By: IKODUDU KINGSLEY
Since the return to Democratic rule by Nigeria in 1999, the Isoko Federal House of Representative position have been continuously occupied and contested for, by politicians from Isoko South, without any form of resistance, nor political agitation from the North, because we believe we are one.
From 1999 till 2019, when the last House of reps elections were held, only politicians of Isoko South paternal origins had contested and won the house of Rep’s position, without any form of mud-slinging from the North, or attempts to create division amongst us.
HRM Efekodha, contested and won the House of Reps Election in 1999, Hon. Leo Ogor against all odds and political calculations, contested against HRM Efekodha and won in 2003, to the amazement of many.
In 2007, Hon Leo Ogor, sought for re-election, and was fiercely challenged by Austine Igbine and Uturu1, all from the South, yet prevailed.
In 2011, Hon. Leo re-contested and Late Hon. Oghale Osiga of blessed memory, a calm and a resilient challenger from the South, almost defeated Hon. Leo Ogor.
Hon. Daniel Oyovwe and Hon. Julius Mallam-Obi were among contestants from Isoko South, who contested against Hon Leo in 2015.
The 2019 election was the toughest and fiercest, as Hon. Ogor was seeking re-election against the backdrop of some health challenges, and Hon. Ayodele Othihiwa and Hon. Joel Onowakpor, came close both in the primary and in the main election, as the election campaigns were contentious amidst heavy gang up from some persons in the South, as reflected by the election results.
From the lot of people mentioned above, hardly you will find a name of an isoko North person therein, it is therefore a travesty for the South to be feigning a narrative of political oppression by the North for 20 years, whereas, they are the oppressors of the North, considering in our context of argument, the aboriginal affiliation of Hon. Leo Ogor to Isoko South, as an indigene of Idheze.
Putting the traditional principle of Omo-omote and its traditional implications of ancestral throne ascension into consideration, Rt. Hon. Leo Ogor, can not be fully referred to as an Ozoro man, because he can not become Odio, in Ozoro, but will be Odio in Idheze at his old age.
We have seen in Lagos State, politics of dual citizenship, where politicians hold political positions in Lagos State, and later return to their states of origin to become Governors and nominees for federal appointments.
Strikingly, the argument of Ukodhiko’s voting right being demociled in Isoko North, hence not qualified to run for the House of reps despite the obvious truth that his biological mother hails from Oleh, in Isoko South, is a divisive doctrine propagated by persons hiding under the false shadow of equity and fairness, forgetting that voting rights, can be transferred overnight judging from Lagos State style of politics, which saw Hon. James Faleke, a Lagos State voter and a representative of Ikeja Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, ran on a joint ticket with the Late Abubakar Audu, in 2015, in his state of Kogi, before the death of the latter.
Therefore, Hon. Leo Ogor, having his voting rights in the North, and the Northerners allowing him to leverage on our political magnanimity, does not invalidate the truth that, his ancestral origin is from the South and can transfer his voting rights anytime if he so wishes.
It is imperative we note that, Isoko is one and we must abhor divisive tendencies, as the essence of fighting for the separation of Isoko into two distinctive Local Government Areas by our earliest politicians, was not to divide us politically, but to empower and strengthen us politically.
We want to admonish all those proponents of ‘TURN OF ISOKO SOUTH”, from the South and their cohorts from the North, who are hiding under the false shadow of EQUITY, to henceforth desist from that line of argument, because in the real sense of it, the South are the ones cheating and oppressing the North.
The North knew ab initio that, there was never a time, zoning or rotation was considered by both local Government Areas political leaders.
This is democracy, hence we can’t disenfranchise or deliberately isolate any man from his inalienable right to vote and be voted for, therefore, let it be a fair contest among the best, devoid of political sentiment and any form of local Government dichotomy.
Because according to Philips Odubu, a political scholar; the essence of democracy is its “competitive contest” and without this, there is no democracy, however, this does not eliminate the principle of consensus candidacy.