“ Sometimes I wonder if we shall ever grow up in our politics and say definite things which mean something, or whether we shall always go on using generalities to which everyone can subscribe, and which mean very little ”… Eleanor Roosevelt
“No one party can fool all of the people all of the time; that’s why we have two parties” …Bob Hope.
For the past six years, I have been focusing on the Delta political network and the voice of the few opponents of the ruling party in the state. This week, I decided to highlight their possible position in the incoming elections due to several factors which I put into consideration.
These factors include the strength, availability, personality, campaigns, ability to command respect within the political gathering, voters registration and collections of voters cards to mention but a few. The spread of the political parties in terms of National Assembly seats, states, chairmen, councilors, board members were not left out of the consideration. In Delta State, there are presently about five or six political parties vying for different elective posts.
One of such party is the Social Democratic Party (SDP) which was once used during the two-party scenario of General Ibrahim Babagida. It should be recalled that Felix Ibru became the governor of the state via this party. However, in this dispensation, there is no well-known presidential candidate but like a prodigal son, one Chief Kenneth Gbagi, a former minister for state, education under the Peoples Democratic Party is the governorship candidate. He migrated to this party when he sensed that he would be massively defeated in the primaries. His campaign is mostly in churches and fuel stations. The best this party can go in the state is fourth position.
Another political party on the road is the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA which is headed by Chief Great Ogboru who is popularly referred to as the peoples general. Recall that since 2003 when Chief Ogboru returned from exile courtesy of Gideon Orkar’s failed military coup, he took the political space like the Russia war with Ukraine. He brought much fear and hypertension into governor Ibori’s heart causing much headache then. Since then, he has been contesting the governorship election to no avail. Severally, those who are not known in the political terrain hide under his suit to contest elections and immediately they won the people’s general is discarded like a tissue paper.
Some of them have become senators and other places which their own name could not have taken them to. In this political garment, he is back on the front burner telling all Deltans that the savior has come but none much has been seen of his political campaigns like in his past. Some analysts believe that Great Ogboru is not really contesting an election rather his coming for the cap is to ensure that the deputy senate president, Omo-Agege who betrayed him having used his name to climb to the top of the ladder did not win the governorship race in the state. For now, no one knows any member of his party for the national and state assembly. The best position he can occupy is third among the lots and nothing more if the people have sympathy for him due to his consistency.
“Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future”. John F. Kennedy.
Labour Party is another party that his governorship candidate is not known in the state to many. It appears that the candidate may have chosen to fly the governorship flag due to probably the alleged popularity of Peter Obi and his vice-presidential candidate. Since Obi picked the presidential form of the party, the political youths who appear to be non-political conscious may have woken up from their slumber. Much is not being heard of the party in terms of campaign outside when Peter Obi came to the state and since then all have gone asleep. The best position it can go is second.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) is another party but it appears more on social media.
“However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion”… George Washington
George Washington appears to have this party in mind when he spoke those words. The party flag bearer, senator Omo-Agege was alleged to have betrayed the very engine which lifted him to dominance in the past.
“Setting a good example is a far better way to spread ideals than through force of arms.” – Ron Paul.
This quote appears to have been imported by Omo-Agege in his campaigns. He has been promising a higher institution for all wards and communities after taking six federal projects to his village. The best position he can go is fifth.
Also on the list is the Peoples Democratic Party popularly called PDP. It is a fact that this party has been ruling Delta State since 1999 and the scenario on ground at present did not suggest otherwise. With Atiku as presidential candidate and the road master governor in person of Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa as his vice-presidential candidate and Sheriff Oborevwori, the longest serving speaker of the House of Assembly since its creation flying the governorship flag, the combinations of the other parties put together cannot match the Peoples Democratic Party in one local government area and all the governorship candidates know this.
Before one will predict the position of this party in the election, I want to say with all fairness that the party took campaigns to another level. All the local governments, wards, communities, churches, schools, market places and other events the presence of the members of the party is something that may be difficult for the opposition to match in the next twenty years.
On the social media, they are so calculative and the party has the highest number of members at the national and state assemblies, all the local government chairmen and councilors, board appointees to mention but a few. The party decided to go to the grass root with its campaign because according to one of them, we don’t want to shout rigging like the other parties hence we have been doing all we can to win the election.
The recent campaign of Omo-Agege that he will convert Sapele Technical College to a Polytechnic further gave the Sheriff Oborevwori and PDP more edge. According to the people of Sapele and its environs, Omo-Agege should bring the Law School to Sapele Technical College before we can trust him because he has quenched the engine of all those who helped him in life and we cannot be fooled again. Going through what the Peoples Democratic Party is doing from 1999 when this democracy started in the state, I have no doubt that the worst this party can go is the first position and nothing stopping it from occupying Osadebe house come June 12th 2023.
Joseph Esivwenughwu is a Chartered Accountant, Politician and Analyst.