Asaba – From Chief James Ibori to Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan and to the incumbent Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa; Deltans seem not to ever looked back as they have stayed glued and gave maximum support to Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and its candidates. 2015 elections pushed Chief Great Ogboru far behind as he recorded about the lowest votes in the history of his political career which has become a tasteless ambition. Olorogun O’tega Emerhor and All Progressive Congress, APC, Delta barely scored 68,000 votes in 2015. In 2003, Urhobo from Delta Central dissatisfied with PDP performance in the governance of Delta State, turned its back on PDP and went all out for candidates of these non-major political parties in all elections since 2003 in attempts to dislodge PDP from the state, invested heavily in cash and votes.. First, it was with Alliance for Democracy (AD) in 2003 and thereafter the Democratic People’s Party (DPP) in 2007 and 2011. But it was all for naught, as the result has been a series of stunning defeats that eventually diminished the power, influence and relevance of the Urhobos politically. Sadly, the Urhobo nation has not fully recovered from this decline till date.
This informed the battle for the soul of Delta State in 2019 which came to the fore the day aggrieved mammoth crowd of supporters thronged the former National Vice Chairman of PDP, Dr Cairo Ojougboh’s hotel in Agbor, Ika South Local Government Area of the state to defect to APC. That day they ventilated their anger with the outcome of the Supreme Court judgment which nailed the factional National Chairman of the PDP, Senator Ali-Modu Sheriff. The party leaders after the Court judgement had met in Warri to in order to put their houses in order and merge the two factions into one, instead of the expected unity, Ojougboh actually confessed that their convergence in his hotel was in continuation of the mandate the supporters gave to them in Warri after the unfortunate Supreme Court judgement to see how we can end the impunity in PDP and return the party to the grassroots. But Ojougboh, at the enlarged meeting of both PDP and APC members told the South-South National Vice chairman of APC, Chief Hillary Ettah, the Minister of State Petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, the 2015 Governorship candidate of APC in the state, Emerhor, the state chairman, Prophet Jones Ode-Erue, and other leaders of APC that they had been patient with their former party to learn from the bitter lessons that cost the party the presidency, but like the leopard and its unchanging spots, the acts of impunity have continued, a clear testimony that the PDP will not change and as such Governor Okowa must be kicked out in 2019.
First to draw the battle line is Fred Latimore, Executive Assistance, and Communications to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa. He said APC Delta has a long history of unpreparedness, cluelessness and diversionary propaganda tactics which began at the party state congress in 2013 and party gubernatorial primaries in 2014. According to him, APC Delta is degenerating by the day. The party recently lost thousands of party faithfuls to PDP in Emerhor’s home town of Evwreni and in various constituencies in Delta Central including his former Chief Security Officer, General Anthony Akpobasa; now Special Assistant on Youth Mobilization for Governor of Delta State. APC Delta was further deflated and depleted in Senator Ovie Omo Agege community of Orogun and another massive defection to PDP at Agbarha Otor, all in Ughelli North LGA of Delta Central where Emerhor and Senator Agege hails from. The rejection of Delta APC is spreading across Delta State like wild harmattan fire and no solution at sight; not even the Unity Rally held at Emerhor’s private residence can revive the crashed Delta APC.
Latimore revealed that it is crystal clear that Ogboru and Senator Agege are heading for APGA to actualize their political ambitions. Ogboru for Governor 2019 and Senator Agege for Senate 2019 and the party is APGA. According to him, Emerhor sensing the political doom ahead has offered Ogboru and Agege another 419 arrangements to keep them within his black-box while working very hard to emerge as APC Delta Central Senatorial candidate and at the same time kicking against Ogboru’s governorship 2019 ambition. APC is dead on arrival. It’s case is closed. ‘’Olorogun Otega Emerhor has been the Chief Pilot of Delta APC flight with no identifiable Co-Pilot. His running mate in 2015, Abanum Vranderpuye was the third in a roll, a retired Central Bank Director who only received N3.5 million from APC Delta and Emerhor to mobilize the entire Delta North while the other billions of naira received from APC Governors, other donors and APC national headquarters was unscrupulously spent by the governorship candidate. With the slogan “APC Take Over Delta State,” Emerhor and his handful of supporters were able to campaign in eight local government areas out of 25; and was always late to every political engagement and campaign rallies. Therefore, APC Delta foundation was laid on a sinking-sand and till date that foundation refused to respond to all manner of parchment’’. He further revealed that Ogboru, Senator Ovie Omo Agege, Victor Ochei and few others who were desperate and still very desperate to regain their crashed political ambitions hurriedly defected to APC Delta even though they were aware that the sandy-foundation of the party can never be solid until it is completely demolished and a new foundation raised to correct the sinking-foundation put in place by Emerhor, Jones Erue, Adolor Okotie-Eboh, late Senator Spanner Okpozo (may his gentle soul rest in perfect peace), Engr Hyacinth Enuha and others. Ogboru struck a deal prior to his defection to be the sole candidate of the party in 2019, which was agreed to while Senator Ovie Omo Agege was assured of his return ticket as Senator. Victor Ochei to either run as Deputy to Ogboru or sail through to become the Senator for Delta North in 2019. Done deal and the trio signed into the Emerhor and Jones Erue’s political black-box. ‘’Less than six months of the political marriage of these strange bird fellows they lost contact with the control tower. Their political flight could not be found in the air radar. They crashed into three major components of; Mainstream Delta APC (MDA) led by Emerhor, Light of APC Delta by Ogboru and Consolidated APC Delta by Ochie and his visible and invisible political associates. Things got extremely bad when another political fugitive by name; Ojuogboh of the PDP Modu Sheriff Hall of Shame struck a deal with Emerhor to assist him harass and coerce the other structures conspiring against the MDA’’ However, Chief Sunny Onuesoke, a Delta State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain on Wednesday said 87 percent of Urhobo in PDP are solidly behind Governor Ifeanyi Okowa on his re-election ambition in 2019. Onuesoke, who spoke to journalists in Asaba, Delta State said with the support of Urhobo and other tribes in Delta, Okowa’s re-election in 2019 was guaranteed. Reiterating his loyalty to Okowa, Onuesoke appealed to the Urhobo to support the governor in his determination to win the state governorship election in 2019, adding that his re-election would give him the opportunity to complete the work he started two years ago. “ With the support Governor Okowa is getting on a daily basis from the PDP family in Urhoboland, I believe his reelection in 2019 is guaranteed. I can confidently tell you that 87 percent of Urhobo in PDP are solidly behind the peoples’ governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa and this is the same story everywhere you go in Delta state” he said.
He maintained that the governor had executed projects across the state in fulfillment of his SMART agenda, and commended the people of Delta for the confidence they reposed in Okowa, while appealing for their continued support. According to him, since Okowa’s assumption of office and informed by his desire to promote technical and vocational education, he had reconstructed the state-owned technical colleges in Agbor, Ofagbe and Sapele. On the threat posed by the APC, Onuesoke said the APC has no presence in Urhobo land. “I can assure you that APC is not on ground in Urhobo land. Just go round the various kingdoms of Urhobo, they don’t have any visible structure to win elections in Delta State. Delta is PDP. The Urhobo Nation is for PDP. There is no alternative to PDP Government in our dear State” https://independent.ng/battle-soul-delta-2019/