High Chief Newton Agbofodoh, JP, the Usiavwe (Key) of Ekpan community in Delta state is an Urhobo leader by virtue of his position. He spoke to Vanguard on various issues pertaining to the country and Delta State.
Some say the claim by the North that President Jonathan is not doing well is out of place. Do you agree?
Yes, it is out of place. The North is taking the South-South and the entire South for granted. It was revealed recently that 83 per cent of the oil blocks belong to Northerners when the oil is in the backyard of Southerners. Now, let me tell you, there is oil in my compound and my neighbour is piping my oil without me, who owns the oil getting anything from the oil in my place, which is exactly what we are talking. Nobody in the Niger-Delta has oil block, only Northerners and they are still shouting. If it is the North that had the oil we are talking about, I do not think Nigeria will be one today.
At the state level there is tension over which senatorial zone should produce the next governor in 2015. Where do you align yourself?
I am Urhobo from the Central Senatorial District of Delta state. Let me tell you, what is causing crisis everywhere in this world is cheating. If you and I have equal rights to any particular position, an equitable power sharing formula should be adopted for peace to reign. My senatorial district has taken it for 10 years or so since the creation of Delta state. Olorogun Felix Ibru had it for two years and Chief James Ibori- eight years. It has now gone to the South Senatorial District and Governor Uduaghan is going to finish their eight-year tenure in 2015.
What is wrong for us to say it should go the North Senatorial District? Why are we (Urhobos) shouting to the Federal Government that we are being marginalized at the national level because we do not have Urhobo minister, but here in your own home, you do not want to allow any other tribe to come and get the same position we have in this state. It is not good.
Sometimes, I overhear in a meeting when they say they cannot have the capital and have the governor. Who said so?
When the North was ruling the country, as President, where was the capital of Nigeria? Is it not Abuja, is Abuja not in the North. Therefore, what is wrong in Anioma, which is Delta North having the governorship of the state?
Don’t you think gubernatorial aspirants like Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi, Chief Great Ogboru and Senator Pius Ewherido, who are from your place would be displeased with this?
It is not good to cheat your brother, they should call me and I will tell them to their face, why they should say so. We are talking about the North cheating us for a long time in this country and we are doing the same thing here. How can you have something for good 10-12 years and you still want to take it again when your brother has not tasted it at all. Allow them to taste it, they have candidates over there, who can rule this state perfectly too, just as our people have ruled.
What is your response to the recent rebuke of Elder Godsday Orubebe by Chief Clark over his gubernatorial ambition?
Orubebe is from the South senatorial district, which is where the incumbent, Governor Uduaghan hails from. He cannot come out and say he wants to become governor of this state in 2015 when he knows very well that his district has just had its turn, just because he has made money.