By Williams Eghebi
I HAVE had a long but deep reminisce on the thorny issue of who should represent Delta North(Anioma) in the Senate come 2019. I have reached a conclusion based on certain incontrovertible factors.
I am a member of the PDP which incidentally calls the shot in Delta State with feeble opposition. The other party with inaudible voice has so far failed at the centre, making it less fanciful for consideration by the electorate. In my party, only two persons are known to have verifiable evidence to contest for the position. This small range of choices made my decision fairly less cumbersome. Fortunately, they are good enough to serve in that capacity.
The known senatorial aspirants in my party are Peter Nwaoboshi and Prince Ned Nwoko. Barr. Nwaoboshi was made a political assistant to the late Prof. Ambrose Ali, former governor of the defunct Bendel State at the age of 22. At a later period, he became the secretary of PDP in Delta State until he was appointed Commissioner by Chief James Ibori. In 2007, he emerged as the state chairman of the party until he became a senator in 2015.
Prince Ned Nwoko, a gentleman with undisputed knack for generosity, is a thorough lawyer with global reach. He is very humble and a naturalist. He was a member of the House of Representatives and made attempt to become a senator in 2011 under the Democratic People’s Party, DPP. He reappeared not quite long after his successful efforts to repatriate the excess loans deductions by the international creditors.
The analyses so far prove that both persons have enough political experience and intellectual capacity such that a preference for one instead of the other has no dire consequences.
In the build up to the 2014 PDP gubernatorial primaries, there was a time it became clear that the aspiration of Anioma producing the governor was on the verge of evaporating. It was a time that moves to truncate the realisation of a governor of Anioma extraction became apparent. I say this with clear conviction as I was in the battle field during that period. It was this time that men with balls appeared, vowing to do whatever that was needed to ensure governorship comes to Anioma in the spirit of unwritten agreement to rotate the position amongst the three senatorial districts. The battle was not fought by the PDP alone. It was an Anioma project.
Barr. Nwaoboshi was amongst the Anioma sons and daughters that organised several nocturnal meetings and lobbies to actualise the dream. At a time, Barr. Peter Nwaoboshi offered to bury his senatorial ambition even if it amounts to Ika Nation producing both the governor and the senator.
When eventually Dr. Okowa picked the governorship ticket, it was so easy for Barr. Nwaoboshi to emerge even if he was not the best candidate at the time.
Since he became a senator, public assessment of his performance is low. This is not necessarily because he has done poorly. Methinks he is a victim of poor media management and vitriolic attacks stimulated by his apparent deserved political leap.
Senator Nwaoboshi has shown unrepentant glitz to remain loyal to a cause he believes in as well his political family. In 2014, despite palpable evidence of Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa picking the senate ticket of the PDP, Barr. Nwaoboshi remained faithful to the woman who played pivotal role to ensure he emerged as state chairman of the party. He was bruised at The Cenotaph, venue of the party primaries which was streamed live on several terrestial television channels. The matter was resolved. The vintage Barr. Nwaoboshi swallowed the position of the party hook, line and sinker. A true party man.
I am one of the many persons who until recently, rated him low. I think I am unfair to him as I had used the barometer I applied for Senator Okowa to score him. I just reminded myself that Dr. Okowa was a senator when his party held sway at the centre. Despite the convivial environment, Senator Okowa operated in, he raised the bar to the chagrin of his colleagues at the time. I have left Senator Patrick Osakwe out of this discourse for obvious reasons. Barr. Nwaoboshi has within the last three years put out his scorecard for public scrutiny. This document has clearly shown that he has done well except that my Ika South Local Government Area did not proportionately benefit compared to the other eight local government areas in the district.
The infamous confession in London by Barr. Nwaoboshi when some politicians visited James Ibori remains a glitch. He is human, so exposed to fallibility. His relationship with James Ibori and dogged support for the embattled Senate President may be contributing factors to his prosecution. In any case, whoever dispenses public funds must be ready to keep his or her books open.
Barr. Peter Nwaoboshi is a first timer in the red chamber, yet, emerged as the Senate committee chairman on Niger-Delta Affairs. His diminutive stature does not obscure his intellectual strength. He is in fact a political maverick. He has offered himself for sacrifice to secure the interest of Anioma. He is a cat with nine lives. He has survived previous ferocious battles. The year 2019 will certainly not be a war the ‘Oracle’ will lose. I found him most appropriate to represent me beyond 2019 in the Senate. It is my right. Allow me enjoy my right.
•Mr. Eyoma, a public affairs analyst, wrote from Port Harcourt, Rivers State.