Delta: Uduaghan Set to Leave PDP for APC 

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Segun James
Following disagreements between him and Governor Ifeanyi Okowa over his ambition to represent Delta South senatorial district in the National Assembly, former Delta State governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, is set to dump the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the All Progressives Congress (APC).

THISDAY gathered through a source close to the former governor who pleaded anonymity, that Uduaghan is angry with the governor over his insistence to honour an agreement between PDP governors and the party to ensure the mass endorsement and return of all National Assembly members elected on the platform of the party.

Uduaghan, according to the source, is unhappy with the decision which would secure an unprecedented fifth term for Senator James Manager to the chagrin of other stakeholders in the district who felt he should allow others take their turn.

The THISDAY source disclosed that the Delta South district is made up of the Ijaw, Isoko and Itsekiri ethnic nationalities, who have been rotating the slot among them following a gentleman’s agreement.
However, following the election of Manager in 2003, the agreement was jettisoned and he has held the position for four consecutive tenures and already angling for a fifth term.

It was also gathered that Uduaghan and Governor Okowa have not been close to each other following the refusal of the former governor to endorse his successor for the state governorship in 2015, a situation that generated bad blood between them.
It was gathered that this was the reason why Uduaghan had no single representation among the over 1,500 political appointees in Okowa’s government.

“In fact, he had no knowledge of how his brother was appointed a commissioner,” the source hinted
confirming the cold war pushing the former governor out of the PDP.
A source in Governor Okowa’s office however said Uduaghan’s action is not unexpected as he had been “one leg in, one leg out of the party for some time.”

He disclosed that the reason the former governor is angry with Okowa is because he (Okowa) refused to endorse him for the senatorial seat contrary to the practice in the party.
He stressed that the demand by Uduaghan to avoid primaries by seeking the governor’s endorsement is unrealistic as the move might offend the people who assisted Okowa to power.

On the report that former Governor James Ibori is aggrieved with Okowa and is also contemplating leaving the PDP, the source said that this is not true as both the governor and Ibori are in good terms.
He insisted that Ibori is particularly close to former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, who is running for the president under the PDP, adding that leaving the PDP is not in Ibori’s agenda.