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Importance of elections

In the 2015 general elections for which this series is meant to address in the interest of the Urhobo people of Delta State in 9ja News today, several factors will determine the outcome of the gubernatorial election and other polls. Chief of these factors is the Ibori and Uduaghan covert plans to perpetuate themselves as lords of the political space in the State. Other important factors that would also determine the direction of things in 2015 are Urhobo interest, the Anioma agenda and the people or the masses across Delta State.

Politics requires careful planning and execution of set agenda. No man goes into a war without taking stock of the prospect, possible setbacks and area of strength where one could do better to actualise set goals. Long before James Ibori ran into trouble in Dubai before his present destination in a UK prison, he had short and long term plans for Delta State, particularly as it affects the governorship position in the State. He had people in mind whom he wanted as Governor for a period covering several years and terms. The script has not been abandoned even though Ibori is not around. At least it was the script that produced Dr Emmanuel Ewetan Uduaghan in 2007 against the general wish of Deltans. Except the people stand to say no, Ibori will have his way again.

One factor that may come to alter the original script as prepared by Ibori is the plan by Dr. Uduaghan to build his own structures in Delta State, stand as his own man and make things happen to his ultimate gains. Both Ibori and Uduaghan have no plans to hand over power to any Urhobo man or anybody from Delta south in 2015. We have to get that fact very clear from the beginning. The two basic options before Uduaghan is either to follow Ibori’s action plan or alter it slightly by adopting Ibori’s second option as his priority option. What happened at the PDP Primary elections of 2006 at Ogwashi-Uku did not just happen. It was carefully designed to be so. The plan was for Uduaghan to carry the day, while Dr Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa finished as first runner up. Ibori’s ultimate plan was that at the end of Uduaghan’s tenure, if things work as they presently are, Dr. Okowa would take over as Governor by 2015. Okowa is to hand over to Obarisi Ovie Omo Agege at the end of Okowa’s tenure.

It is instructive to note that Omo-Agege did not lose a dime in the last two elections he ran between 2010 and 2011. He is well funded and connected. He has a lot going for him. He occupies a strategic place in the succession ladder of the State in line with the script from Oghara. While Uduaghan has Rt. Hon. Victor Ochei as his first choice as against Ibori’s choice of Okowa, it must be borne in mind that the conflict in the choice is mild and could easily be sorted out.

Again, while Victor Ochei is looking in the direction of Ovuzorie Macauley as running mate in the coming polls, Senator Okowa is interested in his co-Senator from Delta Central, Senator Pius Ewherido as his deputy. None has made up their minds yet. The maverick political calculator, Senator Okowa is building bridges and leaving no one in doubt regarding his preparedness to be in Government House come 2015. Whether Ewherido would be willing to accept the position of Deputy Governor under Okowa is a different story altogether. Victor Ochei also is working with the possibility of picking his running mate from Central.

The Ibori’s political machine favours Okowa but Uduaghan, who cannot be trusted, is playing game with the aspiration of these men and others who are also warming up. Rt. Hon. Sam Obi also from Delta North is warming up outside the support of Ibori or Uduaghan. Uduaghan as a man who knows how to keep enmity is not hiding his opposition to Sam Obi’s aspiration. That, however could be a plus for the man because in the politics of 2015, many people will have issues to settle with Uduaghan either directly or indirectly through those he chose to support. Thus, Uduaghan’s support for a candidate could either be a liability or an asset. Only time will tell.

Those who are very close to Uduaghan have been let into his innermost secrets concerning the 2015 polls. They understand where the man is going and in their determination to belong in the coming dispensation, would want everybody to key into Uduaghan’s plans and vision for the state whether it favours the people or not. That is why the likes of Chief Olori Magege and his DCPM could advise Urhobo to drop any quest to be Governor in 2015 and play along Uduaghan’s succession plans. A lot of people have called and through SMS urged me to reply to his submissions as contained in a piece titled: Who is Afraid of Magege, by one Flourence Akpeki. I do not see anything to reply to. The man did not give answer to the issues I raised. He said Urhobo is confused, I said no, Urhobo cannot be confused but some persons may be but not the Urhobo nation. He said Urhobo is too small to produce Governor and that we are just 30 % of the state’s voting strength, I said that is not true as the figure did not capture Urhobos, who owns Warri. He said there had been a gang up against Urhobo but my position is that there has never been a successful gang up against Urhobo without recourse to rigging. So I refuse to subscribe to the Theory of a possible gang up. I have nothing to tell Magege other than that individual benefit cannot be taken to mean group’s benefit. That he is a beneficiary of the Uduaghan’s administration does not mean the entire Urhobo nation has benefitted. And that he is likely to benefit from the arrangement he has in mind does not guarantee Urhobo honour in the final analysis. All I am after is that Urhobo must get it right not by conceding to any warped power shift concept but by fighting to bring back our honour. We can’t get our honour back by advertising our weaknesses. I do not know why the average Urhobo man will not accept his mistakes. If there are errors in the position paper of DCPM and these are pointed out, why the fuse? I do not hate Magege or DCPM. All I have said is that the position paper does not properly represent Urhobo interest and I still stand by my words.

Another factor that would help shape the politics of 2015 is the determination of the people across Delta State to enthrone true democracy. My concern is the perceived docility of the political class in Delta central which is suggestive of a tacit surrender to the Ibori/Uduaghan agenda. Uduaghan has so dealt with the political class that nobody from central dare raise his hand to challenge the demons. Everybody has been dazed financially to assume a beggarly position all in a deliberate plot to undermine Urhobo in the coming polls. Uduaghan’s wickedness is a vast topic even for a PHD dissertation. Mean and heartless, Uduaghan has so pauperise the central PDP heavy weight that everybody wants to belong in 2015 and the only way to so do is to give Uduaghan what he wants for them to be important in the coming dispensation. But that is where they are getting it wrong. I have addressed my position on the prospect of 2015 in another series titled: THE GATHERING STORM AND THE ZERO HOUR MOVE OF GOD. I have a strong belief that because the strong men have accepted to swallow the bitter bill of defeat even before the commencement of the dance, God will prove himself through the people by raising a David, a man hitherto considered weak, to lead the way to victory in 2015. We shall look at that in due course.

With either Okowa or Ochei duly programmed to take over from Uduaghan in 2015, the people could stand firm to determine who gets what. That is what this series is out to address. If Urhobo decides not to field candidates for 2015, that should be for Urhobo to decide and not PDP, DPP, ACN or Uduaghan. To leave Urhobo fate in the hands of a man like Uduaghan is to die fast. Urhobo is too big an elephant to be pushed around like a conquered slave. Whosoever will not respect Urhobo, hoping to work on a possible gang up in 2015 should be made to eat dust by Urhobo voting strength. The State belongs to all but we have made too great a sacrifice by conceding the capital to Delta north. If it is now somebody somewhere wants to talk of equity after robbing Ughelli or Warri of the State capital, then that person should be told in blunt terms that what IBB did several years ago still hurts. The whole gamut of the Anioma quest is power shift on the altar of a supposed equity. They should be reminded that equity also dictates that when a property is stolen, it should be returned to the original owner when the owner comes for it. If the state capital cannot be returned, then Anioma should wait a little longer to be Governor so that Urhobo can lead the State again as compensation for permanent loss of the capital to Asaba. Those who are falling so cheaply for the equity music should be reminded that crossing a stream the second time induces cold. In 2007, it was power shift, today it is equity. Caution is the word.

The time is still far but certainly too close to play with. If Ewherido accepts to be Deputy Governor under Okowa, that will be a strong combination but Ewherido should be reminded that no Deputy Governor has ever be supported by a seating Governor to succeed him in Nigeria. The case of Alao Akala, who became Governor of Oyo state is such that he was never supported by Ladoja, the then Governor because Ladoja was removed by Adedibu and by the time the Governor returned, the deed had been done. Akala was to be Governor later in a widely acclaimed rigged poll. The story of Goodluck Jonathan becoming Governor is well known to all. Alamieseigha was impeached before he became Governor. The trend has been the same in virtually other states where the deputy had to be Governor either at the death of the incumbent or impeachment. To me, it does not sound good for a serving Senator to accept to be deputy Governor. A Governor can make life miserable for any deputy Governor if the Governor chooses to fight the deputy.

The concern of this writer is for the people to be able to determine who wins elections in Delta State. When I raise alarm on this platform, it is for everybody to be prepared for the battle ahead. For Ifeayi Okowa or Victor Ochei to be Governor is not an issue. The issue is who the key factor in the making of the Governor? Is it going to be the Oghara Prince, the tortoise from Abigborodo or the people? My only concern is the place of the people in the making of the next Governor. If the people have their way and the majority voice is respected as in a true democracy, then I would heave a sigh of relief that democracy has truly come to roost in Delta as in Edo State.

Annabel does not know it all. I am only expressing my fears and doubts over certain possibilities. What is important is for Urhobo to get their act together. Urhobo youths should call a Youth Summit to address political direction for the State. Our politically active women should also get themselves well organised to address issues of Urhobo political destiny in the coming dispensation. The dance is gradually assuming a frightening dimension and we cannot fold our arms to watch things get out of hands. All these efforts should be synergised by UPU for a concrete agenda for the political class. We cannot afford to be docile and sleep over the pains of the masses. We shall not carry arms into the coming battle. Our battle cry should be one man one vote. That is the only arm I am canvassing in my campaigns. Once that is achieved and all the loopholes are properly blocked, the people can then have their ways and whoever wins will get the blessing of the people and the winner in turn will work for them. It is possible. Yes, we can!

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