- Says Uduaghan remained bitter Okowa became Governor
Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba
The recent defection of former Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, to the All Progressives Congress (APC) is not a surprise to those who have been following political developments in the last few years especially in the state, the Executive Assistant (Communications) to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, Dr. Fred Latimore Oghenesivbe, has said.
Oghenesivbe, in a statement made available to THISDAY in Asaba Thursday, noted that Uduaghan never wanted Okowa to succeed him in 2015, saying the former governor felt disappointed that his (Uduaghan’s) choice candidate in the 2014 Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship primary, and “since then not in the PDP wholeheartedly.
“Uduaghan technically defected to APC in 2014, immediately it became obvious that his governorship aspirant, Sir Tony Obuh, was rejected by Chief James Ibori and other major stakeholders in the state,” Oghenesivbe alleged.
He observed that after the party leaders had settled for Okowa’s candidacy just before the gubernatorial primaries in 2014, “Uduaghan went ahead to pick his first eleven advance team headed by Chief Ayiri Emami,” a young but influential itsekiri chief, to proceed to prepare the stage for his later arrival in APC.
According to Okowa’s aide, “Ayiri went round the state on the instruction of Uduaghan to recruit more people into the APC, and that effort brought about the earlier defection of Chief Paulinus Akpeki, former Commissioner, Kubenje; Jaro Egbo, Hon Stella Okotete, Chief Aginighan and a host of others to the APC after the 2015 general election.”
He further alleged that Uduaghan has been involved in anti-party activities as one of the major financiers of the APC while still in PDP, “and worked extensively with Olorogun Otega Emerhor and his team during the 2015 general election but could not match the political sagacity of Okowa and the Ibori political structure hence Emerhor lost woefully in the gubernatorial race.”
Okowa’s aide disclosed that Uduaghan ordered APC state leadership in 2015 to break the backbone of the Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) through an APC sponsored faction headed by Chief Tuesday Onoge in order to also fight Chief Great Ogboru for giving him (Uduaghan) series of electoral litigation while in office, a development which prompted a re-run election.
He alleged that Uduaghan hates Okowa for undisclosed reasons which is why he (Uduaghan) decided to join forces with Adams Oshiomole who also hates Okowa so that both of them can give him a dirty fight in the forthcoming governorship election in the state.
Oghenesivbe, who was the campaign director for the APC governorship candidate in 2015, Emerhor, said: “Deltans should remain focused and continue to support Okowa, who has denied himself of luxury and material things in order to judiciously use the lean resources of the state for infrastructure and socioeconomic development of the state.
“Uduaghan defected for two major reasons: to protect himself against serial corruption charges by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and to join forces with Oshiomole to remove Okowa from office, a dream that would further crash Uduaghan’s political career in 2019.”