Published On: Fri, May 24th, 2013

Orubebe’s Declaration is a Wake Up Call for Urhobos- PDP Stalwart

Elder Godsday Orubebe

By Oghenekevwe Laba
LAGOS MAY 24TH, URHOBOTODAY) Delta State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Stalwart, Mr. Godwin Anaughe has described the recent declaration of the Minister of Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs Elder Godsday Orubebe for the governorship race of Delta State as a wakeup call for the Urhobo nation
Anuaghe who appealed to Urhobos to scuttle Orubebe’s ambition, argued while speaking with our correspondent in Lagos recently that Orubebe’s postulation that the rotation of the governorship position should be based on ethnicity instead of the senatorial districts is not to the best interest of the Urhobos, warning that should Orubebe’s doctrine of ethnic rotation is adopted in Delta state, it would take 50 years before Delta Central produces the governor of the state.

Describing Orubebe‘s proposition as an odious plot that is intended to undermine the Urhobo nation. Anaughe who was the Campaign Manager of Professor Saliba Mukoro in 2011 Delta State Governorship Election maintained that Orubebe’s rotational ethnic principle if adopted would have huge implication for the people of Delta Central Senatorial Zone populated by the Urhobos.
According to him, “If ethnicity is adopted as the basis for power rotation in Delta state, the governorship position will not rotate to Delta Central until 2063, when the Ijaws, Isokos, Ndokwas, Ikas, Aniochas and Oshimilis must have got their turns. By implication, it means the Urhobos would be onlookers in the race for the highest political office in Delta state for 50 years.”
Consequently, Anaughe is of the view that Urhobos should jettisoned Orubebe’s ethnic ideology and either embrace Zonal rotation and support a candidate from Delta North or throw its weight behind a candidate from Delta South other than Orubebe on the basis of meritocracy and end rotation which would be in the best interest of all Deltans.
“This is why Delta Central must reject Orubebe’s candidacy. The Urhobo nation is key to the success of Orubebe’s candidacy because Delta North which believes it is now their turn is unlikely to accept Orubebe and without the support of Urhobo people, Orubebe ambition is doomed. Orubebe knows this very well and that is why he chose to announce his intention to run for the governorship in Delta Central.”
It would be recalled that Orubebe, while announcing his intention to run for the governorship of Delta State in 2015 at Ovu, said the governorship should be rotated on the basis of ethnicity and asserted that it was the turn of the Ijaws to produce the governor of Delta State. He advised both Urhobos and Itsekiris to stay out of the race because they have produced governors in the past.
After Urhobo candidates have lost the last three elections in the state, Delta Central now face a challenging terrain as they look set to challenge for the position in 2015. But according to Anaughe, the task of producing an Urhobo governor in the next election has grown more daunting and called on Urhobo nation to use the Orubebe challenge as an opportunity to have a rethink on the prevailing sense that an Urhobo man must be governor of Delta state.
“The Urhobo ethnic majority falls short of electoral majority in the state and as such it is impossible for Urhobo to produce the governor without the support of other people. And as long as we are saying that it must be one of our own and we will not support others, it is illogical to expect others to support our candidate. This is the challenge that faces the urhobo nation and until we are able to confront this challenge head on, it will be impossible for Urhobo nation to reclaim the leadership role which its demographic size has bestowed on it”.
Mindful of the consequences of this reality, Mr Anaughe warned that if Urhobo continue to insist on producing the governor, we run the risk of continuous if not perpetual isolation that will turn the Urhobo nation into electoral minority despite our ethnic majority. “The math is against the Urhobo because we Delta Central has only eight local government areas and you need seventeen to secure the governorship”, he said. He added that the real question now is whether Urhobo will continue to support only their own and risk been defeated again or we are going to finally figure out that it is in Urhobo interest both in the short and long term to reach out to others in the state and be part of the alliance that will elect the next governor of Delta state”

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