As the countdown to the 2019 general election begins, a political pressure group, Convocation of Delta APC Support Groups (CDASG), has accused serial Delta State governorship candidate, Chief Ovedje Ogboru and the senator representing Delta Central Senatorial district, Ovie Omo-Agege of promoting what they described as an “anti-APC” idea.
The group also indicted the duo of working actively for the Delta State governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa in order for the APC and indeed President Buhari to lose the 2019 elections in Delta State.
Convener of the group, Prince Daniel Ekiugbo and its Coordinating Secretary, Hon David Ebrunu in a statement Monday, May 28, 2018, juxtaposed the efforts of Olorogun O’tega Emerhor who is the leader of the party in the state and that of Ogboru and Omo-Agege towards ensuring that the APC emerges victorious at the polls come 2019.
The group while harping on the efforts of Emerhor, noted that having x-rayed the potentials of the party, Emerhor wants a strong candidate from Delta North to challenge Governor Okowa who is from Delta North and who has failed woefully as a governor stressing that Emerhor’s plan is to kill two birds with one stone by maintaining existing rotational/zoning arrangement to appease Delta North and by extension, Delta South voters, and isolate Okowa to be directly challenged for his non performance records and gross mismanagement of Delta State resources.
On the flaws of Ogboru and Omo-Agege, it noted that the duo want Ogboru from Central Senatorial District to contest the 2019 governorship election thereby defying once again, the governorship rotational/zoning arrangement in Delta State and consequently uniting voters in Delta North and Delta South in common anger and revolt against APC in the 2019 elections stating that, “Ogboru has consistently done this, and has consistently lost.”
According to the group, “Emerhor’s strategy is to retain the zoning through an APC candidate from Delta North that shall commit to serve for the remaining 4 years of Delta North and avoid the voter backlash the disruption of the existing zoning arrangements will engender.
“While the risk of an incumbent governor reneging and wanting to do 8 years may exist, it is an easier risk to contain within the confines of an APC governorship than discarding the zoning arrangement wholesale, and continue to whistle in the wind and achieve nothing.”
Comparing this to the ideology of the Ogboru/Omo-Agege tendency, the group stated that, “for Ogboru from Delta Central to contest and win the governorship in 2019, it will mean 8 more years for Delta Central that already did 8 years (making a total of 16 years) leaving Delta North with just 4 years and jeopardizing Delta South’s wait-time calculation of 12 years. The sensitivity of voters in Delta State to this issue can only mean a loss to APC under this scenario.”
Speaking on the home front of Okowa, they said: “Emerhor’s strategy of caging Governor Okowa first at home in Delta North and subsequently in South and Central is therefore a smart and foolproof way to give APC the governorship come 2019.
“On the other hand, it is a well known fact that Ogboru/Agege strategy of an APC candidate from the central senatorial district with 8 LGAs will leave the whole of Delta North Senatorial district (9 LGAs) free and unchallenged for Governor Okowa and embolden him to go for broke in Central and South, which also has 8 LGAs.”
Speaking further, they said: “It is also an open secret that Governor Okowa dreads Emerhor’s determination to ensure the emergence of strong, rugged and time tested Delta North candidates like former Delta Assembly Speaker, Rt. Hon. Victor Ochei, Hon. Cairo Ojougboh, a former house of reps member and former deputy national chairman of the PDP, who are among the array of Delta North aspirants from Governor Okowa’s backyard who can fight him to a standstill first in Delta North and further in Delta Central and South districts.
“On the other hand, it is an open secret in Delta State that Governor Okowa not ONLY prefers Ogboru from Delta Central to contest the 2019 elections, but is ACTIVELY supporting that effort by working directly and indirectly for Ogboru’s emergence as the Delta State APC candidate in 2019. Okowa is confident that if he has Delta North with a voting strength of 650,000 wholesale, he can gain a sizeable chunk of Delta South’s 750,000 due to an APC/Ogboru miscalculation that jeopardizes their time-wait period, and split Central’s 870,000 down the middle with the influence of Ex- Governor James Ibori.
“Emerhor, however, wants the fight brought home to Okowa by challenging him in all the three districts; split or take a large size of Delta North from him, take a large chunk of the South, and split Central; then take him on in his non performance, waste of resources and gross mismanagement which his administration is grossly reputed for. Emerhor’s strategy will deny him the opportunity to hide under accusations of ethnic oppression of Anioma by the Urhobos, an excuse which an Ogboru ticket clearly provides as he seeks to divert attention away from his failure as a sitting governor.
“Ogboru/Agege may be naive or conspiratorially banking on Ogboru’s “claimed” popularity in Delta Central. They are glossing over the fact that, of the 8 LGAs of Central, PDP is near impregnable in at least 3, namely Ethiope West, Sapele and Ughelli South. Ogboru/Omo Agege plan to win Delta State for APC with 5 LGAs, is a foolish and wrongheaded strategy that will only hand Delta State to Okowa/PDP on a platter!
“Emerhor has been the foundation leader of APC since July 2013. He ran the first ever election in APC nationwide, i.e. the Delta Central Senatorial by-election in October 2013 to replace the late Senator Pius Ewherido. Emerhor has continued to build the party since then. In 2015 he contested the governorship elections against PDP’s Okowa and the same Great Ogboru who was Labour Party’s candidate.
“Emerhor funded his own campaign and substantially that of President Buhari in Delta State, placing the President’s billboards all over the nooks and crannies of Delta. He received the President for his campaign rally in Warri. He opened the doors of APC in 2016 to admit strong opposition figures into the party in order to enhance the capacity of the party to win future elections.
“Among political heavyweights admitted during this period are Rt. Hon. Victor Ochei, former Delta Speaker; Chief Great Ogboru; Senator Ovie Omo-Agege; Chief Ayiri Emami; Pastor PZ Aghinighan; Hon. Cairo Ojougboh, a former deputy National Chairman of PDP; Dr Leroy Edozien, a current governorship aspirant. Today of all those that joined the party at this period, basically everyone is working together in unity except Chief Great Ogboru and Senator Ovie Omo-Agege who it seems came purposely to factionalise the party and promote a narrow agenda.”
Warning Nigerians on the skimming of Ogboru and Senator Omo-Agege, the group said: “Nigerians must note that Ogboru/Agege joined APC in mid 2016, over a year after President Buhari was elected. They joined from Labour party, a party that adopted former President Jonathan as their Presidential candidate in the 2015 elections. They campaigned and worked for Jonathan and branded Delta APC as Boko Haram party, causing incalculable damage to the party in 2015. As soon as they joined APC, they created a faction for themselves and dubbed it Light of APC. They bluntly refused to integrate into the mainstream of the party. Now they want to seize the structures of APC in Delta State claiming they love President Buhari more than those they met on ground, who worked tirelessly night and day for the emergence of the Buhari Presidency.”