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Uduaghan In Tight Fight To Win APC Senate Ticket



Plans by the immediate past governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan to get the Delta South Senate ticket of the All Progressives Congress, APC were on Tuesday facing serious challenges from a former militant leader, High Chief Michael Johnny.

Uduaghan recently defected from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP to the APC after he perceived that he had been fenced off from the PDP Senate ticket by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa. The former governor is campaigning on the premise of among others, restoring the zoning policy that has been breached by four consecutive terms of Senator James Manager. The seat had before now been rotated among the Itsekiri , Ijaw and Isoko on a single term.

Johnny: Uduaghan’s Ijaw nemesis

However, Uduaghan while in the PDP helped to upend that arrangement when he supported Manager’s second term in 2007 and third term in 2015. The narrative was that Uduaghan allowed Manager to keep the seat in expectation that the senator would vacate the seat for him in 2015 when he, Uduaghan would have finished his stint as governor.

However, Manager fought him off seriously to go for a fourth term when the senator collaborated with Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and another militant leader, Tompolo in 2015, forcing Uduaghan as sitting governor to pull out of the primary contest.

However, Uduaghan’s defection to the APC has not helped him as Johnny, an ethnic Ijaw with ancestral connections to Itsekiri has put pressures on him.

The Uduaghan camp is troubled by the fact that the Ijaw have 41 wards while Uduaghan’s Itsekiri have only 18 wards. The third Isoko who form the third ethnic group have 24 wards. Uduaghan is said to have captured the Isoko votes, still leaving him in a competitive position to fight for the ticket. He is, however, not fully assured of the Itsekiri vote given his late entry into the party as the Itsekiri structure is controlled by Dr. Alex Ideh and Ms. Temi Harriman.

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