Chief Benedict Asaboro is a lawyer based in Ughelli and hails from Isoko in Delta State. In this interview, he speaks on the state re-run election and his defection to the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), among other issues of public interest.
Few weeks ago, Chief Ovie Omo-Agege, you and others decamped to ACN with the aim of actualizing Omo-Agege’s dream of becoming the governor of the state come 2011. What is the attraction in ACN?
Well, as far as I am concerned, it is true that there is the wind of change which necessitated some of us to go into ACN. Looking at the scenario in the country, the progressives have to join forces together and the only party I see that is really spearheading the progressive forces in this country is ACN. That I’m more at home in ACN.
What is your comment on the recent verdict on the 2007 governorship election to be re-conducted in Delta State?
The verdict is a very sound establishment of democracy and it is a lesson to those who had the mindset that election can be done through snatching of ballot boxes, like the majority of PDP members. You see, they came into power illegally, fraudulently and held on to power.
This verdict is a lesson to everyone that the days are gone whereby you snatch ballot boxes and automatically claim to be victorious. To that extent, I welcome the verdict and, as a legal practitioner, I also see that the verdict is in conformity with the tenets of the Electoral Act and equity.
What will be the place of ACN since the re-run would be between DPP and PDP?
As far as I am concerned, the issue of DPP and PDP does not arise in the sense that even in the PDP camp, you cannot pinpoint whether it is Uduaghan that is in PDP or X; we know PDP in Delta State is a scattered party and because of that we bowed out. So, the issue of a re-run is a personal thing to an extent, because, in law, having regard to the multi-party system, you cannot run election unless through a political party but, that notwithstanding, the true position is that people will vote for personalities and across party lines.
As far as I am concerned, it is conformity with common sense for one to vote for the man who brought about the removal of Uduaghan and that is Great Ovedje Ogboru.
According to the verdict, there was no election and the state House of Assembly election was also conducted same day. Can you justify the legality of members of the DTHA?
A court of law is like somebody going into the stream to wash clothes; it is the clothes you bring before the stream that it washes.
As far as the House of Assembly is concerned, no issue arose and even if it arose, some of them were nullified; for instance; the election of former speaker of the House, Hon. Martins Okonta, was nullified based on the fact that the man from that constituency in Ika-South came up and fought to succeed. You know that most Nigerians are very parochial, most especially, Deltans, we don’t like to fight for our right. So, Okonta’s case is a clear issue.
Don’t you see the call for the arrest of Dr. Uduaghan by Chief Edwin Clark as witch-hunting and also capable of jeopardising the chances of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan becoming the president next year?
Well, even the position of the president, as it is now, may jeopardise the position of the South-South becoming a president because his interest should not override national interest. He being the president of this country today is not for his personal political aggrandisement.
If he decided to let go the governorship seat of Delta State to an unpopular candidate, many people in the South-South will see him as incompetent and, to that extent, he will not be the right choice for them.