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17/12/2017 23:11:48
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Delta State Politics Faces Uncertain Future

Part 3

Onochie Nwokolo

The opposition against Uduaghan if sustained and properly articulated, would have been very good for the proper growth of Delta State but unfortunately most Nigerian politicians are like magicians. Once more money is in the pipeline, especially in the next couple of weeks and months, the battle will have a new complexion because from all logical reasoning, the struggle for power in Delta State still lacks any strong ideological bent. It seems more of self interest than common good.

For instance, since the opposition started piling real pressure on Uduaghan, he seems to be making a twist on his perceived stingy and selfish attitude.

Money is being released to his close associates and soon money will be pumped into starved DESOPADEC but through his crony, Madam Esievo. At least that will make some politicians smile to their banks, sycophants are already hard at work with paid advertorials of sorts emerging in National newspapers at the detriment of the State treasury and genuine development.

Meanwhile, members of the media have also begun targeting political campaign budgets of the various Uduaghan groups like ‘Unlimited Mandated for Uduaghan’ funded with state misapplied resources. All these are demonstrations of the crude power of incumbency but how far will it translate to success for Uduaghan especially given that  some of the seeming damage control measures being applied by his praise singers may even expose  Uduaghan’s underbelly or produce more problems for him if not properly articulated.

However, more surprises are still expected in Delta State because the important voting bloc appears to be shying away from the governorship race. The major senatorial zone that is known for offering their bulk vote on governorship elections which is Delta North aka Anioma region is still silent on presenting a candidate.

It is expected that as soon as the zone discovers courage to produce a credible and acceptable candidate, the political equation in the governorship elections will change. Right now, it is assumed that the Aniomas may be willing to give Uduaghan a second chance especially for addressing their age long marginalization under Ibori’s administration but Chief E.K Clark's group’s seem to be making a major inroad with the likely repositioning of the State PDP executive to favour a well known mobiliser of the masses and selfless politician as the Chairman of the State PDP. 

Feelers are that Uche Ugboma, a former powerful State Party Secretary but now highly marginalized by Uduaghan is the right man to upset Uduaghan’s stronghold on Anioma because he understands the game of ‘politricks’.

However, Chief E.K Clark's group success in ensuring victory in Anioma is not resting on one person. Already, the group has started reaching out to some key players  but  Anioma has strange but  peculiar characteristics. It is a region where every household has a self anointed political leader. Most people in the region are self acclaimed mobilisers with many tired politicians claiming strength without ability to win votes even in their households. Be that as it may, Anioma remains the bride of any serious governorship contender in Delta state because it can produce votes that would influence who wins a properly conducted election.

For Uduaghan, how well he is able to retain in his fold some members of the Delta House of Assembly from the Anioma region will speak for his success because they are the real people that presently command followership. Already, there seem to be some major players in this issue from Anioma.  Ndudi Elumelu, Emeka Okonji and Victor Ochie may be Uduaghan’s firm strength.

But this remains dicey because Chief E.K Clark's group will not know sleep until they have successfully engaged these men in their camp. The possibility is high because what they would offer may be far from money because at this stage. money is not a rare commodity for these men. Although, most Delta State House of Assembly members are still trying to figure out how to play the politics of the issue but  their strategy so far is to keep saying that it's simply too early to make a decision.

Beyond the two major groups of  E.K Clark and Uduaghan, the real danger of PDP is not who wins the primaries but in its polarization. Should Uduaghan not succeed in getting the president’s backing for the PDP ticket, he may be forced into taking a stronger position and a swing to another party will be a most viable option for him.

On the other hand, if eventually the Delta state PDP governorship ticket is given to Chief E.K Clark's group, without proper homework on how to ‘write’ election results, PDP may not win the state and this will be a big minus for its Presidential candidate. Given the circumstances on ground, most analysts believe that Delta State politics faces uncertain future and the expectation is that if the two opposing groups are not reconciled, an eventual separation will have a powerful set back for the National PDP.

This is so, especially if President Goodluck harbours presidential ambition in 2011 as being speculated. For PDP to produce a President of South-South extract in the face of the North producing a northern candidate from another Party, both opposing camps in Delta state will need to have a rethink because each will need another for the collective interest of their region. Indeed, if posh comes to shove, I predict that the powers at Abuja will give Chief E.K Clark the option of choosing to be either the leader of an opposition movement or an elder statesman with power to appoint other elective officers.

He can't be both but this is where Uduaghan will be thought the simple lessons of political compromise which will come with diminished strength. Uduaghan may not have met my aspirations for good governance but in the present circumstances, he has some reasonable  sympathy of his people. My fear is that the many sycophants around Uduaghan  may just end up as turncoats in months ahead especially if he does not address his shortcomings of being rated a self centered personality. 

Many people may be justified to assume that Uduaghan has performed  better than those that came before him but that is not enough credential for governorship race because those indicating interest to contest in 2011 Delta state gubernatorial  elections are not  past governors of the State  that Uduaghan’s purported performance is resting on. The new contestants may just be the messiah Deltans have awaited. In the months ahead, Delta state politics may take a new look.

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