By Ovasa Ogaga
If former Secretary to the State Government, Obarisi (Barr.) Ovie Omo-Agege decides to seek the governorship of Delta State in 2015, there will be little political oxygen left for anyone else. I have taken so many factors into consideration to arrive at the conclusion that Omo-Agege, who came second to the two-term incumbent Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan in the PDP primaries in 2007, will become the Delta PDP best-selling candidate, the ultimate game changer as soon as he joins the race.
It has been established beyond doubt that Delta is a PDP state. To achieve total victory, it will be political naivety of the highest order to discount the fact that the PDP does not just need a candidate to merely win the governorship election, but one whose candidacy would deny the opposition APC the crucial 25% in the presidential election. I make bold to say it is only a candidate of Urhobo extraction that can achieve this for the PDP.
First, to achieve comprehensive victory, it will be politically suicidal for the PDP to ignore the declared position of the Urhobo Progress Union (UPU), that Urhobo will deliver more than 800,000 votes en bloc for the political party limited to PDP or APC that will field an eminently qualified Urhobo man of their choice to run for the office of governor to execute a pan-Delta agenda. Second, it does not require consulting oracles to know that the APC’s governorship candidate in the 2015 elections will be an Urhobo man, Chief O’tega Emerhor, to take advantage of the clamour by the Urhobo to produce the next governor of the state. Again, it does not require an oracle to discern that the APC is praying that the PDP will shoot itself in the foot and destroy its chances by fielding a non-Urhobo or an Urhobo perceived to be the lackey of Uduaghan. Third, PDP needs someone formidable enough to comprehensively defeat the candidate of Urhobo extraction, the APC will field in the governorship election.
With the earned towering stature of Omo-Agege, his sterling standing in Urhobo land and with the UPU, combined with the unique position of his appeal to all major stakeholders in the politics of the state, he is the man who will achieve the two crucial goals of winning the 2015 governorship election and flattening the APC to the extent that the party will not get the needed 25 per cent of votes in the presidential election.
Even though Omo-Agege has not declared interest in running for election, there is a rapidly unfolding inevitability of the fact that he is the only one who can secure total victory for the PDP as the party’s governorship candidate. There are some who still think that Omo-Agege and Uduaghan will not be able to work together for the greater good of Delta. Their thinking is framed by what they think they know about both men. Omo-Agege and Uduaghan, reconciled in 2011. Omo-Agege as a devout Catholic and Uduaghan as a fervent Baptist set worthy examples that reflect the word of God that forgiveness is not complete until it is put into action which they did privately and publicly, working seamlessly together during the senatorial bye election in October 2013 to deliver victory to PDP to the cheered pleasant surprise of supporters of PDP and shock of followers of APC. It is therefore a tested winning combination and partnership that should be repeated to secure victory in 2015. This is why I believe Uduaghan will su
pport and own the process that will eventually endorse Omo-Agege as the governorship candidate of PDP. This will further cement their relationship which Omo-Agege will never sabotage because he is a principled man whose word is his bond and will not under any circumstance work against Uduaghan’s interests and legacies. In fact, only a PDP victory will protect Uduaghan’s interests and only candidate Omo-Agege will make the PDP victory a sure thing.
What Omo-Agege lacked when he was a governorship candidate in 2011 was the support of UPU and Urhobo. As an astute politician, he learnt from that setback and re-strategized to rectify the problem. He is presently the national chairman of the formidable Urhobo Political Congress which enjoys huge following, trust and confidence of Urhobo and UPU, effectively erasing all doubts that he will harness the support of UPU and Urhobo who vote as a group for the PDP to harvest a comprehensive victory. Just as our economy was recently rebased to become the biggest in Africa, Omo-Agege rebased his political worth and today currently stands shoulder and head above other politicians from Delta Central Senatorial district and beyond.
Some Delta compatriots who think it is their turn to produce the next governor should know that in the absence of any valid zoning arrangement that is acceptable to all, an Anioma PDP gubernatorial candidate cannot achieve the twin goal of winning the governorship and denying APC 25 percent of the votes in the presidential election.In fact, given the prevailing realities, the inconvenient truth is that an Anioma PDP governorship candidate will not win the governorship election and will also deny President Jonathan victory in the presidential election in Delta because of protest votes by Urhobo who will switch en masse to the APC, not the DPP.
The question is, will OvieOmo-Agege run for the office of governor? Another question: If Omo-Agege has not made up his mind to run, will the PDP at the highest level which include the president and state governor wisely prevail upon him to run? If they do, total victory for the PDP in Delta will be taken for granted without taking anything for granted.
*Ogaga, Senior Correspondent of Advocate, lives in Warri.