By Fred Latimore Oghenesivbe
Not too long ago, I wrote two piece to dissuade public perceptions about the misleading speculations, pointing to show that Delta State Governor, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, was against power rotation, on the one hand, and that he was against Delta Central (Urhobos) getting the governorship slot in 2023, on the other hand.
I made it abundantly clear in the articles, statements and numerous radio and television interviews that Okowa is neither against power rotation nor against Urhobo people of Delta Central Senatorial District, as far as 2023 governorship slot is concerned, and that at the appropriate time, the governor will clear the coast as we navigate into the mainstream of 2023 politics.
It was therefore heartwarming when governor Okowa, clarified issues through the State Commissioner for Information, Hon Charles Aniagwu, saying that those against power rotation on the basis of Senatorial district in favour of ethnic/tribe rotation of power should redirect their energies towards productive ventures. I have been vindicated.
Okowa in one salvo demonstrated his political willpower to sustain the triangular watertight relationship existing between past governors, this administration and major stakeholders in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, saying that he will be working closely with Chief James Ibori, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan and other stakeholders who are yet to govern the state, to craft the direction for 2023 governorship politics on the basis of Senatorial district, not tribe or ethnic rotation of power.
It is now safe to assert in clear terms that Okowa is in full support of power rotation on the basis of senatorial district, and it is no longer in doubt that Okowa loves Urhobo people of Delta Central as against the misleading speculations by his political detractors over power rotation.
However, political analysts are of the opinion that the power rotation should be fine tuned to include certain rules and sanctions within PDP Delta family, so as to guarantee smooth transmission of power on senatorial basis, devoid of unhealthy competition by members of the party in other Senatorial districts that are not eligible by virtue of the power rotation agreement or arrangement, such that all aspirants must come from the beneficiary Senatorial district.
The next permutation is simply to logically deduce from the present scenario of rotation of power on the basis of Senatorial district. It goes thus; Delta Central got it in 1999 and gave it to Delta South in 2007 and Delta South handed over to Delta North in 2015.
It is very clear that come 2023, Delta Central would have been out of power for 16 years and by simple arithmetic and commonsense, power can neither go to Delta South nor Delta North in 2023.
And if power goes to Delta South in 2023, it means 16 years for Delta South and 8 years for Delta Central. Therefore, the waiting time for Delta Central will be 24 years. I am pretty sure that no right thinking Deltan from Delta South or Delta North will support that level of injustice against Delta Central.
It is hoped that leaders of Delta South PDP will do the needful by supporting power shift to Delta Central in 2023, on the basis of equity, peaceful coexistence, unity of purpose, party supremacy, brotherly love and good conscience. And Delta Central will reciprocate when power shifts to Delta South in 2031.
It is therefore very obvious that the next PDP governor and Okowa’s successor come 2023, will certainly emerge from Delta Central Senatorial District. Take this to the bank. The next hurdle to be resolved by the leaders will be anchored on the most suitable aspirant to emerge as party candidate at the primaries or to emerge as a consensus candidate, whichever.
In the same token and as clearly opined by the governor through HC info, it will be impossible to ask other folks to “shut up.” Yes, you will be violating relevant sections of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended, if you prevent any eligible Nigerian from exercising his fundamental rights, as enshrined in the Constitution. However, the party direction shall override individual tribal or ethnic sentiments come 2023.
Okowa has substantially levelled the field and Delta Central is now the focus based on the above analysis supported with empirical data on power rotation circle. The heartbeat of the people must be felt and not to be sacrificed on the altar of inter personal relationship while selecting the most suitable aspirant, as past and present governors, as well as leaders of PDP meet to harmonize political interests for 2023 governorship candidate.
Lobby groups are now to shift their focus on the most suitable aspirant in Delta Central Senatorial District, to emerge as PDP’s candidate at the primaries in 2022. And it appears that this will be the focus as the leaders commences the selection process to be finally determined by party delegates.
One thing is sure, PDP will produce another governor in Delta State, come 2023.
● Oghenesivbe, a lawyer, is the Executive Assistant on Communication to the Delta State Governor