The Itsekiri ethnic group in the Niger-Delta has pledged to mobilize grassroots and stakeholders to support the Senatorial bid of immediate-past governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan.
” It is the turn of Itsekiri to produce a senator representing Delta South and Dr. Uduaghan is the only Itsekiri man who will make us reap the dividends of democracy come 2019, said Mr. Jolomi Oritsegbemi, president of the Itsekiri Movement for Good Governance, IMGG.
“He is a true son, a man of the people who believes in developments and impacting lives. Over time, he has proven this, even when he was the governor of the state for eight years. In fact, this is the kind of leader Nigerians need to move the nation forward, he said.
He further stated that “It is only the Itsekiri ethnic nationality that has not produced a senator to represent the district since 1999. In the interest of equity and fair play, this should be our turn without any arguments. It is time to prove that Itsekiri people are not made to deliberately play the second fiddle to the other tribes.”
“Itsekiri also had two federal constituencies, where Late Hon. Vincent Jemide and Late Hon. Sunny Dabor represented them. The two federal constituencies were to be reduced to one when Chief Chamberlain Abeki from Patani LGA, was appointed as national commissioner into the then Federal Electoral Commission, FEDECO,” he revealed.
In a related development, Pa Daniel Pessu, a former Delta State lawmaker who is 96 years old now, has declared his support for the former governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan senatorial bid.
Speaking on behalf of six of the 30 surviving former lawmakers in the state, Pa Daniel who represented Warri South constituency in the then Bendel State House of Assembly between 1979 and 1983 thanks Dr. Uduaghan for taking care of them while he was governor of the state. He also prayed for his success at the polls in 2019.
From 1979 till the current dispensation, five senators have represented Delta South Senatorial District. Out of these five, two were from Isoko (Senator Stella Omu and Senator Francis Okpozo of blessed memory) and another two were from the Ijaw tribe (Chief E.K Clark and Senator James Manager, the incumbent). The first and only senator who was from the Itsekiri stock was Chief Franklin O. M Atake in 1979.
Interestingly, the incumbent senator, James Manager, an Ijaw man has been returned to the senate on four occasions consecutively. By the end of 2019, James Manager would have spent a total of 16 years in the Red Chambers and feelers from the district reveal that the people are tired of his representation, according to many in the state.
All the ethnic groups feel that being a position for the three groups in the Delta South, either an Isoko or Itsekiri should be favoured for the post this time around.
From all indications, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan is highly positioned to grab the senate seat considering that he withdrew from the race in 2015 to ensure that peace reigned in the state and he has always maintained that peace was more important than electoral victories.