Initially I thought it was needless to react to the above article that was clearly sponsored by Chief Ortega Emerhor whose inability to win elections as evident in the result of 2015 governorship election is not in doubt. And the fact that it's not news in delta state that Emerhor is a very inconsistent man.
But the need to set the record straight and to disabuse the minds of a few party faithfuls that are yet to know Emerhor. That his decision to opt out of the governorship race has no altruistic undertone, I will state as follows:
The need to save his face from imminent humiliation if he contests; Because as long as Ogboru would contest Emerhor stands no chance both at intraparty and interparty elections. It's on record that Ogboru has, beyond always winning his Ethiope East local government, consistently won his delta central senatorial elections as exemplified in the emergence of late Senator Ewherido of blessed memory and the current serving distinguished Senator Omoagege who both rode on his back to victory from his erstwhile party platforms, DPP and Labour Party respectively.
Whereas Emerhor contested and lost in all the wards in his 2015 gubernatorial election exactly the same way he lost all the wards in his attempt to become a Senator in 2013. Ordinarily I should not bother about Emerhor's incapacity to win elections because it's not compulsory for everybody to win. But it becomes an issue when he tries to attribute his failure to a delta north agenda and altruism for his withdrawal from the race.
The mistake APC made in 2015 was allowing Emerhor who has no electoral value to foist himself as the gubernatorial candidate. Emerhor did everything to prevent Tilije who is a delta northerner from contesting in 2015. Is Emerhor saying that it's more urgent now that Okowa is already in the saddle as a governor for delta north people to contest under Apc than it was in 2015? Or is Tilije, a former governorship aspirant not from delta north?
If Emerhor contests in 2019, 2023 or 2027, in fact if he contests ten times he would still fail woefully as usual. The people would always reject him. Not because he's from delta central but because he doesn't resonate with the people. Emerhor is "a bad market and we all know "You can't give what you don't have.
A very close ally of Emerhor who dumped him because he couldn't cope further with his mischief, Jesutega Onokpasa, puts it succinctly, that Emerhor pulled out of the guber contest because he knows that he has no electoral value. In his words, Emerhor couldn't and cannot win in his village of Evwreni. But he is drunken with hatred and envy against his kinsman, Ogboru, adjudged by all as the best and would rather that APC lost than for Ogboru to fly the party's flag.
If Emerhor challenged Okowa up to the Supreme Court in 2015 for election rigging why is he coming here today to say that Okowa would sweep all the nine LGA s in delta north. If according to Emerhor Okowa rigged in 2015 how can he (Okowa) win today with his obvious incompetence and very poor performance record against a popular candidate? Emerhor speaks from the two sides of his mouth. Are we surprised that he cannot win his ward despite all the money?
If Ogboru who contested under a so called mushroom party could secure four LGAs and made his "mushroom party" to win a senatorial seat and two house of assembly seats, inspite of the fact that he is not a delta north candidate why couldn't Emerhor with the bandwagon effect of Buhari's victory win at least a ward?
Both (Ogboru and Emerhor) are not from delta north, so to say it was a mistake for an Urhobo candidate to have contested in 2015 should have meant that both Ogboru and Ortega should have scored zero votes as all deltans according to Emerhor should have voted for Okowa. It is clear that Emerhor's dubious claim that only a delta north candidate can bring victory for Apc in 2019 is to pull the wool over the eyes of the people.
But the crux of the matter is that contrary to what Emerhor wants outsiders to believe, majority of the people of delta state know that Emerhor is playing a script for Okowa as part of the steps for APC to lose again in delta state.
The recruitment of a community of all manner of aspirants from delta north, that when put together cannot win one LGA just to advance his personal vendetta against the people's choice is a poor strategy. Deltans, including the exco members led by Jones Erue, that were hitherto hoodwinked and misled by Emerhor are wiser now and they have made their choice. They are boldly insisting on the best man for the job. This is the reason Emerhor is hellbent on stopping Jones Erue's return as state chairman.
It is pertinent to note that the only person that is not permitted to continue beyond 2019 by law is Okowa. No one else whether from delta north or central can be subjected to a single tenure. And Emerhor knows that.
So the whole commitment to a single term by Emerhor is a redherring calculated to give victory to PDP.
Furthermore assuming without conceding that Deltans would vote along ethnic lines it will be a win win for Ogboru. First he would win the entire delta central which though has eight LGAs is alot more in population than delta north's nine LGAs. Then Ogboru would go ahead as usual to win at least four LGAs in delta north because he's also from delta north (his mother is from Ukwuani) and the Ukwani people will always resonate with Ogboru more than Okowa contrary to Emerhor's naive calculations. This would leave Ogboru with a simple task of having to get only one LGA in delta south.
The foolish arguments that delta south would vote only a delta north candidate because of "equity" is the height of hypocrisy. This is because firstly, an apc candidate from delta north opens up the same problems to power rotation as a candidate from delta central. Both will have the constitutional right to eight years in office, leaving delta south in the same predicament of waiting for power to rotate back to them after 16 years. Emerhor by insisting that delta south only care about power rotation is invariably telling them to work for Okowa because Okowa's second tenure would guarantee that power returns to delta south after 12 years as against 16 years if a delta north candidate from apc emerges.
Furthermore based on available empirical evidence, Delta south have always aligned with Ogboru not only because his wife is their kinswoman, but mainly because they believe in the best candidate to turn around the state and therefore have always keyed into Ogboru's pan-Deltan initiative.
Moreover, Emerhor's claim that the interest of delta south people are served only when their kinsman becomes the governor is a fallacy in view of the fact that the people of delta south groaned under Uduaghan's eight year rule, the same way we are groaning in delta north under Okowa, our own kinsman's rulership.
Finally let me remind you that the most distinguished senator Omoagege was not ambiguous when he said that he would have loved to contest for governor but for the fact that there's no body better person positioned to deliver victory to APC in delta state than Ogboru. His words "Ogboru would win all the eight LGAs in delta central and then secure 25 percent in four LGAs in delta north and south. He then added "who can match this record in delta state? Show me such aspirant and I will switch support" How factual!
Coordinator, The New Delta Agenda. Writes from Asaba.
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