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan’s governorship, Ijaw never withheld her benevolence and solidarity from Itsekiri. This exchange of goodwill has been mutually beneficial and should therefore be jealously nurtured and sustained. Ijaw needs their support and not rivalry.

Your Excellency, the Ijaw people are specifically interested in making the next Secretary because of the optimism that your administration will be generous and favourable to them. The benefits of the anticipated good relationship will be better harnessed when a competent Secretary is appointed from the Ijaw stock. The appointment of an SSG is your exclusive preserve. Who becomes your scribe is golden to you at the moment, and your choice will give an idea of how you intend to manage the affairs of the state. The principal quality of a good Secretary is overt and covert loyalty. This is different from political loyalty, which does not last beyond the tenure of a given office. The kind of loyalty we mean cannot be given by any politician desperate for a position. It comes only from humble, level-headed, and less ambitious individuals. Many Ijaw sons and daughters, already in the circle of politics, are neatly in that mould. Among the lot, three stand out. They are Isaiah Bozimo Esg, Chief Barry Pere Gbe, Ph.D., and Mrs. Lyna Aliya Ocholor Esg. It will stir great applause if one of the trio eventually becomes your preference.

The three of them have common qualities. They are technocrats and professionals with impeccable experience records from their respective careers. They also possess distinctive competencies in public administration and human and secretarial management. For example, Isaiah Bozimo serves as Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice in the state. He has presided over several knotty legal controversies but has neither been submerged nor tainted by any in the process. The victories and losses in legal battles account for the reputation of the Attorney General. The heaps of legal achievements you have so far recorded can partly be attributed to Iasiah Bozimo’s mastery of his job. Another attribute that makes him exceptional is that he has international training, and his exposure will serve as a veritable platform to set the state on a global stage. He may be new in politics but certainly not a neophyte. The important thing is that he will be answerable to you alone because he has no multiple masters and godfathers. If he does not have a standing political value, the Bozimo dynasty already has that on solid footing.

Dr Barry Gbe is a humble and sufficiently read gentleman who has spent just a few years in active politics in the state. In the two assignments he has undertaken, he returned with spectacular results. During his tenure as a member of the Board of Internal Revenue, Delta State experienced a regime of flourishing IGR. Barry Gbe must share with him if His Excellency, the Governor of Delta State, Senator (Dr) Ifeayin Okowa, receives accolades for the economic policies and their delivery during his reign. Emerging from a banking background, Barry Gbe commands high discipline, affability, and meticulousness. He can be further described as a paragon of excellence and loyalty. Despite these attributes, Barry Gbe connects strongly and seamlessly with his people. He is one person that will undoubtedly make a wonderful SSG.

Mrs Lyna Aliya Ocholor does not require much introduction; her records are already in the archive of your palm. Under your leadership, the Delta State House of Assembly is widely rated the most stable, peaceful, and eventful. A part of this success story can be ascribed to her diligence and proficient deployment of tact in interfacing on your behalf. Lyna Aliya’s dexterous management of the Assembly staff created a balanced and unbroken relationship in the Assembly between the Members and the civil service team. There has been no staff petition or protest in all these years because she stands as a bridge between the political class and the civil servants. She is discrete and honest and should appeal to you as material for SSG. One fundamental factor about the three is their detribalised nature and posture.

Your Excellency, we know that some political desperadoes would want to make an ugly twist of this innocuous appeal to score some cheap political points. This is expected because we are in the season of lies and blackmail. The Ijaw interest in the Speakership is genuine but not contemplated in this letter’s immediate concerns. It is important also to state that we are neither hired by any person nor driven by any vile or pecuniary motive. We are independent adults in the sacred class of opinion leaders and do not fear taking responsibility for our actions. We will be pleased to provide more information about each of the three persons if Your Excellency grants us such privilege. We assure you that the Ijaw people will give you greater love and support if one of the three becomes your Secretary.

While we thank you for your patience in reading through this letter, we will be grateful if the suggestions are accepted as the voice of the majority of the Ijaw people in Delta State.

Thank you, and God bless you.

Yours faithfully,

Hon. Fred Brisibe – Burutu LGA

Hon. Marker Tuodolo – Bomadi LGA

Hon. Vincent Ikpama – Patani LGA

Hon. Dennis Soroghaye – Warri-North LGA