NOSA ERESOYEN writes on the good, the bad and the ugly side of the primary elections of the two leading parties in Delta State, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the All Progressives Congress, APC.
Though, many of the parties’ primaries held across the country, perhaps, had come and gone, it was a big surprise in Delta State, especially in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in Delta Central, where Evelyn Oboro defeated Chief Ighoyota Amori, the Odidimadi of Ethiope West politics.
At the All Progressives Congress (APC), the story was wrapped in conflicting reports as the serving senator Ovie Omo Agege of Delta Central Senatorial District under All Progressives Congress (APC) was allegedly expelled by a faction of the party, led by one Cyril Ogodo, while another faction led by Prophet Jones Erue also expelled Ote’ga Emerhor, and declared Senator Ovie Omo Agege the winner of the Delta Central Senatorial Seat of the APC.
Expectedly, Senator Omo Agege and Ote’ga Emerhor have been locked in a supremacy battle, which eventually snow balled into hatred, and counter hatred before the purported expulsion. While the crisis that bedeviled the APC over leadership tussle worsened, the issue of direct and indirect primaries became insult to injuries among the party factional leaderships.
But in the Delta North senatorial district, under the APC, Engr. Doris Uboh, onetime member of the House of Representatives representing Ika federal constituency, defeated Mrs. Mariam Ali, alias Kpakpando, right inside the Federal College of Education Technical to clinch the ticket.
Recall that Mrs Ali, wife of a former chairman of the PDP recently defected from the PDP to the APC.
Though, there was casualty in the alleged killings of two students of the school by some policemen, but it was reliably gathered that the killings of the students allegedly by policemen, was not connected with the primaries held at the school premises, rather, it was alleged to be per herbs cross fire with the policeman over ticketing.
Evelyn Oboro of the PDP, whose ‘Thatcherine’ quality currently might go places, is regarded as the Iron Lady in Delta Politics.
In Delta South, an ‘enfant terrible’ in Michael Diden of the PDP, seeking for senatorial ticket, was humbled by the resilient long distance runner in the Senate, James Manager, who dealt with him as an old war-horse. In Delta North senatorial district, the Oracle from Ibusa won the day and defeated a princely contender in Ned Nwoko, whom many thought would be a game changer.
For the opposition APC, the long expected outcome for its gubernatorial primary, where the party’s candidate for 2019, came eventually with Chief Great Ogboru, the many of his fans refer to as ‘the Peoples General’ emerged winner.
He contested against three other candidates from the Delta North – Chief Victor Ochei, the Olikeze of Onicha Olona, Prof. Patrick Utomi an egg head and Dr. Cairo Ojougbou a medical doctor. A formidable team any day, but the voters chose Ogboru, a serial guber-contender in Delta who must have swayed sympathy votes to his side.
Would he continue this winning streak in 2019 to wrestle power from Dr. Okowa? Time will tell.
In Delta, two upsets were rather surprising. That an Amori could be humbled by a young lady, young enough to be his daughter amazes onlookers. And to have drafted Ejele from Warri North to do battle with the ‘Egbage,’ Manager, of Delta South politics was almost suicidal in the least. Diden may have tried, but he forgot to know that there are titles people must be equipped with properly to engage in politics.
The Delta South terrain had been conquered long ago by Manager. Better luck next time. Meanwhile the PDP senatorial primaries took place on Wednesday with flagbearers who would fly the banner of the party emerging in an election described by observers as peaceful and orderly.
In Delta North senatorial district, Senator Peter Nwaobushi of the PDP, clinched the ticket having scored 506 votes out of the 1,380 valid votes to defeat two other opponents, Hon. Ned Nwoko, who secured 453 votes and Mr. Paul Osaji, who got 216 votes.
The result was announced by the Returning Officer, Mrs. Uzor Nwanze. For Delta South Senatorial District, Senator Manager emerged the PDP candidate for Delta State, polling a total of 563 votes against other aspirants at the Oleh Township Stadium, venue of the primaries, while Diden garned 490 votes, Rt. (Hon.) J.K. Omoshola got three votes and Chief Olivia Agbajo got 0 votes in an election that had seven voided votes.
Barr. Pedro Egharevgba, who was the Returning Officer, accompanied by other electoral officers as well as Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, observers from the various local governments in Delta South, announced the result.
In Delta Central, Hon. Oboro of PDP emerged winner with 586 votes to beat Chief Ighoyota Amori, who polled 486 votes, for the senatorial seat. Another contender, Chief Charles Obule, got six votes. The result was announced by the Returning Officer for Delta Central, Barr. Nusa Amagbor.
Speaking to newsmen shortly after the election, Senator Manager thanked all party members and dedicated his victory to God.
Earlier at the event, the state Deputy Governor, Barr. Kingsley Otuaro, had urged all delegates to remain peaceful as they cast their votes for aspirants of their choice.
Otuaro who stated this shortly after casting his vote at the Oleh Township Stadium, venue of the South senatorial district primaries election, commended the peaceful process of the primaries and appealed to all party members to remain focused and committed to the course of the party, assuring that the party will support whoever emerges as winner to fly the party’s flag in the senatorial district.
The Delta South PDP chairman, Prince Emman Amgbaduba, while addressing the delegates and aspirants, commended them for their orderliness during the accreditation process.
Prince Amgbaduba, who assured party aspirants and delegates of a smooth, fair and credible process in conducting the primaries appealed to them to remember that they are one big family.
He said, “I want to remind all of us that we are one big family and we should remain so after these primaries, no matter what happens and who wins. I urge you all to maintain the brotherly love; we should support each other now and after these primaries. The big task is ahead of us; so, we should remain one, no matter who wins or loses, in order to achieve victory at the main election.”
Also, Ogboru, in emerging the gubernatorial candidate of the APC in Delta State, polled 3,292 votes at the party’s primary on Monday, October, 1.The gubernatorial primary, organised by the Prophet Jones Erue led State Working Committee (SWC) at the Sports Arena of the Federal College of Education (Technical), Asaba, saw Prof. Utomi, Rt. Hon. Ochei and Dr. Ojougboh defeated by Ogboru.
Declaring the outcome of the primary election, the returning officer, Major Gen. Lawrence Onoja (rtd), said 3,644 votes were cast by the party delegates, with 129 votes voided and 3,515 valid.
Onoja said that 198 votes were shared between Ochei, Ojougboh and Utomi, who got 160, 12 and 26 votes, respectively.
In his acceptance speech, the party’s flag bearer Ogboru, a five-time gubernatorial candidate, expressed delight at the exercise, calling on aspirants who fell out to join hands with the party to ensure victory in 2019.
He said, “There has to be only one winner, it is a game, it is not a warfare. Therefore, the time to sheath your swords is now. Let us come and unite, work as a party and face our common opponents in the quest to translate our state into a new Delta.
“I offer them the opportunity to come and join our ship of hope, to articulate our position and our agenda for our people in Delta State and to drive this state forward, making it a place where we believe that a new sense of thinking will be the order of the day. That is what we mean when we say a New Delta.”
Meanwhile, the primary election which produced Ogboru as the party’s candidate, is currently being termed a parallel election, because the Cyril Ogodo faction of the party organised a primary election same day at Nelrose Hotel, Asaba, which produced Prof. Utomi as the governorship candidate of APC in Delta State.
At the PDP primaries in the House of Representatives, held in all the federal constituencies in Delta State, the results showed the return of many incumbents and the defeat of a few others.
At Oleh where the primary election for the Isoko federal constituency under PDP was held, Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon. Leo Ogor, emerged as the party’s flag-bearer for the 2019 general election.
Ogor, in the primary election result announced by the Returning Officer, Mr. Chika Ossai, polled 206 of the total 293 votes, while Sir. Ayodele Othihiwa and Dr. Oghenekaro Okumo, scored 80 votes and four votes respectively. Three votes were voided.
In his reaction, Ogor urged the other contestants to join hands with him “to ensure that the PDP works as a family to win the main election and continue to deliver quality representation to our people. I will continue to be fair and equitable to all.”
At Agbor, the member representing the Ika federal constituency under PDP at the House of Representatives, Mr. Victor Nwaokolo emerged as the candidates of the PDP. He polled 175 votes to beat Dr. Philip Okwuada, who scored 119 votes.
Similarly, the member representing Ndokwa federal constituency at the House of Representatives, Mr. Ossai N. Ossai, clichéd the PDP ticket for the constituency.
In Ethiope federal constituency, the returning officer, Mr. Kingsley Emu, for the PDP declared Mr. Ben Igbakpa, who polled 133 votes as winner, beating the incumbent, Mr. Lovette Idisi, who scored 54 in third position. George Orogun came second with 88 votes.
However, the PDP primary election for Oshimili/Aniocha federal constituency was on Wednesday disrupted, during the counting of the votes.
The reported problem started during the counting of the election result of one of the four candidates, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, after successful counting and announcing of the election result of the three other candidates by the Returning Officer, Mrs. Uzor Nwanze.
Out of the 516 valid votes, according to Mrs. Nwanze, the three candidates secured the following votes; Rt. Hon. Peter Onwusanya scored 13 votes, Hon. (Mrs.) Joan Onyemaechi Mrakpo secured 226 votes, while Mr. Ikechukwu Onwadiegwu got one vote. A total of 12 voided votes were cancelled. Trouble erupted when the remaining numbers of votes were being counted.
At Ughelli, the member representing Ughelli state constituency 1 under the PDP in the Delta State House of Assembly, Hon. Samuel Mariere, defeated the incumbent, Hon. Solomon Awhinawhin, to clinch the PDP ticket for Ughelli North/Ughelli South and Udu federal constituency. Mariere was declared winner having scored 168 votes out of 412 votes cast.
His closest contender and incumbent, Awhinawhin, scored 157, while Amos Itiwhe, Ebenezer Okorodudu, Eunice Oguma and Solomon Kpemah scored, 37, 36, six and one votes respectively.