By Enoch Okpiri
In Third World countries, one of the presuppositions that have made politics dirtier, bloody, greed-inclined and selfish is the assumption that “politics is a dirty game.” Hence, some players in their desperation, deliberately fan the embers of war, propaganda, and hate speeches, while making deliberate effort to blackmail and drag the reputation of their co-contestant through the mud. To these set of political gladiators, making nonsense of the ambition of their co-contestant is the only vehicle through which their ambition can be actualized. While they invest so much in propaganda to fuel avoidable conflict in the polity, and hope to benefit from the process, the actual reason they do this is because they are devoid of ideas, and cannot maintain a decent issue-based campaign to inform the people about what they can offer upon being elected. Hence, invoking clannish divides, raising kinsmen against one another and spreading gutter words on different social media channels become their first resort.
When the IjawYouth Council (IYC) was formed in 1998 to organize and front the Niger Delta struggle, it was born with a desire to unite Ijaw youths into a common front irrespective of clan or artificial borders created by state authorities for administrative purposes. Put specific, Ijaw youths became one through the IYC, united towards achieving the two core narratives of the struggle: self-determination and resource control. At the gathering of the IYC, no one suspects any possibility of clannish agenda as everyone yearns for a better Ijaw Nation. Perhaps, this is why Tuomo Clan of the Western Zone, where Mr. Thomson Robert Fuoye hails from, has had the privilege of producing several national officers irrespective of the fact that they are not the only clan member to the IYC from Western Zone.
The search is for ready, qualified persons who can give their best to the Ijaw nation irrespective of size and the clan such persons hail from. When Mr. Godswill Doubra Wuruyai, who hails from Benikrukru and Okerenkoko communities of Gbaramatu kingdom, decided to contest for the position of the IYC National Secretary in the forthcoming election amidst several other candidates, Mr. Thomson Robert Fuoye lost sleep over his candidature for reasons best known to him. He started funding several media campaign against Mr. Godswill and any individual perceived to be supporting him.
Quick to the point, Mr. Thomson ordered his boys to unleash coordinated venom of lies, hate speeches and gutter words on their targeted persons through pseudo accounts on Facebook such as Pere A A Max, Tom Ebis Waibotei, Seleke-owei Dubaduode and several others coordinated by his inexperienced media e-rat Larry Kito who ran out of luck and was exposed. While the depth of the hate expressed against highly revered Ijaw leaders such as His Royal Majesty, Oboro Gbaraun II, Aketekpe, Agadagba, the Pere of Gbaramatu Kingdom, High Chief Government Ekpemupolo, His Excellency Barr. (DNC) Kingsley Burutu Otuaro, Hon. Kingsley Kuku, High Chief (Eng.) Kestin Pondi, Barr. Eric Omare, Barr. Oweilaemi Peretubo Barr. JP Owoupele through these pseudo accounts could be best described as satanic, efforts were also made to tannish the repute of Mr. Godswill Doubra Wuruyai in order to present him as incompetent before the Ijaw nation, while in the actual fact, other than age, which unfortunately did not bless Mr. Thompson with the requisite wisdom to lead, Mr. Godswill Doubra Wuruyai is far more competent than the said Thompson for the office of the Secretary—in terms of academic qualification and experience in administrative duties as expected of the National Secretary of the Council. These are not merely claims, as these facts are verifiable in the details submitted to the Electoral Committee.
Perhaps it was in knowledge of the competence of Mr. Godswill Doubra Wuruyai that Mr. Basil Ujobolo CEO, Kpooka Media advised in the IYC official WhatsApp group chat that those making efforts to discredit the candidature of Mr. Godswill Doubra Wuruyai should stop forthwith; as going by the details of his resumé submitted to the Electoral Committee, it is evident that among all other candidates contesting for the office of the National Secretary (with respect to academic qualification and wealth of experience) he, Mr. Godswill Doubra Wuruyai remains the most qualified. That such effort to discredit him will only inspire leaders, stakeholders and independent minded delegates to show more interest in Mr. Godswill whom, if investigated, would become more popular and as well as gain increased support.
Yes, Mr. Basil was right: Ijaw people are aware that other than the academic qualifications and wealth of productiveness as secretary to several forums and committees, Mr. Godswill has also served IYC as its Information Officer and as chairman of Gbaramatu, hence, he is not a novice in the IYC as Mr. Thompson and his cohorts are making efforts to make him seem before Ijaw people.
For Mr. Thomson, lies, blackmail, propaganda, hate speeches and gutter words is the ‘best path’ to tow if one must become the secretary of Ijaw Youth Council, a path Mr. Godswill has utilized all available means to condemn. While this is highly condemnable, it is not out of place to judge the actions of Mr. Thomson Robert Fuoye as an insult to Ijaw leaders, stakeholders and delegates who have put in so much effort to achieve peace for a Council that is just coming out of factional leadership. Mr. Thompson’s e-rats who enjoy his support went as far as blackmailing the Barr. Bekewei Ajuwa led Electoral Committee where Thompson’s Kinsman Senior Comr. Razak Amatoru features.
Despite his age, it is evident that Mr. Thompson has displayed the height of his ignorance, desperation, and emptiness. His action has shown that, he has no good intention for Ijaw people and will swiftly pull the strings of division in the IYC at the slightest provocation. He has also shown that he lacks the capacity to work in a team of executives where the President and Vice President wheel higher constitutional mandate than him thereby creating avoidable loggerhead and infighting among the executive. Hence, Ijaw people should brace up to retire Mr. Thompson and his long history of desperation to clinch any available office in the Council for his selfish reasons.
In expression of his lack of maturity and over ambitiousness, Mr. Thompson has publicly turned down the handshake of Mr. Godswill, whom he perceives as the only stumbling block on his path to becoming the IYC Secretary General, in the presence of key members of his campaign team at Lakeside Hotel, Warri, Delta State, even before he started funding pseudo accounts to promote hate speeches against Mr. Godswill. However, in his usual spirit and commitment and efforts made to gain peace and sanity in the Council, Mr. Godswill picked no offence, left the place without casting a stone. Indeed, age is no guarantee of maturity. With the desperation shown by Mr. Thompson, one could safely say that he can even go the extra mile to eliminate whomever he perceives to be standing on his way.
Summarily, while Mr. Thompson desperately needs the office of the General Secretary to further his selfish course with little or no recourse to the unity, growth and development of the Ijaw nation, I strongly advise leaders, delegates, and stakeholders to outrightly reject him as he is coming to destroy the IYC for the next three years.
Enoch Okpiri writes from London.