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Urhobo must respect others in Delta State — Onuesoke

BY EPHRAIM OSEJI

Chief Sunny Onuesoke is a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Country Director of Network for Good Governance (N4GG, ). In this interview, he speaks on President Goodluck Jonathan and the 2015 general election. He also speaks on the need for the Urhobo ethnic nationality to join forces with PDP in Delta State in 2015 general elections. Excerpts:

What do you make of President Jonathan’s second term race?

Honesty, I am excited because there will be better understanding for his transformational agenda.

With the way things are going do you think he will win especially with more forces now behind Mohammadu?

Like in United States and other developed parts of the world, winning Presidential election does not come easily. But I am very confident that with past achievements embedded in his transformational agenda he will beat Buhari to win the the presidential election in 2015.

From the feelers we are getting, it appears the presidential contest between Goodluck Jonathan and Muhammadu Buhari is going to be a close contest. How do you see this development?

There is no where in the world presidential contest has been smooth. But I am very optimistic that Jonathan will defeat Buhari in 2015. The statistics are fully in favour of Goodluck Jonathan. In the South-South of Nigeria there will be 80 per cent votes for PDP. The Middle Belt is ultimately and totally 100 percent for PDP. North Central is also totally for the PDP. I am talking without fear or favour that in the North PDP has 12 states under its control. I am telling you that 95 per cent of the people in the South-West will vote in favour of Jonathan.

The South West are bitterly complaining about marginalisation by the Jonathan administration.

For the Afenifere to say the Yorubas did not benefit from Goodluck Jonathan’s government is unfair and not true. The Senate Speakership position was sold by the Yorubas. If you go to hallow chambers ask who nominated Aminu Tambuwal? It was Tinubu who circumvented the position and gave it to Aminu Tambuwal who is from the North. He did it with reasons best known to him.

There is this fear that 2015 election will lead to violence and possible disintegration of the country. Do you think so?

The unity of this country will be intact after the 2015 election. The unity of this country is ensured by the actions of the poor. The poverty class will be the last people to disintegrate Nigeria. If the elites decide to disintegrate Nigeria it will not work. No Northern leader that will call for the disintegration of Nigeria because it will affect them more.

What is your take on reaction trailing N21b raised for the campaign of President Goodluck Jonathan.

Those criticising the fund raising for Goodluck Jonathan campaign next month should come out and tell us where it is written in the electoral law. Didn’t an individual donate $15 million for George Bush’s campaign in 1980? Did an individual donate that amount for Jonathan’s election. The highest an individual donated was N2b.

There are knocks on the Federal Government on the issues of security and corruption.

Goodluck Jonathan has handled both issues perfectly. Is it because Jonathan is not a noise maker? Is it because Jonathan is a quiet leader? Can you compare Obasanjo’s government with that of Jonathan with regard to corruption? Removing people unjustly without due process? Boko Haram is not Goodluck Jonathan’s making. They created a monster they cannot control. We need 90 percent of the leaders in the North to put a stop to the activities of Boko Haram. We did it in Niger Delta and so the Northerners should be able to do it. Do you fight someone you do not see.

What is your take on the emergence of Senator Ifeanyi Okowa as PDP Governorship candidate in Delta State?

PDP is one family in Delta. There is no oppression. The election of Okowa as PDP governorship candidate in Delta State was free and fair.

Do you think the Urhobos will move out of PDP for not getting the governorship ticket?

How will they move out of PDP for not getting the governorship ticket? These are the issues we are saying. Urhobos got Chief James Ibori as the Governor for eight years. They also got Prof Amos Utuama as Deputy Governor for eight years. Whether Igbo, Iitsekiri or Ijaw, all we need is development. Urhobo cannot do it alone. They need the cooperation of the Itsekiris, Ijaw and Delta North in everything. I am a loyal party man. All we want is development like what Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan is doing. I do not know Uduaghan as an Itsekiri man but as a governor of Delta State providing three point agenda for the development of the state.

Your support for Okowa Governorship candidacy has set you against the Urhobos who felt your action was against ‘Uvwiamuge Declaration’. Some of them even called on Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) to sanction you. What is your reaction to this development?

I am against the idea of ‘if not me no one else’. We, the Urhobos, know that we cannot do it alone so we must throw our weight behind another tribe. We need the cooperation of other Senatorial zones in the state to win the governorship election any time. Only Urhobo’s vote cannot deliver Delta State to PDP or any other party. Let’s stop deceiving ourselves. We should align with the present candidate and in four or eight years time we can come out again. Lets push this state ahead.

Do you think Okowa will do well?

Yes, he will do perfectly well. I have known him for long and he comes across as a good man.


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