DANGER, for Jonathan, Uduaghan
By Jon Egie
The Dec. 8 victory won by Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa at the Event Centre, Asaba during the gubernatorial primaries of the PDP rather than being celebrated has posed great danger to the re-election bid of President Goodluck Jonathan and the freedom of Gov. Emmanuel Uduaghan’s out office era.
The transparency associated with the conduct of the governorship primaries would have raised no dust on the path of Okowa coasting to victory when the general election holds in February this year. But the intrigues and clash of interests that embellished the result of the exercise have thrown up more puzzles for the actors leaving the electorate agape and uncertain of the direction the pendulum will swing.
Actually, when the race began, the wave of the expired Obuh project gusted, obviously by Governor Uduaghan and his political machinery, had swayed the Isoko nation against the Okowa aspiration as the Isoko nation led by the Secretary to the State Government, Comrade Ovuzorie Macaulay danced to the tune of his piper, the governor, in anticipation of more largesse from the new government of Obuh.
Comrade Macaulay indeed allegedly failed the Isoko nation for the period he served in the government of Governor Uduaghan as he was accused of not been able to attract any meaningful project to his people. In fact, it is said that the SSG served himself and cronies rather than using the opportunity of his office as SSG to serve the State and his people inclusive. As the engine room of the Uduaghan administration common sense would have engendered him to enable his home land had a taste of the puddy. But this was not to be as infrastructure and human capital in Isoko land remained undeveloped. Instead of being remorse for his failure he took side with the Obuh gust to mislead and mobilse the Isoko people to supporting the Obuh project.
By this miscalculation, critics say Comrade Macaulay pitched the Isoko people against Okowa when they voted for the Urhobo sole aspirant in the governorship primaries, Olorogun David Edevbie who is said to have material links to the Isoko people.
The decision of the Isoko people to obey the last minute call of Governor Uduaghan to support Edevbie in place of the earlier touted Obuh was seen as a survival attempt by the governor to answer the prayers of the Urhobo people to produce his successor through the popular and apparently ineffective Uvwiamuge Declaration and, had the declaration been carried out to the letter, the gamble by the Isoko people would have been worth the while but again, that was not to be.
It was evident that if the Obuh project succeeded, the political arrow head of the Isoko nation, Comrade Ovuzorie Macaulay would have become the running mate to Obuh and as that plan failed and the governor switched camp to David Edevbie, Comrade Macaulay was said to still nurse the appetite for the deputy, if Edevbie had won.
However, other interests were also at play. The interest of ex-governor James Ibori who had promised the office of the governor to Okowa, the desire of Ibori boys and political henchmen in the likes of Chief Monday Igbuya and Chief Ighoyota Amori who desired to be elected into the DTHA and assume the position of the Speaker of the House as well as becoming the Senator representing Delta Central in the National Assembly respectively if power shifted to Delta North, came ashore.
It was obvious that any failure for Gov Uduaghan to produce his successor and also remain politically relevant would endanger his post-office-life and hence he made effort to grab the Senate seat of Delta South and boosted the Obuh project.
His desire pitched him against the Ijaw as the incumbent Senator James Manager, an Ijaw saw him as a threat which must be crushed and he was crushed when he was forced to step down from the race. In a desperate move to survive, the governor shifted support from Obuh to Edevbie who also crashed out when the Ibori boys defied the Uvwiamuge Declaration and joined forces with the Ijaw to humiliate the Urhobo.
Chief Government Ekpemupolo alias Tompolo proved himself to be a true war General when he deployed his resources in command and control of men, materials and money to prosecute the Okowa battle which by now has assumed the status of a clash of the titans typified in Ibori versus Uduaghan. The former won the day.
But the victory recorded by Okowa has been subverted by the Ijaw who sources say are now acting on the principle of the winner takes it all. The actualization of this principle was manifested in the assertion of the right by Tompolo to nominate Okowa’s running mate in the person of Barr. Kingsley Otuaro. The successful nomination and acceptance of the running mate to Okowa was interpreted as a sign of greed by the Ijaw of Delta to grab it all at the expense of their fellow senatorial district kinsmen – the Isoko who argued that since James Manager had beaten Uduaghan out of the Senate, the Isoko, one of the 3is of the Delta South Senatorial district ought to have a fair share of the pie by letting Isoko nominate the running mate to Okowa.
However the pro-Tompolo’s philosophy on the issue argues that the Isoko couldn’t have eaten their cake and had the same pie of eaten cake back at the same time. They insisted that those who contributed to the preparation of the porridge meal should take shares in the consumption and since Tompolo invested heavily in human and material resources he is justified to own the lion share and thus, the deal was done about the running mate to Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa.
In deep lamentation the Isoko recalled that they had been Comrades at arms and fought side by side and most times making sacrifices for the overall benefit of Ijaw, in the political battles of Delta South. Therefore, the decision by the Ijaw to shove them into the cold of the night was not only disappointing but a call to self-reawakening.
Consequently, the Isoko nation under the leadership of Maj. Gen. Paul Omu (rtd), President General of Isoko Development Union (IDU) made a declaration that Isoko would support any political party that could consider the Isoko nation worthy of producing the deputy governor in the next government of Delta State.
The PDP did not see the threat contained in the message but ignored it and went ahead to encouraging Okowa accept the nomination of Kingsley Otuaro as his running mate and the die was cast. The true identity of the Isoko man which is characterized in his hard line principle became manifest and decided to fight back.
SPY News learnt that the Isoko went back to the drawing board and came out with the decision to form a political alliance with the Itsekiri and their brother ethnic nation, the Urhobo, to prosecute the 2015 Delta governorship battle.
From this point, two blocs were defined as contenders for the 2015 governorship election of Delta State: the Anioma/Ijaw combination force and the Urhobo/Isoko/Itsekiri combination force. A third force described as a dark horse is the Ndokwa nation which according to analysts, naturally falls in line with the direction of the Isoko because of homogeneity of culture. In addition, the governorship candidate of the Labour Party, Chief Great Ogboru is said to have links across the ethnic nations of Delta State being maternally Ndokwa, paternally Urhobo and an Ijaw son-in-law; and this endears the Nodkwa nation to the challenge of the Urhobo/Isoko/Itsekiri combined force.
Explaining the marriage of Urhobo/Isoko/Itsekiri group in the 2015 politics, a source said the alliance is based on the actualization of the economic and political interest of each of the ethnic groups which have been undermined by the PDP by the emergence of Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, as flag bearer.
For the Urhobo, its socio-cultural body the UPU has made the popular Uvwiamuge Declaration that the Urhobo nation would only vote for a political party that features an Urhobo son as its flag bearer. But when the PDP held its governorship primaries the UPU dream was aborted and they were left with the option of pitching tent with either Chief Great Ogboru of the Labour Party or Olorogun Emerhor O’tega of the All Progressive Congress (APC).
The victory of Dr. Ifeanyi Okokwa exposed the re-election bid of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan as President of the FRN to danger as according the UPU threat, the over one million votes from the Urhobo nation will be delivered to the opposition.
It was however learnt that a soft landing deal has been reached between the Urhobo and the PDP to the extent that Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, being a son of the soil of the Niger Delta, would still enjoy the support of the Urhobo people in the presidential election on Valentine Day without a clear cut assurance for Okowa.
The waiver however hangs on the balance that the UPU does not at last decide to swing its support for Olorogun Emerhor O’tega, as that would mean making the ground fertile for the Buhari’s APC to further jeopardize the chances of Jonathan’s return to the Presidential villa, Abuja after May 29.
Thus in line with the Abuja deal with the UPU, Chief Great Ogboru is most likely to enjoy the support of the socio-cultural body of the Urhobo people because his party, the LP, is seen as an appendage of the PDP. It is on this foundation that the Isoko people have resolved to knit up with the Urhobo where there is a clear hope of fulfilling their dream.
As at the time of going to press it was reliably learnt that assurance for the actualization of the Isoko dream was handy as the person of Chief Erebi Peter, a former President General of Isoko Development Union (IDU) has been nominated to be the running mate of Chief Great Ogboru. Although the information was still considered as speculation, a close aide to Chief Great Ogboru told SPY News that only the governorship candidate reserves the right to publicly announce his running mate. Our findings however revealed that Chief Erebi Peter’s chances of becoming the running mate of Ogboru is near absolute. It is this strong assurance that has intensified the Isoko union with the Urhobo with the support of their Itsekiri fellow senatorial district kinsmen to dislodge the Ijaw/Anioma threat.
The reason for the Itsekiri involvement in this plot is basically to secure their economic fortune and posterity. Our source explained that an Okowa led government of Delta State would be a threat to the economic opportunities as well as the political relevance of the Itsekiri nation in the nearest future. Their fears are based on the recent issues concerning the EPZ project and the fact that Dr. Okowa has shown evidence of being weak before the influence of Tompolo that could further make the Itsekiri people an endangered species.
Also in the list of reasons for the Itsekiri enlistment to fight the Urhobo/Isoko cause, is the fact that an Okowa led administration under the overwhelming influence of Tompolo would surely send Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan to jail and this threat would in the spirit of self defence, galvanize the loyalists of the governor to do all that is possible to ensure that the Anioma/Ijaw hope is dashed.
It is in realization of the threat by the coalition force that Tompolo recently mobilized Urhobo kings to Jesse to seek avenue to nullify the plot against the PDP.
What analyst considered as a latent threat to the UPU stand against Okowa in the person of Ighoyota Amori who would mobilize at least three Urhobo LGAs against the Uvwiamuge Declaration has been punctured by the decision of Obaisi Ovie OmoAgege who recently joined forces with Chief Great Ogboru to prosecute the last fight.
Our sources said since Amori does not enjoy the good will of the Urhobo people due to his sabotaging precedent, Obaisi Ovie OmoAgege who has been adjudged as a dogged fighter for any cause he believes in would carry the day in the senate election and boost the chances of Ogboru to salvage the Urhobo and disarm the time bomb set to blow Uduaghan out of proportion if Okowa is allowed to detonate it as from June 1, 2015.