When people say there is likely a conspiracy between Delta North and South against the people of Delta central some uninformed folks will come against them for saying their mind. Look, there is freedom of speech, it is only freedom after speech that may not be guaranteed. But that depends on what you say. If you say your mind without hurting anybody’s reputation, you have nothing to fear.
The Delta 2023 governorship is already a big talk in the state. The Urhobos of Delta central are laying claim to the governorship, arguing that it is their turn to produce the governor following the unwritten agreement. The Ijaws of Delta South are also contesting that it is their turn to produce governor for Delta state and they are dead serious about it. Both groups candidates gearing up for the big fight.
The Urhobos are banking on continuity of zoning as the only reason they are holding unto. They have not given any other reason for saying it is their turn beside maintaining the zoning arrangement. They should know that politics is more than that. It is struggle for power and the most powerful, most influential, most connected, most persuasive gets the power. This is despite the fact that the other one may be more qualified. Holding unto qualification only may not be a good magic wand.
So, holding on to maintaining zoning arrangement which they say is for peace, fairness, equity and justice may.not be enough to give the people of Urhobo the chance to produce the governor without strong opposition from the South. There must be intense lobby to win the support of the opposition. Yes, it is true that flowing from the zoning arrangement, it is the turn of Delta central to produce the governor for the state after Governor Okowa’s second term in office. But it may never come on a platter of gold.
From all analysis, the Urhobos main argument is the zoning system. But the people of Delta central seem to forget very fast that during the primary election in 2014 that produced Okowa as PDP candidate, the Urhobos also contested against Delta North which, according to the zoning arrangement has the exclusive right to present aspirants for the primaries. The Urhobo aspirant then, knew that it was the turn of Delta North by the rotational formula, he still contested against the Delta North aspirant. In fact, it was a narrow escape, Okowa would have lost the battle to David Edevbie the present chief of staff to the governor.
Olorogun David Edevbie then was heavily supported by the former Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, who initially supported Tony Obuh against Okowa. But when Obuh’s aspiration who was a permanent secretary then in government house could not scale through, Uduaghan opted for Edevbie whom the Urhobos supported against Okowa. Uduaghan’s aim was to scuttle the plan of Delta North to produce the governor. It was the people of Delta South that supported Okowa to win the primaries and not the Urhobos. Urhobo people should count their teeth with their tongue because it may not go the way they are seeing it, though they may be in the majority.
Since the Urhobos contested against the North in 2014, they should not think of pushing the Ijaws out of the race. From all indications the Ijaws seem to be more vigorous than the Urhobos. This may however be because many of the aspirants are in the employment of the present administration.
And the governor has warned against abandoning their jobs and going into campaigning when electioneering year is still far away.
Among the Urhobos, only Chief Kenneth Gbagi has shown himself publicly to be interested in the governorship race. Others are still in hiding. Others alleged to be in the race are Commissioner for Justice, Peter Mrakpor, Commissioner for Works, James Augoye, Chief of Staff to the governor, Olorogun David Edevbie among others.
In Delta South especially the Ijaws, there are two major aspirants, the present deputy governor, Kingsley Otuaro and Senator James Manager These two men are the major contenders from Delta South. The ground upon which the Ijaws are clamouring for the plum job is that the rotation has gone round the three senatorial districts, hence it should start from anywhere and not necessarily going back to where it started.
The Ijaws are standing by their words. They are determined and more organised than the Urhobos. They are likely not fielding many candidates as the Urhobos may do and which may eventually be their undoing. They have already organised groups with coordinators singing songs of Ijaw governorship. I must say this that if the Urhobos are not careful and well organised, the Ijaws will team up with the North and claim the governorship. As it is now, the battle will be between the Ijaws and Urhobos to win the sympathy of the North. But it is unlikely that the Delta Northerner will dance to the tune of Delta Central.