By Annabel Ogheneganre
2023 is knocking at the door. The coast is getting clearer by the day. Traitors, betrayers, pretenders and devious characters are showing their faces. The political scenario is gradually witnessing convulsive pettiness by the political actors. The alignment and re-alignment of forces are going on. Nicodemus meetings are taking place in Abuja, Lagos, Asaba, Warri and other parts of the globe. Negotiations are on-going. Governor Ifeanyi Okowa is determined to ensure his choice of successor wins the next elections. His team of advisers and kitchen cabinet are working hard to please their master, spinning all forms of narratives to justify their huge income from government. Many have been negatively profiled as enemies of government while the true enemies are feeding fat on the system. His Excellency is in the midst of foes and friends yet, many are not telling him the truth of what is happening in the land.
Power is gradually shifting from Delta north to the central district. Okowa is feeling the heat already and his succession plans are on top gear. Okowa does not want to end up like former governor Emmanuel Uduaghan who fought Okowa to no end but failed to stop the incumbent governor.
Okowa believes strongly in the Michael Diden-led Delta Political Vanguard, DPV which played a significant role in the emergence of Okowa in 2015. DPV believes they will produce the next governor. But politics does not work that way. No group can be relevant in all dispensations. They may or may not succeed and the way the political hurricane is blowing, nobody is sure of tomorrow. Things are happening and many more will happen. The Amori-led DC-23 has continued to wax stronger and the tendency of a clash of interest between both groups is real.
One major concern of this writer is that hubris over too much knowledge of political developments across Delta state may be the undoing of Governor Okowa. His key men are not telling him the whole truth. The PDP of 2015 and 2019 is not the PDP that is preparing for 2023. The party has been eaten hollow by the impunity of the ruling elite and the governor’s ill-advised steps in certain critical areas of human management with regards party structure and members.
Okowa has retained many Commissioners for 8 years while other leaders are watching on the sideline yet Okowa expects same passion for the party from all stakeholders. Many souls have been wounded and are in the political ICU gasping for breath and waiting for succor from any side. APC has eaten so deep into the fabric of the PDP and many self-confessed party leaders are wearing sundry party garments at the same time. Many of Okowa’s trusted allies are working out their salvation, striking critical deals to be relevant in the event of a twist in the fortune of the PDP in 2023. Things are falling apart at critical places and the center may not hold.
One major headache PDP knows ahead of 2023 is Senator Ovie Omo-Agege. PDP wishes him away as a man working with or against aggrieved stalwarts and home enemies like Dr Cairoh Ojugboh, Chief Victor Ochei, Chief Great Ogboru, Chief Festus Keyamo and many others. The dangerous aspect of the scenario is that while Senator Ovie Omo-Agege already knows his enemies and is working hard not to bank on their support; Okowa does not know his enemies which are legion within the party hierarchy. The number of Nicodemus movements to Abuja, and clandestine meetings taking place between Ovie Omo-Agege and PDP chieftains across the three senatorial districts should be enough worry for Governor Okowa; that is if he knows and is willing to acknowledge that there is a problem. The likes of Chief Kingsley Esiso, Hon Michael Diden, Chief Askiah Ogieh and Ifeanyi Egoigbe amongst other trusted allies of the governor may not be telling the man the whole truth about what is happening in the field. The truth is PDP in Delta State has been eaten to the boon by a political cankerworm that can invite the Taliban to invade the territory with destructive bestiality.
There are sitting Council Chairmen and Councilors who have strong links to Ovie Omo-Agege. There are many political appointees in the PDP fold who believe that 2023 could signpost a watershed in political developments in Delta State. I have said it over and over, Ovie Omo-Agege is not an ordinary politician that one should toy with. He is a political mafia, a warrior with impregnable reservoir of ammunitions and can unleash terror on the opponents from unexpected direction. To write Ovie Omo-Agege off because some aggrieved party men are fighting to undo him will be the worst mistake PDP can make ahead of 2023. Ovie Omo-Agege thrives better in the midst of foes, traitors and home enemies. He knows the game through and through and can spring surprises where one least expects it. Pray, Omo-Agege does not run for governor in 2023, because if he does, PDP will know too late that the political Judgment Day has come, just as the Afghan President realized too late that the Taliban has overtaken his territory.
One major strong point of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege is that while he is eating deeply into the opposition camp with fatal accuracy, he will say nothing. Spin all the evil narratives around him, call him all sorts of silly names and profile him as the most wicked and selfish political tendency in the land, he will not say a word. He works with the mental alacrity and physical agility of the tiger after a prey. He plans well before acting. Omo-Agege has not said anything yet, the political upheaval generated by the possibility of his being in the ballot is eliciting dreadful trauma in many hearts. Those being lined up against Omo-Agege in the PDP are simply characters who may have to been spoon-fed into victory by Governor Okowa. Only Chief Kenneth Gbagi and Chief David Edevbie parade the financial capacity and political experience to dare Okowa and stand against Omo-Agege in the general election. Those close to Okowa should tell him the truth instead of basking in some imaginary sense of invulnerability.
While PDP is threatening to deal with Senator Peter Nwaoboshi and reduce the man to nothing in the aftermath of the 2023 polls, the man, like Ovie Omo-Agege is saying nothing. Those who congregated to pull the rug off the feet of Omo-Agege in the APC ward congress are now licking their wounds. The man is trudging on and not given to frivolities and mundane verbal exchanges. He has his eyes fixed on the prize yet home enemies are inviting opponents to distract him but in vain. 2023 is dicey and unpredictable. Those who still think PDP is unbeatable had better worked harder instead of pandering to some nebulous ideas of invincibility. Just moments ago, the incumbent President of Zambia, Edgar Lungu was defeated by the opposition Hakainde Hichilema. The heavens did not fall. Buhari defeated Jonathan in 2015 and Governor Makinde of Oyo floored an incumbent who was running for second term to be governor in 2019. In 2023 anything can happen and let those close to Okowa summon the courage to tell the man some hard truth that many of his trusted men are already working out their respective salvation in the event of a fall of the PDP in 2023. Okowa should mark these words somewhere.
Annabel Ogheneganre writes from Garki, Abuja. (09030558731 SMS only or [email protected])
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