Published On: Thu, Mar 14th, 2013

‘Ogboru, Ewherido Crisis ‘ll Bring Out the Best in Them’

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Ogoboru and Ewherido time to shield the sword

By Annabel Ogheneganre
For several weeks running, the political landscape have been littered with an over flow of ill feelings, bad blood, claims and counter claims by supporters of the two biggest masquerades in the opposition in Delta State. The masquerades referred to, requires no introduction
For several weeks running, the political landscape have been littered with an over flow of ill feelings, bad blood, claims and counter claims by supporters of the two biggest masquerades in the opposition in Delta State. The masquerades referred to, requires no introduction. They are The Peoples General, Chief Great Ovedje Ogboru and the Gogorogo, Senator Pius Akpor Ewherido.

Followers of the two political Dinosaurs have been engaged in fisticuffs in newspapers and social media platforms over the rumoured ambition of Pius Ewherido to run for Governor in 2015. Many people are of the view that the development, if true, is a betrayal of Ogboru by Ewherido capable of truncating the quest of the Urhobo nation for a collective effort in 2015. The crisis has taken different dimensions with a faction of the Democratic Peoples Party in Delta Central, passing a vote of no confidence on the Senator, obviously because of the said rumour that he was going to challenge Ogboru in 2015. The reasons adduced for, the no confidence vote, to me, do not make any sense: Non attendance of meetings, non empowerment of party faithful, beating the party to the move towards the on-going merger, all these and other reasons that may be cooked up, do not make any sense to me at all. The bottom line is to beat the Senator to submission in the horse trading ahead of 2015.
Anyway, the Senator, from what I read in the papers have effectively fought back, pushing the antagonists so hard that one is at lost as to who the no confidence vote was directed. These are signs of cracks in the opposition and quite a number of people are worried. I have been inundated with calls as to my take on all these. This piece therefore, will address a number of issues concerning the alleged misunderstanding between Ogboru and Ewherido, the implications, the question of empowerment which has been a subject of hot debate in the social media, and other ancillary issues of concern with the 2015 polls.
Let me start by saying that any politician who is afraid of crisis is not worth the toga of a politician. In fact, crisis is the other name for politics. All over the world, crises is synonymous with partisan politics. In fact, the history of party politics in Nigeria is the history of political crises. For a politician to succeed, he has to be a master of intrigues. He must be prepared to face challenges from unexpected quarters, even from close confidants. It is one’s ability to swim through the murky water of political intrigues that distinguishes the deft political personality from the neophytes. A strong politician is never afraid of crisis. Sometimes, a good politician courts crisis to gauge the level of his popularity and acceptability. The DPP crisis for which many people are worried is just a storm in a tea cup compared to what the PDP is experiencing at all levels. As the saying goes, the bigger the size of the family, the deeper the troubles or problems within. The above dictum is the message the misunderstanding in the DPP seems to be sending out. DPP has no crisis that can trigger a liquidation of the coming revolution. What has happened in the past few weeks is just a misunderstanding of the true colour of politics. When one understands politics, you do not need to fret over such developments. Let the opposition understand that no true victory come easy. There has to be real battle for the change to come. And the battle will have to be won in stages. Before the crown, there must be a cross.
Again, I also want to emphasize the fact that Ogboru and Ewherido are not quarrelling. The quarrel is between their followers and this is uncalled for. My take on the whole thing is that if the opposition, in the light of the unfolding developments both at national and local levels, still dream that Great Ovedje Ogboru will be candidate of the opposition without subjecting himself to a popularity test with other interest groups in the build up to 2015, then, those in such schools of thought are dreaming. Ogboru is the most popular political personality in Delta State. I do not think anyone who wants to be fair to himself could contest that fact. I pray Ogboru becomes Governor in 2015, but if someone offers a better and stronger alternative, we should not be blinded by sentiments to settle for anything less than the best. The point is that every good politician, from time to time must present himself for the people to either invest their trust /mandate or choose an alternative. That is the beauty of democratic choice. You do not limit democratic choice to exclude options. That is no democracy. And with the merger talks between ACN, CPC, DPP, ANPP and other political parties, I am sure the people, who love Ogboru so much are not expecting everybody to accept Ogboru as candidate of say, the new APC, without credible primaries.
Let us get this clear, in the build up to 2015, the State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Ewetan Uduaghan and the key players in the Anioma agenda will do everything within their powers to stop Ogboru and the likes of Ewherido from emerging candidate of the coming APC. They are scared that this APC possesses the capacity to cure the headache which Uduaghan represents in the administration of the state. And Great Ogboru as a formidable threat to the Anioma agenda will definitely face lots of hurdles in 2015. So, if Ewherido wants to run in 2015, I do not see anything wrong with that. Ogboru should commence the process of building a formidable structure to contend with the Ewherido challenge instead of dissipating energies abusing the man in the papers. Let us get this clear, the Senator Pius Ewherido I know is a political tactician. He is a master of the game. He is a moving train and an unstoppable goal getter. You do not trifle with such a man when he calls you to battle, lest what the Super Eagles did to Cotre D ‘Voire during the African Cup of Nation in South Africa with repeat itself. The man has gone far by warming his way into the hearts of many. Abusing him is no solution to the coming challenge. Ewherido does not go into any political contest with the tribunals in mind. When he ran for the PDP Governorship ticket and lost in 2006, he went to Ewu to wait for another opportunity. I was told Ewherido also ran for the office of Chairman of Ughelli south LGA in 2008, but lost to Dr. A.P Fovie before, he later ran for House of Assembly which brought out the best in the man. Ewherido is not new to political contest. He is a strategist and powerful striker. Ewherido is just one of those that will challenge Ogboru in 2015. Many others like Pat Utomi are warming up. Ogboru is going to face real intra party political warfare in 2015 and he had better be prepared instead of throwing tantrums at perceived opponents.
Ogboru’s greatest asset is that Deltans have a primitive love for him. Such love as does not die easily. Love without reason. Many people are not prepared to listen to explanations that would deplete their love for him. Once Ogboru takes the centre stage, Delta State is always on fire. Those who call him names now will make u-turn to follow him. Ogboru is a man of the people, any time any day. What he has failed to do is converting that great asset into political gains. This is why people now question his political structure and strategy. But he has everything going for him. Instead of abusing those who may challenge him in 2015, Ogboru should call his wards to order, knowing full well that in politics, there are no permanent friends and enemies. This challenge, as far as this writer is concern, should bring out the best in the man. Even at the National level or State levels, incumbent Presidents and Governors more often than not get challengers for party tickets. Inspite of his popularity, Barrack Obama saw off quite a number of challenges to get his party nomination to run for a second term.
I have given thought to this matter again and again. I do not see where the bitterness is erupting from. My prayers had always been that Ogboru should run for Governor one more time, while Ewherido goes back to the Senate to break the jinx of no ranking senator from Delta central. But Ewherido may have elected to rather go for Governor. Ewherido is not a baby politician. He understands the implication of the choice he may have to make. He has not declared yet but the choice he makes will have consequences, pleasant and unpleasant ones. If he runs with Ogboru and looses the ticket, he may not be able to grab the Senatorial ticket again. That will be an unfortunate twist in his political career. But if Ewherido grabs the APC ticket to run for Governor in 2015, a thousand Okowa, Uduaghan and Ocheis cannot stop the Ewherido that I know. That is one good thing about him.
That is the reason why I have been praying in my heart for Ogboru and Ewherido to work together. This will not be possible if followers of either politician continue to fight in the media. This is not a matured way of politicking. We need each other in the quest for the change we so mush desire earnestly. Let it be borne in mind that even if Ewherido does not run, quite a number of aspirants are coming. If Ogboru followers will have to insult every aspirant in 2015, such actions may drive away lots of valuable votes. Let Ogboru be diplomatic in his approach to issues. Too many people have been labelled enemies by the Ogboru camp. This is not healthy. ‘Ewherido is dispensable, Magege is not worth anything, Omo-Agege is of no use, Amori is a nuisance etc’, this train of thought does not reflect the attitude of a politician who wants to make success of his career. Most Deltans want Ogboru to be Governor, but this cannot be when people who hold contrary views to those of the Peoples General are classified enemies. I will address some of the issues raised between Ogboru and Ewherido supporters in due course. All I am saying is that the name calling and throwing of tantrums over an unexpressed ambition is no solution to the unfolding drama of the absurd.
However things may be, nothing can stop an idea whose time has come. The change is coming. The mega party that will come out of the merger will be strong enough to make PDP an opposition party in Nigeria, particularly in Delta State. The crisis in DPP is a sure sign that there is hope in the horizon. The crisis will sure make Ogboru to work harder. When he is made to do some high jump before getting the party ticket, he will learn how to keep and defend a mandate freely invested in him. To this writer, the best friend Ogboru has is certainly not the man who post unprintable vituperations on social media platforms to deride prospective challengers of Ogboru in 2015, his best friend is not the man who abuses proximity to Ogboru by painting everybody out there black, his best friends are not also those whose stock in trade is to feed him with only news of how popular and acceptable he is, Ogboru’s best friend is Senator Pius Ewherido, whose challenge will bring out the best in him. Ogboru will have to go the extra mile to prove the lion in him. Gold in its raw state is not beautiful. But when it passes through fire, it dazzles all with its beauty. Ogboru had always gotten his party ticket on an easy note. He should rise above the petty sentiments being expressed by his followers and fence off every challenge on his way to glory. He cannot strive to conquer undemocratic strategies of the PDP that have robbed him of victory over the years if he fails to encourage healthy democratic practices at every stage of his struggle. Ogboru needs Ewherido just as Ewherido needs Ogboru in the coming polls. In the heat of uncontrolled anger driven by the wind of a superiority complex, one may not accept the fact that the right hand needs the left to effectively tackle challenges.
The unfolding crisis will bring out the best in the opposition. Let the music play on. That is why leaders must continually strive to change, adapt, and adjust to the popular centrifugal forces at work in the unfolding drama. Finally, let the duo of Ogboru and Ewherido understand the fact that if they fail to manage the unfolding crisis to the ultimate gain of the suffering masses, the Urhobo nation will not forgive them. Like in a marriage, it is the ability of a couple to resolve their differences without resort to external help that make them a matured couple. DPP cum APC should manage their crisis and move on. PDP is already on the departure lounge. The change is here. We definitely can make it. Yes, we can!

Source: Urhobotimes

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