ON April 14, 2007 the people of Delta State trooped out to elect a governor to manage the affairs of the state.Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan was given that mandate, having polled the majority votes in that election.

On November 9, 2010 over three and a half years later, the Court of Appeal sitting in Benin City, Edo State, nullified the election on the grounds that it was marked with irregularities, overturning the earlier verdict of the Delta State Electoral Tribunal in Asaba which had given the victory to Uduaghan.

It ordered a fresh election to be held within 90 days, bringing the 2007 gubernatorial candidates back to the starting blocks.

The appeal was filed by the Democratic Peoples Party, DPP, candidate, Chief Great Ogboru, after Uduaghan’s victory at the Electoral Tribunal in Asaba on October 20, 2009.

Ogboru’s camp maintains that the governorship election did not hold in Delta State on April 14, 2007, saying “we did not vote in 2007, and we believe that we will vote this time around.”

The re-run election is clearly between two candidates – Chief Great Ogboru, representing the DPP and Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, representing the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP – and it can hardly be expected to be a stiff one.

Except in Abraka, Ogboru’s hometown, Democratic Peoples Party, DPP, exists only in name in the whole of Delta State. During through the streets of Asaba, the state capital and other towns like Warri, Ughelli, Agbor, Sapele, Koko, Oghara and others, nowhere can a DPP office be seen. The party is simply nonexistent.

It is not possible to plant a tree from the top. Incontrovertibly, its roots  must be firmly embedded in the ground, for it to grow to its fullest stature. Besides, there is the need for continuous monitoring of the plant, prunning and weeding so that it may realise its fullest potentials.

But surprisingly this is exactly what the big wigs of DPP seem to have done  with  regards their party: planted it from the top and in the air, since the party hardly makes itself felt in the state. What is more, there is no monitoring of this political plant whatsoever, no  pruning or weeding of any kind. The powers that be simply believe that the party exists  in the state, even when all indications point to the contrary. That is the sublime irony of DPP’s presence in Delta State.

At the national level, it has been subsumed by the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN. Many have even asked what DPP stands for.

The  facts on ground therefore indicate that Ogboru and his DPP do not have  the prowess  to dismantle the formidable socio-political structure of the PDP in Delta State, personified by Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan. It is easy to be carried away, though, by the rabbles raised by the few dissenting personalities in the PDP who have pitched their tents against the erstwhile governor for personal reasons.

By and large, however, it is certainly impossible to ignore Dr. Uduaghan in the political terrain of Delta State.

The very essence of the situation was captured by Uduaghan himself when he told reporters recently: “My works will speak for me; those who voted for me in 2007, those who have seen our good works, those who have been impacted by our vision in the last three years; those who share our vision for a future Delta State.

And those who want us to complete the good works we have started will renew our mandate to the glory of Delta State and God Almighty.”

Indeed the various groups who fall into each of the categories he has  mentioned have been yelling for a renewed mandate for Dr. Uduaghan. The National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, for example, has adopted Dr. Uduaghan as its candidate in the re-run election. In a statement by its Zone ‘B’ co-ordinator, Mr. Mafiejor Michael, NANS said.

“Senate of NANS has unanimously adopted Uduaghan as its candidate for the re-run election in Delta State.”  Similarly, the National Association of Delta State Students, NADESSTU, on another occasion, has called on all students in the state to vote for Uduaghan in the re-run election. They cited the scholarships and bursaries awarded by the erstwhile Uduaghan administration to students of the state origin as one of the  reasons for their support.

The clamour is everywhere and indeed Uduaghan’s achievements are there for all to see. The Asaba International Airport project is there as a major achievement of the Uduaghan-led government. When it comes on stream, it will save people the ordeal of having to travel to Lagos, Abuja and other parts of the country by road.

In the same vein, traders from nearby Onitsha who import goods from abroad can  now bring them in through the airport. There is no telling the magnitude of commercial activity the airport will bring to Delta State. The Usubi airport near Warri must also be viewed from the same perspective.

The activities of DESOPADEC are too numerous to recount. Sufficie it here to say that the interventionist agency has been impacting on  the lives of Deltans in every facet of life.

Mr. Ambby OKUHOR, an architect, writes from Oleh, Delta State.

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