By Godwin Anaughe,
I have often wondered what would have happened if we were back in the days when God instantly punished people who told lies in His name. I cannot help thinking this thought since the 18th March 2023 governorship election in Delta State and the rape of democracy that took place that day.
The scale of violence unleashed on voters by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP that resulted in killings and maiming of innocent citizens in the name of politics is shocking and undemocratic.
However, my mind and yours should be at rest because vengeance is the Lord’s not ours. We will not shed blood for blood, nor should anyone be under any delusion that Delta PDP, so accustomed to rigging elections and ruling with impunity, will succeed in keeping this stolen mandate.
We will retaliate by reclaiming the peoples mandate to Build A New Delta through superior reasoning, superior legal arguments and when His Excellency, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege is eventually declared winner by the courts’ superior performance.
The last governorship election during which our people’s lives were taken to water the altars of deceitful politics, will remain a study in infamy, not only for its shameless scope but also for its level of bestiality, barbarism and desperation. It affirmed their capacity for the utmost of evil – the shedding of human blood to secure a false electoral mandate, which we were told at different Thanksgiving services across the state was an electoral mandate sanctioned by God.
Do not be deceived by people who lie in God’s name. We all know it was a stolen mandate to install Ifeanyi Okowa’s stooge and co-conspirator as Governor in order to protect Okowa from giving an account of his eight years of drift and mindless looting of our commonwealth.
It is a matter of public knowledge how much of our stolen resources were used to buy votes before and during the election. It is also known that they bypassed and compromised the BIVAS to add illegal votes to their votes. It is also known that they hijacked ballot boxes, BIVAS machines and result sheets to write results and inflate PDP votes.
What is more, it is also well known that turn out in the governorship election was lower than in the presidential election held three weeks earlier, yet the alleged total accredited voters in the governorship election were higher at 710,829, compared to the 667,149 recorded in the presidential election, an increase of 43,680.
Which God sanctions this grand deception? Do not be deceived by those who have made it fashionable to drag God’s name into every evil deed, because their goal is to make Deltans fall in line and support their evil ways. How can people who looted and are still looting our state treasury, people who shed human blood and are still shedding human blood, people who rigged elections and are now spending millions on sinister disinformation to spread lies against Omo-Agege and create a false narrative of why he lost the election have God’s blessing without repentance?
Will God sanction electoral fraud? Will God prosper a lie even if it is told in His name? Thieves and murderers are daily forgiven by a loving God in the place of repentance after the forgiven thief returns stolen goods. As of this moment, neither the stolen gubernatorial mandate nor monies have been returned to the long-suffering people of Delta State.
Since the election, appointees of government who did not support Okowa’s evil deeds during the election are being sacked from their jobs. This is enough indication that Okowa knows that the majority of the people, including his party men did not vote for his candidate.
Sheriff Oborevwori’s declaration at his Thanksgiving service in Osubi that his victory is permanent is also a clear sign that it is not yet Uhuru. He is worried and rightly so, that he wouldn’t be able to keep this brazenly stolen mandate. He expects a judicial judgement will throw him out and is only giving false assurance to his supporters to make them feel good and continue to support him.
So Deltans, do not be deceived because both men are master strategists dedicated not to uplifting the wellbeing of our state but to hold onto power at any and all costs, to continue the rape of our financial and material resources. We can and should have stopped them during the state election. It was a tug of war we should have won by actively working and pulling in the same direction.
In Joshua 1:3, the Lord said ‘Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that I have given you…’ The message is very clear. God requires us to make efforts and sacrifices in exercising faith, by moving forward to plant our feet on that which we desire to possess.
The children of Israel once stood on the banks of the Red Sea, the unmistakable sound of the approaching chariots of the armies of Egypt adding to their mounting fears. When they called on God, He answered them. But God’s deliverance required them to walk between frightening and intimidating walls of water on both sides. It is clear that their deliverance came only because they dared to put one foot in front of the other until they got to the other side.
Today, we the people of Delta State stand on the banks of our own parted Red Sea. It was in our God-given hands to reverse the colossal damage our state has suffered. It was in our hands not Okowa’s hands to decide who rules over us in the next four years. It was in your hands and mine to make the effort to vote them out. We were only required to make the required effort and sacrifices, that may go unrewarded and unrecognised by man but never by God, to liberate our state and cross to the other side. It was a right we should not have taken for granted. It was a right we should have made every lawful effort to make count by coming out to vote despite the intimation by PDP.
Unfortunately, many of us were too afraid to come out to exercise our God-given right to vote. Some APC members, from agents to party officials and leaders betrayed their party and state by either actively working against the collective interest or doing nothing to prevent Okowa and Oborevwori’s thugs from snatching ballot boxes and result sheets; and PDP operatives from changing results at the collation centers and awarding PDP thousands of illegal votes.
However, the good news is that Senator Ovie Omo-Agege has approached the Governorship Election Tribunal holden at Asaba to reclaim his stolen mandate. We may not be able to prove how many votes were purchased by our looted funds, but there is abundant evidence to prove the irregularities and illegal votes they added to their votes at collation centers to nullify Oborevwori’s illegal declaration. It is now in God’s hands.
In Delta State, we have Urhobos, Ibos, Ijaws, Isokos and Itsekiris, a veritable coalition of tribes, languages, traditions and cultures that have made us a rainbow state. This is not the making of any man but a God whose needle is big enough to weave us into a beautiful fabric that will be the envy of the rest of Nigeria. It is God that blessed our state with such dizzying wealth both beneath and on top of our soil and creeks. He blessed us with amazing human capital. Do not be deceived, this God will not prosper injustice that seeks to distort His image and the abundant blessings, He so graciously bestowed on us.
God is a God of justice and love. Let us not distort His image for the sake of politics. We must let God be God not only in our individual lives but also in our state and nation. There in lies true worship of the Most High. Some day soon, we will say our slain brothers did not die in vain and a New Delta State will emerge to the glory of God and for the good of all of Deltans.
Godwin Anaughe, the Director, Elections and Strategy, Delta APC Campaign Council, writes from Warri.