• Sat. Apr 20th, 2024


Aug 29, 2018
Peter Onwuegbuzie

There is no doubt that in Delta State, PDP has dominated the political scene since a decade and eight years. The energy sapping struggle by other rival parties to outsmart the PDP in subsequent elections was met with a stone wall of resistance. All efforts amounted to chasing a shadow. It finally ended in a dismal fiasco.
Since 1999 this formidable party has unequivocally maintained its stronghold and unbroken chains of supremacy in the state. Now, the die is cast. The battle line is drawn for 2019 election. As the day is fast drawing near, the two rival parties are busy cleaning up their arsenal to face the final battle that will end all battles in its entirety. All along, each opposing party has been beating its chest, roaring with vibrating energy to assert its superiority in the 2019 election. Whether each party’s boast will materialize into reality or not is a matter that is left for the election to decide.
Suffice it to say that since 1999, the PDP has impregnably maintained its strong hold and won unparalleled victory at the state and local government elections. The majority of the local government chairmen in the state are PDP loyalists and are now doing a lot of spade work for the party in the forthcoming election. The rival party, APC, is equally heart and soul in the business to lead its party to victory. For both parties, it is going to be a battle of the titans. The APC has now spread its dragnet to every nook and cranny of Delta State. At this critical situation, the APC members want to use their sledge-hammer to hack to pieces, once and for all, the backbone of PDP in the state which has enjoyed the reputation of being the only party that has ruled the state since 1999. Otherwise, it may lead to political tsunami, the consequence of which will be very difficult to compute in black and white. Most of the high voltage personalities in the PDP who were brought up in the party way, home and environment, are now ever busy as bees, calculating to coast their victory home in 2019 general election without any impediment. Their fears of APC threat quickly melted away like a packet of ice-cream under tropical sun when they turn back to look at impressive and enviable track record of Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, the governor of Delta State. The inevitable question one may ask is: Will APC be able to defeat the incumbent Governor who has achieved much for the state?
In Delta South and Delta Central Senatorial districts, the governor has done a lot of development projects in these areas which will attract maximum votes for him during the election. If Senator Ifeanyi Okowa is given a free ticket by the indigenes of those areas to sail through, what of his immediate constituency – Delta North Senatorial district? The political loyalists to the party (PDP) said that the governor scored a high mark in Asaba because of the fascinating dividend of democracy he left behind in the capital city of Delta State. The Local Government Headquarters in Delta North may be lucky to enjoy democratic dividends because of their indisputable status as local government headquarters.
In Ika North East Local Government Area, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa’s most immediate constituency, it is a chapter of woes when development projects are mentioned. Some strident criticisms from the opposing political pundits posited that the incumbent Governor has failed the local government. If he has done much for the Northern part of Ika North East Local Government Area, he has failed the Eastern part of it.
For instance, in Umunede town which has the highest number of votes as a single ward in the local government, nothing satisfactory has been done in the town to give the governor another support this time around. The youths are not happy about this brazen marginalization. The Ede Grammar School road in Umunede which links Mbiri road, and which is not up to 1km was recently tarred half way. The Mission Road at Umunede which is not up to 2km was started at the tail end of 2014 by the NNDC when Senator Ifeanyi Okowa was campaigning for gubernatorial seat. Immediately he won the election and was sworn in, the construction work on the road gathered momentum based on the support the people of Umunede gave him. About four months later, the road was abandoned and the people leaving along the unfinished side of the road have had a fair share of flood menace. The other road from Umunede to Umutu is at its rudimentary stage of its construction work. Since two years, they have not worked up to a kilometer. What did the people of Umunede benefit from Senator Ifeanyi Okowa’s first tenure? This is a question the Governor and Hon. Anthony Elekeokwuri, an Umunede indigene representing Ika North East Local Government Area in the Delta State House of Assembly should answer.
If for any reason the people of the Umunede are ready to swallow phlegm for the sake of decorum and sweep away the cobwebs of the past and misunderstanding of the present, the duo – Senator Ifeanyi Okowa and Hon. Anthony Elekeokwuri should do a lot of spade work before the election day.
In Igbodo town in Ika East of Ika North East Local Government Area, the story is different. A lot of roads have been constructed by the NNDC which Hon. Victor Nwaokolo said he was instrumental to those laudable projects. If he is saying the truth, history will decides in future.
In Akumazi – Umuocha and Otolokpo towns, there is no sign of democratic dividend there. In Owerre Olubor, they benefited a road project which is not up to 1½km. In Mbiri town, one of the food baskets of Delta State where we have farm settlement right from the time of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s Action Group (AG), the road leading to the farm settlement has been neglected by subsequent governments. It is an irony of situation that the government of Delta State which is emphasizing and advising the youths to go back to the land has kept deaf ears to the deplorable condition of Mbiri Farm Settlement Road. The road has been rendered nearly impassable and most of the agricultural produce in the area cannot be conveniently transported to the towns and major markets in Delta State due to the nature of the road.
Other sundry towns and villages in Ika East proper in Ika North East Local Government Area of Delta State are suffering similar democratic deficit. The same thing is applicable to some areas in Ika South Local Government Area. Before the PDP could win election in these abandoned areas, the head of a camel must pass through the eye of a needle.
I am not writing to condemn the PDP as a party per se. Neither am I writing to project the rival party – APC. All I am saying is a statement of fact nurtured by concrete evidence, for the PDP to adjust their belt and sit tight for the next election.
In Delta State, the party, APC is now desperate in snatching power from the ruling party. They are seriously oiling their formidable arsenal and gathering forces for a series of crushing, and annihilating blows on the stronghold of the PDP. The party will not allow the PDP to ride smoothly to victory without a great stumbling block. The APC is now led by men of great daring and acumen who have constructed a chain of positions that are the acme of defensive warfare. With the strength at the Federal level, APC members have boasted that it would wrestle power from the PDP in Delta State in the next election. Since that pronouncement PDP has been jittery, and teetering on the brink of that warning signal. Will PDP be able to withstand the impregnable forces of APC at the Federal level that are uniting forces with APC at the State level?
It has been said that in 2019 gubernatorial election, the APC will release their most fearful armada which will loom out of their hiding places with intimidating force. By that time, it will dawn on the PDP in Delta State that the scrotum of an elderly man is not a play thing for a grandchild.
As the PDP are perfecting what they know very well in winning elections, APC also are on the watchful caution, looking out with sensitive cameras with all their paraphernalia, watching the movements and shadows of PDP members. The question one must ask is: Will APC not face betrayal by some of its greedy members few days to the election and sell the party on a platter of gold to the rival party? That is the only cloud on the political horizon of the party.
Finally, let Ika nation unite to ‘zo ali ala’ (our own must not get lost) and support our kinsman – Senator Ifeanyi Okowa for 2019 election. If he loses in Ika land, his voice will be a muffled drum at the party’s executive meeting. By that time, it will be difficult for him to fight for his area first, when it comes to sitting development projects. It is said that anger against a brother is felt on the flesh and not within the bone marrow.

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