By Dr. Frederick Pessu
The 2019 election is around the corner and the people of Warri Federal Constituency have an opportunity to decide and shape the direction of progress of her people for the next four years. This is going to be an important next four years in our political evolution and relevance in the ethnic coalition called Nigeria.
Hon. Daniel Reyenieju
We have become compelled by the immense pressure of collective responsibility to push for a better deal for the people of Warri Federal constituency. The strategic relevance of Warri Federal Constituency; both economically and socio-politically within the Nigerian political space must at this point in time in our history be skilfully and intelligently leveraged for the benefit of our people first and then the Nigerian state at large.
We can therefore not afford to be cowed by any form of political posturing and immoral bravado that is hell bent on hijacking the future of our people. This is the time for us to arise and defend our political identity as a people. We must remember who we are as a people and our historic economic and political bearing. We must now be reminded as a people that history will judge us all and our children and grandchildren will be the jury.
Interest of the people must remain holy
To the political leadership in Warri Federal constituency, politics as we have known it is always in the interest of the people and not just in the interest of the elite. We cannot just change a working system with a system that has trails of corrupt tendencies, promulgation of violence, and arrogant display of ineptitude and gross mismanagement of public funds. The interest of the people must remain holy in this coming election.
This election is too important to take such risk considering the political dynamics of Delta state and Nigeria. This is a clarion call to the leaders in Itsekiri, Ijaw and Urhobo of Warri Federal constituency. We are all looking up to you as leaders to make selfless decisions in the interest of all, including the interest of your children and grandchildren. This is the time to stand for what is right and not what is safe. There is no better time for this.
To the people; the women, the old and the young, I will also love to encourage you to know this truth that…. “The human voice cannot be tamed, especially when it is telling the truth. Even in its faintest whisper, it is louder than the shelling of a war grenade”…. Do not be cowed. Let the antecedents of each aspirant speak for themselves because the group campaign cannot be used to deceive us to believe that all the aspirants under one political party under a supposed 5/5 or 6/6 slogan have the same capacity to represent us successfully, especially representing Warri Federal Constituency at the Federal House of Representative. Besides 5/5 or 6/6 = 1 and therefore every aspirant needs to show why they are the better candidates. This is not the time for unintelligent and obnoxious rhetoric. Let their individual antecedents speak for themselves.
In our recent publication online on the 10th(https://www.vanguardngr. com/2019/01/warri-federal- constituency-why-we-must-send- our-best-legislator-to-the- house/) and in print on the 13th of January in the Vanguard newspaper, we did gave clear reasons why the candidates of our choice is Honourable Daniel Oritsegbubemi Reyenieju(DOR) of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the February 16th Federal House of Representative Election. In the referred publication we tried to clearly highlight his innumerable track record of legacy projects as a member representing Warri Federal constituency in Federal House of Representative. Of course, there are other aspirants across various political parties in running for the Warri Federal Constituency seat at the National assembly who have held prominent and important positions and serve the public in various capacities; in community trust, government ministries and as a Commissioner in Delta State Oil Producing Community Development Commission (DESOPADEC).
The latter appointment has a strategic mandate to drive sustainable development and intervention to oil producing communities in Warri Federal Constituency ravaged by oil and gas exploration. We would love to review their track record of service in all capacities. We challenge them and their surrogates to sell their legacies to the Itsekiri people and the people of Warri Federal Constituency. Some of us already have some records of their antecedents but we would have loved to be proven wrong.
In the February 16th election, the indigenes of Warri Federal Constituency must reject any form of unchecked cronyism in our politics!. We must reject mediocrity in the leadership of our people!. We must reject docility and never reinforce failure!. We must reject any form of political rascality!. We must reject all who can comfortably trade off the interest of their people, community, and ethnic group for their selfish political ambition.
We must also reject their enablers. In 2019, we must protect the politics of essence. It is important to note that the member representing Warri Federal Constituency is one (1) out of 360 other members of House of representative and one (1) out of 469 Federal legislators. This means you need to display high impact lobbying skills and intelligent communication to be able to convince the institutions of the state to site legacy projects in Warri Federal Constituency. This place is not for noise making and docility. It is for service to the Itsekiri people and people of Warri Federal Constituency. We therefore ask that other aspirants provide strong evidences to show why they are the better candidate than the incumbent.
It is important to reiterate that flagrant philanthropism is not a virtue that qualifies a candidate for a position of service. With all due respect, any political surrogate that campaigns on and/or celebrates philanthropism as a political capital must have been severely starved and is being led by the gluttony of his belly. How were these monies for philanthropism gotten? Are these monies supposedly meant for the itsekiris? And the people of Warri Federal Constituency? Where are the projects initiated and completed by some of these aspirants while they held sway as commissioner in DESOPADEC?
Philanthropism cannot be sustained for all
They should show us so we can see and say aye, they are better placed to replace Honourable Daniel Reyenieju in the green chamber. Itsekiri and indigenes of Warri Federal Constituency must be asking these questions everyday leading up to the election. We should all remember that philanthropism cannot be sustained for all of us for the next four years.
If it must be sustained, then the means (monies) to achieve this must be questioned as well. After this election a lot of us voters will remain impoverished while the elite will continue to milk our common wealth. This has been perfectly captioned in the eternal words of Chief Obafemi Awolowo… “The pursuit of wealth is not a bad thing in itself because without the food and comforts which wealth provides, life will be penurious and drab. But always remember that any wealth accumulated on a selfish basis, at the expense of the state in defiance of social justice helps to create a disorganised society in which everybody will eat everybody and no one can be safe”… Chief Obafemi Awolowo. My dear fellow constituents, these words have never been truer today. We cannot be pushing for change in the enslavement mentality of our constituents and still be bought by the currencies of the slave masters.
Dr. Frederick Pessu a lecturer, writes from the UK