Why PDP will remain relevant in Delta State

By Julius Oweh

According to political scholars, politics is nothing but the
authoritative allocation of resources to people and so the
struggle of political power is fierce and laced with intrigues,
strategic thinking and planning and in some cases outright

Gov. Okowa

As the nation inches towards 2019 elections, there are going to
be a lot of political realignment of forces and Delta State
cannot be a league of its own. Three main events are likely to
influence the position of PDP as the ruling and dominant party
in the state.

These are the governor of the state as chairman of PDP national
convention committee, the defection of the former vice
president, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to the PDP and the nomination
of two dead people from Delta State by the federal government
into the board of government agencies. These events are
critical factors that will shape the political terrain, whether
the APC which is still in the fringe of Delta State can wrestle
power from the PDP.

That Governor Ifeanyi Okowa was appointed the chairman of the
recently concluded PDP national convention committee is a vote
of confidence not only on the governor but the whole of PDP in
the state. Delta state is critical to the PDP, especially in
the South/South. Since 1999, the PDP has been in control of
power and the more than eighteen years in power can be wished

It will be an uphill task for the APC or any other party for
that matter to defeat the PDP in next year election. The
reality on the ground is that PDP is in every ward and local
government area in the state and the members are working round
the clock to get victory in the next year election. Some people
may not like the sentiment, the reality in Delta State is that
APC is more of a media created party and the leadership is not
on the ground.

Furthermore, to compound the woes of the APC in Delta State,
two dead people from Delta North senatorial district and Delta
South senatorial districts were recently appointed by the
federal government into the government board.

The message is clear and simple, the federal government and
indeed the national executive of the APC do not know what is
happening in the state. How can the federal government made
such a blunder in the appointment of two dead APC members into
government boards?

It is now clear to everybody that the Delta State APC is not
working closely with the national APC or that the national body
of the party is treating the APC in Delta State as a political
postscript. Definitely the PDP in the state shall capitalize on
this political error and could affect the performances of APC
in 2019 polls.

Another reason in favour of PDP in the state is the defection
of Atiku Abubakar, the former vice president to the PDP. Atiku
Abubakar is very popular in Delta state and has a considerable
followership that could turn the political scales in favour of
the party.

The APC supporters of Atiku Abubakar shall follow the footsteps
of their mentor and it would not be a funny matter for a
political party that is mortally wounded from the intrigues of
the various leaders trying to build a fiefdom for themselves
without thinking of the interest of the party. It would be an
uphill task for the APC to dethrone the PDP in the next year

The APC, the truth must be told is not on ground in Delta
State. The party secretariat in Asaba is always empty and the
few office hands there are very intolerant of journalists’
inquires about the activities of the party. Most of the time
the party activities are either co-ordinated in Warri or
Ughelli and this should not be so.

The same is for the various local council secretariat of the
party. There are cases where the party has no local council

The problem of APC is compounded by the calibre of people
claiming to be leaders. It is like a basket of crabs where
every crab wants to be at the top.

There are too many leaders and most of the time the chairman of
the party is sidelined and this is not good for the growth and
grassroots spread of the party. Olorogun O‘tega Emerhor remains
a dominant figure of the party and the major financier.

It is not clear whether Emerhor has given up his governorship
ambition. There is also Chief Great Ogboru, a serial
governorship contender who is still eyeing the party ticket for
next year polls. If these two men continue to push their
ambitions, the party may be torn apart and it will be for the
benefit of the ruling party, the PDP.

Even more problematic for the party is the issue of those
angling for the party governorship ticket from Delta North
senatorial district. This reporter‘s check revealed that Prof
Patrick Utomi, Honourable Victor Ochei and Dr Cairo Ojougboh
want to fly the flag of the party in next year polls. In
fairness to Utomi, he is an academician of world repute but he
is not a politician.

There was a time he nursed the ambition of becoming the
president of the nation and it failed woefully. Utomi is from
Ibusa in Delta North senatorial district but he is not known in
the state. He is always holed in Lagos and comes around few
months to elections. This is certainly not the best way to
practise grassroots politics.

Honourable Victor Ochei, a former speaker of the Delta State
House of Assembly is a politician of considerable clout and
following. He contested the last national assembly polls on the
platform of Accord Party. He is also a former member of PDP.
Today he is in APC and it is doubtful if the party will make
him the flag bearer. Should the party primaries be held today,
it will be a great job for someone to predict whether he could
win the primaries.

Facing Ochei‘s ambition is Dr Cairo Ojougboh, a tough
politician and a grassroots man from the same federal
constituency as the governor of the state. He played a
prominent role in the recent crisis of PDP and people are not
surprise of his defection to the APC. Ojougboh may say that his
numerous followers also moved to the APC but this reporter‘s
investigation revealed that PDP is still popular in Ika land
and the people are ready to vote for the party and the son of
the soil who is the governor of the state.

Dethroning the PDP in the state is going to be a very tough job
if not impossible because of the factors enumerated above.
Furthermore, the Ibori factor cannot be dismissed by any
political observer. Chief James Ibori, the former governor is
hugely popular because during his eight years in power, he
empowered a lot of people in the three senatorial districts and
these people are ready to swim or sink with him in the PDP.

The fortunes of the PDP and Governor Okowa were recently
boosted with the endorsement of Okowa for second term by Ibori.
Ibori also further dismissed the rumours of his defection to
the APC. Another former governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan is still
in the party and ready to work for its success.

Coupled with nearly three years of Okowa on the saddle, the APC
has battle royale to upstage the PDP. These are the political
realities on the ground and not the political conjectures
concocted in the media by spin doctors and political

Source: Vanguard News

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