By Ikechukwu Chukwudi
The past few weeks that succeeded the APC gubernatorial primaries in Delta state have left a lingering bitter taste and created a sour sensation on the tongues of the party faithfuls, sympathisers and Chieftains alike.
Before June 2018, Delta APC having been through a tough and perilous climb to prominence and acceptance in Delta State, had ultimately positioned itself as a willful and steadily maturing platform that was ready to go on the offensive against Dr Okowa and PDP with its 20 year entrenchment in the system.
Having found a common ground on which all interests were aggregated, Delta APC looked poised to shock the strongholds. January 6th 2018, gave a glimmer of what was to be expected in 2019, as the the party defied the odds, braved the storm and gave PDP a run for their money in the Local Government Council elections the latter conducted.
It took brazen acts of dehumanization and electoral malpractice for the status quo at the time to remain. That exercise brought excitement and reposed confidence within the progressive fold of delta state, it only needed to be built on towards 2019.
The hopes and aspirations of the party got further emboldened, and the expression of interests to contest the 2019 gubernatorial elections from party bigwigs like Rt Hon Victor Ochei, Esq, Prof Pat Utomi amongst others, signalled a huge threat to the PDP fold. It appeared that in just a matter of time, “Take Over Delta” would become a reality.
A combination of strategy, a desire to appease the sentiment of equity and the projection of popular interest above personal egos had effectively set Delta APC on the path to anticipated victory.
Not that dissenting voices were absent, but more because party Chieftains had found a way to project ideal opinions and form strategies from them. Sadly, the month of June 2018 saw the crumbling of structures and bonds that could have guaranteed victory.
The entry of Comrade Adams Oshiomole as National Chairman, the malicious inhibitions he nursed towards his predecessor and everyone that stood together with Chief John Oyegun in solidarity, served as the dynamite that would crumble the labour and efforts of progressives in Delta APC.
Finding comradeship within the ranks of fifth columnists led by *Crafty* Senator Ovie Omo-Agege and Serial Gubernatorial contender Great Ogboru, actions that have now summarily imploded Delta APC and alienated her from her steady successes were taken without recourse to the tenets of progressivism.
Neglecting to consider the delicate nature of party primaries, the Oshiomole Led NWC sided with the business men, handing over the party structure to those who never sowed seeds to augment the party’s growth. On September 30 2018, the gubernatorial primaries conducted under the watch of Septuagenarian Former Military Administrator, Gen Lawrence Onoja showcased the sad narrative of a process that was alien to the core values of fairness, free and credible contest, and further exploded the complications and dissatisfaction of genuine party stalwarts.
Where one finger gets soiled with soup stains it is sure to rub off on others except sanitized in earnest. In strict defiance to superior arguments, the anomalies that marred the gubernatorial primaries would rear their ugly heads again, others would follow in quick succession, and this time it would lead to a breakdown of law, order and decency in the party. Candidates were handpicked without primary elections and where individuals proved too popular to be rigged out, names were just written and submitted. The mention of Ogboru and Omo-Agege became more important that the opinions of the people and the party, including their own followers.
The emergence of a new dominating unholy influence (Agege/Ogboru) would set the party back to ground Zero, polarising preexisting loyalties and leading the party to defeat.
Comrade Adams Oshiomole the National Chairman, plays the Devil’s Advocate.
The immediate resultant shake up from the Delta Progressives fold, The Likes of Dr Henry Onianwa Former Senatorial Chairman, Comrade Eshanomi (Small Motor Big Engine), Mr Ogwuda (CEO Chronicles Group) have found their way out of the party.
More significantly, Chief Andrew Orugbo, Former Attorney General/Commissioner for Justice and Ex APC HOR Aspirant; Hon Mercy Almina Isei, Former MHR; Chief VOT Abanum ex Guber Running Mate etc, led thousands of their supporters out of the APC, and were received by the Governor Dr Ifeanyi Okowa himself.
For a party that desires to challenge the ruling party in the state and stand a chance at winning elections, does losing members on a daily basis help its cause?
How do we reconcile the realities of a fractured party with the Take Over Delta Dream?
How does Comrade Oshiomole who by his actions appears deliberately alienated and has shut out ideas on how best to manage Delta APC, turnaround the fortunes and rightly balance power?
Without a doubt, there are deep incisions and fractures in Delta APC. Anyone that expresses a contrary view about the true state of Delta APC, merely denies the obvious and plays to the gallery.
Court cases springing up around and Injunctions restraining the party from fielding candidates, all appears set to hand easy victory to Okowa.
Delta APC needs the healing hands of Justice, Equity and Fairness.