2023 Nigeria Decides
Delta Guber: Why The Dynamics Favour Oborevwori
By Eghebi Williams Lince
The decision on who becomes the successor to Senator Ifeanyi Okowa as Governor of Delta State will be made this Saturday. Until few weeks ago, it was a two-horse race between Chief Sheriff Oborevwori and Senator Ovie Omo-Agege the candidates of PDP and APC respectively. The emergence of Peter Obi, the Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party has changed the dinamics.
The current reality is that the two known Gubernatorial candidates have a Third Force to contend with, no thanks to Mr. Peter Obi and his Obidients that have negated all permutations in Nigerians electoral behaviour. Deacon Ken Pela, the gubernatorial candidate of Labour Party was a political neophyte but riding on the strong crest of Mr. Peter Obi, made him the game changer though several of his followers have lately labelled him a placeholder.
Mr. Pela seems to be most refined with vast knowledge in management of public finance and portfolio development. He is a known face in business corridor. His foray in political position has been shadowed with attacks against alleged misdeeds which he has since debunked and challenged critics to produce evidence.
The Labour Party Candidate has thus far failed to extricate himself from the allegation of a pact with one of the strong political parties. The Obidient Movement appears to be waning in Delta State. First, the declaration of Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the President-elect has dampened the enthusiasm of the youths and other disciples of the Third Force. Another factor against Mr. Pela is the reported directive of Mr. Obi that his supporters should look out for credible candidates to vote for this weekend. Many viewed this as a confirmation of the rumoured pact of Obidients and the PDP in the state.
Senator Ovie Omo-Agege has the richest political pedigree amongst the leading candidates. Born blued-blooded, he had some level of education in the United States of America. He served at various levels in Delta State political space. He was Secretary to Delta State Government when Chief James Ibori was Governor.
He is a very influential senator, rising to become the Deputy Senate President. He is one of the executioners for President Mohammadu Buhari. The emergence of two senators-elect of the APC gives him a strong standing though the party ranks third in the plurality of the votes cast in that election.
Senator Ovie Omo-Agege has many drag-downs. He is perceived as an ethnic bigot, pushing over 70% of the projects and programmes he attracted to his Orogun Community. Some examples are mentioned. It is reported that he used his political leverage to divert Federal Polytechnic from Ndokwa Nation to his village. The Rector and Librarian of the institution are said to be from his village. The list of his tilted distribution of dividends is long and even attracts condemnation from several stakeholders in his Urhobo Nation.
The people from Delta North say if he could not be fair to his Urhobo brethren, how can he be trusted in a heterogeneous Delta State. A classic example is the claim that the contractors handling the dual carriage road to vacate the Agbor site for Amukpe, near Sapele. The action made it impossible for commuters to travel from Agbor to Warri and environs without using farm pathways. They also fear that he may close or merge the universities in Agbor and Asaba. Though he doused the apprehension, many did not find his promises tasty enough to swallow.
In 2014, when it was the turn of Delta North to produce the governor, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege joined the fray to contest the primary. This action, many believe, signposts his disdain for Delta North in particular and peaceful coexistence in the state.
Though members of the Delta United Group, PDP tendency loyal to Ibori, have publicly endorsed his candidature, the former governor and his allies seem very uncomfortable with him. The seamless way he jumps from one party to another elicits unsavoury comments.
Chief Sheriff Oborevwori rose through the political ladder to become the Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly. He is believed to be foisted on the party by the current governor. His academic qualifications and age have been subject of litigations though the apex court laid them to rest last year. He is not the finest orators and many of his opponents query his independence.
Chief Oborevwori has been able to lead a stable state legislature for almost six uninterrupted years. He may not be the most cerebral candidate but has the basic academic knowledge and experience to lead the complex state especially now with several ethnic chauvinists parading political corridors.
The Anioma (Delta North) people believe that Oborevwori will not only complete ongoing projects in the area but think he will sustain the steady growth of the capital city. Delta South think that it’s only the emergence of Oborevwori that will ensure that they can produce governor in 2031.
In times like this, we do not need the smartest philosophers. What we need is a governor that will accept every Deltan as equal. I have found this in Sheriff Oborevwori. What of you?
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