By Possible Ogheneseruo
Politics is not a do or die affair. Politics is a game that should not always lead to the destruction of perceived political opponents or enemies. The way Nigerian politics has been played in recent times calls for great concern. In a situation where people, especially those who occupy positions in government, want to use their office to witch hunt so-called enemies is very serious in Nigerian political affairs. Those who are in the corridors of power should portray politics in a way that it will be seen as a clean and productive activity beneficial to the society.
Certain political neophytes, by the recommendation of some eminent personalities in their community, were made Commissioners in Delta State. Several of these persons have decided to fight tooth and nail to ensure that a successful and acceptable governorship candidate in the person of Chief Kenneth Gbagi is brought down. These are supposedly political sons and daughters.
What has been playing out in Delta State shows that, some who want to contest the governorship of Delta State are bent on using their exalted positions to pull down a candidate who commenced consultations since 2019. Olorogun Gbagi, a former Minister of State for Education is one name that positively rings a bell as far as the 2023 governorship election is concerned.
Olorogun (Barr.) Gbagi is a man of timber and calibre. Gbagi, a successful business man has businesses spread in every nook and cranny of Delta State. He also has businesses all over Nigeria and the world at large. The Gbagi Shopping Malls in Delta State provide means of livelihood to a good percentage of Deltans. Apart from this, Gbagi has other industries in Delta State and Nigeria which provide jobs for Deltans, people from other parts of the country, as well as foreigners.
To say that the man Gbagi is stainless and unblemished is an understatement. As a former Minister of State for Education, he established numerous tertiary institutions in the country, and exited governance with clean records. If some of those who occupy political positions today were to be in the shoes of Olorogun Gbagi, they would not have hesitated to crush anyone who crossed their paths. Chief Gbagi has not prevented anyone who wants to contest from joining the race. The people believe in Kenneth Gbagi because of his past and present achievements and the great things they feel he can do if he’s given the mandate.
Gbagi did not use his position as Minister to oppress anyone. Instead, he has worked to better the lives of teeming Nigerians. All the higher institutions established by Gbagi still provide opportunities for our young boys and girls to be educated. These institutions also provide numerous jobs for Nigerians. The pertinent question is, “Why has some persons vowed to attempt to make Gbagi a laughing stock? What is his offence? Is it his wealth? Is it because he is an accomplished industrialist? Is his impressive charisma the issue at stake? Is it wrong for him to have robust plans to extend and expand the good works of Governor Okowa from 2023?
It is a well-known fact in Delta State that Olorogun Gbagi was among the very few persons who brought the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to Delta State. Since 1999 Chief Gbagi has been a loyal, dependable and accommodating party member. This time around, this business guru and political juggernaut has reasoned with the people of Delta State that he wants to govern them. Deltans have looked at his score card and are queueing behind him. Because of this, some others who also intend to contest for the number one seat feel threatened by the intimidating credentials, score card and acceptability of Gbagi. Consequently, they are crying wolf and are bent on using whatever means to bring him down. This they have attempted severally. The more they try to blackmail him, the stronger the man becomes. Gbagi has not stopped anyone from contesting the governorship of our dear State. He only challenges political aspirants to present their credentials and score scorecards and come out clean and fair. Those against Gbagi are people who feel that they cannot match him in terms of credentials, charisma, wealth, and acceptability.
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Olorogun Gbagi’s track record is brilliantly clean. Gbagi is a self-made magnate. He became wealthy through the grace of God and dint of hard work. History has it that Gbagi has not queued for, begged for, or executed government contracts at the federal, state, or local governments levels.
Gbagi has said on numerous occasions that he was ready to build 100 industries in his first 100 day in Office. He has mapped out the strategies on how to achieve this once given the mandate. Without mincing words, someone like Gbagi is a blessing to Delta State. As an individual, he has established numerous industries. Therefore, if given the opportunity, he will turn all our moribund industries around and build new ones. Gbagi has what it takes to revitalize African Timber and Ply Wood (AT & P) in Sapele, Delta Glass in Ughelli, Asaba Textile Mill in Asaba, Delta Steel Company in Ovwian-Aladja, and a host of others. Other states are searching for men with creative initiatives like Gbagi. However, here in Delta State, some baby politicians who also eye the 2023 Gubernatorial Election are busy organizing protests and ganging up against Gbagi. This is quite unfair.
Last year, it was rumored that some young women and a man were allegedly ordered to be stripped naked by Gbagi for stealing a meagre five thousand naira. The sponsors spent millions of naira to ensure that the issue trended in social media. However, majority of Deltans, from home and abroad, knew quite well that it was mere propaganda and gang up against the prospective governor of our dear Delta State. The man Gbagi has stretched out an olive branch to these distractors. Let them join him in his aspiration to build on the Okowa legacy after the elections in 2023. Gbagi has endeared himself to Deltans as the number one industrialist in the State. There is nothing any man or woman can do to change the perception of Deltans. Even a brilliant dog in Delta State knows that Gbagi will become the Governor come 2023. People should, therefore stop chasing shadows.
Recently, the same set of persons felt threatened by the visit of Olorogun Gbagi to the new Commissioner of Police posted to Delta State. The unrelenting detractors organized some women lawyers to protest against Gbagi in a bid to resurrect the futile and unfounded allegation of persons stripped naked on his orders. Women are very important in every democratic setting. They should not allow themselves to be used as tools by government officials to foment trouble. Olorogun Gbagi is a very senior lawyer who is quite conversant with every aspect of the law. It would have been better for the International Federation of Woman Lawyers to seek audience with Gbagi to know every iota of truth on the saga. Lawyers are learned individuals in the society. Therefore, they should be able to discern between falsehood and truth.
Ogheneseruo, a political enthusiast and professional communicator, wrote from Asaba, Delta State capital.