Amb. Tony Okonigene write: EBAKOTA The genesis and potency
Wise men say “If you do not know history, you will be a victim of history”.
If you are embarking on any venture, it is necessary that you take out time to study the history. You do not just go into a war or battle with an opponent you know nothing about. You will end up regretting and licking your wounds which you may never recover from.
Ebakota is not just a phrase or word. It is a movement. It is a spirit guided jealousy by our ancestors. Ebakota is the foundation upon which equity stands in Esanland. Its potency has been tested over time and the results have been consistent. Those who have tried to go against it in the past have always lost out.
For the sake of our brothers and sisters who are testing the waters and are trying to demystify the spirit of Ebakota in the political equation of Esanland, I will bend backwards and give a historical account of the genesis of Ebakota and its potency.
In the buildup to the PDP primaries in 2003, Hon. Patrick Ikhariale rose up to challenge the inccubent House of Representatives member representing Okpebholo Federal Constituency, Hon. Gabriel Oiboh. Despite the popularity and the overwhelming support Hon. Ikhariale enjoyed amongst the delegates, he was prevailed upon by the National leader, Late Chief Tony Anenih, Late Jimah Momodu, Chief Frank Erewele and some PDP leaders to step down and allow Hon. Gabriel Oiboh to go for a second tenure which will be the norm for all PDP NASS members in the Senatorial District.
In an enlarged meeting of the PDP Senatorial District leaders in Uromi, which had in attendance the likes of Late Jimah Momodu, Late Chief Oakhina, Late Chief Ogun, Prince Tom Anuge, Chief Frank Erewele, Chief Okoro, Chief Tom Ikhimi, Dr. F. Ulinfun, Jacob Okoawo, Ceaser, Chief Ene, the five LGA COUNCIL Chairmen and a host of others, it was agreed that the NASS members be allowed to go for their second tenure and that Hon. Ikhariale would be given the ticket unopposed in 2007 after which the Senate will go to Agbazilo for another two terms..
In 2006, some party leaders, led by Chief Francis Inegbeniki, Prince Tom Anuge, Dr.F. E Ulinfun, to mention a few, met with Chief Tony Anenih. In that meeting, Chief Inegbeniki,.said *”Owanlen, Esan ma yo, ebako ta, ole emon ni ne deni* “. He reminded the National leader of the agreement in 2003. Chief Anenih kept to his word and Hon. Patrick Ikhariale was returned unopposed in the primaries. PDP went ahead to win the general elections with a landslide and Esan also produced the state Governor in the person of Professor Osunbor. Such is the potency of respecting Ebakota.
This salient agreement has been adhered to till date. Keeping to Ebakota has ensured that the PDP has continually won the NASS elections in the Senatorial District. Not even the close relationship the National leader had with some persons could make him deviate from the Ebakota principle in 2015 making it possible to produce the current NASS members.
I have read some naive comments that Ebakota is just a personal opinion and that it is not applicable to Okpebholo. This is not true. It was planted in Okpebholo and has swept across Esanland. It has kept the PDP on the winning train in Edo Central Senatorial District.
We are now faced with a similar situation. Esan has the opportunity to produce the state Governor again in 2024. Do we risk changing the winning formula at this crucial time?
My people, let us be sensitive in the spirit. The spiritual controls the physical. We should not allow our personal ambitious to derail the winning train. Posterity will never be kind to anyone who aides and and abets this abomination.
The two terms agreement and the rotation between Okpebholo and Agbazilo should be guided jealously. It has kept us united and winning.
Let us keep and stand with Ebakota by saying NO TO THIRD TENURE.