A typical Delta pidgin goes this way:“Play play naim de turn to eat and go”. The Delta Central Senatorial by- election which took place on October 12, 2003 turned out to be such that most people in Delta felt the APC, a party that had nothing on ground and the DPP decided to change the fortune of the Urhobo Nation by coming back in their droves to vote PDP and reclaim the glory which the PDP lost narrowly in 2011 to DPP.
I knew and told anyone that cared to listen after the unfortunate demise of Senator Pius Ewherido, a former PDP man, who joined the opposition DPP and literally ran away with the Delta Central Senatorial seat, that PDP would win back the temporarily lost mandate. For one, in Delta, the PDP’s goodwill and love by the people has remained intact.
One could see how odd it looked with the lone Senator in the Red Chambers representing a major ethnic group. Recall that the Urhobos were calling on the Federal Government’s attention to the seeminglymarginalised plight of the Urhobos .
This time around, to retake what belonged to the PDP by virtue of its popularity, the Urhobo Nation spoke as One-Man, in very loud voice to proclaim their “Ovuovoness” and common destiny by emphatically voting in a Tsunami style, reminiscent of the 2012 flood by giving the PDP 263,024 votes to defeat eight other candidates.
The PDP won in all the eight local government areas in the Senatorial district; indeed it was PDP all the way as it moved fast like a train ready to crush any obstacle on its path.
Though the victory was predictable, a lot of zeal had gone into its execution as the PDP leadership ensured that they were not taken for a ride a second time. With the kind of scenario playing out in some parts of the country where some seven rebelling governors had the effrontery to test the will, authority and determination of the ruling PDP, Delta State,with Governor Uduaghan, a staunch supporterof President Goodluck Jonathan, the least expected of him was to overrun all the opponents even in their strong holds and bedrooms. And permanently erase or wipe any traces of the opposition in Delta where PDP is the only party standing.
As expected, the losers have given several excuses why they lost out, alleging that the election was rigged and characterised by massive fraud. We know that in Nigeria, people do not accept defeat at the polls, especially when a party that was registered two months ago like APC was expecting miracles to happen and record victory on a platter of gold. They wrongly described the election as a sham and alleging impunity and violence.
For Dafinone: “We are here to tell the world that the people of Delta Central were denied the right to choose a Senator of their own choice” (whatever this means).
Emerhor, the APC candidate, said: “I hereby place it on record that no bye election took place in Delta Central on October 12, 2013. What took place was a sham calculated to select a Senator.” What do we make of this?
The APGA candidate is moving to the court with his team of lawyers. These reactions are also too familiar and Delta PDP had witnessed several election tribunal cases and had won them all. These threats would not be different and the Governor is ever so prepared to take them all in his stride.
Uduaghan’s tradition after winning an election is usually to church to give praises to the Almighty. It was not different this time as he said that it was the power of God that “the PDP regained its lost territory in the state which is Delta Central Senatorial District. The victory is worth celebrating as some parties had even written petitions … while the election was going on, claiming there was no election in the state.”
He urged Chief Emmanuel Aguawariavwodo to give effective representation to his people and attract democracy dividends to the state.
For the PDP State Chairman, Chief Peter Nwoboshi, the oracle turned miracle, told the opposition party leadership in this frank response to the DPP chairman: “I do not want to respond to unfounded allegations by the losing parties”. He pointedly told the DPP Chairman, Chief Eseagwu that: “He is not even a political party chairman because he was not elected by any congress. You are journalists, go and find out.”
Peter Nwoboshi, a lawyer said that by the provisions of the Electoral Act, the DPP with Ezeagwu and APC do not have any party chairmen in the state but the PDP did not want to rely on technicality to knock their parties out of the polls. Its votes speak of its general and broad acceptance anyway.
“And that was why we said let us go to the polls and prove who is who,” I can recall Nwoboshi saying.
The outcome of the by-election has again proved beyond doubt that Dr. Uduaghan is not just a true Commander of the Order of the Niger, CON, but also as a task master of the art of winning elections. This he did by pushing back what I would call a band of OPC mercenaries from OduduwaRepublic with a mixture of some miscreants from Edo and Abiku enclaves. Governor Uduaghan has sent a very strong message to the invading political merchants who mistook Delta for EdoState and believed that they could re-enact Tinubu’s and Buhari’s party in DeltaState.
For turning them back to their zones, the Governor has proved that he is solely in charge in DeltaState and would not brook all any rubbish from those trying to use brooms to sweep themselves into power.
‘Delta No dey Carry Last’.
So, what the opposition have been told, in their numbers and quantity, and not necessarily quality, and also in very emphatic terms through the bye election in Delta Central, is that 2015 will have a similar show of PDP supremacy in the governorship poll and all other elections, including the council poll.
The senatorial bye electionsis a dress rehearsal; the biggest is coming and what would hit the opponents in 2015 will be a bomb shell- a political equivalent of Hiroshima where a nuclear bomb was dropped off by the Americans during World War Two.
I have spoken with stakeholders and the people and all they are saying is: Welcome, Aguawariavwodo Emmanuel, relate well in Abuja and keep all the election promises. THE PEOPLE TRUST YOU!
BY WILLIAM BOZIMO a veteran journalist, wrote from Asaba, Delta State