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2023 Delta Guber Poll: Ominous Cloud Hangs On PDP Head

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2023 Delta Guber Poll: Ominous Cloud Hangs On PDP Head
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By Annabel Ogheneganre

The 2023 gubernatorial election in Delta State has been won and lost. The PDP candidate and incumbent Governor Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa’s lackey, Rt Hon Sheriff Oborevwori has been declared winner. Nothing was unexpected. I knew anything could happen even though I supported Senator Ovie Omo-Agege because of his capacity and political experience. Both men are Urhobo and either of them was good to go. However, it was disappointing that despite the overt demonstration of enough goodwill and support for the Deputy Senate President before and during the March 18 election, the election still went the way it went to the pains and disappointment of those who staked their career, positions, resources and time to align with the push to oust PDP from Delta State.

Considering the experience, exposure and technical capability of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege in electoral matters in Nigeria, one had thought he was truly in charge of a number of things ahead of the polls, particularly INEC. That Governor Ifeanyi Okowa was able to buy over the INEC officials to declare bogus figures in favour of PDP in many local government areas despite the hunger and determination of the people to change the narrative and install a new party to drive the system in Delta state, is enough to prove that Okowa was a better tactician than Omo-Agege in the politics of Delta State. This writer is personally disappointed that Senator Ovie Omo-Agege is the one complaining of being rigged out when it was obvious he knew that was the only way Okowa could save his head after his frustrating outing in the presidential polls.

The Fall of Great Ogboru: Senator Ovie Omo-Agege was the most popular candidate ahead of the polls. We knew Great Ogboru was in the race not to win but to act the spoiler role. He quickly capitulated and went to Government House, Asaba to congratulate Oborevwori shortly after the polls. That Ogboru could reduce himself to such an abysmal level of political nonentity because of his hatred for Omo-Agege is an indication that the man has fallen from grace to an extremely disappointing pit of shame even below grass level. His supporters would want the whole world to believe that he made Omo-Agege but 2023 has demystified this over-rated political caricature of a complete failure. He never truly won any election. If he made Omo-Agege, he could at least have made some National and State Assembly members on the platform of APGA in the 2023 elections. He won nothing in the election to completely demonstrate his emptiness and commercial political identity. Ogboru and his team were in PDP all along and can never be trusted again.

ALSO READ: Sapele PDP Holds Thanksgiving For Oborevwori’s Victory, Others

This writer does not believe in the Nigerian Judiciary. Therefore I will not be commenting on political issues pertaining to the tribunals and court cases. To me, this election has been won and lost. I won’t be giving any false hopes to my readers and fans. Most Delta north APC leaders compromised and deferred to governor Okowa. One wonders why the likes of Dr Cairoh Ojougboh, the ‘Kpekpekpe’ master, who disgraced his entire lineage in the NDDC saga could still show his ugly face after obviously betraying the APC in the 2023 general election, announcing to the consternation of his bemused followers how he worked against his party. Ojougboh is a story for another day. Cairoh Ojougboh and Great Ogboru belong in the same hall of shame!

The Fall of PDP: The PDP was declared winner of the 2023 gubernatorial election to the shock of ordinary Deltans. The celebration they expected did not come. PDP is celebrating but not the market women and men, ordinary people in the streets and youths who voted for the change and not retention of PDP in the running of affairs of Delta state after being in power for 24 years. However, one curious tell-sign of defeat and great fall for the PDP is the internal squabbles that have characterized activities of the party since after the election. Senator Ovie Omo-Agege has succeeded in sowing the seed of discord in the party. Things have fallen apart and the centre can no longer hold.

Instead of the APC crying of being betrayed in the election, it is the PDP that has not stopped crying of blue murder since after the poll. If such degree of anti-party activities as being reported daily in the media since after the poll could have happened during the election, how was PDP able to win if not through buying of election officials to alter figures? Since March 18, no fewer than 50 political office holders across the state have been suspended and kicked out of office suggesting they may have worked against the interest of the party. In Ughelli North, the entire Local Government Executive Council was dissolved. In Sapele, several aides of the Council Chairman were fired for not being able to deliver for the party.
In Ethiope East, Isoko South and Warri South West, elected Councilors have been ‘impeached’ and sacked for alleged anti-party activities. This is a political party that claimed to have won the election. Even in victory, they are crying and calling for the heads of those who did not work for the party. The question is who are the people that delivered the PDP if these critical stakeholders worked and voted against the party? The allegation of anti-party activities within the PDP is widespread and deep. Deltans are tired of the PDP and they voted for change. But Okowa would rather die than accept defeat. He opened the state vault to buy INEC officials, allocated figures in most of the LGAs and these were announced as votes from the people.

From the visible signs from this election, it is obvious PDP’s time in Delta state is up. The internal squabbles and distrust will certainly kill the party. Instead of digging deep to find out why most party faithful worked against the party, the PDP is on witch-hunt of those alleged to have failed to deliver. The fact remains that Okowa failed and those who were smart enough to buy votes or manipulate figures were being celebrated as performers. PDP has outlived her usefulness in Delta State. It’s worth is on a steady decline. Soon or very soon, the internal squabbles will kill the party and Delta state shall be liberated. The signs are there already.

The degree of defections from the PDP ahead of the March 18 polls was massive. Those who left believed the party was sinking and decided to jump ship for indeed PDP is sinking. If Chief James Onanefe Ibori could roll out his arsenals in covert operation against the PDP on March 18, that is the sure sign that PDP is on the fast lane to self destruct. The battle line is drawn. Prior to the poll, many loud-mouth PDP spokesmen announced shamelessly that Ibori had directed support for the PDP. But since after the election, the music has changed. That suggests that PDP was lying all along and that the Odidigborigbo was never in support of Okowa’s dance of shame.

PDP’s survival in Delta State will depend on how far they could manage the crisis at hand. 2027 is far but the race has begun. Those who thought they could humiliate Ibori should be ready for the war ahead. Winning the 2023 battle is not the end of the war. Alignment and re-alignment of forces will continue into the next elections. Many wounds have opened and some are too deep to heal quickly. The resentment within the party leadership, the distrust among the rank and file and awkward reward system within the PDP may continue to hurt the party into the future. PDP has been shaken. The taproot has sagged; many branches are on life support and plenty of leaves have withered. PDP won the gubernatorial poll yet are weeping because those to be trusted are few. The future is bleak for the party and the signs ominous. Let our day break!

Annabel Ogheneganre of the Urhobo Voice Newspaper writes from Garki, Abuja. (Please send reaction to [email protected])

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