Ogboru locks Ughelli at consultation
- Two governorship aspirants step down
- Gets endorsement as guber candidate
- Omo Agege also endorsed
By Jon Egie
Ahead of the APC governorship primary election coming up Saturday, two governorship aspirants of the party, Chief Sunny Ofehe and Dr Iyke Odikpo, have stepped down for Chief Great Ogboru.
Also, all aspirants of the party for House of Representatives and Delta state House of Assembly along with leaders of the party in Delta senatorial district have pledged their loyalty and support for Great Ogboru and Senator Ovie Omo-Agege.
This was the highlight of the consultation visit of Chief Great Ogboru to the members of the APC in Delta central, Monday, Sept 24 held at the Kingdom Hall, Ughelli.
Ughelli Township, from early hours of the day stood still in expectation of the arrival of Great Ogboru. Market women hurriedly closed shop to line the roads to welcome him and the premises of the Kingdom Hall overflowed as those who were accredited to the hall had little space for comfort.
At 1457 hours when Great Ogboru arrived the arena a loud shout of hail and a standing ovation was observed by the thick crowd of people in and outside the hall just as a staccato of canon shots were released to herald his entry.
Leaders, elders, chieftains, stalwarts, faithful and foot soldiers of the party in Delta central and across the state as well as non partisans and members of other political parties were present. An array of aspirants for the House of Reps across the three senatorial district of the state and over 50 aspirants for the DTHA were also present.
Various good will messages were given by leaders of the party which was kick started by Olorogun Adelabu Bodjor, Chairman of the party in Delta central.
Olorogun Bodjor said as the ambassador of the Urhobo nation in APC, he appealed to the members of the party in Delta North and Delta South to support the resolve of the Urhobo people to choose Great Ogboru as the next governor of Delta state.
“I am an Urhobo man and my interest is Urhobo and I assure you that this wonderful gentleman will take Delta state to El dorado, he is marketable anywhere and anytime.
Hon Halims Agoda, a onetime member of the House of Reps said Chief Great Ogboru has the capability to rule Delta state considering his vast international business contacts and experience that will benefit the generality of Deltans.
He listed the many issues of poor governance associated with the incumbent governor of the state and assured that only Great Ogboru has the capacity to correct them.
Hon Andrew Orugbo in a brief speech called for support for Senator Ovie Omo-Agege’s re-election to the senate and support for the emergence of Chief Great Ogboru as governorship candidate of the party.
He said the call became necessary because, “I have been on the other side but I have now realized the true path. The ticket of APC for senate is here and the aspirant is here and any person that is not present is acting drama. I therefore pledge my loyalty to Ovie Omo-Agege and Chief Great Ogboru as well as President Muhammadu Buhari”.
When he took turn to speak, Chief Sunny Ofehe, a governorship aspirant of the APC said that after consulting and interacting with Chief Great Ogboru on how Delta state can move forward he decided to step down for Ogboru because of the superior blueprint he has for the development of the economy of Delta state and consequently directed that all his bill boards and other insignia be brought down and to join force with Great Ogboru in the fight for the emancipation of the state.
But he warned that Ogboru will meet an empty treasury because the incumbent would loot the state dry before May 29, 2019 and therefore advised the incoming Ogboru administration to make concerted effort to improve on the state IGR and encourage foreign investment in order to revamp the economy for the benefit of Deltans.
He called on all Deltans to join hands in the task ahead “because to unseat an incumbent is not easy”
Dr Iyke Odikpo who was also a governorship aspirant of the party in his speech agreed that Great Ogboru remained the only person who could remove the incumbent governor and hence he has decided to queue behind him and give his support to Ogboru. He urged all members of the party and the generality of Deltans to give Ogboru the needed support.
Former Speaker of the Delta state House of Assembly, Rt Hon Monday Igbuya in his speech confessed that “it is true, Ogboru has been wining all governorship elections in Delta state” but for the manipulation of forces of the PDP.
On behalf of himself and his political followers he pledged to deliver Senator Ovie Omo-Agege and assured a 101 per cent victory for Great Ogboru in Sapele LGA.
He announced that a huge number of PDP members in Sapele will soon decamp to the APC.
Ambassador Gabriel Oyibode who is aspiring for the senate seat in Delta North senatorial district identified himself to also be a scion of Delta central and said the time for God to favour Ogboru has come and no power can stop him.
He said having been an arrow head of the Anioma Agenda he discovered that the Anioma Agenda is “a scam” meant to exclude Ogboru from contesting the governorship election because they were afraid of his political profile. He therefore declared his loyalty and support for Great Ogboru.
For him, he saw Delta APC as one and urged all members of the party with dissident intent to come to the Ogboru fold and identify with the moving train adding that he was on the other side but when the scales fell out of his eyes he regained his sight and “I now see clearly”.
Others who spoke and pledged loyalty to Omo Agege and Ogboru included Hon Julius Akpovoka, Rev Francis Waive, Engr Efemena Dorh, Hon Solomon Edoja, Dickson Akpohere, Abraham Eghwrudjakpor.
Former Commissioner of Education, Mrs Veronica Ogbuagu later took the stage and ridiculed Olorogun Emerhor Otega for daring to aspire for the seat of Delta central in the senate when he has at no time in all his political endeavours been able to win his unit not to mention his ward.
She confirmed that Ogboru had always won all guber elections in Delta state and described Ogboru as a “goal getter, visionary leader, resilient, has unwavering popularity, uncommon gentleman, champion of political emancipation, a foot soldier for Delta freedom, redeemer of the masses and our choice for 2019.”
Dr Alex Ideh, a leader of the party from Delta South said, “We from Delta Soutth have made up our mind that our votes will be for Great Ogboru, Uduaghan and Harriman are with us in this. We will do our bit; you have to do your bit and be prepared to give 100 per cent of your votes to Ogboru.
Also speaking for Delta South, Chief Lucky Esigie said Isoko and Urhobo are one family and as such the Isoko people will work in team with the Urhobo people to support Great Ogboru’s aspiration.
“We have agreed that Ogboru is our candidate and on behalf of Isoko people I pledge our support for Ogboru
George Timinimi speaking on behalf of the Ijaw nation said “we are here to join forces with the Urhobo people to make sure Ogboru becomes the governor in 2019. There is no going back, he has been winning all his elections and if there is anything like magic votes from the riverine areas we and the Itsekiri and Urhobo in that area will give them to Ogboru in 2019.
Sir Richard Odibo saw the hand of Providence fulfilling a purpose in Great Ogboru and called for a de-emphasis on issues that would divide the party especially gossipers among supporters of Omo Agege and Great Ogboru.
Chief Frank Kokori fondly called the father of APC in Delta expressed joy that members of the APC “on the other side” in Delta state were returning to the main fold.
He described Ogboru as humble and a proud man because of his resilience to the cause he believes in reaffirming that James Ibori never won any election when Ogboru contested with him and not to mention his surrogates that succeeded him.
“After 18 years of the struggle to free Deltans, I am glad to see the emergence of Great Ogboru as the governor of Delta state and herewith endorse Ogboru as governorship candidate of the APC in Delta state and Ovie Omo-Agege as the candidate for the senate seat of Delta central.
It was time for Senator Ovie Omo –Agege to speak.
Ovie Omo-Agege aligned with the points and issues raised by earlier speakers stressing that he was glad that a good number of those who truncated Ogboru’s victory in the past, including himself, have joined him in confessing to the truth that Ogboru had really won all his elections but for the manipulation of the forces of the PDP over the years. He called on entire citizens of Delta to align themselves with Ogboru for the political growth and socioeconomic development of Delta state.
“Anybody who is running for governor in 2019 and does not align himself with Great Ogboru does not want us to win the election, he is working for Okowa.
“In the course of the fight within the party we have stepped on toes because of our belief in Ogboru and they have decided to fight us but we have no apology. We are not supporting Ogboru because he is an Urhobo but we are just lucky because he is one of us and we support him because he can win the election for us. Politics is not like Olympics where you could be compensated with prizes even if you do not take the first position. In politics if you do not win you lose and we are tired of losing. We do not dislike other aspirants but we know that there is only one person who can win the election for us and that person is Great Ogboru. Some of those aspirants cannot win their units and so we are not bothered about them but remain focused. We know that to defeat Okowa you have to have votes on the ground and Ogboru has votes on the ground.
“We know who has been winning elections and why he has not been declared but this time around, we are going to deliver and have Ogboru declared as governor of Delta state.
“I do not want you to take anything for granted; we fought that fight because we wanted to make sure that the machinery of the party in the state was not left in the hands of political merchants who would have sold out the party to Okowa. But now we know and have the person who will take out Okowa from Government House, Asaba and that person is Chief Great Ogboru”
He said the persons who would affirm Ogboru as the man for the battle were the delegates who were seated in the hall and therefore charged them to decide who they would vote for as governorship candidate of the party in Delta state for the 2019 election proclaiming that “as for me and my supporters, we will cast our votes for Ogboru on Saturday.
“Our opponents have lost the primary election but they are determined to release much money to you to vote Okowa’s aspirant, eat their money and vote Ogboru.
And the climax of the day, Great Ogboru rose to speak.
“This journey has been a long marathon and some people who started with us are no longer here but the journey must continue. “.Ogboru began.
He led the song ‘Freedom comes by Struggle’ and gave kudos to Chief Frank Kokori for his support all the while.
“God in His infinite wisdom knows that there is a time in a struggle one would need a voice to speak for him and He has given Senator Ovie Omo-Agege to join force with the struggle. Senator Omo Agege, Delta central is behind you, I am behind you and members of APC are behind you.”
He recounted the cost of the journey since 2003 and thanked all believers of the cause for keeping faith in the struggle to make Delta better.
“It is no mean task but we have been in opposition for 18 years and that demands grace from God to keep on. I have the competence to make bad things become good, to give hope to people who are in despair and over the years I have pledged to keep the hope of Deltans alive.
“It is about our value system and if we love one another we will be able to care for the less privilege, let Deltans show compassion for one another and let the strong know how to care for the weak.
“All those mountains of problems will be brought down. I preach the gospel of equal opportunities to local government areas across Delta state and Deltans know I am compassionate enough to hold a mandate without surrendering it.
“I did not come for a new mandate but to request you to reaffirm the mandate freely given to me for the past 18 years but was arrested by the Prince of Persia. That mandate will be released and translate to peace and development of Delta state. Right now we have enough converts into the vision to create a new Delta state.
“When in 1990 I left this country in a hurry, I lost 20 million dollars in one day, all the money I had as a young man but 20 years gone I am still standing strong and managing businesses and that is the hallmark of a man who can manage complex situations. I have gone through fire and water and I am the champion.
“Do not worry, if the say Delta is broke, when I become governor all the parts will be put to proportion and Delta will be great again. The greatest investment a government can make is not construction of roads but it is investment in human resources portfolio that will translate into giant strides that will make the people become economically free and cannot be influenced or bought over to the side of economic slavery, look at challenges and conquer them. We will make the individual Deltan strong to have a momentum and when you have a momentum, you can change any situation” Ogboru said and called for support because according to him “I cannot do it alone”.
The event was observed by the state chairman of the party, Prophet Jones Erue who said as father of all he is on the neutral path.