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By Julius Oweh
Delta South senatorial district is peopled by three major tribes: the Ijaws , Itsekiris and the Isokos. Of all these tribes, Isoko is the most marginalized since the inception of democracy in 1999. The Itsekiris produced Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan who governed for eight years. The Ijaws produced James Manager as senator for twenty years. Unfortunately Isoko has nothing to show for it. In the current political dispensation, Deacon Kingsley Otuaro, the deputy governor is an Ijaw man. It is true that political power is not got on a platter of gold but the Isokos are most eminently qualified to produce the next senator for Delta South in the name of equity and fairness and here lies the relevance and political import of the senatorial bid of Chief Thomas Joel Onowakpo . He hails from Isoko South local government and running on the platform of APC.
Onowakpo, a self-man made, an accountant of international repute and a consummate business man who was once the chairman of Delta State Board of Internal Revenue whose midas touch turned around the financial fortunes of the state. Since his declaration for the senate, he has been getting endorsement from the Itsekiris, the Ijaws and his own people, the Isokos.
Recently at the palace of the paramount ruler of Ogulagha kingdom, His Royal Majesty, Elder Capt. King Joseph Timiyan JP, the Ijaw monarch and people endorsed the senatorial bid of Onowakpo. The monarch who is the chairman of Ijaw Traditional Council described Onowakpo as a man with rich profile and a personality that speaks volume. He added that it will go against natural justice to have another Ijaw man in the senate after the expiration of Senator James Manager tenure . He therefore called on all Ijaw sons and daughters to vote for Onowakpo in February 25. The monarch said thus :Delta South will take its rightful position when the APC candidate is elected to represent the district. Your kind is rare. Without looking at your profile and qualifications, your personality alone commands respect and your articulation shows good leadership qualities.
Onowakpo also visited the Olu of Warri where the Itsekiri monarch offered his prayers and blessing to the senator in waiting. The Olu of Warri His Royal Majesty, Ogiame Atuwatse III said that he was confident of Onowakpo victory given his rich profile. Said the Warri Monarch :Being called to leadership will expose one to all forms of insults and intrigues. Should you emerge as the senator representing me and Delta South do not allow the results to determine where to develop. If the winner takes all and the losers be damned, we shall not be changed. As you continue in this cause, may you not tire, stumble and fall. God will connect you to those that have been destined to help you and you will campaign in blessings.
It would also be recalled earlier, the Isokos people at Isoko Development Union building, Oleh endorsed and blessed Onowakpo and passing the eternal message that a prophet truly recognized by his people was indeed a prophet. On behalf of Isoko people, Prof Christopher Akpotu, president general of IDU said all Isokos should come together and vote for Onowakpo in the name of of equity and natural justice after eight years of Uduaghan as governor and twenty years of James Manager as a senator.
Said Akpotu : Onowakpor is noble, credible and humble Isoko son who is eminently qualified in all ramifications to represent Delta South people at the Red Chamber. A sure mix of your functional conscience and your thumb will do the magic of electing service oriented leaders and not ``mafiosaic`` leaders who will not have anything to do with his electors after declaring them winners.
Onowakpor spoke of his political journey :It will be necessary for me to say at this point that I am son to Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan. My political journey started in October 2007 when I was appointed as the chairman of Isoko South LGA council. He later appointed me as the chairman of Delta State Board of Internal Revenue in 2009, a position I occupied till September 2015. Within the said period, the board was known as one of the most innovatively, efficiently and effectively managed departments of government driving yearly collection of IGR from N12bn to N53bn per annum. We succeeded in building Board of Internal Revenue headquarters in Warri and the headquarters Annex in Asaba, a Data Recovery centre in Koko and Board of Internal Revenue offices in all the 25 LGA of the state,
Thomas Joel Onowakpo is an accomplished business mogul and a chartered accountant of many years standing. The choice is now that of Isoko people to stand behind one of their own and elect him as a senator bearing in mind many years of Isoko staying in the political wilderness of Delta South senatorial district. Onowakpo should also extend the olive branch to the Itsekiris and Ijaws on the imperative of him becoming the next senator to represent them.


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