By Jon Egie
Grassroots politicians in Ughelli North LGA have declared their support for the candidacy of the PDP flag bearer, Chief Emmanuel Agwariavwodo in the Oct.12 Delta Central senate bye-election.
The decision to stand behind Agwariavwodo was taken during a meeting of the grassroots politicians held on Sunday, Oct. 6, at the Owumi Guest House, Ughelli.
Declaring the meeting open the Chairman of the group, Chief Pius Ovbije recalled the guiding principle of the grassroots politicians and their stand against imposition of candidates.
Chief Ovbije said that the emergence of Chief Emmanuel Agwariavwodo as candidate of the PDP for the Oct. 12 senate bye-election was critically examined to find out if the process that threw him up violates the principle of one man one vote.
He said after the critical examination it was found that Agwariavwodo was not imposed on the members of the PDP but his choice was guided by the following criteria:that he was from the same federal constituency (Ughelli/Udu) where the late Senator Ewherido hailed from and that he (Agwariavwodo) was also from Ughelli South where the late Ewherido came from.
By these criteria, he informed, the leadership of the PDP was able to prune the large number of aspirants to only four among whom Agwariavwodo became winner and emerged as the candidate of the PDP.
According to Chief Ovbije, the Presidency had not been comfortable with the Urhobo nation producing a Senator from DPP whereas Delta North and South senatorial districts are represented by Senators from the PDP.
To join the mainstream, he quoted Presidency sources as urging the Urhobo people to consider a PDP candidate for election as Senator representing Delta Central district.
Mentioning the names of the candidates from their various political parties they belong to he called on the grassroots politicians to make a choice and take a stand on which party to support.
In the ensuing debate, Mr Alaska thanked the Chairman of the group, Chief Ovbije for his efforts. He said it is only the plate one can eat from that one allocates a share to. He said PDP is the dominant party and the PDP choice of Agwariavwodo, a tested politician, is a good choice and hence declared his support for the Agwariavwodo choice.
Mr Kennedy Ewodere from Agbarho supported the choice of Agwariavwodo for the senate race.
But Mr Fati Isaac strongly opposed the choice of Chief Emmanuel Agwariavwodo as a candidate that should enjoy the support of the grassroots politicians.
He said politicians in the area had once given sympathy vote to Chief Agwariavwodo to be elected to the House of Reps but as soon as he got the mandate, he never looked back again.
“We never got any benefit from our effort at electing him to be a member of the House of Reps. Even when he was MD of NDDC we saw nothing from him. If POC (Chief Pius Ovbije) were the candidate for the senate race I would vote for him but for Agwariavwodo, I say NO! I am here saying that myself and members of my family will vote for Ede Dafinone”.
Taking turn to speak, Chief Richard Ojevwe from Uwheru said although Agwariavwodo is not reliable but POC (Chief Pius Ovbije) should be given the regard, on his personal integrity, for the group to support the PDP candidate and urged Chief Ovbije to make effort to counsel Agwariavwodo on the need for a change of behaviour.
Mr Esiokugbe Lucky from Orogun demanded a commitment from the chairman of the group, Pius Ovbije that he will make sure Agwariavwodo looks back, if elected; otherwise, the group will hold Chief Pius Ovbije responsible for the subsequent consequence of their decision.
Mr Armour Aboro who identified the group as the first eleven political players in the area was enthused that Agwariavwodo as the choice of the PDP will certainly be Senator after Oct.12 but called on all to contribute to his success at the polls so that they could also consume from the soup when it is done.
Concluding the debate Chief Pius Ovbije pointed out that in the Delta State Government Cabinet there is no Urhobo indigene occupying a sensitive office as Commissioner except Prof. Patrick Muoboghare.
“Urhobo has no brother among the ethnic groups in Nigeria. We are alone and God gave us numerical strength but we are abusing it. Since Urhobo must not be in the opposition again then we must work for PDP. If we want to criticise we will do so in the mainstream. We need somebody that has not only previous knowledge in law making but also one who has a personal link with the Presidency. If Agwariavwodo is there he is a better material for the Urhobo nation. I vouch that as Senator, I can always reach him any time anywhere to present the collective and individual interest of this group. Therefore, I call on you to be in the mainstream, which is PDP, and work for Agwariavwodo.”
Thus said, the house so resolved.