Less than eight (8) weeks ago, there was some serious rumble among the Delta North governorship aspirants as to who will succeed the incumbent governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan and continue his “Delta Beyond Oil” agenda, which is an extension of his three-point agenda of: Peace and Security; Human Capital Development; and Infrastructure Development.
One of the front-runners in the Delta State PDP governorship primaries of December 8, 2014, was a seasoned techno-politician, retired Permanent Secretary and former Presidential Adviser, in the person of Dr. (Mrs.) Esther Kelicha Uduehi. In all the twenty-five (25) Local Government Areas (LGAs) that she visited during her, the reception was overwhelming and there were ovations based on her intimidating credentials. After the Peoples Democratic Party’s primaries that ushered in Senator Dr. Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa, the “Esther of our time”, threw her weight behind the “Arthur of our time.”
Dr. Uduehi who has been with the PDP since inception showed why she has been a loyal party member. Unlike some other aspirants that may have chosen to jump ship, she has remained a committed member of PDP. She has been on the forefront of several PDP events and has of course achieved many “firsts” in her life.
Dr. Esther K. Uduehi, Former PDP Governorship aspirant
When Okowa’s campaign train stopped in Obiaruku, in Ukwuani Local Government Area, Dr. Uduehi (The Achiwame I of Ndokwaland), showed why she was bestowed with that titled by the three LGA (Ndokwa East, Ndokwa West, Ukwuani). She galvanized her numerous supporters and was also called upon to deliver the speech on behalf of the Elders and Stakeholders. Before the jubilant crowd, she urged all Ndokwa people and Deltans to vote massively for PDP. Dr. Uduehi was also at the PDP rallies held at the stadia in Aboh, Ndokwa East Local Government Area and Kwale, Ndokwa West Local Government Areas the previous week.
Dr. Uduehi, who is also the Chairman, Governing Board, National Commission for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-Formal Education, has told everyone that Okowa is a very sellable product and good for Delta State. According to her, “Okowa and I share some common ideas and I support him. I am comfortable supporting him.”
Concerning President Jonathan, she has been unwavering in her support for his Re-election both as a member of the Southern Nigerian Peoples Assembly, think tanks and other good governance motivated NGO. There I no gainsaying that Uduehi’s campaign structure and her supporters will ensure that President Goodluck Jonathan and Senator Okowa are delivered for the presidency and governorship respectively. Victory is furthered assured for PDP.
Senator Okowa has never campaigned that he should be voted because he is from Ika, Delta North, or any other primordial interest. His manifesto summarized under the acronym of SMAART is a Pan-Delta agenda for the benefits of all Deltans.
Part of the appeal and electability of Senator Okowa is his acceptability across the entire State. He is not a sectional, regional or ethnic candidate. When a mushroom group recently called for the Ndokwa nation to vote for the Labour Party because of purported marginalization of Ndokwa people, several Ndokwa leaders and Stakeholders opposed the group, showing that Okowa will win massively in the three Local Government Areas that make up Ndokwa Nation, which are Ndokwa east, Ndokwa West and Ukwuani. Ostensibly, Okowa has shown that he has the interest of all Deltans at heart and will not ignore the oil producing Ndokwa Nation, which is the only oil producing area in Delta North.
The campaign rallies in Aboh, Kwale and Obiaruku have confirmed beyond any reasonable doubt that the Ndokwa people, with leaders like Dr. Uduehi, will vote massively for President Jonathan on February 14, Senator Okowa for Governor on February 28 and in fact for PDP candidates as a whole for National Assembly and State House of Assembly.
*Rev. Akpodiete Atawa, a public affairs analyst writes from Asaba. He is also a member of Media/Publicity Committee of the State PDP Campaign Organization.