Benjamin Izoukumor Expresses Opinion On Delta Politics

State of the Affairs in Delta: My Take

Permit me to start by saying that if Ijaw man becomes governor in Delta State, it’ll be a pride to us. However, I’ve kept searching for answers to a simple question, or perhaps not a question.

First, as Ijaw people we’ve projects that cut across our communities, such as the Ayakoromor bridge, school of marine technology Burutu, Ogulgaha/ Odimodi road, Patani technical college, forgotten Burutu township stadium just to cite a few, and I cannot fathom why our political leaders with their political clouts cannot put their energies into the completion of such projects. While, I think our political leaders if they’ve put in place the energy they’ve put for Ijaw governor 2023, these projects in Ijaw areas, would’ve achieved 90 percent completion or even completed by now.

Some’ll say if Ijaw man becomes governor in 2023, the projects will be completed. I quite agree, but what’s stopping it now? One begins to wonder if the Ijaw agenda is in the overall interest of Ijaw people, or for some, because if projects that’ll affect Ijaw people positively ain’t given the uttermost agenda, then why’d the interest of some people be the agenda of Ijaw?

Let me reiterate that if Ijaw man becomes governor in Delta State, it’ll be a pride to all of us. But, the timing and the strategy we’re applying is wrong. Before I talk about timing, let me talk about strategy. The Ijaw ethnicity is in Delta South Senatorial district, and in Delta South, we’ve the Itsekiri, the Isoko and partially the Urohobo ethnic groups. There’re 4 ethnic groups, and amongst these 4 ethnicities, one tribe (the Ijaw ethnic group) is agitating for Ijaw governorship agenda. Literally, what we’re saying as Ijaw people is that we don’t need the support of the remaining 3 ethnicities. In the contrary, if it’s been a Delta South agenda, we may have easily wooed the other 3 ethnicities to key into this very lofty vision to continue the agitation such as we’re seeing Delta Central. Another point to note is under what framework is the Ijaw agenda for governor defined? Development. Or to some persons who’ve seen themselves in government house. Or if it favors them it’s an Ijaw agenda; but if it doesn’t, it’s a personal agenda (albeit 2015 gubernatorial elections in Delta State). Like I said, it’ll be a pride to see an Ijaw man becomes governor, one day, and when it’s the time we’ll know, this now leads me to timing.

I’ve read series of arguments such as equity, fairness, justice, all three Senatorial districts have been govenor, a tribe has supported other tribes; hence, it’s time for other tribes to support a tribe, some even claim osusu. There’s nothing like osusu in politics. Assuming there’s osusu, what’ll be our take if Delta North also come up with a lobby team to retain the governorship in 2023, considering that a Delta North man is winding down their tenure? Politics only has equity, fairness and justice even though these words are not constitutionally defined. I’ll not talk of fairness, I’ll only talk of equity and justice, I say this because in Delta South all ethnic nationalities haven’t been fair to one another and if I give the analysis why I say this it’ll exacerbate more sentiment as we approach 2023.

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So, let’s talk about equity and justice. Equity brings political stability, it dictates minority to be carried along in the political climax. In Nigeria, for instance, if we go by tribes, unlike the North/South presidency that’s naturally defined by God: would there be an Ijaw man presidency? But justice played a fast one on equity and Ijaw man became a president due to our agitation for economic stability and remediation for our depleted (environmental degradation) ecosystem.

Similar, to our situation in Delta State, as Ijaw people we only have three local governments, while we share three with the Itsekiri ethnic group, meaning Delta North and Central can agree to cede the governorship position to themselves, but because of equity, fairness, justice the Itsekiri ethnic nationality a minority in minority produced governor in the person of Dr. Eweta Uduaghan. And this was only achieved through the zoning arrangement known as the gentleman’s agreement that has been existing.

Some will say, but there’s nothing such as zoning because all zones have been contesting. Now let’s take, for instance, Nigeria’s presidency if the president is ceded to the South it doesn’t stop people not to vie from the North, as stopping them is tantamount to stopping their fundamental democratic rights, but providence by providence I meant natural order for power to cede back to the South for equity, fairness and justice.

So, I plead with our political players from the Ijaw ethnic nationality to have it in their thoughts that equity, fairness and justice, or the zoning known as gentleman’s agreement is naturally designed for no one to be cheated. And let’s see reasons to prevail over passion as we approach the 2023 elections. We should contest, but let’s understand the gentleman’s agreement, anything order than that, is trying to play a fast one or cheat nature.


Comrade Benjamin Izoukumor,

Chairman IYC, Iduwini Clan and PDP chieftain in Ward 10, Burutu Local Government Area.

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