It is not in all cases that rejoinders or responses should be made to an invective, especially when the protagonists are misguided elements. However, it may become necessary to do so sometimes because of the absolute need to expose the lies and correct misconceptions that these elements, very inconsequential ones at that, spew out just because they want to be heard and become popular.
This is exactly the fact that has made this rejoinder necessary, not because His Excellency, Senator (Dr.) Ifeanyi Okowa, Governor of Delta State and the Peoples Democratic Party in the State would ordinarily want to respond to statements made by upstarts, particularly, political opponents and their infantile arguments, but because we believe that one Frank Esanubi, who claims to belong to the Action Democratic Party ( ADP) and whose only claim to some level of public importance is that he is the deputy president of Petroleum and Natural Gas senior staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) and this position sadly, has therefore now become a criterion, in his warped calculations, for seeking to be a governor.
Even as we do not begrudge him of his right to aspire to any political and elective office, we of the Delta PDP take serious exception however, to his intemperate use of uncouth language on the person of His Excellency, Senator (Dr.) Ifeanyi Okowa, the Governor of Delta State, just as we strongly remonstrate against the tissues of distortions, unintelligent arguments and lies that he ignorantly peddled in his so-called blueprint.
It is for the sake of not allowing people to be deceived into believing the misinformation in the infantile vituperation against the person of His Excellency and the bizarre comments made against the employment opportunities given to political appointees in the State, that this rejoinder has become a desideratum.
First issue is that Esanubi wants those he called old politicians to leave the stage for an upstart like himself. Maybe that’s how he became Vice President of PENGASSAN; his older and better experienced colleagues probably had to fall to his blackmail and left the stage for him and so he did not have to struggle to get the position. He needs to know that politics in Nigeria and the world over is one in which stakeholders don’t appeal to sentiments and base instincts in seeking for political elective office. They came in by conscious effort and have, through hard, dedicated work attained their dreams.
Interestingly Esanubi, who is just about to seek political elective office, beyond his trade union politics and possibly the elections at his community development union end of year meetings, is at 40 years, already an old man, while the likes of Governor Okowa, and others, against who he is throwing tantrums started out in politics in their 30s. Former President Shehu Shagari was a member of the House of Representatives at the age of 21, just to mention a few. But Esanubi wants to use chicanery, blackmail, and uncouth language to become governor without working for it. That is the style of an opportunist and a lazy man.
Of course, he needs to be told that the office of the governor of a State is different from the office of a vice president of PENGASSAN, where the job is to regularly become a pain in the neck and make demands on government and employers, failing which, he calls out his colleagues to down tools, and in the process cripple economic activities and hold the nation to ransom. It does not matter to people like Esanubi the implication of their strike action to the generality of Nigerians. His interest is satisfying the selfish and arm-twisting interest of his cohorts, and for so long as their opportunistic desires are met, the trade union remains a veritable channel and conduit pipe for self aggrandizement.
Socond is Esanubi’s misinformation that the government of Governor Okowa is wasting the State’s resources in employing political appointees. It is unlikely that many of the appointees whose appointments he is condemning are from his local government, ward, and senatorial districts. Of course, his claims and unintelligent puerile reasoning gives him away as an enemy of progress, and one that is averse to getting the unemployed youths out of the labour market. For him, while he basks in the glory of being a PENGASSAN vice president, he would prefer a situation where the political appointees remain unemployed and static in life.
Let’s even take his claim of 2,384 political appointees, should it not be a credit to Governor Okowa who graciously saw the value in the appointees and gave them positions of responsibilities, rather than leaving them to waste away? Today, they are utilizing the opportunities of these appointments to invest their ideas and creative talents for the good governance of the State. Esanubi is a selfish and presumptuous fellow, who has too high an opinion of himself with little or no understanding for others.
His fellow members in ADP ought to mark this as a trait in Esanubi, and record it as a minus that should not even qualify him to contest the party primaries, talk less of emerging as candidate.
Besides, an intelligent governorship aspirant should by now know the reason behind the collapse of some industries in Delta State. No, not so for Esanubi, who has no ability for indepth analysis of issues, but who takes delight in hoodwinking people with baseless claims and propaganda. Otherwise, he would have studied the explanation of the Commissioner for Finance who recently told the gentlemen of the press that the collapse of some industries in Delta State, like the Asaba textile mill is beyond the State government.
Esanubi would have known that Asaba Textile Mills, for instance, was a victim of the privatisation effort of the then federal government in which the Chagoury Brothers won the bid. Subsequently, they took a =N=500million loan from Fidelity Bank and used Asaba Textile Mill as collateral, and rather than use the loan for the purpose for which it is meant, they diverted it to import rice. And when they could not pay back, the bank took over the assets of the company and did what they liked with it in order to recover their money. So, how can anyone in his right senses put the blame of the collapse of a company like Asaba Textile Mill on past and present government of Delta State. It is only a man with little education and idea like Esanubi that will make such false claim and insinuation. If he cares to, we will leave him to go study why the other companies collapsed. We refuse to indulge him any further answers.
If Esanubi is not bereft of ideas, and if he is one that is out to play honest, clean politics; criteria that he apparently doesn’t possess, he would have known about the good work that Governor Okowa is doing across Delta state, covering every facet of life. He would have known that through STEP, YAGEP, Streprenuers, among other programmes that a new structure of economic life is developing in the State. That hitherto unemployed youths are now no longer idle for want of what to do. That through the various skills acquisition trainings and programmes of government, the young men and women are now becoming gainfully employed as business owners, who are also employing others.
Maybe Esanubi needs to be told, since he is a Deltan that lives in the Diaspora, that many towns and villages in the State are wearing new good looks of roads, either completed, under going rehabilitation, under construction or nearing completion. Maybe we should announce to him also that traditional rulers have spoken glowingly about the impressive government of Governor Okowa because of the value they have witnessed in his equitable and human-faced style of government, and as a result of which they are rooting for his second term as governor of Delta State. Of course, when traditional rulers speak in support of a candidate, who else is better placed than them as the symbols of their people and communities to know.
The traditional rulers have spoken, and the people through their various senatorial districts have echoed it with their endorsement of Governor Okowa for second term in Government House, Asaba.
Esanubi and cohorts should better look elsewhere, for there is no vacancy in Government House, Asaba.
*Ifeanyi Michael Osuoza is the Publicity Secretary of PDP, Delta State.