By Cletus Ralph Ebor Jr.

The general elections in Nigeria are barely 12 months away. The political environment is upbeat, as the heat is on. The media, ranging from electronic, print, and social are buzzing with a lot of activities. Several senatorial seats amongst other electoral offices would be up for the contest. Prominent amongst them would be the Delta South senatorial seat. This is where Sen. James Manager of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, had been calling the shots over the last twelve years. Recall that, when Gov. Emmanuel Uduaghan served out his two terms as a governor, it was rumored that, he would end up at the red chambers of the Nigerian parliament. Alas, dislodging James Manager from his highly-priced seat, turned out an exercise in futility for Uduaghan. However, what Sen. Manager may not be able to stop in 2023, is the availability of his seat for the contest. The pertinent question, therefore, is, where would victory swing this time around? Will Manager retain his job? Or, is the people of Delta south having a new helmsman? That of course would depend on a lot of factors, viz, Performance, acceptability, and ultimately, the voice or votes of the electorates.


The name, Dr. Sylvester Onoyona, does not ring a bell in Nigerian politics. That may not be true of him in Delta State, especially, Delta South senatorial district where he hails from and was raised. Besides, there’s always a first time. Also, there is this danger that comes with underestimating the strength of an underdog. Over time, Dr. Onoyona could have paid his dues unknown to the world. When a young man exudes so much confidence, you must know that, he has an ace up his sleeves. Therefore, who is Dr. Sylvester Onoyona?


Dr. Sylvester Onoyona is a dazzling 52 years old guy. He was born in Oleh town but hails from Emede both in Isoko south local government area of Delta State. He is from a traditional polygamous family of 15, were amongst his siblings, he ranked number 9. But, he is first from his mother’s line. Sylvester is a product of Trans-cultural marital bliss. His father is an Isoko man, while his mother, Lucy, hails from Ase town in Ndokwa East local government area, in the Igbo-speaking part of Northern Delta.


Sly, as he is fondly called by his friends and associates, holds a Ph.D. degree in Organizational Leadership from the North Central University in San Diego, California, United States of America. However, his early childhood education started at the famous Isoko Central School (ICS), in Oleh, his place of birth. From here, he proceeded to Emore Grammer School also located in Oleh, where he emerged as one of the best graduating students in his set. His unquenchable thirst for knowledge led him to the prestigious Edo State University, Ekpoma, where he earned a bachelor of arts degree with honors, in philosophy in 1996. By 1998, Sylvester Onoyona was done with the mandatory national youth service. Having seen it all in Nigeria, Sly thought in the direction of life outside Nigeria, not only in search of the Golden fleece but, to fortify his vast knowledge that came with his philosophical studies. A Ph.D. in organizational leadership is the outcome of that search. At the moment, Dr. Sylvester Onoyona is an adjunct professor of organizational leadership at the University of Massachusetts Global. Prior to this, he also holds an MBA degree in Human Resources Management.


A tested technocrat and real estate mogul, Dr. Sylvester Onoyona, is vying for the seat of the Delta South Senatorial District, in Delta State. A Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, the need for inclusive leadership, quality and purposeful representation, human capital development, infrastructural renewal, and growth are paramount in his agenda. Besides, Sylvester sees himself as a transformational and servant leader.


With the benefit of hindsight of two worlds, the dogged and rugged struggle that the African environment offers, and the realist pragmatism of the American situation, there is no doubt that the man who wants James Manager’s job, is ready for the enormous task ahead. Firstly and far above every other thing, he has equipped himself with solid education and skills. Secondly and equally important, he has worked hard for himself to finance any undertaking. And no less important is the fact that he is widely traveled and experienced in material and man-management.


Here is this: “I am a transformational leader. I believe in servant leadership that is result-oriented. A politician that is sensitive to the needs of the people with a special interest in youth employment and empowerment, capacity building, human and material growth”


He further said “I am motivated to join politics given the poor leadership of the political class who have failed our people by their poor representation. I have the zeal to take my constituents out of the woods of human and mental poverty occasioned by the dearth of leadership”.


Dr. Onoyona sees himself as a progressive politician who believes in one indivisible Nigeria, where equity, justice, and fairness reign. To him, Our commonwealth should be managed properly to the benefit of all. He is also of the view that our strength lies in our diversities and regrets that, it is one area we have not as a nation and a people explored to the fullest. “We are yet as a people haven’t unlocked the potentials inherent in our national diversities” he posited.


Sylvester holds the view that the ruling party in his state and most especially, in his senatorial zone over the years, had performed far below expectations. He feels that things could have been better in respect of security, education, health, infrastructure, name it. It is the failure in these areas that drives him and makes him supremely confident of changing the existing narrative.


Dr. Onoyona is the brain behind an NGO called Delta Youths of Today Association, through which he had effectively reached out to his people in the core areas of youth empowerment, community development, and education. Through this platform, he had been perceived as a philanthropist without borders. He is also seen as the new face of Isoko cum Delta politics.


Sly, in and outside of school, has been in serious business. His interests cut across communications, healthcare, real estate, and teaching. He has put in well over seventeen years into real estate investments cutting across Nigeria and the United States, mostly in choice areas in Lekki and Atlanta where he maintains permanent residency.


Intellectual par excellence, amazingly handsome, humble to a fault, standing at six feet, and charismatic, Dr. Sylvester Onoyona is from a cultural cum Christian background and a devout one himself, He is married to the girl of his dreams and the union is blessed with three adorable children to the glory of God.

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