Uduaghan Prepares Okowa’s Take Over

By FIDELIS EGUGBO
THE beauty of democracy is that the people, the masses, have the opportunity to choose who governs them. Since 1999, Nigerians have been great beneficiaries of the democratic process and events have proven that those who witnessed the long years of military exploits in the act of governance will readily tell you that the worst democracy is better than the best military government or rather, junta.
Delta State has been blessed since 1999 as those who have been at the helms of affairs have impacted positively on the lives of the people and have also positioned the state to be among the best in the country in terms of peace and security and economic buoyancy of the people.
It is a fact that more Deltans are economically stable within these fifteen years of democracy than the long years of military rule where most times, those who governed the state saw it as a place to be exploited.
Within the last few days, the nation was agog with primary elections of the two major political parties, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC). Being a PDP state from inception of the current democracy, Deltans were apprehensive about who emerges as the governorship candidate of the PDP.
Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, after what many pundits described as transparent and credible primaries, emerged as the PDP governorship flag bearer for the 2015 general elections. His emergence was of great significance as it portrays the PDP as a party that believes in equity and fairness due to the fact that Senator Okowa is from the Delta North Senatorial District, a district favoured to produce the governor as Delta Central Senatorial District had done eight years while Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan is on the verge of completing the eight years slot of Delta South Senatorial District.
Knowing the PDP’s determination to win clearly in the forthcoming elections and the fact that the party was not leaving any stone unturned to retain its winning streak in Delta State, the emergence of Senator Okowa as the PDP flag bearer has made the party to go back to the drawing board to strategize on how to win in the 2015 general elections.
On the day of the guber primaries, Governor Uduaghan, after casting his vote and beaming with smile that the best candidate will emerge to fly the PDP flag, said, “losers should be ready to work with the winner,”. His advice was adhered to by the more than twenty eminent Deltans who contested in the primaries of the PDP.
Speaking during the inauguration of Campaign Council of the PDP for the 2015 general elections, Governor Uduaghan reiterated, “so far, nobody has moved out of our party as a result of the primaries, we are moving forward as a political party and we must remain united.”
He stated that the setting up of the campaign council was necessary because of the challenges ahead for the party to emerge victorious in all the elections in 2015. One unique attribute of PDP as a political party in Delta State is that they are always ahead of other political parties in preparation for participatory elections where victory will be gotten from votes rather than preparing for post-election legal tussles.
To the Governor, “Delta State is a PDP state, there is no doubt about that, but we must be united, we must put our house in order to enable us win in the general elections, we must put everything that happened during the primary elections behind us. We must ensure that the President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, wins in Delta State, we must ensure Dr Okowa wins because we must have PDP President and PDP Governor and all our candidates must win in the elections.”
“We must put everything behind us – all rumours, ill feelings, gossips and the time to review the primaries has passed. The time we are now is to strategise on how to win the elections, we must do everything possible to get it right. For those who have emerged as candidates, let us support them to win the main elections as they are now the party candidates, “Governor Uduaghan stated.
To show that the PDP is a family desirous of electoral victory, most of the governorship aspirants attended the inauguration ceremony of the campaign council which has membership across the state.
That inauguration ceremony was an opportunity for Senator Okowa to thank the elders of the party and in particular, his co-aspirants, for the roles they played collectively and as individuals for him to emerge as the PDP gubernatorial candidate.
According to him, “the PDP in Delta State has always done well and I believe that we will do better in the elections that are coming in 2015, all my co-aspirants have called to congratulate me, I must appreciate you for your efforts.” Unlike the previous gubernatorial primaries that threw the PDP into crises with most of the aspirants pitching their tents with opposition political parties, none of the aspirants has indicated interest in contesting the governorship election on another party’s platform which was a sign that the PDP would be going for the election as a united political party.
With the unity of the PDP, there is no doubt that Senator Okowa is set to become the next Governor of Delta State. Governor Uduaghan alluded to this fact when he said during the inauguration of the campaign council that he has started showing Okowa round the Government House.
The long years of friendship between Governor Uduaghan and the gubernatorial flag bearer will also be beneficial to the PDP and Deltans in general as the transition would be seamless.
Senator Okowa however believes that his victory at the primaries of the PDP signals a greater challenge to get all Deltans without prejudice to tribe, religion, job or whatever, to vote for him as Governor in 2015. The challenge of his emergence as Governor is not his but that of the PDP and the fact that the PDP is a dominant party in all the wards and communities in Delta State was a strong pointer that victory will be his.
No election is easy and this could be the reason the PDP, despite its presence in the state, has commenced the process towards making the 2015 election a victorious one for the party.
Chairman of the PDP in the state, Chief Edwin Uzor, who inaugurated the campaign council advised that “the campaign should be issue-based devoid of ethnic sentiments.”
Certainly with less than two months for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to commence the elections, the prayer is that the candidates should play by the rules and avoid any action which could be inimical to the society. The candidates should always have at the back of their minds that their utterances and body languages will also determine how their followers react.
Their overall interesting should be a united Delta State where there is peace and the people are freely engaging in economic activities.