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Published On: Mon, Sep 8th, 2014

REVEALATION: Uduaghan Campaigns for Tony Obuh

(From Right) Tony Obuh and Emmanuel Uduaghan

LAGOS SEPTEMBER 8TH (URHOBOTODAY)-Despite warnings from well meaning Deltans like Ijaw Leader Chief Edwin Clark and other notable Deltans, report reaching Urhobotoday an online medium has revealed that Delta State Governor, Dr Emmanuel Udaghan was alleged to have been canvassing support for Delta State gubernatorial aspirant, Mr Tony Obuh.
Urhobotoday reliably gathered that Uduaghan allegedly summoned staff of Government House made up of Commissioners, Aides, Permanent Secretaries and other higher cadres of civil servants on Saturday enjoining them to support the course Tony Obuh as the governor of Delta.
Our source alleged that Uduaghan told the gathering that if they support any other candidates that is loyal to him, that means they did not want him to survive after living office, adding that he might end up in prison if his loyalist did not emerge as the governor.
He was alleged to have appealed to his aides and commissioners supporting other gubernatorial aspirants to jettison the idea and support Obuh who alleged knew the in and out of government and would defend his course.
Thus, this revelation has put to rest the rumour of Uduaghan being the ‘Godfather’ of Tony Obuh as being speculated in the media.
It would recalled that some People’s Democratic Party, (PDP) members held a press conference recently in Asaba, the capital of Delta State, where they claimed they had got the right candidate to succeed Governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan (CON).
They also claimed they had the blessing of the Governor and of course former Governor, Chief James Ibori, who remains the undisputed leader in the state’s politics. The PDP members said they had chosen Mr. Tony Obuh, a serving civil servant, to succeed Uduaghan as against the popular choices of Dr. Festus Goziem Okubor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, former speaker of the state assembly, Victor Ochei, all from the Delta North as well as ex Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe, Ovie Omo-Agege, David Eddevbie among many others.
One of the speakers at the press briefing Mr. Ayiri Emami was quoted to have said that Obuh’s candidacy has been endorsed by Uduaghan and Ibori. He addressed himself as ‘Ibori’s first son’.
Of a truth, Uduaghan’s body language has indicated that he is favourably disposed to Obuh as against the widely touted Festus Okubor which many people before now believed would naturally get his nod being somebody that has been with Ibori’s eight years term through Uduaghan’s and had indicated interest in the race. Sources have also said that it had been agreed as far as four years ago that Okubor should take a shot at the governorship seat since he, aside his personal qualities, which stands him out, also had served the people of the state meritoriously (in different capacities) since this democratic dispensation started in 1999.
Thus, the recent entry of Obuh into the race, is threatening to tear the fragile peace in Delta PDP into shreds. Discontent is running wild; and many people looking up to Governor Uduaghan to prevent the looming crisis.
“How on earth would the party elders bypass stronger candidates like Okubor, Okowa and others to pick a relatively unknown Obuh just because they seek someone that will be loyal to them and not to the party and people of Delta State? Well, I am afraid, the road to fractionalization, acrimony and disunity in Delta PDP is being prepared by our leaders and I fear that the end of this drama may not be very sweet,” a PDP stalwart who asked not to be quoted said in Asaba last week.
It is noteworthy to observe that even in Uduaghan’s kitchen cabinet; the choice of Obuh is not flying too if reports we got is anything to go by.
“ I won’t say a word further but this is not looking good. And it’s an insult to see the caliber of people dropping his Oga’s (Uduaghan) name at press conferences that he sent them to project Tony Obuh. Like I said, I won’t speak on this issue openly now till when the time is ripe, when Oga has openly told us who he is backing,” a serving commissioner said on the condition of anonymity.
The Isoko nation is also said to bracing up for a showdown on the choice of Obuh as investigation revealed. Uduaghan needs the Isoko vote if he is truly serious about his aspiration to become a senator in 2015. The big wigs in Isoko are are said to be in two camps (Okowa and Okubor) for the governorship but for them, it is a win, win situation, because the unwritten agreement gives the slot of the deputy governor to the Isoko; that is in the event that either of Okubor and Okowa emerges the PDP candidate. But with Obuh’s emergence and his alleged ‘support’ by Uduaghan, the Isoko nation is about to lose out with the Ijaw gaining from the loss. A very prominent politician from the Isoko district last week called an emergency meeting to discuss the development and was reported to have sent a note of caution to the PDP leadership in the state to thread softly as regards the issue.
“Obuh’s choice cannot work, he should retire as a civil servant and leave politics alone,” the time tested politician was reported to have said at the meeting.
Jesutega Onokpasa, a lawyer and PDP member in an ‘open letter’ to the President called on the people dropping Ibori’s name to desist from it.
“Those claiming to be ‘Ibori’s first son’ can run their mouths. We are Ibori’s brothers and if anyone may speak for him we should be the ones doing the talking. Governor James Ibori has not and will not endorse Tony Obuh as our next Governor. Those dropping the name of our amiable and performing Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan, (CON), should immediately comport themselves or they will be politically humiliated. Our governor has not endorsed anyone and if and when he does, it cannot be a ‘stranger’ like Tony Obuh,” he said.
Onokpasa, who is from Ibori’s part of Delta, gave reasons why Obuh’s candidature will create enmity in Delta PDP.
“Since it is agreed that our party concede the governorship to Delta North and treat our Anioma brothers and sisters as our flesh and blood – which they ancestrally are – we must be honest about it. The people of Delta North are one with us. We cannot be talking of power shift and talking of Tony Obuh in one breath. Tony Obuh cannot fly and introducing him into the equation of power-shift amounts to deceiving our brethrens from Delta North. We know those from Delta North who have paid their dues in the politics of Delta and can go to Delta Central and Delta South and be accorded a red carpet reception anytime, any day. They are pan-Deltan leaders who feel right at home amongst us and we are proud of them. They have been part of our political family even before 1999. Throwing up Tony Obuh amounts to discriminating against the people of Delta North and treating them as second-class citizens in a state they are equal stakeholders in. It is only if we didn’t intend to concede the governorship to them in the first place and have been deceiving them all along that we would field a Tony Obuh who probably does not even know his ward. Thankfully, the rabblerousing crowd seeking to force this outsider down our throats is neither elders nor leaders of note in our party. We have nothing personal against our brother, Tony Obuh. Nevertheless, he must get it loud and clear that he is a newcomer and will not become our boss overnight.
“And how is it supposed to be done? If Tony Obuh will not behave himself, show respect for the party hierarchy, prove his loyalty to party elders, pay his dues to the party rank and file, earn his place within our party, follow due process in becoming a leader in our midst, and wait for his turn, he will be put in his proper place politically. We demand that he immediately stop using our party logo in his infuriating advertorials and call on the party leadership to call him to order. If he insists on ruling over us without our permission as the political schoolboy he is, no problem. He must however seek his ambition under the APC or some other obscure political parties. As of now, there is no place for him in the PDP to fly our flag. We are not slaves in Delta. We are Urhobo, Ijaw, Itsekiri, Isoko, Anioma and,” he said.
Onokpasa sounded a note of caution to the PDP national as Obuh’s aspiration may affect Jonathan’s second term bid in Delta. “If Tony Obuh were to emerge as our flag bearer for the governorship of Delta, it would have the effect of infusing the party with unprecedented acrimony, disunity, factionalisation, division, and bad blood. It would destroy our party and compromise our ability to deliver our President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan (GCFR). Delivering Mr. President, come 2015 is our inescapable mandate and we shall not endanger it simply because somebody has emerged from nowhere. Tony Obuh cannot and will not capture our state.”
Onokpasa described Obuh’s aspiration as a joke taken too far. His words: “Recent political developments in Delta constitute a most unpalatable cocktail of impudence and insolence which leave a sour taste in the mouth. The ambition of Tony Obuh to become Governor of Delta State is a tasteless joke taken too far. Tony Obuh is not one of us and has never been one of us. We are nevertheless a party that welcomes new comers and in that context Tony Obuh may become one of us as long as he does so according to our rules.”

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  1. PDP will fall into d dust we need change in delta state

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