Ahead of the March 19
re-run polls scheduled by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Rivers State, candidates of the various political parties are back in the trenches making last minute political preparations, exploring and exploiting their advantageous platforms to clinch victory at the polls.
For Hon Dumnamene Deekor, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), candidate for Khana/Gokana Federal Constituency in the re-run polls, his greatest political asset is his grassroots involvement, a leadership model and political strategy he imbibed and perfected over the years.
In his sense of political judgement, Hon Dumnamene Deekor, a former Deputy Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, believes that participatory democracy requires more than a passionate lust for power but a deep sense of grassroots participation to earn the confidence and mandate of the people.
Hon Deekor who spoke with The Tide in a no-holds-barred interview in Port Harcourt recently, decried what he called the tendency of most unpopular politicians to imposed themselves on the people.”
According to the seasoned lawmaker “every politician aspiring for a representative position must be connected with the people, they must relate directly with the people, feel their pains and burdens so that they can represent them well. Anything contrary amounts to a dupe and abuse of popular will.”
He said most of those parading as candidates are completely alienated from the very people they want to represent, and being conscious of this missing link, resorts to crude measures to usurp popular mandate through the back doors.
Optimistic of his resounding victory at the re-run polls, Hon Deekor said the people of Khana/Gokana Federal constituency had freely given their mandate to the Peoples Democratic Party, and were ready to revalidate that mandate in the re-run election.
“The people of Khana/Gokana constituency are mature politically, and they have opted for the Peoples Democratic Party which is the only party on ground in Rivers State. I have also endeared my self to the people through my grassroots affiliation with them and I enjoy the good will of the people, the opposition party is aware of my popularity in my constituency, we are going to coast home victory with ease.
Hon Deekor’s huge support base is mostly from the youths. As a state legislator, he acknowledged the fact that he made himself accessible to the youths and committed available resources to the promotion of their well being.
He said the youth constitute the active population of a given society and as such needed active mobilisation of their inherent talents to produce an egalitarian society.
Deekor further pointed out that youths empowerment would be cardinal in his development agenda when re-elected into the House of Representative. The lawmaker also faulted what he described as “social media deception”, a tool he said was perfected by unpopular politicians who use propaganda and blackmail as their yardstick for political campaign.
“I don’t believe in social media politics because it is over bloated and skewed to cover up the inefficiencies of unpopular politicians, my political philosophy is to relate directly with the people to know their needs and feelings, I know that only popular candidates will win the re-run polls the people of Khana/Gokana constituency have known the difference, they know their trusted political leaders and they cannot make the mistake of mortgaging their conscience no matter the intimidation and blackmail”.
Commenting on the recent military invasion in Ogoni land which led to the killing of some people, in Bori, Hon Dumnamene Deekor, said the unfortunate incidence was the mastermind of overzealous politicians who want to acquire political powers by all means. He said the gory incidence replicated the darkest history of Ogoni, when an army of occupation took over Ogoni territory, and challenged Ogoni politicians, especially of the All Progressive Congress (APC) to tell the truth on the matter.
Hon Deekor, also warned against the plot to militarized Ogoni during the re-run polls and advised the military to stay away from partisan politics and perform their professional duties within the ambit of the law.
The House of Representative hopeful regretted the fact that there was no crisis in Ogoni land to warrant such a military onslaught on the people. He further stated that, “what the Ogonis need at the moment is effective representation to attract development in the area, not political intimidation”, adding that, Ogoni has suffered the brunt of oil politics in Nigeria over the years, and have remained grossly under developed despite decades of enormous contributions to the economic development of the country.
In his estimation the military invasion of Ogoni was the fallout of the tactical plots by some self serving politicians in the area to polarize key organizations in Ogoni to achieve selfish political goals, rather than fostering unity of purpose among the people.”
He however, called on all Ogoni stakeholders to remain focused and resolute in achieving the ultimate objectives of the Ogoni struggle especially the strict implementation of the UNEP report, noting that Ogoni was highly mobilized and sensitized and cannot afford to be used as pawns in political chess games.
On his vision as a federal legislator, Hon Deekor, said he had the right pedigree to represent his people and give them articulate and effective representation. “I succeeded as a lawmaker at the state level by the grace of God, I am very accessible and properly groomed to represent my people, I have always been with them and I know their development challenge. As a member of the House of Representative I will work hard and contribute my quota in terms of vocal representation to ensure that some extant laws that dispossessed the Ogonis and other Niger Delta communities are amended, will work with all the stakeholders in Ogoni to ensure that unity of purposes and development is promoted among the people”, we owe posterity a sense of duty, and we cannot afford to fail our people because of diversionary motives, we must not tell lies to attain public offices, the killings in Ogoni should be properly investigated and the perpetrators should be brought to book”, he stated.
“The military have no business with the electoral process, they must not allow any politician to smear their professional integrity with partisan interest. The APC’s plot is to cause crisis in Ogoni using the military and impose themselves on the people. This will not happen. Our people are aware of all there plots and are very vigilant to nib such tendencies in the bud. The APC is not on ground in Rivers State and they cannot impose themselves on the people.”
The Khana born politician also took a swipe at the National chairman of APC, Chief John Oyegun which he described as the arrowhead of APC’s vindictive politics against Rivers people.
He said the “cynical” remark credited to the John Oyegun against Rivers State indicate that “the drive for the prime objective of Rivers State by APC, is only driven by selfish, exploitative economic motive rather than a genuine concern for the wellbeing of the people of the state.”
Deekor called on the people of Khana/Gokana Federal Constituency and Rivers State in general to remain focused and supportive of the Government of Chief Barr Nyesom Wike, to enable the Governor continue to dispense quality service to the people.
According to him “only the PDP has clear vision and objectives for the development of Rivers State, and the interest of the state must not be compromised at the alter of the political ambition of self serving leaders who believe that public office is their exclusive rights.
In the final analysis, Hon Deekor said the PDP has trained its personnel ahead of the re-run polls and the party was ready to abide by the stipulated rules of the game by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
He said INEC should be committed to the conduct of free and fair re-run polls in Rivers State and restore its integrity.
Taneh Beemene/ Susan Serekara-Nwikhana