By Emma Amaize , Regional Editor, South South
CHAIRMAN of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, in Delta State, Chief Edwin Uzor, who was overseas when the former Chief of Staff to the Delta State Government, Chief Paulinus Akpeki, two ex-Commissioners, Misan Ukubeyinje and Ebifa Ijomah and an ex-governorship aspirant, Dr. Akwara, dumped the party for the rival All Progressives Congress, APC, last week, returned during the week to castigate them. He spoke to reporters at the party’s secretariat in Asaba. Excerpt.
This development, to say the least, is no big deal and does not pose any threat to us as a party that has positively touched lives, including those of the decampees. The decampees have only succeeded in exposing themselves as political jobbers, prostitutes and fair weather politicians, who believe they must be in government at all cost.
These same persons who did not contribute to the victory of the APC at the center have suddenly realized that Delta state must not be in the opposition even when the APC did not win one local government area in the state in the last general election. Why did they not join the APC when the party was in opposition?
It all goes to suggest that they are selfish politicians who are only concerned with what they stand to gain from the system rather than what they can give it.
Akpeki discarded by his people
Chief Paulinus Akpeki, who claims to come from ward 4, unit 7 of Sapele local government areas, has been rejected by his people because they have never seen him as one of them. He did not mentor any younger politician to take over from him, but instead he wants to be in power in every dispensation, with nothing to show for his long stay in government in terms of development for his people.
On his advancement of being freed from the grip of the PDP in the state as a reason for quitting the party, Chief Akpeki needs to be reminded that he and his like had enjoyed the goodwill of PDP when the party was on the saddle at the center and it would take an unreasonable person to believe that he and his likes had been held down by a party he had comfortably belonged to for over 16 years.
It has become fashionable for him to remain in power and now that he has not achieved that , he has pitched tent with the APC as a short cut to gaining relevance. While the PDP would not lose sleep over his exit from the party, his new fond love, the APC, should be wary of a man who would want to reap where he did not sow.
Ukubeyinje added no value to PDP
For Barrister Misan Ukubeyinje, who started his political journey with the defunct Alliance for Democracy, AD, under which he lost the 1999 House of Assembly election, before crossing over to the PDP in 2001 to win the election and got re-elected in 2003 for another four-year tenure, he should not forget that he was in the opposition as youth leader of the then Action Congress of Nigeria, before he was magnanimously appointed Commissioner for Agriculture in 2011 even without renouncing his membership of ACN.
He also benefited immensely from the benevolence of PDP leaders in Warri North despite his not contributing to the victory of the party in the 2011 elections. We are, therefore, not shaken by his decision to call it quit because he has never contributed anything to the success of the PDP in any election.
Ebifa Ijomah, a political apprentice
Ebifa Ijomah is only a political apprentice who was brought to limelight by the PDP-led government of Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan because of the influence of his father, Professor B. I. C. Ijomah. He was appointed Commissioner for Youth Development and his tenure left much to be desired as it witnessed unprecedented youth restiveness in the state before he was redeployed to the Ministry of Economic Planning where he again exposed his himself.
While we agree that he has the right to associate with any organization of his choice, it is rather unfortunate that the had chosen to dump the PDP because he has not been offered appointment which he vigorously lobbied for only two weeks back. We wish him the best in his future endeavors.
Dr. Akwara not a politician
Dr. Akwara once came to my office to say he was to contest for the governorship seat. When asked to state his ward, he could not and did not know how many local government areas we have in Delta state. The Dr. Akwara I know is a medical doctor and not a politician. His exit from the PDP will therefore have no effect because he he has nothing to offer politically.
How God answered our prayer
The issue of Delta being in the opposition as a reason for the defection is laughable because the APC had been in opposition at the center for 16 years before winning the 2015 election. Would the party have won the election if its members had decamped to other political parties, those who decamp when things are not going in their favour are hungry politicians that lack character and must not be trusted.
Defection is only an option available to lazy politicians without base and grassroots. The exit of Chief Akpeki, Barr Ukubeyinje, Mr. Ijomah and others from the PDP shows that God has answered our prayer because Delta state is a praying state and we of the PDP have also been praying that those who would make the government of His Excellency, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, not to achieve its goal of prosperity for all Deltans should leave the party for good.
The PDP in Delta state today is stronger and more focused than ever before to deliver the state on its electioneering promises and with our governor, Senator Okowa, Deltans should expect nothing less. We call on all members of our great party across the state not to be distracted by those who are of no relevance to the future of the party and focus on current efforts to reclaim power at the centre come 2019.