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ANALYSIS: 2023: Can APC’s Omo-Agege end PDP rule in Delta State?
 
From: Agency Report
Thu, 16 Feb 2023   ||   Nigeria,
 

But the two-term senator for Delta Central district has a major hurdle standing between him and the actualisation of his ambition: the political status quo in the state. The political status quo in the oil-rich state is that only one political party has produced governors in the state since the country returned to civil administration in 1999. That party is the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Mr Omo-Agege, a lawyer by training and no doubt a strong political force, is running on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), a party that waltzed its way into the political equation of the state only in 2013 when O’tega Emerhor contested on the platform of the party in the 12 October 2013 Delta Central senatorial bye-election which he lost to the candidate of the PDP.
Mr Emerhor is the first person across Nigeria to have contested on the ticket of the APC that was registered on 6 February 2013. In any case, it is safe to say that the APC is gathering momentum in the state given the array of top politicians who have since pitched their tent with the opposition party. Yet, it appears that the buzzing momentum is not formidable enough to dislodge the PDP, which has almost become a political orthodoxy in the state, from power as some local analysts have been saying.
While the APC had a gubernatorial candidate – Mr Emerhor – in 2015 who could not mine much mileage in terms of votes, the party, at least, produced a senator in the 2019 general elections and that senator, representing the biggest senatorial district- Delta Central – is Mr Omo-Agege. As of now, APC has an additional senator: Peter Nwaboshi, representing Delta North, courtesy of defection. Mr Nwaboshi, now in jail after his conviction for fraud recently, is also the candidate of the APC for Delta North. Ned Nwoko of the PDP is his major opponent in the district.
Mr Omo-Agege emerged as the gubernatorial candidate of the APC last year after battling for the party’s ticket with aspirants like the current minister of state for labour and productivity, Festus Keyamo, who initially led a faction of the party but has now pledged to work for the party in the elections following post-primary reconciliations with the deputy senate president.
Although there are other candidates for the election, including a perennial contestant, Great Ogboru (APGA), every political metric shows that the battle is between PDP candidate Sheriff Oborevwori, who is the current Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, and Mr Omo-Agege.
Sheriff Oborevwori, who is from Osubi in Okpe Local Government Area of the state in the same Delta Central as Mr Omo-Agege, emerged as the candidate of the PDP last year against James Ibori’s choice – David Edevbie – a former finance commissioner and ex-principal private secretary to the late President Umaru Yar’dua.
All attempts by Mr Ibori to install Mr Edevbie as the candidate of the PDP were rebuffed by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa who backed Mr Oborevwori to fly the party’s ticket.
The emergence of Mr Oborevwori has created a subterranean estrangement between the governor, who is the vice presidential candidate of the PDP, and Mr Ibori, a former godfather to Mr Okowa. The estrangement is yet to thaw as Mr Ibori has neither openly campaigned nor identified with Mr Oborevwori.
Mr Ibori, it was said, while he was yet to serve out his prison time in the UK upon conviction for corruption, deployed everything in his political armoury to ensure that Mr Okowa was nominated the candidate of the PDP in 2015. The then governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan, had preferred the late Anthony Obuh as his successor.
Mr Omo-Agege, 59, is not a newbie on the political firmament of Delta State. At least, he has been an active participant since he was first appointed as an executive assistant in 2003 by then-Governor Ibori.

 

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