CASH & CARRY: Nwaoboshi, Okoh Buy into Delta Council Polls
Sen. Peter Nwaoboshi, a man well known by his people for his tight-fist, is throwing the cash around with reckless abandon. He has just doled out a whooping Nine Million Naira (N9m), N1 million each, to the nine nominated PDP chairmanship candidates in the Delta North for the purchase of their Expression of Interest forms.
This time 2 years ago, Chief Nwaoboshi was up and about extorting money, some as much as N1 million, from everyone interested in the Council elections. But a lot has changed since he was elected in 2015 to represent Delta North at the National Assembly.
Nwaoboshi now plays in the big league: he is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on the juicy Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC); and a close ally of Senate President Bukola Saraki and loud-mouth Dino Melaye, two other members of his Hyenas and Jackals Gangland. Serious money is rolling in and Nwaoboshi can afford to play Father Christmas.
Equally playing Father Christmas elsewhere in Ika local government is the former minority leader of the Delta State House of Assembly and Chairman, House Committee on Commerce and Industry, Hon Festus Chukwuyem Okoh. He also doled out a mouthwatering N4.6million for the nomination forms of the council Chairmanship and councillor candidates in his Ika South Constituency. Chairmanship candidate, Barr Victor Okoh, a relative of Chuky Dandy, received N1million cheque while the eighteen councillorship candidates in the local government received N200,000 cash each.
Nwaoboshi and Okoh have explained their motive as a humanitarian gesture. Oracle, as Nwaoboshi is popularly called, claims that he is on a mission to rescue these “poor” candidates from their “hard times.” And for Hon Okoh, his kind “gesture was borne out of his desire to assist them in their election, particularly, those of them who are not financially balanced and are planning to sell their properties or go to a money lender to borrow.”
A political analyst very knowledgeable about Delta North politics and its permutations, dismisses these reasons as “hogwash.” He contends that the motive is political rather than humanitarian. He reveals that there is a fierce struggle to dominate their political space before 2019 and by paying for their forms, Nwaoboshi and Okoh are indirectly buying the loyalty and conscience of the candidates.
“As Hon Okoh pointed out, these chairmanship candidates are very hungry people, some of them already in debt and barely able to feed. You know, the easiest way to get the attention and loyalty of a monkey is to give him a Banana,” he said.
Nwaoboshi vs Okowa and Ajuduas
Nwaoboshi is in a political fight on two fronts. On one front, he is in a battle for political supremacy over Governor Ifeanyi Okowa. Delta North was solely dominated by Nwaoboshi up until he became a Senator in 2015. Power has shifted significantly as Okowa is now the number 1 citizen of the State, and Nwaoboshi needs to gain as much grounds as it’s politically possible before 2019 when there will be real politicking.
On another front, Nwaoboshi has the Ajuduas to contend with in Oshimili North. XCLUSIVE MAGAZINE has it on very credible authority that Hon. Pat Ajudua’s fourth term agenda is being seriously contested by Nwaoboshi and has possibly chosen her replacement, rumoured to be either Patrick Ukah, the Delta State Commissioner of Information, or Chief Tony Azuya of APGA. Azuya has dismissed the rumour as “rubbish.”
This time in 2015, Nwaoboshi and Pat Ajudua, hitherto strange political bed-fellows, were surprisingly in a formidable political accord, using the tool of Tripod Agenda 2015 to beat all oppositions within and without PDP to submission. But 2015 elections have long come and gone, and both Nwaoboshi and the Ajuduas have once again returned to the trenches to continue their age-long political battle.
This open hostility between Nwaoboshi and Ajuduas explains the urgency and venom in Chief Fred Ajudua’s leaked letter to Gov. Okowa. In the strong-worded letter, which deliberately avoided mentioning Nwaoboshi by name, Ajudua accused Okowa of taking sides and threatened bloodbath if his wife, Princess Pat Ajudua, is not allowed to run for her last tenure in the House of Assembly in 2019. Nwaoboshi’s money spraying is, therefore, seen by many within Oshimili North as a form of clearing the ground for the big fight with the Ajuduas in 2019.
Okoh vs Ojougboh and Dein of Agbor
Hon Okoh’s motive has similar political slant to it. And he, like Peter Nwaoboshi, is fighting on two fronts: on the one hand, there is a political space in Agbor/Owa axis that has to be filled. Not too long ago, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, erstwhile Deputy Chairman of PDP, used to be the dominant force in the entire Agbor/Owa axis, but has recently decamped to APC. Okoh himself had decamped from Accord Party to PDP, and is now positioning himself to take control of this political space left by Ojuogboh and battle ready for the PDP/APC elections war in 2019.
On the other hand, Okoh is also in a fight with the Dein of Agbor, His Royal Majesty Dr Benjamin Ikenchuku Keagborekwuzi 1, who has accused him of mobilising the youths against the Monarch. XCLUSIVE MAGAZINE reported how Former Delta Minority Leader was Quizzed by Directorate of State Security about the role he played in the protest. XCLUSIVE MAGAZINE sources are claiming that the recent financial incentives to the Chairmanship and councillorship candidates are means of building a formidable political base from which to take on the Dein of Agbor, whom we understand is very unpopular with his subjects.
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