By Norbert Chiazor
A male journalist from the South-West who nudges me to no end, over my trenchant Delta themes, asked.
May 29th 2023. Power will depart Anioma. Her son, Delta’s most powerful man, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa would cease to be governor. From the Government House gate to the uppermost room, air of authority would hover a different scent. Life and language would change in the governor’s office. Chance! It happeneth to all men.
Gradually Okowa is walking away. He is exiting as an impact governor in Asaba and most Delta North communities. He has clothed the state capital in all-time glory. As the first Delta governor of Anioma hood, he brought pride and dignity to Anioma people within the state’s complex inter-ethnic relations.
Commend or condemn him, the man’s efforts in development and political patronage across the rest of Delta are somewhat worthwhile.
Like every human experience imperfect, the government has its highs and lows. The verdict of history is in the womb of time. But the steps of the regime could be anything but infamy.
What is the future of Anioma after Okowa? Will the next governor spit on Asaba? Will he kiss the state capital?
Strikingly, no group in Delta has bragging rights over the state? None owns Delta as an inheritance. Each has its peculiar salt. Delta South, home to the Itsekiris, Izons and Isokos, is largely the economic powerhouse of the state. Delta Central gives the flavour of Delta politics with the political vibrancy and trailblazing audacity of the Urhobos. Delta North, inhabited by the Aniomas – Aniocha, Oshimili, Ika and Ndokwa stand as the soothing and stabilizing force, in a state where ethnic tension is hotter than molten magma of volcano.
With no prospects of state creation in sight, the only truth the five constituents must live with is tolerance in midst of feuding. Nigeria is not ready to grant Deltans divorce!
More profound is that every Delta governor takes the oath of office in Asaba, Anioma soil and head of the state, with all its symbolic and spiritual significance. Bless the land, it will bless you. Curse it and be cursed.
To succeed, the next governor after Okowa has a compelling fate to take care of Asaba, nay Delta North as well as other parts of the state.
In a rehearsal of his imminent valedictory speech, Okowa the other day hoped his successor would remember Asaba.
His sentiments are sacred.
On a lighter tone, who among the governorship aspirants would truly fancy the song Asabaamaka? I wish the crooner Fretless knows…