HARD TALK: DELTA: A Visionless “SMART AGENDA” On Rampage (1)

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Proverbs 29:18. Says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish …” Vision, courage, and honesty are essential ingredients of transformational leadership.

Delta State is a fountain of visionaries who boldly shape national and global issues – economic, political and social: Festus Okotie-Eboh, Stephen Osita Osadebey, Adogbeji Salubi, the Ibrus led by Michael Ibru, Wilson Odibo, David Edjoor, Clarkson Majomi, Gamaliel Onosode, James Otobo, James Omo-Agege, Philip Asiodu, David Dafinone, Great Ogboru, Jim Ovia, Grace Alele-Williams, Tony Elumelu, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. The list is endless.

Knowing who we are, it is easy for us to honestly interrogate ourselves if our own who prove to be local champions of mediocrity somehow spring from nowhere to misdirect public governance. It is easy to know who they are by simple comparative analyses.

The Lagos State Government is about to build Africa’s first Smart City in Ibeju Lekki. Formalities on the huge project to build the city with Dubai Holdings were concluded at a ceremony attended by the Deputy Prime Minister of United Arab Emirates (UAE), His Excellency Ahmad Bin Byat and the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode. The ‘Smart-City Lagos’ projects consists of “sustainable, smart, globally connected knowledge-based communities that drive knowledge economy” just like ‘Smart City Dubai’, ‘Smart-City Malta’ and ‘Smart-City Kochi’. The city will have, among others, a 12-lane road, hotel resorts, world-class technological education facilities, a rail metro and line. For Ambode, “Apart from creating jobs for the people, the project would also become the world’s first carbon neutral city.” The project will make Lagos “an important centre for innovations in smart technologies, wellness, and destination for green tourism.”

While Lagos is on the lane of modernity, our reality in Delta is very sad. Despite its claim to an ill-conceived “Smart Agenda”, the Okowa regime is just visionless, timid, and unsophisticated. It is an embarrassing opposite of Ambode’s Lagos. This is probably most visible from huge celebrations that follow the commissioning of ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ ‘projects’ – with a litany of 2,203 political aides often in attendance as hosanna singers.

Even the ‘commissioning’ of private gas stations are greeted with deafening sounds of fireworks! This is our Delta!

Every generation has a solemn duty to shape a better future for the next one. Anyhow considered, Okowa’s blind regime is a danger to a future that befits us as a people. We must construct our future by deliberate democratic actions designed to restore our values and unleash our huge potentials for the world to appreciate. This rickety regime does not represent who we are and what we are capable of. We will end it.

By: Efe Duku.

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