2019: APC will get it right in Delta state—————Orode
Chief Malachi Orode is a chieftain of the APC in Ughelli North LGA. He is the DG of the Pat Utomi Support Hub, PUSH. He spoke with Jon Egie on issues concerning governorship election in Delta state come 2019 as it affects the APC. He believes that shortly the factions in the APC will be reconciled and division in the party resolved to confront the PDP and take over Govt House, Asaba .
Chief, your political group, PUSH, is projecting Prof Pat Utomi for the governorship race in 2019, where in the equation does the Ogboru political ambition come in?
Ogboru’s aspiration is a very old one and we are familiar with it, he is competent to aspire but it doesn’t stop the PUSH agenda from moving on because, the PUSH agenda is premised on the desire to have a new thing, totally new and to do things differently from the way we have been doing. The PUSH agenda is to bring ideas and issues affecting Delta state to the front burner, articulate them, discuss them and of course, run with the man that has the brightest ideas to ensure the change we so much desire in Delta state. To that extent, APC as a party has many aspirants and when these issues come to the front for discussion people will at the primaries determine who they will vote for.
Experience has shown that some very bright persons are not very good in leadership, so, bright as the ideas may be, do you see a possibility of Ogboru-Pat Utomi pair for the governorship race in the APC?
All of these will be part of APC decision, our goal is primarily to ensure that we take over Delta state Government House in 2019. Our goal is to ensure that Deltans begin to benefit from the good things that are happening in Lagos, Edo and Anambra. Edo and Anambra we have mocked in the past but today those two states have sandwiched us in part of underdevelopment while their profile in development indices rises. So, we will identify the man that can do that for us so that instead being sandwiched by the impoverished states, so to say by virtue of the resources that they get, we will see them running to us and say, Delta, how are you doing it, how come you overtook us and the man who will do that for us is our challenge and getting that man it is going to be a party decision. Of course, many factors will come to play here; if it is an Ogboru-Pat Utomi or Pat Utomi-Ogboru but I am aware that the women are hanging around and saying that this time they want to be the deputy governor of Delta state. That is another aspect of it. And then the ethnic colouration, the Ijaws for example, they may argue that we had our son as deputy governor what are you giving us? So, it is a lot of huge work to be done in one, identifying the man that can do the job for Deltans and the man that will pair him up to get the same job done. That will be left for the party gurus, I am not there.
Does that imply that the division and factions in the party would have been resolved?
All party scheming and divisions must be resolved. It is not the first time it is happening and it is not going to be the last time it will happen. The internal conflict resolution system of APC is looking at it and we will get it right, I have no doubt in y mind that we will get it right. So those who are happy that APC will continue to fight they must be in delusion, deceiving themselves.
Are you now assuring Deltans that APC will put its house in order and be able to confront the PDP in the guber election of 2019?
Absolutely, that is what I am telling you. We will get that right. In less than two weeks from now we will be home and dry with that. So anybody who is banking on the division of the APC in Delta state should go back to the shrine and ask the chief priest, what is happening, how come the APC is coming together.
It trended on social media that the leadership of the APC in Abuja has resolved that Dr Cairo Ojougboh should fly the flag of the party for the governorship election and Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan would produce the deputy governor when he defects to the APC while Great Ogboru would produce the SSG ahead of 2013 when he would be the party sole candidate for governorship election. Following what we have discussed how do you react to this information?
I have not gotten that information and I am not looking forward to getting it because APC is a democratic party and we follow democratic process. We do not go to a table to allocate who is going to lead us and in taking decisions we consult broadly as a party because the stories are very many both online, social media and others. I don’t work with them. I have very competent national chairman of the party and other competent leaders of the party, I am in close contact with them and I am not aware of such development somewhere.
The struggles for participation in the governorship race as shown by members of the APC is not observed in the PDP, why do you think Governor Okowa got sole candidacy for the election, is there no other capable Deltan to challenge him in PDP?
Let’s take it from 1999 or 2003; has anybody ever aspired to take over from any incumbent? It is because it has become a culture. Even in my party, APC, you can see the President has indicated interest to run for a second term and nobody challenged him. It all boils down to the fact that the incumbent are entitled to a return ticket constitutionally and so, people within the party believe that the man has performed in the perspective of their own set indices. The PDP believes that Okowa has done so well, yes! He has over 2000 SAs who are receiving some money even when they are sleeping 24 hours of the week they get bank alerts so they make that claim. But go to the market women, go to the motor parks, go to the teachers, the civil servants and local government workers, go and talk to the retirees, the old men and women who have labored to put the state where it is, who have served us meritoriously, go and ask them whether, indeed, Okowa should return as governor, then you can publish your feedback.
Thank you very much Sir.