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ISOKO NATION: A SHEEP WITHOUT SHEPHERD?

 

Without mincing words, Isoko nation has been, verily, in contemporary times, relegated to the background of Nothing.

I recall with nostalgia when Delta State was created, the first Attorney-General was an Isoko son, Chief API Okpakpor, from Iyede, the first speaker, Delta State, was an Isoko son, Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Okoro, from Ofagbe. In 2003, another Isoko son became speaker of the State Assembly, Rt. Hon. (Barr) Young Daniel Igbrude, of blessed memory from Owehlogbo an Isoko son has been Chief of Staff Government House, and later Secretary to the State Government, the Isoko political maverick, Comrade Ovuzorie Macaulay. An Isoko son has been Secretary of the almighty PDP, Delta State Chapter, Chief Solomon Ogba, a great beneficiary from Ibru-SDP, to Ibori-Uduaghan political clan, 1999 to
date.

Before Delta State was created, an Isoko son was military Governor, South Eastern State, Commandant, Nigerian Defence Academy, Nigeria’s
Elite Military Institution, Member, Armed Forces Ruling Council etc. He is Maj.Gen. Paul. U. Omu (RTD) OFR, and later President General of Isoko Development Union not forgetting an Isoko son who had been GOC, 1st Division, NA. Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Defence Staff, first Nigerian professional four star General, Gen. Alexander Ogomudia (RTD) CFR who was also chairman Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan Transition Committee 2007 and helped lay the foundation of this albatross administration in
the state.

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To show the Isoko is not all about human capacity, the region provides 28 percent of crude oil and gas to the Nigerian economy yet no visible infrastructural developments are sited except few ones.

No Isoko man has emerged as governor or deputy governor of Delta State since its creation and only has just two local governments in the state and as the third largest ethnic group. How long will Isoko nation play second fiddle in Delta State politics and yes sir format.

Of the three major ethnic groups in the Delta South Senatorial district, the Isoko nation at that time appeared to be the only stock that had been left out in the political equation. The Itsekiri has the immediate past governor in the person of Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, the
Ijaws have the senator in the person of Senator James Manager who has just gotten the PDP ticket for an unprecedented fifth time and the Isoko at best have Hon. Leo Ogor as the deputy majority leader of the House of Representatives.

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Isoko land is essentially rural with no urban and semi-urban centers as Isoko is within the economic shadow of the vibrant industrial, commercial Warri metropolis and the result has been largely of backlash effects, with most of the young men and women in addition to available capital in Isoko land graduating to Warri suburban area. The residual population is mainly involved in agriculture, small-scale commercial and industrial enterprises.

Against this background of the petty economic activities, massive unemployment of youths is very high; the quality of life is low and below the standard of living recommended by the United Nations Development Organization as poverty is rife in Isoko land.

How long will Isoko aborigines continue to remain behind other ethnic nationalities? When we have more than 2,000,000 registered voters in Isoko alone amid economic contribution through crude oil and natural gas.

In view of this lag in infrastructural development amid political neglect; it will not be wrong to say that Isoko nation has been term inconsequential in the Delta state and Nigeria polity.

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From all indications Isoko nation have been relegated to the background in terms of Delta State leadership and Nigeria which many refer to as “Neglected marginalization” while others agitated for sustainable development in the land.

Our nation ‘Isoko’ is sinking deep into the abyss of mismanagement not
because they believed we lack the human capital nor the economic wherewithal. It is failing because of the lack of a uniting figure to take the lead.

Suffice it to say, that the Isoko Development Union (IDU), the assumed socio-cultural unifying body of our nation has in recent times taken a new political dimension of romance with a quota of political classes in the region overriding the distinct role it was created for.

The direction we must hence take, to salvage this anomaly that has come to destroy the life wire and navel of our souls is to come together. Amid the Isoko Elders Council should be a leadership of thought that can foster a ten year or twenty year plan for our
development.

An all-encompassing leadership that will provide a path for youths and women alike to follow and emulate. I rest my case.

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