By Chuks Okolo Come 2015, the tenure of Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan would end and Delta State people will be faced with the task of choosing a successor.
Consequently, political actors and chieftains of ethnic nationalities in the state and all those involved in the power game are already beaming their binoculars on the governor. The people of Delta North are making a case for a governor from their area. Their argument is that since the creation of the state in August 1991, nobody from the senatorial district has been elected as governor whereas Delta Central has their taste of the plum job during the Ibru and Ibori eras between 1992 – 1993 and 1999 – 2007 respectively. Delta South is presently occupying the Delta Government House under the Uduaghan administration.
The agitation by Delta northerners to produce the next governor is not a legal right because the 1999 Constitution does not make provision for the zoning of political offices among the senatorial districts or the sub-divisions of a state. Besides, during the elections that produced the three governors that have so far piloted the affairs of the state, it was not on a platter of gold as Delta northerners did not withdraw from the race.
However, there seems to be a general clamour for zoning of strategic public offices to make way for equity, peaceful co-existence, even development and avoidance of suspicion among different ethnic groups in a heterogeneous state such as Delta. Neighbouring states such as Anambra, Edo and Rivers seem to have keyed into this noble ideal. It is with utmost sense of humility therefore that the people of Delta North plead with their brothers and sisters from Delta Central and Delta South to work towards actualising their dream of a Delta governor of Delta North extraction come 2015.
Interestingly, the body languages of major political actors in the state show that they may be favourably disposed to the aspiration of Delta northerners. The race now seems to be within and among the nine local governments that make up Delta North namely Aniocha/Oshimili federal constituency with four local areas; Ika federal constituency with two local government areas and Ndokwa/Ukwuani federal constituency with three local government areas. Since it is on the basis of equity that Delta South and Central are conceding the governorship to Delta northerners, it is imperative that the same principle of equity be applied in determining the federal constituency that should produce the governor.
Ndokwa/Ukwuani nation ought to produce the governor. This is, however, without prejudice to the fact that other federal constituencies in the senatorial district have people that are equally fit for the job to. It is for equity! The Ndokwa nation is endowed with rich mineral resources especially crude oil which is the major source of income for the sustenance of not only the economy of Delta but the nation in general. Ndokwa also has the best gab in West Africa. It would therefore amount to an aberration of the principle of equity to deny them the opportunity of directing how such resources are utilized now that Delta North is at the verge of producing the next Chief Executive of the state.
Like other federal constituencies in Delta North, Ndokwa has sons and daughters with the requisite experience in governance and administrative acumen. Chief John Edozien, one time deputy governor of Delta State, was from Aniocha/Oshimili federal constituency, Chief Simeon Eboka, the deputy governor under Olorogun Felix Ibru administration, is from Ika federal constituency, Chief B.S.C. Elue, the deputy governor to Chief James Ibori, is also from Aniocha/Oshimili federal constituency. Ika federal constituency had the taste of governorship when the then Speaker, Rt Hon. Prince Sam Obi, occupied the Government House in acting capacity in 2010.
It is crystal clear from the foregoing that Ndokwa, the goose that lays the golden egg (crude oil) in the Delta North axis, has not had its share of the leadership of the state. Thus, for equity, justice and fairness, the next governor of Delta should come from the Ndokwa nation for in this only would equity prevail. Okolo, a lawyer lives in Delta State