By Onozure Dania
Immediate past Governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, has denied rumours that he had stepped down from the senatorial race in the 2019 general election.
Uduaghan stated this at his Warri residence when he played host to Coalition of Bomadi Local Government Area Elders led by Rev. Gbenekuru England and youths drawn from different youth groups in Bomadi Local Government Area of the state.
The group, which is an amalgam of all the community elders in Bomadi, had inquired if the former governor had stepped down again for Senator James Manager on the occasion of his recent public declaration at the PDP mega rally for Governor Okowa in Oleh.
Allaying their fears, Uduaghan said: “I have not stepped down for anybody and I am not going to even contemplate stepping down for anyone. In fact, I have put my hands in the plough and there is no going back. By the grace of God, we would be in Abuja in 2019.
“It was for the interest of President Goodluck Jonathan’s votes from Delta State that made me withdraw from the race, last-minute. The stability of the state was very important to me. I needed to concentrate on the state and prepare it for a peaceful transition, otherwise, I had all the machinery to win the seat if I had so wanted it like I do now.”
On whether he was scared of opposition, Uduaghan said: “I have paid my dues in stemming ethnic violence and militia uprising in the creeks to deserve the senatorial seat. How many people can make such sacrifice? How can somebody who has fought plenty political battles as a serving governor be scared of anybody? That is very laughable to me.”
All the leaders of the group, who spoke agreed to throw their weights behind Uduaghan’s senatorial bid, because, according to them, Delta South was ready for a new beginning and Uduaghan is the new beginning.
They said: “We have tested your capacity when you were governor. We know that the Ijaw nation benefited from your administration. Our son, the current occupant of the seat, who has been there for four tenures has tried his best but it is now time for a new beginning. It is the turn of the Itsekiri based on fairness and equity. Your Excellency, you are the new beginning for Delta South.”