By Hilary Fego Ukoko
A cursory look at our representation in Abuja especially as it concerns the House of Representative Seat of Isoko Federal Constituency will explain in clearer terms while Isoko is backward in the comity of ethnic Nationalities in the Niger Delta despite its abundant onshore oil and an army of intellectuals.
In 2003, a certain Leo Ogor who was at that time a palm kernel seller in Ughelli, aspired to replace Hon. Anthony Efekodha, University trained Engineer who was at that time occupying the exalted office. Leo Ogor with no money, no education no pedigree, just a tongue laced with sugar and honey and a handful of relatives who has excelled in “guy man” business in Lagos, came with the song of “Evie oniomor” (mother’s breast) to hoodwink us. How the entire Isoko Nation fell for his dummy is a mystery that may take eternity to unravel.
Leo Ogor won the election in a landslide having secured the PDP’s ticket. He got to Abuja and in a Mafia-like manner, bulldozed his way into the Heart of the party and but his mouth couldn’t shout and speak intelligently and present Isoko demands before the National Assembly and successive Presidents. The armnesty programme introduced by late President Umaru Musa Ya’ardua which provided unquatifiable educational and human capital gains for the region slipped away under Leo’s watch without a single Isoko man or woman benefiting a dime. All the NDDC contracts he cornered were executed either by himself or through Jay or Rockson his siblings. None of the boys following Leo for donkey years can boast of a million naira in their accounts while their boss is a millionaire in dollars.
In Abuja, Leo Ogor became a formidable force to reckon with among those in the seat of power. He became a willing tool in the hands of the enemies of Isoko who saw him as a viable ornament to stunt the growth of the Isoko Nation. First, second, third and fourth tenures, evie oniomor became an exclusive preserve of the man who was once an apostle of equity and fairness. By June 2019, Leo Ogor would have been living in the Isoko Federal Constituency house for a staggering 20yrs. Leo sucked the mother’s breast completely dry. Isn’t it time to stop this glutton?
After two successful tenures, a member of House of Representative with a sense of shame should either be leaving the stage for their godsons to take over or pushing upward for higher tasks. Seriake Dickson got elected along with him in 2007. Today the man is a governor. Ditto to Sokoto State’s Aminu Waziri Tambuwal. Dino Melaye was with him in 2007, today the man is a Senator. Before his very eyes, Pius Ewherido who was an ordinary State House of Assembly Member joined him in Abuja as a Senator. Even Evelyn Oboro, an Urhobo woman and a colleague of Leo in the House of Reps is gunning to be a Senator. Yet Leo remains stagnated like the local in one place vowing never to move an inch.
Interestingly, after serving as a Deputy Majority Leader and a Minority Leader in an era where Goodluck Jonathan opened Nigeria’s vault for unrestrained looting, it is hard to decipher exactly what Leo Ogor hasn’t achieved in Abuja that he wants to return to grab. Is it money? He once bragged that any Isoko man who has 4Billion should come and challenge him. Is it power? He once ate with a sitting President in the same table. What exactly is Leo looking for?
The return of Leo Ogor to Abuja especially with his present state of health will be a big shame to the Isoko elites. It will be an indictment on the political class. That after fighting for Leo for 4 tenures, none of his juniors is qualified to replace him except he dies in office will be a stigma the Isoko Nation will forever be mocked for. Since the day he was struck down by stroke, Isoko has been conspicuously absent at the green chambers. Let no one deceive us, if Leo is elected again, Isoko should be ready to witness another four years of non representation at the National Assembly because he will for sure be busy in and out of China for medication. Isoko is not his personal enterprise. We must all unite to once and for all end this impunity and shenanigan of Leo.
…Hilary, a Public affairs commentator writes from Ovrode