By Goodluck Edafe——–
ROMANS 12v15 says, “Rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn”. This is perhaps the reason a handful of supporters gathered with Chief Ighoyota Amori at the Catholic Church, Mosogar to rejoice some three Sundays ago. They call it thanksgiving service – a deliberate celebration of the defeat of another Urhobo son, the All Progressives Congress (APC) senatorial candidate, Chief (Hon) Halims Agoda at the Appeal Court in Benin. They mocked and laughed; they sang and dance; they made lavished offering and took the communion; they backslapped one another; they teased and hugged themselves boisterously. Amori, like a peacock on evening outing, prowled in the toga of the Odidimadi. Some including our kings and the church were proud to identify with the victory. However, with hypocrisy and flattering tongues, they venerated and poured encomium on him as the lion of Urhobo politics. They described his court victory as the handiwork of God. But the merciful and just God knew the rightful owner of the mandate for which Amori and his associates danced wiggly. He washed with patience and silence.
They say it is not over until it is over. Amori undermined the tensed legal rope that was almost strangulating him by the throat to brandish fake love for an awesome God of anger and justice in the costume of thanksgiving. My friend would say, “Zig-zag get end”. The Amori political zig-zag in Urhobo has come to a tacit awful end. It is the beginning of a new era – the recovery process from the political doldrums that Urhobo was plunged into in the last sixteen years. But that the Appeal Court disrobed Amori, an acclaimed Urhobo political leader and Chief and it sparked off wide jubilation among the very people that he purported to represent, tells the story of an uncharted impostor – a usurper of what rightly belonged to another. The people knew who they voted for at the elections even though the INEC betrayed them. The wide jubilation that trailed Amori’s sack tells the story of an oppressed people who got relief in the end. It is the defeat of a senseless political brigade that paraded abuse and lawlessness as political expertise. It is a relief for Urhobo sons and daughters to freely express political interest in the affairs of their people and communities without subjugation and arm-twisting.
The bible warned against an unexamined life. Wise men put it differently, “An unexamined life is not worth living”. Amori’s political life has no moment of reflection and self-examination. His politics exemplifies a man with hands on the plough. Back he looketh not. And that is the Omo-Agege advantage and glory. Civilized men don’t play politics always for the sake of party. They don’t trivialized or throw underfoot the political interest and feelings of their people. They try to harmonize between party interest and the interest of their people. They live constantly in the consciousness that their importance derives from their people and that their people are their tomorrow and so they don’t neglect the feeling of their people. From time to time, they want to know how much of value their actions have added to society and the extent their decisions have affected the collective interest and welfare of their people. Amori allowed the ranging primitive idea of “Our party”, “Our party” all the time to estrange him from the general feelings of Urhobo. But Omo-Agege, a handsome and charming United State trained, showed exception. He showed that no reasonable man would continue to work against the interest of his people in a competitive world of ethnic politics. He realizes early enough that politics cannot solve the problem of society outside the will and cooperation of the people. And so he dumped the PDP to align with the wishes of the people for a greater Urhobo and better governed Delta state. The people embraced him with sincere love as a loving father would embrace the son. And whereas the likes of Amori by the consideration of party politics alone gave nod to Peter Nwoaboshi boast to win elections in the state with or without the Urhobo vote, Omo-Agege brought to the people a message of hope, unity and recovery. For sure, if not for political miscarriages, Amori had no moral persuasion or political expertise to arm-twist Omo-Agege in a credible, free-fair election hence when he gathered some political associates at the Mosogar church for thanksgiving, the attendees only acted the nature of man. Many knew it was a thanksgiving that would culminate into ridicule and shame. No man mocks God. The bible says, “In everything give God the glory”. Amori, the faithful Christian and his beloved invitees gave God glory for defeating Agoda. Now, could that expressed love for God lead them to another thanksgiving for losing to Omo-Agege? Should Christians glorify and thank God only when they defeat others in courts or win elections and not when they lose? Does sorrow not an act of God? That is the vanity of the wisdom in the Amori thanksgiving. Apostle Paul admonished the Corinthians, “Do not be wise in your own eyes. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their own craftiness”. Amori celebrated the wisdom of men but higher wisdom made nonsense his thanksgiving. For sure, Amori’s sack came from ‘Ibadan’. For Amori, every oppressive decision comes from Ibadan. “Otana obibadan onure” he has regaled the people repeatedly in the past. The Sahara reporters called him “Boat-cruise Senator”. Dazed by the euphoria of “Nothing dey happen” Amori, right in the high sea of America cruised himself out of the Senate into obscurity and solitary confinement. The rightful owner – the man Delta Central love and agreed to represent them has retrieved his stolen mandate. True happiness and thanksgiving has come in trickles. Glory has departed and the impostor has faded away like the morning dew.
Welcome Omo-Agege. By the love and strength of the people you have won. Upon their votes you had your defense. Justice and victory have come home to roost. Therefore, you must not pull away the ladder. The ladder is essential for climbing again. You must return love and goodness to the people. Your thanksgiving must not amplify hypocrisy and the prowess of deceitful words. The people have no delight in frivolities and grandeur. Your thanksgiving should come not in the form of dancing and clapping in pushy churches but in the manner of repositioning Urhobo to occupy its rightful place in the context of Delta and Nigerian politics. Your thanksgiving should come in the manner of good motions and well articulated bills that could promote public welfare, credible elections and egalitarian society. Except politics redefines the social values and give credence to human existence, it is but vanity. As it is, public expectations are high. Politics has decimated Urhobo on all sides and made us minority in a state our heroes fought to create with their own resources and physical energy. Politics is waging a shameful war against our beautiful, well-intended and inherited UPU. Politics has devalued our fatherland and made us a laughing stock in a state that we should ordinarily command honour and respect. These are part of the expectations. There is the expectation of social service delivery to the people; the expectation of the restructuring of the Urhobo socio-political order including the UPU. There is also the expectation of love to all. There must be an end to electoral system where the votes of minority are higher and conquer the votes of majority. There is need to examine how Ika North East, Warri North, Warri South West, Burutu, and few other fishing ports LGAs suddenly become more populated and politically civilized to earn higher votes than Urhobo LGAs like Sapele, Uvwie, Ughelli North, Ethiope West, etc. The INEC books in the state need examination. Urhobo cannot apply acts of cowardice to fight poverty, underdevelopment and oppression. If we are majority in Delta state, then our votes must reflect it otherwise we make mockery of ourselves. Amori is Urhobo political leader yet under him Urhobo sank politically and infrastructurally with no voice at any front. Under his watch, minority became majority. For sixteen years running there is no evidence of the dividends of democracy in Urhobo and Delta state. I have said it once that true dividends of democracy does not lie in the sighting of COPEM at Mosogar or construction of two kilometers roads alone. Projects like this characterize even the worst military government. The rivers state government multiple-towers secretariat and even the vivacious Isaac Boro park flyover in Port Harcourt have no rival in many Nigerian modern states yet they were constructed by Alfred Diette-Spiff, first military Governor of the state. Military dictator Muammar Gaddafi developed Libya. He built roads, hospitals, schools and provided water. True dividend of democracy is the elimination of all forms of military autocracy, brutality and high-handedness in the electoral process. It entails the building of the fabrics of society – its values and social relationships. Dividends of democracy lie in the liberalization of the electoral process, credible elections, choice of the people, rule of law and respect for the rights of persons. These parameters distinguished between democracy and military dictatorship. Though Amori wears the garment of a civilian, he is a political tyrant in the inside. He is widely known for the theory of “Onana vwa ra”. Ofcourse, it’s time to restructure the Urhobo political consciousness. It’s time to reset her mentality and worldview. With President Buhari – the good man on the saddle and Omo-Agege as a mediator, I am sure Urhobo will breathe fresh air in subsequent elections. That is what the Omo-Agege’s victory represents. It is victory for democracy; it is victory for Urhobo. I rejoice with him and Urhobo.