Rumbles in Delta Senatorial races – Vanguard; Okowa’s unending headaches; His achievements come home to roost

e  it difficult for the
aspirants to verify and authenticate the delegates, which informed sources said
had been doctored at the National Secretariat of the PDP.

Before the
commencement of the event, there had been speculations that Dr. Maryam Alli was
alleged to have been chosen as the preferred candidate because her husband, Dr.
Ahmadu Alli as the former national chairman of PDP, enthroned Barrister Peter
Nwaoboshi as Delta State Chairman of the Party.

Dr. Mrs.
Alli was also said to be a close friend of Dame Patience Jonathan, the first
Lady. This development exerted tremendous pressures on the other candidates to
either move to another party. The incumbent, Senator Patrick Osakwe made a
tactical withdrawal from the race because according to an associate “he was
convinced beyond doubt that the PDP party hierarchy in the State, want to
reward Dr. (Mrs.) Alli with the ticket even when she failed to deliver her
Oshimili south local government.”

The other
aspirants also alleged that there was bias on the part of INEC in allowing
serving members of the Uduaghan government to preside over the special congress
and in the process denying some aspirants the opportunity to verify and
authenticate the delegates list before the primaries began.

Said
Prince Nwoko: “What you saw at the Cenotaph that night was a charade and make
belief, the integrity of the election was put in doubt when they refused my
point of view that we should authenticate the delegates’ list.”

Prince
Nwoko has since being adopted by the Democratic Peoples’ Party (DPP) as their
senatorial candidate for Delta North.

Sources
told Vanguard that Dr. Okowa resisted last minutes pressures from friends in
government to decamp to another party and fight Dr. Alli from outside but
refused to take the gamble. Apart from the internal squabbles in the party, the
former S.S.G is also facing serious challenge from his opponent Dr. Ojugboh,
who as the Special Aide to the President on National Assembly matters is not
pleased that he was outsmarted in Asaba.  In the same vein, Dr Maryam Alli
who is known to fight hard especially her battles with Chief James Ibori in
2007 is not relenting.

Although
Dr. Alli is not politically on ground in her Oshimili south constituency,
sources said “she is not a politician anybody can play on her intelligence
especially after the same forces out foxed her in 2007. Beyond the party
politics Dr. Okowa is having serious home wahala which is certain to give him
sleepless nights in the months ahead.

Reacting
to the rumbles in Delta North Senatorial seat, Col. G. Eboma ,who leads a
faction of PDP in Delta State told Vanguard that he was not surprised that Dr.
Okowa was elected because “he is part of the ruling cabal and a consummate
systems man who knows how to manipulate the system to his advantage”.

According
to Col. G. Eboma, the former S.S.G. has been in power since 1999 as
Commissioner for Works and later Health, “what was he able to do for the people
of Ika nation? Agbor, the pride of Ika man has not seen any tangible
infrastructural development or urban renewal in the past 36 years.  He may
have added a few structures to the old general hospital in Agbor and tarred a
few roads in his home town. Owa Alero, the bridge on Orogodo river is just
being repaired, in the two months of Prince Sam Obi as Acting Governor, yet
money has always been appropriated in the budget. The old Lagos Asaba road was
a death trap before the coming of Sam Obi. Erosion has ravaged our land”
Several attempts to reach Dr. Okowa to respond to issues raised by his critics
were rebuffed.

In Delta
Central Senatorial District where the Deputy Chairman of the Chief Ighoyota
Amori was returned as the winner there has been a massive protest by the people
leading to the cancellation of the result by the National Secretariat of the
Party.

In fact
the process of accreditation was in progress on the day of the primaries when
the returning officer came to announce that the exercise was being suspended
because of lack of security at the venue. The delegates were ordered out and
asked to reconvene the following day being 12, January, 2011. However, as they
left subterranean forces reportedly proceeded to conclude the primary and
indeed, returned Chief Amori.

Since
1999, Delta Central has maintained a tradition of giving only one term to its
senators; this has denied the area of the experience and contacts that is
required to play the politics in Abuja.

Senator
Felix Ibru who was by most accounts one of the best performing Senators in his
time in the Senate between 2003 and 2007 was not given an opportunity to return
and was replaced by a former academician, Prof. Adegho Eferekaya.

To some
political analysts, Prof. Eferakeya has not been impressive in the mood of
Ibru. He is also said to lack charisma and as such, the recruitment of the
charismatic and outspoken Amori. Eferekaya’s admirers, however, say that the
aging senator is not a noisemaker but an uncompromising and disciplined Urhobo
patriot who has resisted what they claim to be an attempt by some powers to
undermine the interest of the Urhobo nation.

However,
charisma along cannot win it for Amori as he is being challenged for the seat
by a handful of equally charismatic aspirants including Hon. Halims Agoda,
Okaokuro Ede Omueya Dafinone and Chief Charles Obule. Agoda represents Ethiope
Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives where he is a vocal member
of the House. He has been in legislative business for 13 years having spent two
years as a member of Delta State House of Assembly from 1991 to 1993 and
another 11years in the House of Representatives; this makes him a very
experienced contender for the Senate.

In Delta
South Senatorial District Chief Solomon Ogba who was earlier listed among those
favoured to win the PDP ticket failed to scale through. He was touted as a
replacement for Senator James Manager, the Chairman of the Niger Delta who has
done two terms. The candidacy of Chief Manager became imperative to avoid
marginalizing Ijaw people. The

Informed
sources told Vanguard that Chief Ogba lost out to forces that believe that the
Ijaw nation should retain the Senate seat while the Isokoland gets a
ministerial position. This calculation also frustrated Chief (Mrs.) Stella Omu,
who was making a comeback. Chief Ogba worked hard to deliver Isoko land during
the re_run and may be compensated with a ministerial nomination.

With PDP
and INEC in tango over re_run some of the flawed primaries, the rumbles will
continue far into the elections in April and the collateral damage to PDP may
be the staring point for politics of alternatives.

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