Party primaries of the various political parties, especially with two leading parties, APC and PDP held last week across the country and in Delta State the exercise erupted in hue and cry and of pains and regrets, writes, NOSA AKENZUA.
Though, party primaries that held across the country have come and gone. But in Delta State, there was a big surprise, especially in Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Delta Central and All Progressive Congress (APC) where Evelyn Oboro defeated Chief Ighoyota Amori, the Odidimadi of Ethiope West politics.
At the (APC), the story was wrapped in conflicting reports as the serving senator, Ovie Omo Agege 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.
Expectedly, Senator Omo Agege and Ote’ga Emerhor have been locked in the web of crises 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 leadership.
But at the Delta Senatorial seat, Engr. Doris Uboh, “a member of the House of Representatives in Ika Federal Constituency, defeated Mrs. Mariam Ali, Alias Kpakpando right inside the Federal College of Education Technical.
Though, there was casualty, as there was 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 perhaps a cross fire with the policeman over ticketing.
Evelyn Oboro of the PDP whose Thatcher like quality currently might take her places, is regarded as an Iron Lady in Delta politics.
In Delta South, an infant terrible in Michael Diden was humbled by the resilient long distance runner in the Senate, James Manager, who dealt with him as old war-horse.
In Delta North Senatorial district, it seemed 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 party, the long expected outcome for its guber candidate for 2019 is Chief Great Ogboru, who his fans call him ‘the Peoples General.
He contested against three other Delta North candidates, 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 Great Ogboru, a serial guber-contender in Delta and who must have swayed sympathy votes to his side.
However, people are wondering whether he would he continue this winning streak in 2019 to wrestle power from Dr. Okowa.
In Delta State, 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’ –James Manager of Delta South politics was almost suicidal in the least. Michael Diden may have tried, but he forgot to know that there are battles people must be equipped properly to engage in.
The Delta South terrain had been conquered long ago by James Manager. Better luck next time. Meanwhile in the PDP senatorial primaries which took place in the senatorial districts the candidates emerged in the election generally described by observers as peaceful and orderly.
In Delta North, Senator Peter Nwaobushi 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 James Manager emerged the PDP candidate polling a total of 563 votes against other aspirants at the Oleh Township Stadium, venue of the primaries,
while Michael Diden garned 490 votes, Rt. (Hon.) J.K. Omoshola got three votes and Chief Olivia Agbajo got with 0 votes in an election that had seven voided votes.
In Delta Central, Hon. Evelyn Oboro emerged winner with 586 votes to beat Chief Ighoyota Amori, who scored 486 votes and Chief Charles Obule, who clinched six votes.
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, Kingsley Otuaro had urged all delegates to remain peaceful as they cast their vote for aspirants of their choice.
Barr. Otuaro who stated this shortly after casting his vote, 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 appealed to them to remember that they are one big family.
“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 win.
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 losses, in order to achieve victory at the main election,” Prince Amgbaduba stated.
Also Chief Great Ogboru emerged the gubernatorial candidate of the APC in Delta State with 3,292 votes cast at the party’s primary.
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. Pat Utomi, Rt. Hon. Victor Ochei and Dr. Cairo Ojougboh defeated by Ogboru.
Declaring the outcome of the party’s congress, 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 and five times gubernatorial candidate, Great Ogboru expressed delight at the exercise, calling on aspirants who fell out to join hands with the party to ensure victory in 2019.
“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 to 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.” Ogboru stated.
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. Pat Utomi as the governorship candidate of APC in Delta State.
At the PDP primaries for the House of Representatives, held in all the Federal Constituencies in Delta State, the results showing the return of many incumbents and the defeat of a few others.
At Oleh where the primary election for the Isoko Federal Constituency was held, Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon. Leo Ogor, emerged as the party’s flag-bearer for 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 Ika Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives, Mr. Victor Nwaokolo emerged as the candidate of the PDP in the election. 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, declared Mr. Ben Igbakpa who polled 133 votes as winner, beating the incumbent, Mr. Lovette Idisi, who scored 54 to third position. George Orogun came second with 88 votes.
However, the PDP, Oshimili/Aniocha Federal Constituency Primary Election, was disrupted, during the counting of votes.
The problem reportedly 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 votes were voided.
Trouble erupted when the remaining numbers of votes were being counted.
At Ughelli, the member representing Ughelli Constituency 1 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.