Delta 2015: Who is Afraid of PDP or APC?
The recent agitation for Delta North to produce the next governor of Delta state come 2015 has heated the polity, to the extent that some political forces have started underground political campaigns in the state. Delta state is divided into three senatorial districts, Delta South, Delta Central and Delta North. In all political calculations so far, Delta North seems to have over 10 governorship aspirants vying under the platform of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) come 2015 while its opposition party Democratic People's Party (DPP) now All Progressives Congress (APC) is solidly on ground to reclaim the mandate from the ruling party in 2015. Though DPP is still on ground in Delta state but some faithful have since defected to APC still operating under the platform of the former.
Since Delta state was created on August 1991, among the five ethnic groups that make Delta state, Isoko, Itsekeri, Urhobo, Ijaw and Delta Igbo(Anioma), only three groups have not occupied the number one seat of the state. Isoko, Ijaw and Anioma people have been politically marginalized over the years. Isoko nation has only three local governments and one of the third largest ethnic groups in the state, and oil and gas region, but politically relegated to the background. Isoko has no political ground in Delta politics except political appointees and nothing more. The faulted interview granted to Comrade Macaulay Ovuozourie, the present SSG of Delta state on the vanguard newspaper where he opined that Delta North governorship aspirants should focus their political campaigns on how to make Delta state as a united one than creating unnecessary ethnic sentiment which the Delta state PDP chairman, Chief Peter Nwaoboshi misconstrued, and in a swift reaction he lambasted our amiable Isoko- born veteran journalist cum politician as a fresher in Delta politics. Some political bodies also went ignorantly to make several offensive publications against the person of Comrade Macaulay Ovuozourie in some of the community newspapers in the state. Delta politicians must not see 2015 as do or die affairs but to embrace unity and love in the state. Chief Peter Nwaoboshi got it wrong by reacting aggressively without verifying the salient facts made by our amiable Comrade Ovuozourie on the Vanguard newspaper. Delta state politics is under the control of the ruling party since 1999 while Anioma people should know that Delta state belongs to everybody not a group. Delta state is bigger than any individual that claims to be the political manipulator of the state.
In terms of Delta political arrangement since its creation, the Isokos and Ijaws have been politically marginalized in all ramifications in spite of some disgruntled elements that want to take over Delta state leadership by all means. Though, the Ijaws have benefitted from the federal appointment unlike the Isokos who have not tasted federal appointment since 1999. Delta state has 25 local governments while 9 belong to Delta Igbo, Ijaw 3, Isoko 2, Itsekeri 3 and Urhobo 8. Isoko. Delta state population distribution in the Guardian Friday 25,2005 page 28, Delta state, total population was estimated at 2,601,802 while Anioma 787, Ijaw 375, Isoko 469, Itsekeri 232 and Urhobo 905. At present, Delta state population has increased to over 4 million with the recent giant strides of Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan as the fast-growing state in Nigeria after Lagos state. Though, some critics have described Uduaghan government as widow-dressing leader and nothing else. Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan has received several meritorious awards on infrastructural developments both nationally and internationally. Isoko nation has 19 clans as Ellu, Irri, Emede, Emevor, Enhwe, erowha, Igbide, Iyede, Ofagbe, Okpe, Okpolo, Olehe, Olomoro, Owhe, Oyede, Ozoro, Umeh and Uzere,Apart from other Isoko communities that were ceded to Bayelsa and Ndokwa East, Isoko nation is qualified to have produced the Delta state governor if the PDP zoning arrangement was duly followed or considered.
Again, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan recently advised his political appointees not to grant media interviews again in order not to make Delta state ungovernable by desperate power brokers who want political power at all means. Every other ethnic group in the state has produced speakership, deputy governor and others; only the governorship position is being controlled by the Delta Central and Delta South. Those who cared to listen objectively, the SSG, Ovuozourie said there was no written document or agreement that stated that Delta state governorship position must be zoned to Delta North in 2015. The fact remains that anybody that is qualified to contest should come out publicly without dragging the state to the mud. Delta state governorship race should not be contested on the pages of newspapers or club meetings but bogus manifestoes should be displayed to the electorates. Money politics is no longer taking into consideration anymore. Some of the opposition leaders in the state were formerly members of the ruling party that defected to APC or DPP for one political reason or the other. Delta state governorship ambition is not different from the last Anambra governorship election where over 15 aspirants queued into one position in the state.
The issue here is that Delta state governorship position is no longer Delta North affairs but for people that are ready to take the state to the next level after May 29, 2015. Some governorship aspirants appear to be noisemakers, attention seeking politicians and while some mean real business. Asaba house is not meant for mediocre governorship aspirants but people with integrity and ready to deliver their electoral promises to the voters come 2015. Some of the present outstanding governorship aspirants are Omo Agege, Chief Ighoyota Amori, Dr. Ngozi Olejeme, Elder Godsday Orubebe, Victor Ochei, Festus Keyamo, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, Dr. Festus Okubor, Prest Anthony, Barr. Okiogbero Jonathan, Great Ogboru, Saliba Umukoro, Obaro Unuafe and others. As the election gets closer, more aspirants will be emerging from the state.
Though equity, fairness and justice must be respected in Delta politics than ethnic sentiments which some anxious Delta state governorship aspirants have exhibited in recent times. All these political characters will be fixed into alignments, horse-trading and others. The fact remains that Delta state governorship position is not zoned to any ethnic group. So, anybody that knows he or she is qualified can contest for the office of Delta state governor. It is Deltans that will vote their candidate not Uduaghan , Ibori or one godfather in 2015. It is no longer news that Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan will be contesting for the senate in 2015 but the news is that Uduaghan failed to conduct free and fair elections into the 25 local governments in the state since 2011 which has invariably aborted the political ambitions of some Deltans in state in current times.
Finally, we need a governor who will unite Delta state and fight corruption in 2015.
Godday Odidi. Public Affairs Analyst 08058124798. Lagos.