Zoning is not a gambit, which a party aiming to take over power in a State like Delta should invest its faith in at the expense of other empirical factors that are responsible for electoral victory.

Since 1999, when the People’s Democratic Party, PDP rigged its way into the government of Delta State, the party employed all kinds of underhand tactics in collaboration with the Police and INEC to dominate Delta State in every subsequent election. Every party including APP, the closest rival to PDP in 1999, was eventually emasculated in the fiery manipulative measures adopted by PDP.

However, from 2003 till date it is only the political machinery set up by Chief Great Ogboru that has been able to engage the PDP frontally and courageously in a real contest in which the PDP suffered losses in every election held since 2007 by conceding some legislative seats to every fringe party brought from oblivion to limelight by Chief Great Ogboru in spite of the limiting conditions Chief Ogboru was subjected to by institutions saddled with midwifing and securing the elections. With little or no institutional support, Chief Great Ogboru has been able to occupy and dominate the Delta Central Senatorial district where both himself and the PDP  patriarch in the State are from.

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In 2011 and 2015, Chief Great Ogboru was able to use fringe parties to produce the Senators representing Delta Central Senatorial District aside the House of Representative and house of Assembly members elected under the ever expanding influence of Chief Great Ogboru.

If Chief Ogboru was able to achieve and give electoral value to fringe political parties, do we expect less from him for a mainstream party like the All Progressives Congress, APC? The answer is no. Therefore, I expect Delta State APC  stakeholders to be savvy enough in replicating  what brought an end to the control of the federal government by PDP in the savvy move by some founding members in appealing to President Muhammadu Buhari to take another shot at the presidential election  after a string of losses almost extinguished the fire of liberation motivating the President to seek the exalted office.

Deltans should count themselves fortunate that Chief Great Ogboru is still offering himself to serve his State. But rather than leverage on the ever growing goodwill of Chief Great Ogboru,  there are moves by some APC stakeholders to   latch into a lifeless zoning arrangement of the PDP in trying to deny APC Victory in the State.
While there are enough reasons why the so called zoning arrangement being touted will not work in favour of APC, we are yet to discern any persuasive argument belying our position.

  1. Firstly, PDP has not ruled the State well to the satisfaction of the masses over the years especially made worse by the inability of the present Governor to distinguish himself in the challenging period. The opinion poll as of today is the worst for the party since 1999. Therefore, the electorate do not want to identify with anything associated with PDP inclusive of her jinxed zoning formula that was not designed for good governance
    but pillaging of our common patrimony in rotation amongst members of the same dynasty.Secondly, adopting the PDP zoning formula will not introduce any electrifying verve into the political space rather it will dull the atmosphere and engender complacency in both the existing zone where the sitting Governor is from as well as other zones who might see any incentive to go beyond the ordinary attitude of apathy.Thirdly, empirically the forte of opposition to PDP mis-governance in Delta State is the Delta Central Senatorial district. Even in 1999 when the first Governor of PDP was from the central, the party didn’t control Delta central in the first election and the trend has remained so in subsequent elections till date. So it can comfortably be said that Delta Central Senatorial district is the bastion of opposition in Delta State political.


    Additionally, the APC mantra is transparency and the engagement of best international practices in all government activities. So in line with the philosophy of our party in not subverting institutional process, to win the 2019 election, APC must field a candidate with enormous goodwill supported by empirical evidence as against untested histrionics and presumptions that do not enjoy the support of the masses.

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    Let me conclusively add that towing the PDP zoning path besides being a disincentive to voters from the zone, which are contention with the zone where the PDP Governor is from, it encourages voters from the other zones to vote for the PDP and only wait for 4 years for power to rotate to them than voting the APC and prolong the waiting period to 8 more years.

    In view of the unassailable reasons advanced above, it is better for APC to prime the electoral value of the candidate above other factors as the central consideration if the party is determined to win the gubernatorial elections and other elections in Delta State. We must never forget that APC is a Party that respects the right of members and citizens to vote and be voted for. Ours is different from the PDP system, where qualified and most preferred candidates are relegated due to an unconstitutional arrangement called zoning.

    Prince Christopher Akpojotor Agaga



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