Former Delta State Governor and a prominent resource control advocate, James Ibori, is currently moving against his cousin, Emmanuel Uduaghan, whom he made politically in the state, and the factional National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, saying there is no alternative to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in this coming Saturday Governorship and state House of Assembly elections.
Ibori has been appealing to Ijaw, Itsekiri, Urhobo, and other ethnic groups in the state to massively vote to re-elect Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, and the other candidates of the PDP in the state.
Delta, one of the big oil states in the Niger Delta area, has been a traditional PDP state since 1999. Ibori wants the electorate of the state to be consistent as they have been with him and Uduaghan who is now in the APC.
At an enlarged Delta Central meeting ahead of the election, Ibori who dominated the affairs of the oil state from 1999 to 2007 said, ‘’we are here to reassure our governor that the Urhobo are ready to vote for him on March 9. Let us prove that we can vote massively for the governor and candidates of the PDP on March 9.
‘’Mobilise without inhibitions or reservation and deliver fully for the PDP, because, you did it very well for me and did it for Uduaghan. So, we must do it for Governor Okowa to complete eight years as we did.’’
Continuing, he said, ‘’our Ijaw brothers, you cannot say you don’t have a stake in this government. So, you must protect your stake. The PDP has done very well for the Ijaw. We have also done very well for the Itsekiri. After all, we gave you people governor and I commend our Isoko brothers. You have to do your best. You did very well in the last elections, proving that politics is not all about money.
‘’I have said it time and time again that with what the PDP has put in place for the peace and unity of Delta, Governor Okowa, by the grace of God, has done four years and God will keep him as governor for another four years. I am not in opposition with anybody. What I am saying is that we should live in peace and unity and those of you in Delta South should give us the votes that we need to deliver the party.’’
But Oshiomhole is literally on his knees, begging the people of Delta to vote for the APC and boastfully vowed to unseat the PDP in the state.
He was speaking at the PTI Conference Centre, Effurun, Uvwie Local Government Area of the state during a town hall meeting with APC stakeholders to garner support for the party’s governorship candidate, Great Ogboru and other candidates in the election.
According to him, ‘’the electorate can go ahead and collect money from the PDP if they decide to use the state resources to induce you. Take your money because it belongs to you and disappoint them by voting for APC during the election. PDP can no longer win election in Delta State since the party is now outdated. PDP is now in a political menopause throughout Nigeria. You the Delta APC have substantially weakened the rigging machines of the PDP in Delta State.
‘’This time around, you will stop them on Saturday and ensure that the Okowa and PDP reign in Delta is brought to an end. No one will provide unlawful security. Security operatives should ensure that votes are counted because President Muhammadu Buhari wants to have cleaner elections.’’
Buhari who was represented by his deputy, Yemi Osinbajo, called on Deltans to vote massively for Ogboru and other APC candidates in the election even as he restated the commitment of his administration to providing adequate security for the elections.
For Buhari, ‘’why should Delta be an opposition state? Why? There is no reason for it at all. For all the periods that Delta State has had high resources, what we need is a change from a progressive party. The time has come. This is the moment; let us seize that moment. I want to say there is ample reason for us as a people of this great state to ensure that we do not betray the trust of the millions of people of the state.
‘’Here, I speak to party members. Why the disunity and fighting among ourselves? That is what our opponents want the most. They want to see a divided party. A party where we are pointing accusing fingers at each other. If we are divided, there is no way we can possibly win. If we are divided that is the end of it. If we work together, we will definitely win and emerged victorious this Saturday. I believe that we can work together.
‘’What happened last Saturday is a great victory for us, but it is only the beginning because the completion of that victory is going to come by the grace of God on Saturday March 9, 2019, when we vote in our own governor, Ogboru, who will by the grace of God be a governor from that very day.
‘’It is their way in the past how the PDP used and abused security in the country. We have seen frequently how they manage as victors when they are actually losers. So, there is no reason at all why we should not pay special attention to security and we will do so. I will ensure that we do so.’’
The APC House of Representatives candidate for Isoko Federal Constituency, Joel-Onowakpo Thomas, had earlier narrated to the APC leaders, how officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) allegedly connived with PDP and its House of Representatives candidate to ‘’massively rig the last House of Representatives election in the area’’ in favour of his opponent, and called for urgent steps to ‘’address the abnormalities’’.
Meanwhile, former Governor Uduaghan, O’tega Emerhor, APC former governorship candidate and leader in the state; Senator Ovie Omo-Agege; Ima Niboro; Francis Waive and a host of others, are calling on Delta APC leaders to close ranks and work in the interest of the party in ensuring victory on Saturday.