The recent defection from the PDP to the APC by Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan, former Governor of Delta State, did not come to me as a surprise. This is because of his inherent desire to seek election in 2019 where the current PDP structure in the State cannot guarantee him a seamless ticket. As a governor, with the full paraphernalia of office, he was unable to get the PDP Senate ticket for himself; it will be preposterous for him to think of easy ride now when his wings have been chopped by the urchins he nurtured to political relevance.
There has been unweighted argument that Gov Ifeanyi Okowa should have been more circumspect in his relationship with his immediate predecessor. According to the neutrals, Senator Okowa should have managed to retain him in the party even if it amounts to giving a mild kick to Senator James Manager who believes the Senate seat is part of his estate.
The proponents of this line of thought need be reminded that Senator Okowa will have his name on the ballot paper. Therefore, it will be self-destruct for him to give a unilateral support to a man who has not shown reliable force to churn out votes in the Creeks for his party. No political strategist will advise his boss to get deeply involved in the volatile primaries putting all the variables into consideration.
After watching Dr. Uduaghan on Channels Television with Maupe Ogun recently, I felt ashamed to have given him my votes in past elections. He was unable to reel out his achievements before a harmless woman and friendly cameraman. I remember that his legacies include subsized public transport, model secondary schools and free infant medicare. When it mattered most, the man ran dry.
He complained of been used and dumped by the Delta State PDP and Senator Okowa’s administration. He may be right depending on what that means to him. However, I need to remind him to play catch up, permit my use of part of the lyrics of Betty Wright, in her song,’Tonight is the Night’
In 1999, Dr. Uduaghan exceeded his aspiration of becoming the chief medical officer of Delta State Government House by his appointment as Commissioner. He left Government House, Asaba, as a governor, after serving in that position for eight years. To complain of been left in the lurch during a period of unfriendly weather shows lack of respect for the electorate that gave him the votes. There are just few persons that knew Dr. Uduaghan until he was raised above his own imaginations by his younger cousin, Chief James Ibori.
Let’s continue the catch up. In January of 2011, Senator Okowa did not only support him in the edgy rerun election but ensured that he got the PDP governorship ticket for the second term. During that time, there were clandestine pressures for Delta North to drop him but Senator Okowa who would have been the beneficiary put his foot down against the gangup.
If moral barometer is applied, Dr. Uduaghan is the least qualified to defect from the PDP no matter perceived injustice he may claim to have been meted on him. His younger cousin, James Ibori, marked time in the United Kingdom, probably because of his unmerited support for him in 2017. Mr. James Ibori, who was haunted and hounded more by his PDP elements as at the time, has not thus far publicly shown tendencies to abandon the party.
Beside Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, Chief Ighoyota Amori and Senator James Manager, there are other prominent PDP faithfuls who are part of the Ibori family that do not command immense respect any longer. These include Solomon Ogba, Benjamin Elue, Tom Amioku, Chief Pius Senebe, Chief Emma Ogidi, Senator Patrick Osakwe, Admiral Onah, Hon Mercy Amona-Isei, Dr. Festus Okubor and Senator Stella Omu. Are these people less qualified to become governor before Dr. Uduaghan?
Talking of abandonment, it is Dr. Uduaghan that is more culpable. As a result of his political inconsistency, friends, families and associates were made irreconcilable enemies in 2014 Does Dr. Uduaghan need be reminded that many political heavyweights have become pariahs by his inordinate and thoughtless political actions towards the end of his tenure as governor?
There are a few things that need be sorted in relation to Dr. Uduaghan’s new love. It is salient to remind him that he was in the forefront of the agitation for power rotation in Delta State. It was against this backdrop that he apparently supported Anioma (Delta North) position to produce his successor, his momentary glitch notwithstanding. When he regained consciousness, he mounted the rostrum in 2014 and 2015 advising Delta Central and South leaders to support Dr. Okowa, premising it on equity, fairness and good neighbourliness.
Is it possible for the apostle of power rotation to campaign for Gov Okowa in 2019 now that he is in the APC? If he is amongst the insincere group supporting a one-term governor in APC from Delta North, why did he serve two terms?
I love Dr. Uduaghan so much that I do not wish him to walk towards political retirement due to his indiscretion and fruitless adventure. He must not be a senator to remain relevant. All he needs is a momentary break in order to reminisce on why he is so weak that even his bag bearers now flout his orders. He needs to return to the PDP where he has higher chances of relevance than the party that conned Nigerians in 2015 with ‘change’ as the mantra.
I truly want Dr. Uduaghan back to the PDP, his family. One of his estranged boys had boasted few months ago that he cannot withstand political roughshod. He need not prove him right. The insinuation is that the ageing soldier from Daura will use the round brass and jackboots to push him to the national assembly. This is not what I expect from a typical Warri bloke. He needs to prove that his capitulation in 2014 was one-off.
The best way to confirm it, is by fighting within his household rather than travelling with an invalid visa that takes him nowhere. If necessary, Chief James Ibori should reverse him from the journey to Abruzzi because the monks he will find there, will give him torn umbrella.