Wednesday, 7 December 2022

Delta 2023 And The Case For Oborevwori By Dr Festus G. Okubor



All through the ages, great leaders, who impacted their generations and times rose from among the people and suffered as they emerged from nothingness to become something. The examples of Winston Churchill of Great Britain, Abraham Lincoln of America, Nnamdi Azikiwe of Nigeria, Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Obafemi Awolowo of Nigeria, just to mention a few remind us that life for great leaders was never a walk in a beautiful park. A more recent and contemporary example has been Barack Obama. These leaders have certain things in common. One of which is found in their humble background and beginning. Another one is that they were clear-sighted and pursued their passion with courage and commitment to the astonishment of those who never gave them a chance. Reading the biographies or memoirs of these men who now occupy looming spaces in the memory or affairs of humanity only tells us that greatness is not always in the circumstances of our birth. The story of our Lord Jesus Christ, whose birth we are about to celebrate this season, also has the same experience. He was born in a manger, marked for destruction, was despised and eventually crucified, but he emerged as the ultimate savior of humanity. 

When Rt. Honourable Sheriff Oborevwori, the present Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, stepped out to indicate interest in becoming the Governor of Delta State, some people laughed him off and called him names. It was not that the astute lawmaker and grassroots mobilizer was not constitutionally qualified. Those who ridiculed him did so pointing to his humble background and the reality of him growing up in such places that were not fancied by the rich and newly rich. Those making jest of him referred to his early struggles to make it in life instead of commending his courage, focus and doggedness. Sheriff as Rt. Hon. Oborevwori is widely known and fondly called came from a humble background and worked hard at odd and menial jobs to make ends meet. He never allowed his background to become a deterrent in his sojourn in life. He started from the very beginning with no helper except God. Like every child of his time and place Sheriff went to primary and secondary schools and earned a pride of place among his peers. He knew the streets, became streetwise and enjoyed massive street credibility. He soon became the champion of boys and symbol of their defence.

Despite his underprivileged condition and becoming the champion of the downtrodden, Sheriff was never in defiance of the status quo. What he did was to get education and join politics and began his advocacy for a better life for the common people who populate the streets. This stance of his earned him post after post in the executive arm of government and the ordinary people on the street who constitute the bulk of humanity saw his genuineness and acclaimed him as truly one of their own. They saw him as the advocate of the youths and the masses. This same people came together in 2014 with a message that Sheriff should run for the Okpe House of Assembly seat and have a chance to truly and fully represent them in the legislative arm. He listened to their call and his victory at the polls in 2015 was overwhelming and unprecedented. That was the beginning of the mystique or icon called Sheriff that has today become an idea known as Sherification.

Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori is now the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Delta State. His emergence as the party’s governorship flag-bearer is the product of his populist inclination arising from the people’s endorsement of his intention to become governor. His victory at the primary election was overwhelming due to the people’s position that he was their choice. There were litigations to stop his candidacy after winning the primary election. But the dictum of vox populi vox dei (the voice of the people is the voice of God) prevailed and he won in the law courts up to the Supreme Court. The people’s voice and the hand of God are at work in the Oborevwori governorship project. 

The intimidating and massive endorsement he has received gave birth to the idea of Sherification which is used to describe the act of signing up for the candidacy of Sheriff Oborevwori for governor. Those who are in the Sherification movement in their millions are said to be sherified. The ongoing Sherification of Delta State is a people’s movement to ensure the emergence of one of their own as the Governor of Delta State. The youths have come to see him as a symbol of “can do spirit” which is the needed boost for success in life. The old see in him a symbol and strength that they possessed, but did not deploy. His street wisdom and credibility has endeared him to all. He is also a listener and the most accessible political leader in Delta State.

Sheriff knows the place of education in a society such as ours and he was humble and determined enough to study up to postgraduate level. He studied political science which is what he now practices. His advantage is threefold. He is a practical politician with experience in both legislative and executive arms. He studied political science and is therefore at home with the theory of politics. Then he has the backing of the people which is what matters the most. He has the privilege of being the longest serving Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly. He is also the Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Conference of Speakers of States’ Houses of Assembly. He is truly more than well-grounded in politics.

Sheriff coming from among the people knows their plight and what should be done to take them out of poverty and make them live well. That is why he has offered a manifesto he called MORE which means Meaningful development, Opportunities for all, Realistic reforms and Enhanced peace and security. Oborevwori has been able to capture the totality of what will make life better for the people of Delta State and the people are in turn making a case for him to become their governor in 2023.


Share This

0 comments: