Can Okowa overcome UPU resistance?
In the wake of the popular Uvwiamuge Declaration and the subsequent emergence of Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa as the PDP flag bearer for Delta State governorship election SPY News went to town to take a survey of people’s opinion on the issue of the Uvwiamuge Declaration to find out if Okowa can resist the UPU resistance for him to be elected as governor of Delta State.
Our correspondents recorded responses from randomly sampled respondents from Ughelli and Sapele (Delta Central), Ozoro (Delta South), Agbor and Asaba (Delta North). We serve you a menu of the responses gathered.
Responding to the question in Ughelli, Orevaoghene Eredoro reports that:
Isaac Ibeke Chima a tailor said yes. “The Igbo speaking Deltans have been marginalised as far as governorship is concerned all because the state capital is situated in Delta North which is Asaba. Besides Okowa is not bad, let us try Delta North, we have had the Urhobo in the past, so let us try another tribe. Despite the fact the State capital is situated in Asaba. No tribe or a particular section in the state is born to rule. Let us have a balanced system. Also, if it is the will of God for Okowa to be the governor of Delta State, he can overcome the resistance of UPU.
Responding to the question, Elder Otiede Ambrose a pensioner said I think Okowa will overcome because it is not the issue of ethnicity, it is a party issue and if Urhobo feels that because Okowa has been chosen by PDP they will run away from the PDP we wish them goodluck. As far as I am concerned it is not an ethnic issue. Under our nose here, the PDP resolved in Ughelli township stadium few years back that the governorship will rotate from one senatorial district to the other. And now as far as we are concerned Urhobo has enjoyed the governorship position. It is the turn of Delta North, whether somebody likes it or not. It is their turn. So there is no question of whether Okowa comes out they will bow from PDP. We wish them goodluck. It has to go round. What are you talking candidates of other parties leaving their own party candidate because they believe that, that person can deliver. People vote out of performance of the candidate. When people say it must be my brother, I wonder if it is their state alone. The state is for everybody, so for someone to say that it must be an Urhobo man, that is childishness. The person is not a mature politician. A mature politician cannot say it must be my brother.
Igho Oghenetega an Okada rider has this to say. Na the man turn o, na Okowa turn. He is not from my party, but let the truth be told, it is his time. The whole Delta State gathered and agreed that the governorship should be zoned. So na their turn be this. They said we should rotate it so because I am an Urhobo man I should say only an Urhobo will be the governor of the state. It is not right.
Onovwhigho Sam a Cobbler said Okowa will overcome because Urhobo is working with two candidates. If on one does not down for the other, Okowa will win.
Awolowo Raphael a student posited that Okowa will not be able to overcome the UPU. The UPU is desperate and when a man is desperate he can do anything. Urhobo has not really gotten anything from the government. Besides they cannot have the state capital and at the same time the governor. Okowa does not stand a chance.
Peter Ogagavwhora an Engineer said Okowa will overcome. This is because Urhobo has a problem and the problem is that of two candidates. If the Urhobo have one mind they will succeed but if they do not have one mind they will not succeed. Okowa will definitely win. He will overcome if the election is free and fair.
Hon. Evang. Andrew Arhavwarien JP said Urhobo is just one of the senatorial districts out of the three senatorial districts in the State. Urhobo has only eight local governments and there are 25 local governments in Delta State. So if eight is pulling out of 25, they still have majority. So it’s not by Urhobo declaration or being an Urhobo man or not. The man of the people will win. If it is Okowa that is the man of the people he will. if it is Ogboru that is the man of the people he will win. If it is O’tega that is the man of the people he will win. This is not an issue of Urhobo. All Urhobo cannot cast their vote for one person. Whether you like it or not. All Delta North or South cannot do the same. So the man of the heart of the people, who will have the majority, will be the winner. We are believing God that Okowa will win, because number one, Okowa is very much qualified and he has been in the system for long. He was once a councillor, commissioner, SSG and presently, he is a Senator. So he is not like those of them who have not even contested for councillorship, who do not even know what government is all about. O’tega Emerhor has never held any public position. Even Ogboru himself has not even contested for election and won. So Okowa has more advantage. And also PDP is another big umbrella in Delta State. This State is owned by PDP. So they will not allow anybody to take the state from them. We are believing God that come February, Okowa will be the next governor of the State.
Prince Eddy a business man has this to say, if you have paid close attention to elections, you will discover that the upper had always wins. So whether you conduct election or not as far as PDP is concerned they will always win. Definitely Okowa will win. UPU cannot stop him.
Sunday Odiri a welder said Okowa cannot win the election. He cannot overcome the UPU resistance. I do not believe he can do that.
Friday Oshokare a laundryman declared that if the Urhobo stand strong Okowa cannot overcome them. He cannot win. If Urhobo is divided Okowa will definitely emerge the governor of the State.
In Sapele, Pat Eme reports that:
Prince Ejiro Efetobor who works in a private firm said it depends on the love Deltans will have for him and not the party. Their love for him might make them defy any party or ethnic affiliation.
Timothy Ogbotor a public servant said Urhobo vote will be divided since they have Otega and Ogboru interests to protect while the Ijaws are strongly in support of the candidate from Delta North. The Urhobo can only make a mark if they have just one candidate.
Mrs. Alice Akpobome a market woman said the Urhobos will rather lose than give their vote to a candidate from Delta North, it will be a fight to the finish. It is not over until it is over. Candidates from Delta North are self centred and will have no regard for others when they became Governor of the state, they will grab everything to themselves and will consider others from Delta Centre and Delta South.
Mr. Eric Itsekiri a Civil Servant said PDP should give room to other parties to run Delta State for a change for we cannot see what they have achieve for the past 16 years that they have been in power. A candidate from Delta North in PDP will not be different because PDP is “people deceive people’’.
Miss Rita Mene a Student responded that Urhobos should allow things be. They should work toward being relevant in the incoming government and not create ethnic enmity by saying they have the power and right to produce the next Governor. In Delta State, we all need each other.
Mrs. Waire Oghoja a Tailor said that people are just talking about the persons without asking them their Vision, plans and manifestos, UPU or no UPU, Okowa or anybody that is aspiring to rule this State will not achieve anything without a prior Vision and plan that he/she believes.
Mr. Raymond Okotete, a Business Man said he see Senator Okowa as our next governor because the Urhobos need to lure Deltans from the south if they must win. Despite their numbers, they still need to win a least 15 Local government convincingly to win and they do not have up to this number of Local government. Even if they do, can they all agree to vote for one candidate?
Mr. Charles Tobi, a lecturer said the PDP factor is stronger than UPU. If the party tells their members to vote Okowa, there is nothing any one can do because the Urhobos in PDP will give their votes to Okowa. We are in a one party State.
Mrs. Elvis Scott, a trader posited that Urhobos will fight on, until they win at last. It does not matter how many battles they loss but at last they will win the war. The Urhobos are the most populous in Delta State, yet they are the most deprived group. Look at how they were neglected in this present administration that is winding up. Sapele for example has nothing to show of government presence, our market and stadium remain uncompleted after 8years. How long are we going to endure?
Mr. Felix Anigboro, a public servant has this to say if the Urhobo can be united for once, they can overcome. Okowa should not overlook their threat, he should woo them any way he can. Okowa should not be the governor for Delta South and North alone because the Urhobo have come out in clear terms that they want the Governorship slot. The way he is going about his campaign is the more reason why the Urhobo are convinced that if he emerged the governor come 2015, he will sideline them more than what Uduaghan administration did.
Nicholas Ebegboni reporting from Agbor and Asaba stated that:
a retired prison warden who spoke at his residence in Agbor said that the UPU would only succeed if the Ijaws, Itsekeri and other tribes in Delta Central and Delta South vote against Senator Ifeanyi Okowa. He pointed out that all Delta Northerners would vote for Okowa, adding that, “it is the turn of Delta North to rule the state, why then should the Urhobos be working against a Delta Northerner”? He asked.
Speaking also to SPYNEWS an ardent follower of Senator Okowa, Dele Apatashi, said “ The UPU are not working against Senator Okowa, whoever gave you that information, gave you a wrong information”. He promised to give SPYNEWS more information on that as he was busy at the moment.
Richard Morka who is into freight business spoke to our reporter in Asaba said that “ Okowa is the Governor of Delta State come 2015, there is nothing anybody whether UPU,UPN,NNPC or whatever, can do to stop him , Okowa never worked against anybody and no weapon fashioned against him will prosper”.
Also, at Agbor, Mrs. Joy Omudon, a retired health worker said “we who have been in the health sector and those who were in service when Senator Okowa was the commissioner for health we knew his capability. He is a man who all those in the health sector would vote for, be it those who have retired or still serving, whether Urhobo, Itsekiri, Ijaw, Ika, as long as one has worked under him when he was the Delta State commissioner for health.
Sir Chukwueku Agbotian, President Ika Lay readers Association, Anglican Church, Ika Diocese, described Okowa’s victory at the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) primaries in Delta State as God’s design. The layreader maintained that as far as God’s favour is with Senator Okowa, no individual or group can bring him (Okowa) down.
Agbotian added that, Senator Okowa is a man after God’s own heart, while maintaining that when the senator finally occupies the Unity House, great change for the better would come to Delta State. He congratulated Okowa on his victory at the PDP Primaries.
A hair stylist, Mrs. Precious Ugbomah, in her own contribution, said, “it does not matter who is the governor or not, whatever position anyone occupies such a person should do the right thing, I do not see the reason why politicians fight themselves, if someone has the intention of working for the people, such a person would not see the position thing as a do-or-die affair. Come to think of it, why are the Urhobo’s fighting? Have they not occupied the position before? Is Ibori not an Urhobo man? I do nor really see what is in that position that everyone wants to be there, if not for the purpose of scheming and duping the people of the state. They think the masses are fools. One day the wrath of God would fall on the wicked”.
Also a cement dealer, Samuel Ekpedi, noted that it is a sign of disunity, that disunity would only stagnate the State. He maintained that Delta State no matter the tribe should be united so that development would come to the State.
In Isoko Gospel Udo reports that:
Hon. Ovie Oghoore, former Isoko North Local Government chairman, said: I want to state categorically that Okowa who won the primary is God’s own designed project; hence, he successfully sailed through otherwise, from the ordinary human calculations, it wouldn’t have been possible. When the news came, to some of us who saw it right where very much convinced that this was God in charge, making Okowa to sail through. The Primaries have come and gone and I strongly believe that his emergence is for the entire state. I am very close to Ifeanyi and from the comments I have been privileged to hear from him, he is for all the ethnic groups, not only Ika North and South. What I believe that if the Urhobo people resist Okowa, he will still come out victorious due to the fact that Urhobo vote are already divided; there are other Urhobo sons that are on the race. For example, Great Ovedje Ogboru in Labour Party and O’tega Emerhor in APC. I am of the opinion that the Urhobos should scheme right to support Okowa in order for them not to be divided come 2015.
Another respondent, Engr. Peter Ojekudo popularly known as Chief Onyaku, commented thus: Urhobo should for Christ’s sake give the others a chance because since the creation of Delta State, Urhobo has been in Government House right from Felix Ibru’s time to James Onanefe Ibori who handed over to this Uduaghan led administration which I believe Ibori is still in change. I am of the strong opinion that people like Ogboru should think twice and withdraw from the race under Labour Party because recently he was awarded a multi-millionaire contract to build ultra-modern military barracks in Bayelsa State by the federal government and to me he has been settled. Emerhor O’tega is under the platform of APC to contest with the anointing governor Ifeanyi Okowa will definitely sail through even if Urhobo resist him. Delta State is made up of different ethnic groups like the Isokos, Itsekiris, Ijaws and the Delta North which are the Ikas. I don’t think if the Urhobo nation fails to support Okowa, then he will fail in the general polls come 2015.
A veteran journalist, Paulinus Ebieye, was of the opinion that Okowa needs to parley with all the ethnic groups to be able to win the governorship election. Said he: I want to categorically state here that Urhobo has a large number of votes to better the chances of Ifeanyi Okowa come 2015. We should not forget that the APC as a party should not be undetermined.
So, now that Ifeanyi has sailed through the PDP primaries, he should embrace all the aspirants that have lost, especially his counterparts who overnight surprised the entire state, Edevbie who pulled 299 votes and others like Elejeme, Elumelu and so on. He should kindly work with people of the Urhobo nation to pledge their support to be able to conquer come the general polls. He should also undetermined sentiments but embrace peace irrespective of any ethnic group.