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Okowa Cuts Away More Of Uduaghan’s Legacy



By Patrick Adamagu

The balance of power between Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State and his immediate predecessor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan has been further eroded to the disadvantage of the former governor with more loyalists of Uduaghan pitching tent with Okowa.

Okowa and Uduaghan were supposed to have been friends having served as fellow commissioners in the James Ibori administration during which they were neighbours in Asaba. At that time members of the two families were considered to be family friends.

It was in that light that Okowa easily stepped down for Uduaghan in 2007 for the later who was at that time Secretary to the State Government to contest for the governorship.

However, the warmth between the two men turned cold in 2014 when Uduaghan was believed to have moved state resources to frustrate the emergence of Dr. Okowa as his successor.

Okowa by sheer steadfastness triumphed in late 2014 as Uduaghan’s political plans collapsed in November 2014 amidst intrigues and conspiracies within the then governor’s camp.

Following Dr. Okowa’s emergence, the relationship between both men has understandably been cold a development that prompted Uduaghan in 2018 to defect to the All Progressives Congress, APC, a party he, Uduaghan once regarded with scorn.

In defecting, Uduaghan claimed he was going as John the Baptist with the assurance that many more of his associates would come along. Remarkably, there were insinuations that his claim that he was going as John the Baptist meant that Ibori, would come along.

The Okowa camp was, however, unmoved given the firm assurance that it had on Ibori and the lack of commitment from Uduaghan’s associates to move along with him.

Remarkably, of his close associates, only Chief Ayiri Emmami who defected to the APC after the 2015 General Election associated with him.

Rather, than the Uduaghan Tsunami, former close associates of the former governor have been coming towards the Okowa administration.

Uduaghan about two months ago was forced to lament on Facebook that a one time prop in his inner cabal, Funkekeme Solomon had also deserted him.

Solomon served in separate official and unofficial capacities in the Uduaghan administration including commissioner for works.

Ahead of the 2019 General Election it was not surprising that Solomon clashed with his former mentor, Uduaghan after he was appointed as the director-general of the Okowa Campaign.

After the former governor failed for the second time in as many times in his Senate bid, he cried out that Solomon had also been bitten with the “anti-Emmanuel Uduaghan virus.”

“The anti – Emmanuel Uduaghan virus has bitten you. I thought you will be the last person to manifest the symptoms. I was wrong,” said as he observed that Solomon was a member of his inner caucus for 14 years.

No more. Solomon was one of the first three persons appointed by Okowa in his second term to high level positions. The former Uduaghan man was named Senior Political Adviser.

Gov Okowa at the weekend proceeded to further decimate the camp of Uduaghan with the appointment of Uduaghan’s former SSG, Ovuozorie Macaulay as Director General of the Warri-Uvwie and Environs Special Area Development Agency.

Another former strong loyalist of Uduaghan’s Chief Joseph Otumara who served as commissioner for health in the former governor’s cabinet was named as chairman of the agency.

But whether any of the two newly appointed officials will go out of their way to throw stones at Uduagahan in the way Solomon did at the peak of the last election season is something the electorate will be watching out for.

Meanwhile, the emergence of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege as deputy president of the Senate may have also further diminished the influence that Uduagahan as a former governor was having in the APC.

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