Barrister Patience Princess “Adankele” Ajudua, Barrister Peter Nwaoboshi  and Barrister Henry Awele “Odogwu” Chigbue

Tripod Agenda 2015: “System” Politics of Oshimili North

Politics in Oshimili North Delta State is played in the same way as it is played everywhere else in Nigeria. On paper, it is controlled by the organs of the party, but in reality, it is under the firm grip and command of one all-powerful individual with his coterie.

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In Oshimili North that man is Barrister Peter Nwaoboshi, the State People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chairman until last month. For over eight years that he held sway, he used his power and influence in the party to determine how the political pendulum swing in Delta State in general, and in Oshimili North local government area in particular, which is his immediate constituency.

In Oshimili North, Oracle, as Chief Nwaoboshi is popularly called by his supporters, calls the shots. He picks who gets the party ticket to contest in any elections and nominates who gets into the state board or becomes as commissioner. In the local speak of his immediate community, like a deity, Nwaoboshi holds the knife and the yam, and cuts to whom he chooses. It is this omniscient power vested and on wielded by Nwaoboshi and Nwaoboshi alone that is described within the Oshimili North circle as “system politics.” It means that when he speaks, it is taken or should be taken by all that the “system” has spoken.

It is from this position of influence that he recently initiated a unique arrangement that has been tagged “Tripod Agenda 2015.” It is a form of accord in which Nwaoboshi For Senate, Pat Ajudua For House of Assembly and Louis Ndukwe as Chairman. Elofu Dike is the Director-general of the Tripod Agenda 2015.

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It is surprising that such arrangement that excludes many other individuals who had the ambition to vie for any of these positions was endorsed by Hon. Patrick Mozea, a political heavyweight in the area, whose immense political clout in in Oshimili North area is second only to that of Barr. Nwaoboshi.

There was no love lost between Hon Mozea and Hon Ajudua, which dates back to the elections in 2005 and 2005, when both politicians contested against each other at the House of Assembly polls. On both occasions, in which Hon Ajudua contested under the platform of Accord party and Hon Mozea under PDP, their contest went all the way to the courts.

So for the former Delta State Commissioner for Local Governments to endorse an agenda that favours his erstwhile rival and is working assiduously for its actualization, has surprised so many people. But then that is the game of politics. Like business, in politics there are no permanent enemies but permanent interest. Put differently, the quarrel between two rival politicians is like that of husband and wife: it is usually settled in the bedroom.

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Hon Mozea now out of the way, Hon Ajudua had thought that clinching the PDP ticket at the primaries was going to be an easy ride. But there was a battle lying ahead. Innocent Esewezie had thrown his hat in the ring in deviance to the advice from Barrister Nwoboshi. As a political son of Nwoboshi and a man on whose influence Innocent had rode to power as a caretaker chairman of Oshimili North Local Government Area, nobody expected Innocent to be the one to challenge Nwaoboshi’s authority by coming out public to campaign for State House of Assembly. He erected a very formidable campaign structure, styled Asaba Kpoi. And for about two months, Esewezie was moving his campaign trail like a hurricane, gathering quite a substantial number of supporters and sending panic at Princess’ camp. I was then she knew she had to do something to stop him, and to stop him fast.

As a former Minority Leader in the Delta House of Assembly under Accord Party and the incumbent House member, Mrs Ajudua’s influence extends beyond Nwaoboshi up to the State governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan. Her tactic was the time-tested one that every politician well-grounded in Nigerian brand of politics is not only conversant with, but knows how to play it. She filed a petition to the state government against Esewezie, accusing him of threatening her life. Uduaghan, who is fully in support of the Tripod Agenda but had remained in the background, now had an opportunity and excuse to act. He rolled out the security machinery of the State to look into Mrs Ajudua’s petition.

A reliable source very close to Esewezie, and who is in the known about Esewesie’s unpalatable past before he was appointed as the Local Government chairman, revealed to Xclusive Magazine that although Esewezie knew that Princess’ accusation against him was a bogus one and would not stand up to any scrutiny, he was not ready to let the State security apparatus dig into his past records and unearth extraneous issues that could create problems he was ill afford. Thereafter, Esewezie’s campaign trail went cold. Asaba Kpoi died a premature death.

The political terrain was now a one woman show, and Adankele, a pet name that Pat Ajudua is also known by all and sundry, and which was popularised by Ogbogu Okonji, a popular local musician, was having a field day. Delta State is a PDP state. And it is likely that whoever emerges from the primaries will be representing Oshimili North at the State House of Assembly. But her euphoria did not last long. Another challenge was to come from an unexpected quarter.

 Oshimili North LG Chairman Louis Ndukwe already benefiting from the Tripod Agenda
Oshimili North LG Chairman Louis Ndukwe already benefiting from the Tripod Agenda

Barrister Henry Awele Chigbue was not a name that ran bell in Oshimili North political circle before now. Although a political greenhorn, Barrister Chigbue has everything at his disposal to fight Barrister Ajudua pound for pound, barrister for barrister. Like Princess, Henry is a lawyer, a successful practising lawyer with a master’s degree in law and well respected by his peers. So he is well vast in legal matters, particularly in the area of the Nigerian constitution and its interpretation, an important tool in the effective participation of proceedings at the floor of the State House of Assembly.

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He is also very rich, a multi-millionaire who has enough cash reserves to carry his political campaign effortless, if it goes to the wire. One positive aspect of the Ajudua’s family is their extra-ordinary philanthropic hearts. In particular, Pat’s husband, Barrister Fred Chijindu Ajudua, Onwa of Ibusa, is by far the only individual who has helped both the young and the old in the entire spread of Anioma geographical area over the years. And Princess has been riding on that goodwill to achieve immense political success.

Barrister Chigbue is equally a giver. He is called Odogwu by his numerous friends and supporters because of his benevolence. Like the Ajudua’s, he has also contributed immensely to the development of Oshimili North area through cash gifts, donations and scholarship awards. The difference between Awele and Princess is that he prefers to give quietly, not wanting to blow his charity-trumpet on the pages of community newspapers nor on the social media. Profession, money and charity wise, Barrister Chigbue can square up with Barrister Ajudua pound for pound.

But the only area where Princess has a competitive edge over Henry is political experience. Princess is a political amazon and time-tested in the political nuances. However, Xclusive Magazinegathered that Henry’s lack of political experience may play to his advantage. Majority of the electorate want political change. They argue that Hon Ajudua has been in the State House of Assembly for two terms of eight years in 2015 and that it is time for her to give another person a chance. Also, Henry has no political baggage. No one is accusing him of executing failed contracts, nor appropriating constituency allocations for personal gain; two of many political charges that Princess is facing in the court of public opinion.

Tomorrow, Saturday, 29 November 2014, sixty four (64) delegates will decide between the two political gladiators who picks the ticket to contest for the Delta State PDP House of Assembly primaries. They will vote for either Barrister Patience Princess “Adankele” Ajudua to keep the status quo or for Barrister Henry Awele “Odogwu” Chigbue for a change.

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