By Kingsley Omonobi
Delta State governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan yesterday laughed off allegations that his victory in the January 6, 2011 guber re-run election over his main opponents, Chief Great Ogboru was influenced by alledged rigging of the votes of the three Warri Local governments over that of the mainland areas of the state saying, “if you look at those who registered to vote in the state, the truth is that the Warri area of these people have been surviving on elections.
“In fact if you look at the elections from Mid-West, old Bendel, even up till now, you have always had majority of the votes coming from the Warri axis”.
He made the disclosure even as he declared that his support for the emergence of President Goodluck Jonathan during the PDP presidential primaries as well as the 2011 presidential elections was total and 100 per cent insisting that those who tried to sell dummy rumours that he was against the President, were the ones working against Jonathan’s emergence as the PDP flag bearer for 2011 elections.
For instance, Uduaghan who spoke in Abuja disclosed that the recent meeting between governors of the South East and their colleagues from the South-South and those of the PDP and APGA in Asaba was a form of alliance in the making, towards ensuring that President Jonathan secures the total support of the two zones during April’s election.
“It is not a merger. It is an understanding. Jonathan as emerged as the PDP candidate. We as governors from the South need to prepare for April election. We are aware APGA has not strong candidates so the need for us to work together. In the next few days or weeks, we are going to move to other regions towards actualizing the goal because politics is a game of numbers”.
On the Delta re-run and allegation of rigging in the three Warri local governments, Uduaghan said, “This is not the first time we are having majority of the votes that determined the winner in an election from that side. Many times it is the votes that come from that side that decide who the governor becomes. Let’s go back to history; from the days of Alfred Rewane, he always made sure that the people are sensitized to vote because that is the only way they survive. So it is nothing new. I will only add that they are more politically conscious and sensitive to voting”.
Explaining the Warri situation further he said, “Lets say we are in a room and we are about 20 in the room. We can have 10 people in another room and they say, go for an election. You will be surprised that at the end, you might have more people from the room with 10 people, voting more than the people from the room withy 20 persons. Of the 20 persons, maybe only 3 might vote while 8 of the 10 other persons might vote. So relatively, you now ask, why there are more votes from the smaller room than the bigger room”.
“The thing is this; the issue of population is subjective. If you go back to the last population census, it is not true that you have more people in the upland areas of Delta state than the riverine communities of Delta, made of Warri and so on”.
“Moreover, the people of Warri know me as one of their own who has suffered and toiled with them in their hour of suffering. So as far as they are concerned, I am a safe pair of hands for them. I have been involved in a lot of things that brought peace to them today. So whether they are Ijaw, Urobo, Itsekiri, I am the one they know. I am the one they want to deal with.
“Even the issue of the annulment of the election in the first place, was very painful to them. To them it was a challenge because they felt; ‘why and how did this come about because Uduaghan is our own’. And really, this is the first time they are really having their own as governor”.