Louis Ndukwe vs Elofu Dike: Nwaoboshi Dey Wack, Baboons Dey Fight
Louis Oguguamakwa Ndukwe and Elofu Dike are set for a rumble in the political jungle. They are gearing up to square off in the Delta State People’s Democratic Party (PDP) primaries for the Chairmanship of Oshimili North Local Government (ONLG).
On Friday, 8 September 2017, in an elaborate ceremony at his Ward 10 in Ukala, Ndukwe had declared his intention to return as Chairman for a second term. He told his August gatherings that he was returning to serve out his “constitutionally provided two terms.” Ndukwe’s current tenure as the Chairman of ONLG is set to end in October.
One week after, precisely on Saturday, 16 September 2017, Elofu Dike also threw his hat in the ring. Elofu, on his part, claimed he was seeking the office to “tackle the menace within the local govt area.”
Bosom Friends and Partners-in-Crime
Ordinarily, there is nothing unusual for two politically minded people, one the incumbent and the other the challenger, to contest the ONLG chairmanship. But these are not just two people: Louis Ndukwe and Elofu Dike are bosom friends, close political associates and, going by their shenanigans in the Council these past two years, (business) Partners-in-Crime.
When Ndukwe contested the chairmanship position in 2015, Elofu Dike was the head of his Campaign team, being the Director General of the Tripod Agenda 2015, a political contraction by Senator Peter Nwaoboshi as the then Chairman of Delta State PDP and senatorial aspirant, for smuggling his preferred stooges into office by intimidating and arm-twisting opponents.
It was not surprising then that when Ndukwe got elected, Elofu Dike, owner of Hotel de Espana Asaba, became Ndukwe’s close confidant and adviser, advising him not only on political matters but also on finances. In collaboration with their political father Nwaoboshi, Ndukwe and Elofu plundered from the Council at the determent of the people of Oshimili North.
Early in this his first tenure, Ndukwe was making a N10million payout to Nwaoboshi every month, and a reliable insider source told XCLUSIVE MAGAZINE that a sizeable chunk of what is left out of the Council’s federal allocation after the payout to Nwaoboshi was channelled towards funding Nwaoboshi’s inordinate senatorial ambition.
Such huge expenses drilled a gaping hole in the finances of the Council, leaving Chairman Louis Ndukwe with little or no money to run the Council, with its massive overhead. Every month he was at a loss as to where the next money to pay salaries for the month and to meet other council overhead would come from.
A political analyst had described Ndukwe’s conundrum as the “Oracle Syndrome,” which she explained as a form of “political disorder” that afflicts all Nwaoboshi’s political godsons and daughters, as they struggle over the limit of their human power to appease their overbearing godfather.
When Nwaoboshi eventually won the senatorial seat and moved to Abuja, Oshimili North LG Council was already massively broke and in debt, and since then has never recovered.
Bank Loan to finance Okpanam Market
Elofu Dike, who also was getting his own payout through juicy contracts, now had little or nothing to plunder. The broke-ass Council was in red and there was no money to execute more contracts. Insider source confided in XCLUSIVE MAGAZINE that Elofu then devised a plan that could open significant window of financial opportunity for him once again within the Council.
Another source very close to Ndukwe and Elofu, and who is in the known about their every political moves and conversant with the general political happenings within the Oshimili North Local Government Council, told XCLUSIVE MAGAZINE that Elofu went to a bank in Onitsha on behalf of the council to broker a loan deal to finance a market in Okpanam. Unfortunately, the plan fell through. The bank had to pull the plug when the loan deal was close to being sealed.
A source close to Elofu, who confirmed the Okpanam market loan deal, told XCLUSIVE MAGAZINE that the bank had gone through the Council books and decided that the Council, with its lean resources, did not have the ability to pay back. Another angle to the reason the loan deal failed, we were told by another source, was that Ndukwe scuttled the loan deal because he realised somewhere along the line that if the loan was approved, Elofu stood to benefit hugely from it.
The loan deal was supposed to be a tripartite arrangement: the council, the Bank and the Consultant. Elofu had positioned himself as a consultant, as the go-between the Council and the bank, and being the single block in the tripartite arrangement he was to make massive financial gain far more than Ndukwe and the Council.
The source inside Elofu Dike’s camp further explained that when the deal did not materialise Elofu smelt a rat; he felt that Ndukwe knew he would get a bigger cut of the deal, and pulled the plug on the loan by failing to do enough to convince the bank to approve the loan.
“Ever since, Elofu had been nursing a grudge. He had told people around him that he was instrumental to Ndukwe’s success at the polls and that he was going to ensure he never got there a second time. As far as Ndukwe’s political achievement was concerned, he Elofu sees himself as the king maker, and now he wants to be the king,” explained the insider source.
Jackal and Hyenas gangland (JHG)
But the problem is: in the Oshimili North Local government at the moment, there is only one king maker and king. And that person is Senator Peter Nwaoboshi. By considering this move, Dike’s political ambition was set to clash with the power and authority of Nwaoboshi, a very influential member of the notoriously powerful and intimidating Jackal and Hyenas gangland (JHG) in Abuja that even President Muhammadu Buhari cannot tame.
Elofu Dike knew the limit of his powers, therefore, he did not go about his political quest “by fire by force,” as one of XCLUSIVE MAGAZINE sources put it. XCLUSIVE MAGAZINE can report authoritatively that way back in February this year, Elofu went to Nwaoboshi to intimate him of his plan to contest for the chairmanship position. We gathered that Nwaoboshi told him he should give him some time to consult widely and establish a position on zoning.
Having had no feedback from Nwaoboshi since February, Dike returned again to Nwaoboshi two weeks ago to inform him that he needed to declare his intention openly as the primary was getting closer. Again, Nwaoboshi told him to tarry a while until the zoning position had been clarified. He reminded him also that the date for the primaries had not yet been released and should not be in a haste to go public.
Nwaoboshi, master in political subterfuge
Elofu was to discover to his dismay that while Nwaoboshi was suggesting he should stay action on his pursuit, he had already given his full support to Ndukwe. We were told by a source very close to Nwaoboshi that Elofu Dike was livid, and sent barrage of abusive text messages to Nwoaboshi. And in one of the abusive text messages, he had called Nwaoboshi “an idiot” and “a deceiver.”
As a political son and someone who has worked closely with Senator Nwaoboshi, for Elofu to publicly label Nwaoboshi a “deceiver” he surely should know what he was talking about. Nwaoboshi, a master in political subterfuge, is adept in sending his political wards on a wild goose chase to keep them busy, and this would be the third occasion he was selling Elofu a dummy.
The first time was in 2015 when Governor Ifeanyi Okowa was putting his cabinet together, Nwaoboshi had told Elofu that he had submitted his name for Commissioner representing Oshimili North. In fact, within the inner circles of Nwaoboshi at the time, Elofu Dike was being hailed “the Commissioner”, until XCLUSIVE MAGAZINE finally broke the exclusive news that Delta State Governor Dr Ifeanyi Okowa was set to announce Patrick Ukah as the next commissioner from Delta Oshimili North Local Government Area.
The second occasion was when Nwaoboshi mandated a committee that included Elofu Dike and Innocent Esewezie to come up with a list of eight names for Special Advisers. XCLUSIVE MAGAZINE had reported then that while the committee were busy chasing political shadows by populating the list with their names and their close political associates, Oracle had already drawn his own list and handed over to Okowa at the time he asked the committee to come up with a list. We reported then that the committee members were not happy about it. While Elofu took the betrayal on the chin, Innocent Esewezie, we were told then, took the rejection badly.
3 years ago, there was a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that, for the sake of equity and fairness, principal political positions in Oshimili North should be equitably zoned. It was the MOU that produced Ndukwe as Chairman from the North North, and Senator Nwaoboshi and Princess Pat Ajudua House of Assembly from Ibusa.
Unfortunately, in agreeing to zoning, there was no clearly established position whether it has to be one term or two terms. The argument now is that Equity has to be maintained considering that these positions are or should be two-tenured.
Ogbuenyi Felix Ndukwe, the Leader of Ward 10, was bullish and vehement: “the North North people will not relinquish the Chairmanship position to Ibusa since the Senate and House of Assembly is in ibusa till 2019. The MOU which he was party to was that the two positions will not at any given time be allowed to be in one section of the divide representing Ibusa and North North axis.
“Our people in North North cannot afford to be left without any of the two positions for two years. It’s not just an aberration but total mischief and against equity and fairness for anyone to think of such for North North at this time. I thank God our Leader Senator Nwaoboshi is addressing this issue and I trust his judgement as a man of Equity which the entire state knows”
XCLUSIVE MAGAZINE understands that a leadership meeting was convened on Sunday, 21 September at the behest of Senator Nwaoboshi to address the issue of “Equity”. The meeting, attended by both Ndukwe and Elofu, ended without reaching an agreement, and was adjourned to a later date.
Odds against Elofu Dike and Louis Ndukwe
Louis Ndukwe. Elofu Dike. Who gets the PDP ticket for Chairman of Oshimili North Local Government?
According to a political analyst well knowledgeable in the politics of Delta North, the odds are heavily against Elofu Dike. “First, Elofu Dike is from same Ibusa as Senator Nwaoboshi, same Isieke village and same ward 5, and that cannot work politically.”
XCLUSIVE MAGAZINE gathered that there is a shared odd against Elofu Dike and Louis Ndukwe, which is the odd of political exigency. While the who-is-who from Ibusa axis are already distancing themselves from him because it is in their interest to do so, those from the North North are supporting Elofu, at least in the closet.
We understand that Princess Pat Ajudua is mulling over a fourth term at the State House of Assembly and having come from Ibusa political divide of Oshimili North LGA, she needs to sustain argument that the status quo, in terms of the LG Chairman office should be retained by the North-North instead of zoning it to the North-South.
Similar political exigency as Ajudua’s appears to have informed the decision of Patrick Ukah, the honourable commissioner of Information, to support Elofu. XCLUSIVE MAGAZINE has it on good authority that Ukah is nursing the ambition to contest the State House of Assembly in 2019, and to support Elofu will only help to shift the argument in favour of moving the House of Assembly slot away from the Ibusa to the North North.
How far can Elofu go?
No Nwaoboshi on his side. No Ajudua. But has the support of Ukah, and a few other North Northerners who nurse the ambition to contest the House of Assembly in 2019. So how far can Elofu go?
“Not too far,” replies a source. “You can’t go far politically here if you don’t defer to what Nwaoboshi decides – it will be foolhardy for someone to think that a senator should not have a strong say or total control of at least his own local govt, not a senator of Nwaoboshi’s calibre. It will be the greatest miracle of the century if Elofu wins the primary ticket over Ndukwe.”
Despite these unfavourable odds, we were told that Elofu has vowed to push on and push through. XCLUSIVE MAGAZINE understands that Elofu was already working on Plan B if Plan A did not work. The reliable source said that he is ready to decamp to another party, preferably Accord or All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) to achieve his political ambition.
APGA seems the more likely destination. On Sunday, 25 September he visited Chief Tony Azuya to officially inform him that he is vying for Chairmanship position but also to mend fences, a move that is already been regarded within the leadership circle of PDP as an anti-party activity. Chief Elofu Dike was the DG of Hon Princess Pat Ajudua who contested against Chief Azuya APGA in the 2015 Delta State House of Assembly elections.
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