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Published On: Mon, Jan 7th, 2019

Delta 2019: Gbagi Cautions Against Rigging The Election, Says Ogboru Can’t Win

LAGOS JANUARY 6TH (URHOBOTODAY)-Former Minister for Education, Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi, has stunningly disclosed that All Progressives Congress, APC, gubernatorial standard-bearer in the 2019 election, Chief Great Ogboru, who had contested several governorship elections in the state, swore to him, about 18 years ago, in the presence of other persons that he would not contest the position of governor in Delta State.
Gbagi, one of the founders of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, who spoke in an interview with Saturday Vanguard at his Oginibu country home in Delta state, also cautioned the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and security agencies not to help APC rig elections in the state, saying the consequences will be unthinkable.
Contrary to the contention of some of his Urhobo tribesmen that there was no understanding on power rotation among the three senatorial districts, Delta Central (Urhobo), Delta South (Isoko, Ijaw and Itsekiri) and Delta North (Anioma) in the state, he said there was an agreement, either unwritten or otherwise. He asserted, “The greatest mistake APC made and to the advantage of Okowa is to have nominated a non- Anioma for 2019 governorship.”
Some people are misleading Ogboru
Chief Great Ogboru , the APC gubernatorial candidate does not believe in the unwritten agreement he is talking about, the lawyer and criminologist said, “You see, Great Ogboru is my friend, I was the one who went into the airplane to receive him when he returned back to the country after the coup episode. He and I had spoken for over one year calling ourselves K and G to beat security arrangement as it were then.”
“If you read news then, it was that Gbagi went to receive Ogboru into the country. Ogboru and I had a meeting in Imperial Hotel in London and he swore on his life that he would never contest governorship.
“All these contrivances of Ogboru are as made by deceitful people to him. When he came, I flew him in a plane to Warri after I hosted him in Lagos. He was staying in my guesthouse in Warri and sometimes I gave him money.”
The PDP leader said, “What I am trying to say in effect is that we cannot alter the issue of Delta state, the state is bigger that everybody. Together, we will stand up for the peace, success of the state as opposed to an individual.” He maintained,
“Ogboru will not win election in Delta, we are not talking about rascals and first and foremost, 90 percent of persons who hitherto was talking about Ogboru have all left him and are back to PDP.”
You said he swore, that is a very strong statement, where did he swear and why?
“Ogboru swore to me in the presence of people and just to remind him, he had a rider that the only condition he would be interested in politics is if former President Ibrahim Babaginda is going to contest an election, then he would confront him by contesting Presidency.”
He asserted, “What I am saying is a statement of fact, I bought him his V-Boot car with which he rode when he came. I chartered a plane to bring him here (Delta). It is not that I do not know that he has tremendous respect for my person, but you know in the arrogance of this world, he is a big man, but I can tell you that with the political machinery on ground, APC does not stand a chance in Delta.”
“Really, do we even have APC here, what I see are PDP members who gravitated to APC and some left after a supposed quarrel with their wives and children refusing to join them because PDP is like a family in Delta.
“You are asking me when he swore to me, check the day he came back in June, 2000, seven months before that day, I told you in Imperial Hotel in London at a meeting where about 10 of us attended. “ he further revealed.
Speaking on an alleged plan to rig elections in the state, he asserted, “Now, somebody had told me that APC has planned to rig elections in Delta and they will direct the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on what to do. That they will use the military and other security agencies to steal votes, carry ballot papers and whatever happens, we should go and die.”
“Either number one or the second most powerful person in the so-called APC in Delta had this discussion with me and he said to me that PDP never believed in fairness, so with the gun, they will do what they need to do.
“I want to use this medium to call the security agencies, some of officers that were even my students in the past, not to set Delta state on fire because of its uniqueness as I can assure you that measures are in place to resist any such attempt with all that the people have. The people want to have a free and fair election and their wish should prevail. We cannot turn Delta to a theater of war. To win in Delta is not a gun totting agreement
“However, I can assure you that APC cannot repeat Osun and Ekiti mischief here, it will not be possible. Delta is too unique, 99.9 per cent of people are PDP and it is not a gun totting arrangement. I say that the peace we are enjoying today in Delta where our oil is flowing and they are lifting is because of the arrangement in three senatorial districts and nobody should truncate it because the consequence will be unimaginable,” he added.
You have repeated the same thing elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark, said about Ogboru for which some people attacked him – that Ogboru would not win election in Delta. How are you certain of that?
We probed further. Ogboru himself cannot fault Clark He responded, “I have told you; please note that I have the biggest private market in Delta state and market all over the world is the center of gravity, so I am not just talking, I have statistics. For instance, I am in charge of my 11 units here in Oginibu, subsequently Ughelli south, how is he going to get the votes?.”
“A party that has been here in 20 years, that has touched the lives of the people. You came to my community, did you see the road coming here that Okowa has done? He has done not less 15 to 20 roads in every local government area. He has employed more Urhobos by way of appointment than any other governor in Delta state.
“He is honest, he is not a con artist, and you cannot go from something to nothing. Life is supposed to be improved. He has managed the resources of the state effectively to my admiration and people now know that his government is not business as usual.
“Coming to Clark, some people were speaking against him the other day because of his truthful assertion. You see some people bring curse to themselves and blame the gods. I remember with nostalgia as a minister in this country that Clark compelled me to mass money, which he gave to Ogboru for election.
“In whatever election Ogboru wanted to contest, Clark mandated me and other persons to put money together and all the money was given to Ogboru. I gave Ogboru myself privately, so if the same Clark without those persons actually knowing what transpired in the past now say that Ogboru cannot contest and win election, you think he does not know what he is saying and you wake up and begin to abuse him.
“Even Ogboru himself cannot contradict Clark on this matter. We all have our different enclaves, you cannot enter my own enclave for electioneering purpose to buy votes, and you need the people who have contact with the grassroots to do something. It is not a newspaper talk, it is an orchestrated arrangement and I cannot release my ward and local government to Ogboru for any reason in 2019.
“The point I am making is that Clark has the influence to talk to the Ijaw nation and beyond, therefore, when people attack an octogenarian and institution like Clark, it means that those people have lost their minds if you ask me. In fact, you should to bring curse unto yourself and it is like insulting your father at old age,” he said.
“As I speak to you, Ogboru has told everyone in the party that he does not have money to contest the election, so the problem now is who will bring the money because everybody is saying they do not have money. The truth is that Ogboru is having financial problem and people like Edwin Clark are not available to mobilize money for him and they cannot come to me to ask for any such thing,” Gbagi said.
Leave Oshiomhole, he knows nothing about Delta Commenting on the claim by the National Chairman of APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole had boasted that APC would take over Delta in 2019, the industrialist asserted: “I read Adams Oshiomhole’s comment, Adams Oshiomhole as you know is still grappling with problem that is besetting him as a former governor of Edo state.” “Adams Oshiomhole is not from Delta and he can never be from Delta He is not an aborigine and what we know, he will never know. He was a former governor, I was a former minister of the Federal Republic and we have our different callings. I see those comments coming from a rattled person, who believed that he had a personal score to settle with Okowa.
“The issue of the governorship of Okowa is beyond tribes, it is beyond individuals, it is scientific, a situation we have put in place as a people and that is why I am that the Aniomas themselves should stand up to defend their rights. Anything that is not good before God will never be good before man. Therefore, the Aniomas should stand up for their person, who incidentally is a fantastic man.

“The Urhobos should reciprocate the good gesture of Okowa, the Urhobos must not be seen to be mischief makers and we are not. Agreement is an agreement; they should defend this agreement to prove that they are people of integrity. One of the problems that we, Urhobos have had is this issue of integrity. Urhobos must stand firm, we would have had a common understanding just as Ijaws, Isokos, and Itsekiris from the South have a duty to defend it too. This is what we have put in place for 20 years; we will not throw it away for nothing,” he asserted.
Misnomer You keep saying there is agreement, APC members in the state see the so-called agreement as a PDP affair and say that Deltans are not part of it, Saturday Vanguard jogged his memory.
His reply: “You see, a child goes to primary school for six years, secondary school for another six years and university for four years, there is no agreement, it is a system that has put that situation in place. That was why Urhobos had to take the first shot, so Urhobos started it, the south had done theirs, the Aniomas started their own and they just have to complete it. Moreover, I say to Urhobos, let us follow agreement because people who do follow an agreement never do well in life. “I want to restate that if APC is wise, if it wanted election and fielded an Anioma candidate with credibility, it would have caused quite a stir for PDP, but like I said, God who designs finishes, bringing an Urhobo man to come and truncate what we, Urhobos have enjoyed is a misnomer. “I supported Okowa with everything to become a governor. As a lawyer, I will be a very stupid lawyer if I do not follow through what is an agreement, it means my Urhobo people and I have no integrity and I call on Deltans to forget rivalry and do the right thing. “Urhobos, as I said earlier must go back to the drawing board and should not give room to everybody in the world to call them rascals. There is an agreement which made other Deltans to give Urhobos eight years shot, South senatorial – eight years shot and we are giving Delta North, which is part of Delta its eight years shot. We must support Okowa and deliver him so that he will in turn support them in 2023 to produce the best Urhobo and it continues in that way. Ibori and I We asked Gbagi his relationship with former governor of the state, Chief James Ibori, who many assumed stood between him and governorship of the state the occasions he tried. The former minister laughed, saying, “I would not believe that ex-governor James Ibori has denied me governorship of the state because it is not in his place to deny me of it. James Ibori and I contested very keenly for the office of the governor of the state and as you know, it is one person that can be there at a time.” And this same reverse issue after James Ibori from my senatorial district, it went to South, after the South, it came to the North, it is after the North that it will come back to the Central where Ibori and I hail from. Should the pressure that is coming become inevitable, when we get to the bridge, we will cross it. “Those who plotted against me then, they had all come back to say they were sorry, I do not have time to probe anybody if I were governor. You do not have such time if you really want to work, which probe has produced any result that is meaningful? “The same people contrived the arrangement to make it look as if Ibori and I were enemies. Today, we talk and embrace ourselves, whatever James Ibori did in Delta was his ability, his best, whatever Uduaghan did was his ability and his best, whatever Okowa is doing today is his ability and his best. If I say I want to be a governor and I am governor, whatever I do would be my ability and my best. “To that extent, it is just a misconstrued and unfounded fear that Gbagi is coming to probe people. The only thing I said I would do is I will turn Delta state to a European state,” he declared.

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