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OPINION: DIPA and Senator James Manager: Echo of Jacob voice and the hands of Esau, by Grade-One Clark

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Deputy governor of Delta State, Barr. Kingsley Otuaro Burutu displays the DIPA  plaque of Ijaw political power 2019 being watched keenly by Senator James Manager, Mr. Emmanuel Amgbaduba, Chairman Delta South PDP, Rt Hon. Solomon Funkekeme and others at Oleh in PDP recent grand rally

The Ijaw political brotherhood in Delta State is coded, it is governed by costra nostra style like rules of omerta, the oath of silence. It is difficult for outsiders to penetrate the tightly knitted circle, except by blood affiliation. Loyalty to the Ezon course is total, and never diluted, no matter the antagonism amongst members. This is a usual trait found among oppressed people, and an extrapolation from Darwinian philosophy of survival of the fittest.

Without cooperation the Ijaws would have for long gone extinct. The British colonists oppressed them, and at exit left them at the mercy of greedy and wicked neighbours. Only wisdom and the Almighty have brought them this far. Four weeks or so ago, the Delta State Deputy Governor, Bar. Kingsley Otuaro, called a meeting of Ijaw politicians across the state to his official quarters, at the state headquarters, Asaba.

The response was massive, Ijaw political titans came from all nooks and cranny of the state and even beyond to honour the invitation. The object behind the gathering was the unveiling of a new political association called DIPA. An acronym for, Delta Ijaw Political Assembly. Before its official launching, rumours had it that it is a platform being floated to promote Senator James Manager, for his 4th term senate bid.

Predicated on the above, many known political gladiators of repute deliberately failed to attend the August gathering, feigning one excuse or the other. Few are known to have axe to grind with the honourable senator. Yours truly also made out time to put up appearance at the event despite intervening variables.

Stories were abound there at the occasion, and from the grapevine that Arede Edeinmene, alias Agada Foundation, a known point man of Sen. Manager, was the brain behind the deft political footworks to reposition the senator for the 2019 contest. Using the deputy governor’s good will, for he is fresh and untainted, and owes no political debts. But the people were not fooled. They have a compendium of grudges against the senator.

They complained he turns his back on supporters when he gets what he wants until the next elections, then he shows up to cash in on the Ezon Brotherhood cooperation. And that only his close associates like Agada have access to him. His phones they say are never answered again for the next 4years. To a large extent DIPA launch that day was a success. An EXCO led by JT Government was handpicked, also was the national working committee, whose members weren’t in attendance. Some people right there concluded it was a coming together of strange bedfellows, with differing political interest. And therefore won’t stick together.

Love or hate Senator Manager, he has several things going on well for him. One of which, is an uncommon attribute many politicians, old or young, would pay any price to acquire, his oratorial prowess. Manager’s flowery language in both English and Ezon tongue can charm a bird off a tree, and make it perch on his shoulders. He possesses a gift of the garb. Indeed, when the Senator took the floor to address the gathering, all the murmurings and animosity subsided. He allayed the fears of skeptics. Though he never categorically declared his intention to contest, but through innuendoes and body language, it was clear his mind was on the pie.

The journey to the red chamber in Abuja won’t be an easy ride this time. Manager had in the past ran unopposed. Apart from him, there are other contenders for the Delta South Senatorial slut, they include, Ex Gov. Emmanuel Uduaghan and Chief Michael Diden, also called Ejele. To the new entrants it is a fight to the finish, they both have the needed cash backup to do battle with the incumbent. Already lots of Ijaw groups have declared support for Uduaghan and Diden.

At this juncture, it would be pertinent to ask if the newly formed DIPA, has the capacity to weld Ijaw together for a common purpose, that is, standing for Manager to return to the senate again? The signals are weak. So much water has passed under the bridge. Already black legs and turncoats are on Judah’s mission, for the promised thirty pieces of silver. Loyalty to the Ijaw Brotherhood is now to be put to test. If Manager survives this 4th term contest, it would serve to make him more responsive to his Ijaw constituency.

Clark writes from Asaba. He is a senior media consultant/communication manager

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