Okowa Flags off his Campaign, But Renegade Urhobo Party Faithful May Turn their Back

Senator Ifeanyi Okowa Flags off his Election Campaign
Senator Ifeanyi Okowa Flags off his Election Campaign
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The People’s Democratic Party governorship candidate for Delta State, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, begins campaign across the State today, Tuesday, 13 January 2015.

The campaign, which kicks off at 10am from Oghara, will move back and forth the three State senatorial zones: Delta North, Delta Central and Delta South, and wind down at Asaba on Wednesday, 4 February 2015. (Scroll down for the Campaign Rally Itinerary.)

Delta is predominantly a PDP State. So under normal circumstance, the election would have been regarded as already in Okowa’s political bag, and this campaign a mere formality. But these are no normal times. At the Delta central, senator Okowa has his work cut out for him to convince the renegade Urhobo party faithfuls to give him their votes.

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Urhobo, who had consistently voted PDP candidates, and on two occasions produced governors: Olorogun Felix Ibru and Chief James Ibori, are this time around hellbent on producing an Urhobo governor yet again, even if it would take their supporting someone from a rival political party.

Senator Okowa has emerged as the PDP gubernatorial candidate after he convincingly defeated the the Urhobo Progress Union, UPU’s and governor Emmanuel Uduaghan’s preferred candidate, Chief David Edevbie, at the primary election. Ovie Omo-Agege, another Urhobo who contested the Delta State Gubernatorial primary elections under the platform of the PDP but has since defected to the Labour Party to run for Senate, had described the outcome of that primary election as a conspiracy against the Urhobo people.

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The UPU, an umbrella body of Urhobos worldwide, has then vowed that any of the Urhobo candidates in the person of Olorogun O’tega Emerhor of All Progressive Congress and Chief Ovedje Ogboru of Labour Party will do in their quest to actualize the Uvwiamuge Declaration, which posits that no Urhobo person should work for the emergence of governor from another senatorial district in 2015. Okowa is from Anioma land, which has not produced a governor since Delta State was created in 1991.

Okowa’s candidacy was the main agenda in a joint meeting between the UPU youth wing and Ijaw youth council (IYC) held at Ekiugbo, Ughelli on Sunday, 11 January 2015. The IYC have asked the Urhobos to support Senator Okowa as Delta State governor and Kingsley Utuaro, an Ijaw man, as his deputy for equity sake. But the Urhobo vehemently objected to it, insisting that on Urhobo governor they stand.

Although it was described as “a very fruitful strategic dialogue,” the meeting had ended in a stalemate, as both parties refused to bulged. However, they agreed “to continue the dialogue and hold consistent periodic interface.”

    Delta State PDP Campaign Rally Itinerary:
  • TUESDAY 13/1/15
    1) ETHIOPE WEST OGHARA 10 AM
    2) WARRI NORTH KOKO 2 PM
  • WEDNESDAY 14/1/15
    1) OKPE OREROKPE 10 AM
    2) SAPELE SAPELE 1 PM
  • THURSDAY 15/1/15 OFF DAY
  • FRIDAY 16/1/15
    1) OSHIMILI NORTH AKWUKWU–IGBO 10 AM
    2) ANIOCHA NORTH ISSELE – UKU 1 PM
  • SATURDAY 17/1/15
    1) NDOKWA EAST ABOH 10 AM
    2) NDOKWA WEST KWALE 1 PM
  • TUESDAY 20/1/15
    1) ISOKO NORTH OZORO 10 AM
    2) ISOKO SOUTH OLEH 2 PM
  • WEDNESDAY 21/1/15
    1) BOMADI BOMADI 10 AM
    2) PATANI PATANI 1 PM
  • THURSDAY 22/1/15 OFF DAY
  • FRIDAY 23/1/15
    1) UKWUANI OBIARUKU 10 AM
    2) ANIOCHA SOUTH OGWASHI –UKU 1PM
  • TUESDAY 27/1/15
    3) ETHIOPE EAST ISIOKOLO 10 AM
    4) UGHELLI NORTH UGHELLI 1 PM
  • WEDNESDAY 28/1/15
    3) IKA SOUTH AGBOR 10 AM
    4) IKA NORTH EAST OWA – OYIBU 1 PM
  • THURSDAY 29/1/15 OFF DAY
  • FRIDAY 30/1/15
    3) BURUTU KIAGBODO 10 AM
    4) UGHELLI SOUTH OUT – JEREMI 1 PM
  • SATURDAY 31/1/15
    3) WARRI SOUTH WEST OGBE – IJAW 10 AM
    4) UDU OTOR UDU 1 PM
  • TUESDAY 03/2/15
    1) UVWIE EFFURUN 10 AM
    2) WARRI SOUTH WARRI 1 PM
  • WEDNESDAY 4/2/15
    1) OSHIMILI SOUTH GRAND FINALE/ ASABA 10 AM
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