By Daniel Nwakolu
POLITICS has become a game in which those who participate use persuasion to win the hearts of the people so that they can also get their votes during election time. In order to realise that goal, politicians tell the people what they want to do differently to better their lives. The goals of politics and government, which are the welfare and security of the people, remain the same anywhere and everywhere.
What the politicians tell the people or should be telling them is what they intend to do differently and how, in order to ensure their security and welfare. This is why the idea of a manifesto, which is a candidate’s statement of action, is usually not taken for granted in politics, especially during the election period.
This is now the accepted practice all over the world because people have come to accept that it is better to “jaw-jaw” than to “war-war”. It should be added that the practice is healthy and is a way of holding public office holders accountable to their promises, as the people will always draw their attention to them and remind them of what they said when they were campaigning for their votes.
The above makes for a smooth and crisis-free manner of politicking. But sadly, the Delta State All Progressives Congress, APC, governorship candidate in the person of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege does not see politics as civil engagement. Politics, to him, is a war in which he uses vulgar language, wild claims, and issues uncivil and unlawful threats.
He believes that politics should be about propaganda, and that whoever tells the most lies and shouts the loudest will be elected and govern the state. His style of politics is to take Delta State back to the era of politics where rough and inhuman tactics are the order of the day. Omo-Agege has shown that he has no respect for integrity, and his desperation further makes him behave in a way that casts doubt on a number of things about him.
Given the fact that he is well-educated and a lawyer to boot, his behaviour leaves much to be desired, something which I find baffling. Did he really live in the US, where politics is so refined and people driven? Does he have the interests of Delta State and her people at heart? What kind of leader will he be?
Omo-Agege is principally a political carpetbagger. He has the highest record of decamping from one political party to another. For him, politics is a business where only profits matter. Politics is not service and sacrifice for him. It is about grabbing power and using it for self-aggrandisement to the detriment of the generality of the people.
He has never seen politics as being about the welfare of the people. Yet this is the man who stands on the campaign trail and throws stones at people he accuses of corruption despite the fact that they have done everything possible to improve the lot of Deltans.
Since he lacks a convincing and well-articulated manifesto, Omo-Agege’s stock in trade is to cast aspersions and heap lies on credible politicians like Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, who is also the vice presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and Sheriff Oborevwori, the Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly and the Delta State governorship candidate of the PDP.
Omo-Agege is in mortal dread of both Okowa and Oborevwori. He is reminded every minute of the imminence of his defeat in the forthcoming election. What he adopted as a strategy is to lie against both men in order to discredit them. But this strategy is not working, and instead of thinking outside the box and doing something constructive, Omo-Agege is descending more and more into the mud of shame.
Interestingly, Okowa and Oborevwori have chosen not to discuss issues with him. So as he abuses them and makes unfounded claims against them, they maintain a dignified silence that makes Omo-Agege look like a brat used to throwing tantrums. Though the son of an erudite and respected judge, Omo-Agege has chosen to behave like a political roughneck who has neither an ideology nor a vision for Delta State. What politicians do today or will do tomorrow is a function of what they did in the past.
This is why the good people of Delta State should critically question and scrutinize Omo-Agege’s public service record. From available records, Omo-Agege, as personal assistant, executive assistant, commissioner, and secretary to the state government, did not accomplish much worthy of commendation. In fact, Delta State at that time was listed among states with the highest number of abandoned projects.
Omo-Agege cannot deceive Deltans because there are still many unanswered questions about the polytechnic he claims he is building in Orogun. For instance, it is said that it took the intervention of other senators before he mobilised contractors back to the site. Yet, this is the man who is accusing others of poor performance and looting in Delta State. He must learn the wisdom in the saying that those who live in glass houses should not throw stones. He is the one calling the kettle black.
It is also surprising that Omo-Agege will accuse Governor Okowa of betraying Chief James Ibori, the former governor of Delta State. It is indeed laughable that the same Omo-Agege who has been accused of stabbing his benefactor Chief Great Ogboru in the back can actually call Governor Okowa, one of Nigeria’s most decent politicians, a betrayer. Haba! He should be well advised to please stop throwing stones given the fact that he is living in a glass house.
Nwakolu, a political analyst, wrote from Asaba, Delta State.
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