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Published On: Thu, Jun 6th, 2013

Delta 2015: Who is Uduaghan’s Choice?

By Goddy Odidi
As 2015 approaches, many high-flying Deltans are enthusiastically showing intense interest of contesting for Delta state governorship election which the rally forces of supporters are at geometrical progression. Some political leaders within the state are now paying unscheduled political visits to effect their political agenda for 2015.
Delta state has 25 local governments with just three ethnic geo- political zones made up of Delta North, Delta Central and Delta South. Delta state is not different from Plateau state that has the same three senatorial districts but the latter has elected three of the senatorial districts into the governorship of the state, while the former still operating in two district leadership only.
Over the years, Delta politics has been directly controlled by highly placed cabals in the state without any form of political intimidation or pressure. The resultant effect is that Delta state resources have been politically mismanaged by imposed and conscripted leaders who never sailed through the choice of Deltans, but selected cabals of the state.
Since the enthronement of democracy in 1999 when Delta Central and Delta South occupied the position of the governorship through Chief James Ibori and Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan till date, only few people in Delta State felt the impact of present leadership of the state which the ruling political party (PDP) has decided to impose leaders on its people.
Apart from the strong opposition party in the state as regards to Democratic Peoples Party (DPP), the state political leadership is divided into two faction. They are PDP1 and PDP2. Though PDP1 is formidable than PDP2 in the sense that the latter is the offspring of the DPP and nothing else. Some of the real PDP abandoned members would likely join the novel APC than remain extraneous in the state politics or otherwise.
2015 is not far, the fact remains that many are greatly showing interest to contest for the governorship of the Delta state, but the anointed political flagbearer has not emerge, although the man who will occupy the seat has already been decided by powers that be. Even if the party primaries were contested, the man who will occupy the position is already elected before the election in the ruling party. As far as a single party controls the state, the power to vote lies on the privileged cabals. The problem is that some political leaders within the state have succumbed to media to express their political grievances against each other without the foundational strategy to capture the state.
Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan just recently appointed new Delta state electoral officers while waiting for DESIEC to announce the D-day for Delta state local government election which has been deferred for many times while he appointed impromptu caretaker committees to oversee the affairs of the local governments for almost two years and half without conducting a hitch free and fair election in the state. The delay in conducting free and fair local government election has given room for intellectual corruption in the state.
The long list of aspirants jostling for Delta the governorship of Delta State in 2015 indicated that the land is full of milk and honey, while some are mere political jokers and others are serious-minded people who want to change Delta state leadership for better. Some of these self-styled aspirants who are yet to impact on their immediate environment positively, rather want to go for such exalted position in the state than going for ordinary councillorship position. Delta state is blessed with human and capital resources, yet 45 percent of Deltans are living in object poverty, in spite of various poverty alleviation programmes adopted to create jobs for Delta youths.
Delta state population is estimated to be over three million people, while infrastructural developments are seen in some parts of the state. Isoko and Anioma people have been totally marginalized and limited to leadership position in the state. Although the Anioma people had over the years occupied the speakership of the Delta State House of Assembly, while Isoko that has one of the largest clan in Delta State still have only two local governments and only occupied a speakership position once by Late Igbrude who was abruptly impeached from office. Dr EmmanuelUduaghan to some large extent has appointed some few Isoko people in key positions to commiserate the sufferings and agitation of Isoko nation over the years.
Come to think of those veritable and reliable people who intend to go to Government House Asaba come 2015. Some of these so-called aspirants have taken an unconvinced method of introducing kangaroo empowerment programmes to win the hearts of the innocent electorates. Some of these political contestants have no credibility of contesting for 2015, but decided to make the state ungovernable and intractable if the need arises. Some of these political aspirants must be thoroughly scrutinized and examined before accepting them to come out for 2015. Barrister Festus Keyamo is one of the fiery and successful young lawyers in Nigeria whose credentials are intimidating and competent enough to be voted and qualified for the governorship position. Beside, age is on his side as he still in his 40s. He is the pioneer of the Delta Forces United (DFU) that is already making great impact in Delta state with massive supporters from the three senatorial districts. He is prepared to change the leadership of the Delta come 2015 if allows by the dreaded cabals in state. Barrister Festus Keyamo does not believe or belongs to any cabal that detects the political structure in the state. If a free and fair is conducted, Festus Keyamo is unbeatable. But some schools of thought are of the view that Festus Keyamo should go for Delta State House of Assembly first before governorship position, while assuming that good human right activists do not make great leaders. But that is a political error or assumption. Comrade Adams Oshiomhole never occupied any political position. He was a labour activist. He contested for Edo state governorship position in 2011 and won. Even when the PDP in the state stole his mandate, he reclaimed through the Supreme Court verdict. What a great victory?
Again Chief Edwin Clark is one of grandfathers of Delta politics who has running political battles with some powerful cabals in the PDP over the choice of governorship candidate since 1999. He understands the political gimmicks of the state than anybody. He might likely have his own candidate that he wants to occupy the seat of Delta state.
Chief Godswill Obielum is one of the strong aspirants in Delta state. He is a distinguished security Tzar, who has attained a most respected statesmanship status in the political circle both at the grassroots and in the national space. With his overwhelming credentials, he is resistible to beat in 2015. Hon Sam Obi is a revered man of God who has already manifested his qualitative leadership credentials in the most trying of circumstances. He has occupied the speakership of Delta State House of Assembly and as an Acting governor of Delta state. He is a man with visionary mindset to rule the state. Rt. Hon. Victor Ochei is a first class engineer with a suave, charming and sophisticated personality. Who exudes admirable confidence and charisma and whose leadership pedigree grows in leaps and bounds as 2015 approaches? Hon. Victor Ochei is the present speaker of Delta State House of Assembly and creative and innovative philanthropist of the 21st century.
Chief Great Ovedje Ogboru is one of the intimidating opposition candidates who almost sacked the present governor out of office. He belongs to Democratic Peoples Party (DPP) and as a founding member and ready to take over power from the ruling party in the state which he described as cabals for corruption. Though he has contested many times but fails to win the seat of governorship due to undemocratic process and manipulation in the country. He is not a push over contestant in the system. Hon Godsday Orubebe is the present Niger Delta Ministry Affairs Minister under the present administration of President Goodluck Jonathan. He is one of those aspirants that belong to the camp of Chief Edwin Clark in the state. Being an apex minister in the country under the PDP platform gives him an edge over other aspirants but Delta state elections is not about popularity but ability to have digital networking through finance to get your stipulated votes and how you empowered Deltans positively as regards to leadership position acquires till date. Godsday Orubebe has the Mr. President backing for Delta 2015. He is from Delta central.
Clement Ofuani, a brilliant financial whizkid, whose unblemished public and private careers have defined him in the last of young and visionary post-modern leaders emerging globally. He is one the aspirants with creative vision to unseat ferocious cabals in the state. Senator Ifeanyi Okowa is presently in the National Assembly whose name has been penciled down for the seat of governorship in the state after Uduaghan’s led-government in 2015. He is a distinguished medical Doctor with clinical finesse and unparalleled experience in politics and administration garnered over the years. He is a capable of clinching the seat of power with high profile influence at the national and state levels. He is from the Delta North. Comrade Macaulay Ovuozourie is the present Delta State SSG and once a Commissioner for Power in the state. He is from Isoko and Delta south. He is one of the Isoko politicians who have greatly contributed to the political development of Isoko nation over the years. Though his political achievements are yet to be seen by avid electorates in Isokoland.He is one of the legally anointed sons of Isoko nation. He was once a notable labour activist to the core. He is an elite son of Isoko nation that deserves to be the next governor after Uduaghan. Chief Peter Okocha, a multi-millionaire businessman once contested for Delta governorship election against Dr. Uduaghan might likely come out for 2015 if the need arises. Other aspirants on the list are Prof Pat Utomi. Tony Elemelu, Ned Nwoko, Dr. Ngozi Iweala, Ndudi Elemelu, Omo- Agege, Chief Solomon Ogba, Hon. Leo Ogor, Ngozi Ulejeme, Professor Saliba Umukoro, Chief John Kpokpori, Hon . Obaro Unuafe and others.
Lastly, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan has not indicated interest of contesting any office after Delta 2015 unlike other state governors that eye the National Assembly, though Delta election is still young to unveil political ambition now. It is time for the present governor to hand over to the choice of Deltans not cabals.

Goddy Odidi is a Lagos based public affairs analyst (08058124798).

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