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Published On: Tue, Aug 5th, 2014

Ogboru and Obstruction of Urhobo Governorship Project


By Cyril Ogodo
LAGOS AUGUST 5TH (URHOBOTODAY)-THE debate as to how the Urhobo nation can produce the Governor of Delta State in 2015 has been raging for quite a time. Only recently, an interesting but intriguing aspect has been thrown up. This aspect relates to the party platform that can and would deliver an Urhobo governor in 2015. At a gathering of the UPU with a select group of Urhobo politicians at Uvwiamuge, an alleged position of the UPU was declared, now known as the “Uvwiamuge Declaration”, to the effect that the UPU and indeed, the whole of Urhobo nation will be rallied to support and deliver as governor ONLY an Urhobo candidate that emerged from either the PDP or the APC political parties! The reasoning allegedly posited for this declaration is that these are the two competing national parties that are strong enough to protect the long term interest of the Urhobo nation. That Urhobo is done with supporting mushroom, one man parties as indeed, she did with the DPP to disastrous consequences in 2010 and 2011 elections. The declaration was apparently meant to send a clear message to all Urhobo sons and daughters that all should now seek their ambitions in either of these two big platforms. If indeed such declaration was made, it was not farfetched to identify who was its major casualty. Of course, the DPP and its perennial governorship candidate, the one and only Chief Great Ogboru. Right there at the Uvwiamuge meeting where the alleged declaration was made, it was reported that one Chief Lance Orhierhor, a DPP party official rose to immediately challenge the declaration but was shouted down by the overwhelming support of other attendees. Events after this meeting have shown clearly that the DPP/Chief Ogboru would not be taken in or deterred by such “whimsical” position by UPU in its mission to produce the governor in 2015. The DPP has now allegedly coalesced into the Labour party and is currently on the move putting its election structure in place, UPU declaration notwithstanding.
Just recently one Onajite Ese, writing in The Urhobo Voice, of July 21, 2014 edition, dared to take on the DPP/Labour challenge of the UPU declaration, accusing the party and its alter ego Chief Ogboru of disobedience and ingratitude and setting out to play a spoiler role in Urhobo 2015 quest to produce a governor! As you would expect, the duo of Messrs Efe Duku and Zik Zulu Okafor, known attack guns of the DPP took on Onajite for his audacity in the very next edition of The Urhobo Voice of 28 July, 2014. In a long and intriguing response meant to silence and bury Onajite and his alleged sponsors, interesting issues all serious Urhobo must now think about were canvassed and thrown up.
Now, in the quest for Urhobo governor in 2015, who is out there to deceive, who is out there day-dreaming and who is on a serious course? There can be no debate that of all the political parties, the easiest and most assured route to the governorship seat is the PDP. But would the PDP give their guber ticket to an Urhobo? Your answer is as good as mine. For one, the PDP seems to have an unwritten zoning formula in place that have been implemented twice to favor the Delta Central (Urhobo) and the Delta South and now set to favor the Delta North. Two, the Delta North appear more well positioned and better equipped to clinch the ticket, all things considered; financial resources, closeness to the Presidency as measured by appointees in government, support from the larger Ndigbo in government, preparation, among others. Truly and seriously, is there any factor out there that makes an Urhobo man hopeful that he will clinch the PDP ticket? Now, let’s think through this. Are we not witnesses to how Urhobo was ignored, treated with disdain, had to crawl and after so much cry and hue was settled with a leftover Ministerial position at the very twilight of the administration? Does the PDP really count the population advantage of Urhobo for anything? Having “won” not one but two guber elections in Delta State (2010 & 2011) inspite of near zero Urhobo vote, would they care enough to “grant” Urhobo the favor of its guber ticket? I believe not. I dare to say that quite soon Urhobo candidates running for the PDP ticket will wake up from their day-dreaming slumber and face the truth. Even now those serious among them are only sleeping with one eye closed. They confess to those close to them that for Urhobo to get the governorship they may be required to do the abominable and support an Urhobo outside PDP at the right time. What is the source of hope of the DPP/Labour party? What is their argument? Here it goes; “Labour party is an affiliate of PDP, very friendly to President Jonathan, working and will work for Jonathan. President Jonathan is not happy and do not trust Governor Uduaghan because he is the former Governor Ibori’s cousin and still working for Ibori. All current PDP structure and people in Delta are Ibori people and President Jonathan has rejected them. President Jonathan has reached a deal with Chief Great Ogboru to use Labour to supplant PDP in Delta State. President Jonathan wants to reward Urhobo for its population but can’t do it through the PDP and hence he wants to do it through Ogboru/Labour.” Is anybody out there listening to this? Has anyone out there ever heard more garbage talk than this? Who in his right senses will cook up such garbage and for what purpose? That President Jonathan will dump Delta PDP for the sake of rewarding Urhobo with governor position through Chief Ogboru? As deceit goes, this is the furthest! Since 2010 and 2011, Chief Ogboru has been on this part of hoodwinking all who do not care to be gullible that President Jonathan has promised to make him governor through the courts! Is he governor today? He is adept at making it appear that it is friendly opposition that pays but all those that are discerning knows that he does this for the sake of his business interest subsisting with the government of the day.
Mr. Onajite Ese made a great point by stating that Chief Ogboru is perhaps the only living person that has been the greatest beneficiary of Urhobo goodwill and sacrificial support without commensurate gratitude, and the pair of Efe Duku and Okafor tried hard to skin him alive! Urhobo have stood, not once, not twice suicidally behind him at the risk of their blood and future, yet inspite of squandering those opportunities, what now is he concocting? Another master deceit and betrayer of the Urhobo people. Let it be clear to all and sundry that the Labour Party is here for one and only one purpose; to be used by the PDP as decour. To be used to split the Urhobo vote as would be the case when PDP eventually give the guber ticket to the north. To give PDP the perfect narratives; after all, Urhobo had two candidates, one from Labour, the other from APC, what do you expect? If any agreement is in place, it is the agreement between PDP, Labour and Chief Ogboru to thwart the governorship quest of the Urhobo nation through muddling up the Urhobo waters while a Delta North candidate sails through! It maybe common sense that is not common, but put succinctly, Labour cannot and would not under any arrangement produce an Urhobo governor while PDP stand idly by, mark my words.
The APC came to be, out of the generally frustrations and desire of Nigerians for a credible alternative to the rampaging rudderless PDP. The party was well received by Nigerians and soon became a truly national alternative party. The truth also is that the party today is facing a lot of challenges both from the ruling PDP which is on a mission to kill it and from internal crisis that should be expected from an amalgam entity. Yet APC, with all its troubles presents the only hope and route to Urhobo governorship in Delta State! Although, unfortunately, the APC will present the hardest route, it is the only one. Here we go; The route to the guber ticket for an Urhobo candidate in the APC is sure. The APC is truly an opposition party, it is not pretending to be an opposition. It is standing toe to toe to fight with the PDP for the grand price. It is not Labour Party sent on a mission that the Presidency can ask to stand down any time to the disappointment of the Urhobo nation. The party, inspite of its current challenges, has long reach. The party in the state will receive massive support to win the ground war. Delta State is well sensitised for the change that is coming, which is well represented by APC. The question, however, is whether the Urhobo and UPU truly want this guber price enough to do the needful?
Urhobo governorship will not come on a platter. It will require hard work and a fight. It will require choosing the right platform and the unity of purpose to work through such platform. It will require being practical and putting the collective interest of Urhobo above personal or that of the South-South or any other person. It will require courage, determination and doggedness. It will require the blurring of the party lines and party platforms and elevation of Urhobo land to a one party land. While fighting against President Jonathan will not be the target, Urhobo must be practical enough to go against him if his interest conflicts with Urhobo interest. Urhobo will go nowhere with a brand of friendly opposition that is docile and ready to submit to the powers that be. Is either we want to fight for it or nothing, sentiments must be put aside. The times for wishful thinking and day-dreaming are over. The time for deceit for personal gains are over. Can Urhobo sons and daughters do this? Do they want the governorship this much? This is the crux of the matter. I believe the UPU has started well. Their leadership in this wise is crucial.
They must shine their eye and bring to bear their enormous good standing. May God open our eyes to the day-dreamers, save us from the deceivers and direct us to the serious.
Long live Urhobo land!
Dr. Cyril Ogodo, writes from Sapele, Delta State

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