By Ochuko Akpoturu
The just concluded presidential and national assembly election has exposed Joel-Onowakpo Thomas as a desperate power seeker who will go to no end in the pursuit of ephemeral political power.
Isoko Integrity Watch observed that, while several Isoko sons and daughters have used their privilege connections and closeness to the corridors of power to advance the course of the Isoko nation, Joel chose to ruthlessly use his money induced contact with Oshiomhole and some lackeys within the presidency to intimidate, harass, assault and inflict indelible pains, fear and injury on the Isoko people just to unconscionably rig and subvert the will of the people.
He allotted soldiers to his aides, agents and cronies across Isoko to intimidate and emasculate the Isoko people, electoral officials to manipulate the electoral process.
In Emede, Joel ordered soldiers to wreck havoc on his maternal kiths and kins who dared to vote their conscience after which he smuggled electoral materials to Ughelli to the house of a supposed prophet of God, Jones Erue, a factional Chairman of the APC where he apportioned votes for himself and other candidates of his party.
His man-friday and crony, Ambrose Okuhor went around town with trucks of heavily armed soldiers with which he publicly assaulted leaders of the PDP especially those from Irri ward eleven. One of his victim was Hon. Blessing Ase, a former Leader of the Isoko South Legislative Arm, who was admitted at the Oleh General Hospital after he was molested by Onowakpo’s soldiers.
Endurance Edafewotu, long time Personal Assistant to Onowakpo was on the day of election assigned a Major in the Nigeria Army with whom he patrolled polling units ward collation centers intimidating voters and commandeering electoral officials to alter election figures.
In Irri ward 11, APC sponsored thugs led by one Sebastine Agbefe supported by the army carted away election materials for Ikpide-Irri where they in the process attempted to drown an agent of the PDP.
Uyouyou Edhekpo, another of Onowakpo’s close follower was also assigned trucks of hostile soldiers who were used in withholding over two thousand ballot papers of the house of representative election. It was in protest of the broad day robbery that the people of Olomoro unanimously agreed that there should be no election for the house of representatives. Uyouyou who days to the election has been boasting around town of her readiness to deal with whoever goes against her wish stationed soldiers in her Athuaro voting unit who harassed and intimidated PDP voters in the unit.
Former Leader of the Isoko North Legislative Arm, Hon. Felix Ogona who recently decamped to the APC and one Godstime Akokotu were also assigned soldiers by Joel-Onowakpo with which they drove to collation centers outside their communities to unlawfully interfere with the process. Another of his supporter, one Goddy, a native of Ovrode was also seen moving around in company of soldiers to Aradhe, Ellu, Ofagbe, e.t.c.
The list is endless. Onowakpo driven by the greed and desperation for power turned Isoko into a theatre of war. Were it not for the decency and decorum exhibited by the leaders of the PDP, Isoko would had been a pool of blood.