DR. Fred Oghenesivbe, is the Director of Media and Political Communication for Otega4governor Campaign Organisation. In this interview, Oghenesivbe says that the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Olorogun O’tega Emerhor remains the most suitable, trusted, qualified candidate to be adopted by the Urhobo Progressive Union (UPU) for the 2015 elections. Excerpts:
By Dapo Akinrefon
YOU are referring to Olorogun Emerhor as Urhobo consensus candidate when UPU is yet to make a pronouncement. How did you arrive at this position?
You will recall that the original Uvwiamughe Declaration by UPU is to the effect that if PDP fails to give the ticket to an Urhobo candidate, the political pendulum will of a necessity swing to the alternative national party, APC. The way things are, Labour Party (LP) is not a national party.
They don’t have the national spread in terms of membership. They have a near zero presence at both state and federal assemblies. Coupled with that is the fact that LP does not have a presidential candidate. So, I am of the opinion that the UPU will not have a stake in a political party where the leadership are in crisis and I hear that some of the aggrieved members are going to seek redress in court very soon. So, the Urhobo governorship agenda is broad and highly sophisticated now. The Urhobo nation will not settle for any less than what will give us sweet victory.
APC has the platform, the national spread and performance record. If the UPU settle with LP, which is not possible under the Uvwiamughe original concept, it means that somewhere along the line LP will hand over their victory and structure back to PDP which hitherto denied them the Urhobo governorship candidate.
Most significantly is the event that took place at the Royal Palace of the Ovie of Ughelli, on December 31, 2014 where 24 traditional rulers in Urhobo nation declared Olorogun Emerhor, as their consensus governorship candidate.
But the perception about Emerhor is that he is not a grassroots politician and therefore not qualified to be adopted as Urhobo consensus candidate. What is your position?
Tony Obuh was not a grassroot politician but he was already a threat to the so-called grassroots politicians in the state before he was prevailed upon to step down for Olorogun Edevwie. Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos was never a grassroots politician.
He was a legal practitioner and senior advocate before he came into government and subsequently emerged as governor of Lagos State. He performed creditably as governor even though he was not a grassroots politician. Grassroots politicians have disappointed our people because from 1999 till date, our people have been groaning under the heavy yoke of poverty, unemployment and infrastructural decay. We have been disappointed by grassroots politicians.
That is why the ideal thing now is to field a candidate that has the pedigree, good track records in corporate governance. He is a personality with the right swag to deliver the Urhobo agenda.
Deltans want jobs, empowerment, good roads and every other thing that makes life worth living. The APC candidate, Olorogun Emerhor … is a first class brain. He had first class degree in Accounting from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.