The senatorial ambition of former Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State is not likely to have a smooth sail in the turbulent creeks of the state as the lords of the politics there do not appear to be on the same page with him.
Uduaghan was made by his cousin, Chief James Ibori, who dominated the affairs of the big oil state as governor from 1999-2007. Ibori made Uduaghan Health Commissioner (1999-2003), Secretary to the State Government (2003-2007), and eventually programmed him into office as his successor in 2007, on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)
But the former governor, apparently unsure of his political future, dumped the PDP and migrated to the All Progressives Congress (APC) with the blessings of those who politically matter in his life.
Already, the state government has started to challenge Uduaghan to tell the world about the purported legacy projects he is claiming to have left behind which his successor has destroyed.
This is coming as Ibori has declared that his cousin needs prayers for leaving the PDP to the APC. Former Information Minister Professor Sam Oyovbaire, quotied Ibori as saying that he felt sorry for Uduaghan for his action.
According to Oyovbaire, ‘’I was with Chief Ibori, we had opportunity to discuss about Uduaghan, believe you me, what he told me, I have no cause not to believe him, he said he was sorry for his older cousin for leaving PDP.
‘’He said to quote him that we should just pray for him, let him go, which meant that he may have done some works, but I was not part of that work, so I will tell you that I have every cause to believe that Ibori is very much is with us.
‘’The day we were having this conversation, his daughter, who had bought her form in PDP was going around for consultation to appreciate the leaders of Ethiope East PDP, particularly in Mosogar and Jesse axis, so all evidence points that James Ibori is with us. He felt bad, I am not sure that he is happy that Uduaghan had to go and that was why he said please help me pray for him.’’
Contrary to Uduaghan posturing, the state government says they are still cleaning the huge mess left behind by the state immediate past governor.
Information Commissioner Patrick Ukah, said in Abuja that Uduaghan should stop lying to the public of a none existent ‘legacies project’ because of his desperation to become a senator.
‘’Governor Ifeanyi Okowa is cleaning up his (Uduaghan’s) mess and he is trying to damage the good work of Governor Okowa. We have concluded to send Okowa back in 2019 to complete his good work’’, Ukah said.
Continuing, the commissioner said the state government reserve its comment ‘’on issues of legacy project. We also wish him well in his new party and we are not here to join issue with our past governor’’, and accordingly debunked the statement of Uduaghan that the Okowa-led administration is on a vindictive mission to bulldoze his legacies as governor.
Ukah said that though it is not the style of the state government to respond to fallacious claims, “we owe the public the duty to set the record straight particularly when such lies spilled by a former Governor who this administration has given his dues and respect.”
He regretted that ‘’Uduaghan, who has been in government since 1999 under the platform of PDP, also a governor for two tenures, has today turned against PDP after his recent defection to the ruling APC with the aspiration to become a senator.’’
The information commissioner then noted, ‘’Uduaghan needs to do more to convince Deltans that his desperate desire to become a senator should not make him feed the public with lies about non-existent legacy projects.’’
Adding, Ukah said, ‘’more so, Deltans and Nigerians who visit the state daily are aware that the former governor has no legacies in his eight years in government thus his day-dreaming claims to legacy project will not fly’’.