By Jon Egie

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In January 2006, the particular date could not be confirmed but my diary script was on January 18, 2006; at the AGGS, Ozoro, a meeting of PDP stakeholders in Delta South senatorial district held to discuss issues relating to the formation of a political group known as G-3. The following is the transcript from my diary as recorded first hand during the meeting.

 

The manuscript

Emmanuel Uduaghan

Uduaghan said the G-3 was formed based on the past, present and future political prospects for the various ethnic groups in the senatorial district. He said the formation of the group began at a New Year party held in his house in his house in Warri where the idea was mooted.

The first meeting was held at the house of Senator (Omu or James Maneger), I skipped that recording in my note taking as the diary did not specifically state the senator but it could be deduced. The chairman of the first (inaugural) meeting was Capt. Pius Sinebe who steered the group to the state when the matter of its leadership fell on Emmanuel Uduaghan.

As a complex combination, faced with internal wrangling, the group was glad at celebrating its first anniversary having overcome all its problems. Patience and perseverance, Uduaghan said gave the leeway and hence, they were waxing stronger.

“By the grace of God, nobody can pull the G-3 down” Uduaghan said.

 

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He said they came together to get united in spite of the disunity of the three ethnic groups. The objective, he continued was to be united politically and spiritually to the extent that political maneuvers of Delta state would demand a consultation and approval of the G-3.

“This group is solidly untied behind James Ibori and wherever James Ibori goes we shall go and wherever he directs us we shall follow.

“Since the governor is solidly behind Mr President, G-3 is also solidly behind Mr President”.

He thanked President Obasanjo for what he has done to the Niger Delta having understood the region better then, and pleaded that he (OBJ) should use the understanding to overrule the bad advisers on issues that affect the region.

“He should listen to us and carry us along”.

Uduaghan pointed out that as a united body, the G-3 believed that they (constituents of the group) deserved more and therefore, whenever James Onanefe Ibori left office the next governor should come from the G-3 “and then our leaders will sit down and decide and so long the person is from one of the three ethnic groups, the decision will be obeyed with an appeal to the Urhobo Political Forum (UPF) and Delta North to support their aspiration because one good turn deserves another.

Vice Admiral Preston Omatsola (rtd)

Taking turn to speak, Omatsola opted to be an Adviser to the group. He said having contributed so much to the socio –political development of Nigeria he needed rest and so would be contented to be an Adviser to the group.

 

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He observed that the problem of Nigeria was hinged on insincerity saying that the legacy that the colonialists left continued for about 45 years and Nigeria went back to her primordial tendencies that now cause a divide in the polity.

He harped on the need for leadership by example which must depict the quality of one’s character and having served the Nigeria government for over 33 years, he remained an Adviser fearing that the lack of integrity among Nigerians may label Nigeria as a nation without a leader.

“If your interest subverts the interest of the group, you are not a leader but a cheat” Omatsola said stressing that equity, justice and fair play must be the basis for the growth and continued existence of Nigeria.

He said the G-3 was just a starting point of how brothers can work together and proposed a G-5 that would represent all the distinct groups in the state for a greater tomorrow.

For him, all ethnic groups’ members were the same the only difference being the level of intellectual development and he was convinced that everyone was equal and therefore, stressed that every member of the G-3 should endeavour to be sincere.

Chief EK Clark

Speaking, Chief EK Clark apologized for the 1997 fratricidal war promising that it will not happen again. He totally adopted the G-3. He challenged everyone present to indicate the presence of the Federal Government in terms of social and infrastructure development in Delta state.

“I don’t want Delta to be handed over to the FG on a platter of gold. We don’t want to be subservient to anybody. No meetings were held before Abuja was developed and why would Niger Delta need a commission before it is developed?”

 

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Recalling the Calabar Declaration, he said “come 2007 we must have a South-South President in this country”

He charged the leaders of the ethnic groups in Delta state to meet and discuss and take a decision on which ethnic group would produce the next governor since at that moment, individual ethnic interest did not matter.

“Be fair, honest and just to your fellow Deltans if you want us to live together” he told the Delta Ibos and Urhobos, otherwise, he would not have the courage to agitate for the South-South presidency any longer since the issues are the same.

 

 

Amori Ighoyota

Speaking on behalf of the Urhobo Political Forum, Chief Ighoyota Amori recalled the unification of the G-3 and UPF saying that by the union Delta state has had political liberation and , “we can now decide our political destiny”

 

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He gave assurance of support to the G-3 and discountenanced all issues raised, leaving them for future discussion at a comfortable setting.

He never opposed to the call for power shift but said such a governorship candidate must be generally accepted. For him, the Urhobo only needed to protect themselves because of their pains, hope and aspirations which must be protected politically.

Amori opined that whatever political benefit that was accruable to Delta South could be enjoyed by Delta Central but believed that Delta North should be contented with the state capital otherwise, “we are ready to give up the governor if the state capital can come to our side, all we want is to replicate another James Onanefe Ibori who has done very well.”

Uche Ugboma-Delta Leadership Forum

Ugboma in his speech said he would not join issues but only show support for the peace that was enjoyed by the G-3.

He said the Anioma having paid their political dues; they were a stabilizing factor in the politics of the state. He prayed for political freedom and advised against utterances that could further divide the state. He pleaded for the Delta North to be allowed to produce the next governor.

Ibori

James Ibori was represented by Prof GG Darah. He said Delta South senatorial district has peculiar situation with peculiar challenges and being unequally blessed, he appreciated the understanding he got from the area especially with the prevailing peace.

He hoped that the Federal Government and the Nigeria nation would duly compensate Delta South as the green yard of the nation.

Ibori called on all Deltans to remain courageous and refuse to be intimidated since they would face many rivals and challenges and “our division will become profit to them”.

 

The manuscript