1 2 3 4 5
Published On: Sat, Jul 26th, 2014

Delta 2015: Roll Call of Who is Who in Delta Governorship Race

By Professor Julius Uyanwanne
LAGOS JULY 26TH (URHOBOTODAY)-Few months to the 2007 PDP Governorship primary election, we did an exhaustive research and told you that despite the massive support Godswill Obielum enjoyed, Ibori’s anointed candidate – Dr Uduaghan was fated to win the highly contestable PDP primaries and the gubernatorial elections. As the 2015 general elections draw closer, many aspirants are still springing up across the width and breadth of Delta State under the ruling PDP. Of this legion of aspirants, we have taken a closer look at the ones that are truly making inroads in the political equation of Delta State and their chances in the 2015 Delta State Governorship elections. This is our position today, and from past experience, the trend may remain so for the next few weeks and or months. However, because politics is dynamic, the situation can change and that is why we will continue to update you on the 22nd day of every month up until days before the PDP primaries. Enjoy.


Tony Obuh – From Ika South LGA, he is the permanent Secretary in Government House and a close confidant of the current Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan. There is rumour that he is well favoured by Uduaghan and may well be enjoying a wonderful mutual relationship based on trust. He is seen as a cool-headed fellow who may emerge as a dark horse, but his major challenge is the fact that he is not well disposed to the political class in the State and may be a hard product to sell like the case of Professor Soludo of Anambra State. We are watching and waiting.
Ambassador Gabriel Oyebode – From Ukwuani LGA, he lived most of his life in Uvwie, Delta Central and has beautiful bill boards in most LGAs of Delta State. He has also had appearances in Vanguard and some local newspapers. We will tell you when he makes his next move.
Chief Godswill Obielum- This Governor that never was, is from Ndokwa East LGA. In 2007, he was the MAN, but right now, his followership has dwindled almost beyond redemption. But in politics, anything can happen. He has now started consultations to party officials LGA by LGA. When he makes his next move, we will tell you.
Chief Peter Okocha-This business mogul from Oshimili North LGA, has had some challenges in his political journey so far. PDP under Obasanjo dealt him a heavy blow and that subjugation even extended to his businesses, particularly his interest in African Petroleum, which eventually played out against him. He was betrayed by some of his Ibusa brothers in the 2003 Governorship election. Not much has been done this time around to demonstrate that he is a serious contender for the 2015 Governorship election of Delta state. Who knows? His next move could be fascinating.
Chief Clement Ofuani- A financial whiz-kid from Aniocha South, he worked under David Edevwe (who was the Delta State Commissioner for Finance) during Ibori era and later as Senior Special Assistant to President Yar’Adua. He is currently making consultative visits to various party LGAs and has displayed his posters in many LGAs in Delta State, but that is all there is to it. We await his next move.
Dr. (Mrs) Ester Uduehi- Dr (Mrs.) Uduehi is from Ukwuani LGA. She has worked at the Presidency and claimed that some political heavyweights have asked her to come out and contest because in her words, “the first Lady is well disposed to a woman from Delta North taking over from Uduaghan as the next Governor of Delta state.” We await her next move.


Dr Ifeanyi Okowa – one of many aspirants from Delta North – A stock of Ika North East LGA, from Owa-Alero, Senator (Dr.) Ifeanyi Okowa, a medical doctor and long-standing politician, has withered many storms on his political journey. Okowa aligned himself with the Late Chief Humphrey Iweriebor (Ogidi of Africa) when most outstanding sons and daughters of Ika land were away in Lagos and other cities in search of greener pastures. Ogidi facilitated his appointment as secretary of the LGA. With the support of Ogidi, he won election and became the first Chairman of Ika North East LGA. He was a two-time Commissioner in Ibori administration, where he acquired so much money. Prior to 2007, he manipulated his way into the hearts of some political contractors, made wide consultations and had overwhelming nod from Deltans, especially Delta Northerners to contest the 2007 Governorship election. He was Ibori’s man and had always been in charge of congresses across the state. Indeed Okowa was responsible for the compilation of delegate list in almost all the local Government areas in Delta North. It was therefore easy to see why he challenged Ibori’s anointed candidate – Uduaghan, at the PDP primaries at Ogwashi-uku. Initially, he was disqualified, then, reinstated and went on to contest the competitive election with Uduaghan and other candidates from the three senatorial districts of Delta State. Okowa shocked everyone, especially the people of Delta North who were overtly behind his candidature, when he cheaply gave up the fight – at a time countless number of people, including the other defeated candidates, were backing him for a re-run primary election, and rather secretly entered into a deal to become Secretary to the State Government (SSG); a decision that still haunts him till date. He was quickly appointed Director General of Uduaghan campaign organisation and the rest is history.
Unfortunately, Okowa, who has become desperate, has three major challenges confronting his governorship ambition; One, there is no politician of note anywhere in the State that has a long list of enemies like Dr Okowa. There have been some damning allegations of violence levelled against him, particularly the recent one by one John Agbe, who claimed that Okowa killed his son – Arthur Agbe over Land dispute. Unless a contrary position is held and the allegation properly debunked, this “killer squad” allegation may likely nail Okowa’s political ambition for good. If he must go far, he urgently needs to address this, and also embark on genuine reconciliation, starting from his LGA, so that the stigma tailing him as a bitter-unforgiving man can begin to be erased. After all, charity begins from home. On the possibility of returning to the senate, Okowa has been cleverly gagged into a corner by the incumbent Chairman of PDP – Peter Nwoboshi, who is aggressively nudging Okowa on to contest the PDP primaries at all cost. This plot will ensure that Okowa contests the PDP primaries even when it is becoming clear that his chances are bleak. Interestingly, some persons of high influence in Ika Nation where he hails from have vowed not to support Okowa in his battle to occupy the exalted position of a Governor.
STRENGTH – He has overwhelming desire to empower his supporters and has done so for many years plus he has the humility and skills to keep his supporters together.
WEAKNESS – harbours bitterness and seems uncomfortable with great guys.
VERDICT – But for the allegation of violence, he is the most formidable aspirant; May lose both the Governorship and Senatorial positions if those issues are not urgently and properly addressed.

Elder Godsday Orubebe (CON) – the only aspirant from Delta South so far– This Ijaw born politician from Ogbebagbene in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State has had a somewhat smooth political journey so far. After graduating from the University of Lagos, he contested and won his first election – Ward counsellor in Burutu LGA. He later won election and became Chairman of Burutu LGA. After the 1999 election, he was appointed as the second member of SUPEB. Orubebe had major disagreement with some prominent PDP Leaders in his LGA and decamped to ANPP, where he contested and became Delta State Party Chairman. Because he led ANPP to victory in many LGA including Burutu, Ibori’s men approached him, made him some good offers and persuaded him to re-join the PDP train. He obliged, and when Ibori was returned as Governor, Orubebe was appointed Special Advisor on Urban & Regional Planning. It is no longer news that Orubebe is one of the longest serving Ministers in the country, but there is general resentment against his gubernatorial candidacy because he failed to empower his supporters. Not a single person in Delta North, apart from Sam Osasa, his greedy S.A, was empowered. Even those in the E.K Clark group who joined him to fight Ibori were completely neglected. Also, the public fight between him and his erstwhile God-father – Chief E.K Clark, will militate against him when it matters most, as the National leader has vowed to support Delta North-the only district which has not produced a governor.
A lot of people in the defunct ANPP see him as a betrayal; somebody who traded them off when it mattered most. Also, he has been accused of carting away all the money meant for the development of the Niger-Delta region and abandoning the East-West Road. For example, it is alleged that he had promised that the East-West Road will be completed in December 2014, but facts on ground suggest otherwise. Only recently, the current Minister for Niger-Delta Affairs– Steve Oru stated that the contractors handling the East-West Road were not paid despite the fact that they have been working with their own funds. He further stated that the only job he does right now is paying them to ensure that he makes President Jonathan and the region proud (Vanguard 19th July – page 50). Finally, he is generally perceived as a gossip monger, as well as someone who says one thing and does another. Issues of religion are seen by many as a cover-up for some of his nefarious activities ranging from womanising to intolerance of his subordinates.
Only recently, one of his staunchest men from Delta Central – Chief Orido (who was one of the signatories to the petition against Chief E.K Clark), stated that Orubebe’s lies have become unbearable and suddenly, the man left his camp.
A female Media aid and former girlfriend – Barrister Mary Agbajoh is currently going about telling anyone who cares to hear, that Orubebe is a serial liar who lacks the competence and integrity to rule. She has echoed that Orubebe’s caucus is made up of greedy, arrogant and fetish persons, some of who are non-Deltans, who do not have the interest of Deltans at heart. There is bitter rivalry and confusion in the leadership of his NGO – Delta Peoples Forum and some of his Directors are helpless politicians who lack the courage to challenge his purposeless leadership style. Just a few days ago, one of the most pragmatic insiders and the Director of Media & Publicity of DPF – Chief Alex Ikpeazu suddenly resigned and has promised to hold a world press conference soon to elaborate on the reasons for his action. Feeler from across the state is that Ikpeazu’s press conference may finally nail Orubebe’s gubernatorial ambition and he may never recover if Ikpeazu sticks to his resignation because of the influence, doggedness and likeability of Ikpeazu by a large majority of Deltans – having performed creditably well as secretary of Delta Elders, Leaders and Stakeholders Forum for many years. Chief Oduaran from Ughelli South has just decamped from DPF sighting Orubebe’s lies as one of the reasons for his decision and the list is getting longer. It is speculated that by September this year, there would hardly be anyone left in DPF. Orubebe has put up a strong defence against these allegations, but he needs to do more to convince a majority of the Delta voting population that these assertions are malicious. Initially, he was feared by opponents because of his healthy Abuja connections (but now there is a strong rumour of a crack because of his unauthorised visit to Ibori in a London prison, where he was caught on camera kneeling down for the convict). He is also making a lot of personal consultations with some political heavy weights across the State and boasts that he is going to be the next Governor of Delta State even if everybody decamps from DPF. He also has a very robust synergy with the Leadership of the religious community in the state. STRENGTH – Has a charming and convincing personality using God as a front. WEAKNESS – Viewed as a Pathological liar, he has a phobia for empowering people and this is his biggest undoing. Verdict – Unless the Anioma Leaders choose a consensus candidate from the current aspirants or bring in a popular grass-root greenhorn, Orubebe – a charming talker may BUY the PDP primaries with the tons of money he has stashed away with a proviso – only if he mends fences with Abuja, which is hampering on equity amongst the three senatorial districts.


Chief (Obarisi) Ovie Omo-Agege – From Delta Central; This political heavyweight was Special Assistant Chief James Ibori. He was a member of Ibori’s inner caucus and was later appointed SSG where he commanded a lot of respect and made some political friends. He was credited to have helped to uplift a lot of politicians like Victor Ochei and many others. He contested the PDP primaries with Uduaghan against the decision of Ibori, but failed. Because he was side-lined, he tried to contest the Governorship election under ACN, but that experience was very unpleasant. So on the instruction of Ibori, he returned back to PDP and his name along with a few others was submitted for federal appointment, but it did not happen. He is making extensive consultations and it is generally believed that if he is able to secure the nod of UPU, he will expand his coast.. STRENGTH – very compassionate and kind to a fault –Whenever he has the opportunity, he does not hesitate to empower his supporters. WEAKNESS – does not follow a political project to its final logical end. Verdict – If he gets the nod of UPU, he may be in a better position to fight off the contestants from other senatorial districts with Urhobo bulk votes, but he has a lot of work to do, especially in Delta North.
GENERAL PERCEPTION – Majority of people interviewed across Delta State have the perception that the person who will rule Delta State in 2015 has not been named. Deltans are yearning for a grass-root, popular, regular fellow, who is acceptable to a majority of Delta voters. We shall keep you posted.

Professor Julius Uyanwanne

Subscribe to our newsletter for news update:

About the Author


Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Konga Verified Blogger

Konga Verified Blogger