The Local government elections scheduled to hold on the 16th of June in Rivers state has continued to witness a lot of horse trading especially on the issue of mischief and imposition of candidates.

Though, Rivers state Governor, Nyesom Wike has advocated for fairness and said at different fora that interested aspirants should be given an opportunity to contest, power-brokers in some LGAs in the State have refused to play according to the rules.

One of such prominent cases is in Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni Local government area where a Lawyer, Barr. Osi Olisah who fought against insecurity and championed the course for peace in ONELGA is being suppressed from participating in the coming elections.

Before now, there was a popular opinion that the insecurity that ravaged ONELGA from 2013 where all sorts of heinous crimes were committed was sponsored by the Rivers state Government. That the government of the state has a hand in the killings.

This insinuation was laid to rest after the people of ONELGA and indeed, Rivers state including members of the opposition party saw the sincerity of purpose in the leadership of Olisah; all accusing fingers against the Rivers state Government became numb.

As we speak, the ONELGA which was popular for notoriety now breathes sanity.

But as preparation for the Local government election gains momentum it has been observed that there is a grand plan to stop Barr. Osi Olisah from consolidating on the peace process in ONELGA.

As political wannabes on all sides of the partisan divide jostle and hustle for support from one Godfather, Godmother, or God whatever to another and from on geopolitical zone and block to another in Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni Local government area, ONELGA, it is of utmost importance for the power brokers to be conscious of the security imperatives of the local Government.

In what has been aptly referred to as our pathetically pathological propensity and penchant for selective amnesia, we easily forget the events of yesterday only to remember them when they return and confront us in a more dastardly and devastating form.

For more than three years, ONELGA went through a state of anomy during which the drilling fields that fed the Federal republic of Nigeria degenerated into killing fields for the people of Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni.

Kidnapping for huge ransom became the order of the day in what has been dubbed “abduction economy”; Under gunpoint, men watched while their wives were raped by miscreants, grandmothers were raped and young men were forced to rape their mothers.

The soil of ONELGA was soiled with blood of innocent people. Out of the 7 Banks in ONELGA, 5 closed their doors; the hospitality industry virtually collapsed, businesses and shops closed, people moved away from what used to be the fastest growing economy in rural Rivers state, ONELGA people became internally displaced people. Omoku, the Local government headquarters turned into a ghost town of its economically and ebullient past.

Quite curiously, in all that crises in the Local government, the oil companies operated under heavily fortified armed guard completely oblivious of what was happening to the host communities. It was a free-for-All as the companies operated happily because communities were in disarray.

Today, though things have completely returned to what they used to be, thanks to the dogged Lawyer, Barr. Osi Olisah who held sway as Chairman of the area, ONELGA people sleep with their two eyes closed.

Now that the Local government election is around the corner and every political party is jostling for Candidates preparatory for the polls, what should inform our choice of a Chairman should not just be the capacity to maintain and sustain the fragile peace in ONELGA but to further it by ensuring that it takes roots and grows into a giant oak effectively shield the people of ONELGA from the unwanted rays of insecurity.

If what is playing out in ONELGA is allowed to slide, then the credibility of all that has been achieved by the Rivers state Government and Barr. Osi Olisah will be lost.

The peace and security of the people of Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni should not be sacrificed on the alternative of political expediency.