By Emma Amaize, Regional Editor, South-South
ALL Progressives Congress, APC, House of Assembly aspirant in Ughelli North Constituency, Delta State, Olorogun Jaro Egbo, says the biggest gaffe by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa in the build up to the 2019 general elections was to have allowed his predecessor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan dump the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP for APC.
His words: “Letting Dr Uduaghan exit PDP is the greatest mistake of Okowa government and they will suffer cruel defeat at the polls as a consequence of their misstep and political miscalculation.”
What Uduaghan’s defection did for APC
Egbo, who spoke in an interview with Vanguard, asserted: “The defection of Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan has brought balance and solidity to Delta APC.It is a known fact that Delta South senatorial district is the weak links of the party especially the three Warri local government areas, Burutu and Bomadi. With Dr Uduaghan, we are sure of victory in the Delta South and indeed the state come 2019. Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan will win the Senate seat easily.”
Why we dumped PDP
On the comment by former Minister of Information and Gov Okowa’s political godfather, Prof Sam Oyovbaire, that he and Chief Ayiri Emami were Uduaghan’s forerunner in APC, the erstwhile PDP chieftain said: “Well Prof. Oyovbaire is an acclaimed elder statesman and a true son of my father. I cannot bandy words with him, but our decision to leave PDP in 2015 was informed by impunity”
“We sought to make a difference hence we defected to APC and we have no regret as we have been proved right by the lackluster performance of the PDP government in Delta state,” he added.
Okowa on edge
Egbo, who predicted the latest happening over a year ago, asserted: “ I already knew over a year ago that Governor Okowa is a one- term governor and that every Deltan who believe in Project Delta, who believe in Delta state attaining her potential will abandon the sinking PDP in Delta. It is very obvious that my prediction over a year has come to reality and I tell you we are close to realizing our goal which is APC taking over Delta state government come 2019.”
He dismissed the response from Governor Okowa that there was “no shaking” over Uduaghan’s exit, saying: “Make no mistake about it, the governor is jittery and has been holding series of meetings to block the defection hemorrhage caused by the high profile defection. As a matter of fact, they have been hawking appointment left and right to their army of aggrieved members but regrettably they have met with rejection and disdain.”
Ibori has no more business with PDP
The APC chieftain told Vanguard: “No doubt Chief Ibori remains the most popular politician in Delta state with a cult following across the state but we need not woo him to join. He is a smart and knowledgeable politician who knows well enough that he has no future with a regional party like PDP.”
“More so PDP has not been fair to him and his family, he was hounded and humiliated and it still beat my imagination what he is still doing in that nest of vipers called PDP, but I do know that in the fullness of time he will see reason to join the Change Moving train.”
Emerhor, leader of Delta APC
Uduaghan, Ogboru Reacting to the claim by some PDP leaders that Uduaghan’s exit would not affect the party, he said: “Do not mind those making light of Governor Uduaghan defection. For over six months, they have been begging and pleading, then when eventually they realized that his mind was made up, they are now saying it is no big deal, what a shame to PDP but I know they are still mourning their loss and the gain to APC.”
The aspirant was upbeat on the prospects of Dr. Uduaghan working together with Chief Great Ogboru, the man who has contested governorship election in the state more any other contender, but maintained that the leader of the party in the state is Olorogun O’tega Emerhor.
Uduaghan, Ogboru past differences political, not personal
“There is one APC in Delta State under the leadership of Olorogun Otega Emerhor. I believe whatever differences Ogboru and Uduaghan had in the past were political and not personal, so it will be easy to find a common ground and both leaders have same goal of working together.
APC crisis over in matter of weeks
He admitted that the party was still facing some challenges, but was quick to add:”But they are being addressed at the highest level and trust me, it will be history in a matter of weeks. Our astute National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole is on top of the matter and everyone agrees that we either agree to work together or sink together. Believe me, we are on the part of unity and victory.”
“As to the governorship ticket, our national chairman is committed to holding free fair and credible primaries and whichever aspirant emerges from the primary will be supported by the party to dislodge PDP from Government House, Asaba,” he added.
…Commands Ibe Kachikwu’s troubleshooting
According to him, “Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, is doing his best within his capacity to reconcile the contending tendencies in the party and in a short while, the result of his troubleshooting will come to fruition and everyone will pursue victory for the party with all vigour and determination until success and victory is achieved.”
He enthused: “We have no doubt that come 2019, Delta state will join the team of progressives as APC so that we can replicate Lagos success story in our state.”
National leadership‘ll tackle issue of guber candidate
On the party’s purported disposition to a Delta North governorship standard bearer, he declared: “Delta State is built on a tripod of equity Justice and fairness. The party’s national leadership and indeed our leaders are aware of the sensitivity of a multi ethnicity of the state and all these factors will be considered in the selection of a candidate that will fly the APC in 2019.”
Regarding his aspirant, he affirmed: “Yes, I am vying for the ticket of APC in Ughelli North Constituency 11. It is a crowded field because of the popularity of APC, there is safe assumption that whoever picks the party’s ticket will win the general election but am overwhelmed by the level of support my candidacy is enjoying amongst party leaders and stakeholders so am thrilled and fully prepared for the election.”