UGHELLI—THE Delta State Elders, Leaders and Stakeholders Forum, led by foremost Ijaw Leader, Chief Edwin Clark, have vowed not to support the re-election bid of Dr. Emmanuel Udugahan whose election as governor of Delta State was recently annulled by an Appeal Court sitting in Benin City, Edo State.
At a briefing in Kiagbodo, the country home of Chief Edwin Clark, the elders said, “We will therefore not yield to any blackmail or intimidation because our position has been vindicated by the judiciary and Almighty God.”
The group, in a statement signed by Prince A. Abugo and Sir Eddy Akangbo, Publicity Secretary and Secretary respectively, declared that “we will not support Dr Uduaghan’s candidature because the party is divided into factions since 2006 as a result of his imposition on the people of Delta State by his first cousin, Chief James Onanefe Ibori.
The impeccable Court of Appeal in its judgment, directed that fresh election should be held and not re-run. We are therefore calling on the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Atahiru Jega, to make a declaration as to the difference between a re-run of an election and fresh election in order to educate or inform the people of Delta State on what type of election they should expect and who should participate in such election.”
Speaking with newsmen during the conference, the former Information Minister said he would rather die than accept what was unfair for the people of the state, commending the Court of Appeal for its judgment.
According to him, their problem with Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan did not start today and they would not allow anybody to impose him on them.
He noted that internal wrangling within the PDP in the state and the unacceptability of Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan would not affect the prospects of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan in the 2011 election in the state.
Saying that Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan was unpopular in the state and beyond, he alleged that the erstwhile governor did not perform while in office.
He however said some of them were against Chief Great Ogboru for not pursuing his case with all seriousness, until they were vindicated by the court.
According to him: “We wish to restate our position that we will not support Dr. Uduaghan’s candidature because the party is divided into two factions since 2006 as a result of his imposition on Deltans. We will there fore not yield to blackmail or intimidation because our position has been vindicated by the judiciary and the Almighty God.
“Imagine, Dr. Uduaghan said he is on sabatical leave but we won’t allow that because he has been occupying Government House illegally as no credible election was conducted in 2007. The Court of Appeal has taken a decision and we have to stand by that decision. However, I want to say that the case of Peter Okocha versus Dr. Uduaghan is quite different from the Ogboru versus Uduaghna case, hence we are urging the INEC to order a fresh election in the state.”