As the 2023 general elections approach and politicking in Delta State gathers momentum, the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), is gradually been deflated as members are rumoured to be in a decamping spree to the major opposition party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Rumour making the rounds from the grapevine, has it that the Senator representing Delta North Senatorial District in the National Assembly (NASS), Peter Nwaoboshi, may have allegedly concluded plans to defect ahead of 2023.
Nwaoboshi, who is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), is allegedly making plans with his Delta Central colleague and Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege.
Rumour also has it that, another strong PDP Chieftain and moneybag, the member representing Ndokwa East Constituency in the Delta State House of Assembly (DTHA), Friday Osanebi, is already making arrangements to dump his party for the APC.
According to a source, it is in public domain that, Osanebi has fallen out with the governor, over alleged claims of deputizing a governorship aspirant from Delta Central.
Niger Delta Connect reliably gathered that the anger of Nwaoboshi, may not be unconnected to the aspiration of the incumbent state governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, who may be eyeing the Delta North Senatorial seat, a position he occupied for four years before becoming governor in 2015.
It was also gathered that another burning issue in the heart of Nwaoboshi, is the alleged support the governor gave to a former House of Representative member, Ned Nwoko, who rattled the position with him in 2019.
The Senator is rumoured to be leaving the party because of the perceived Senatorial clash come 2023 between him and the governor and the support Okowa gave to Ned Nwoko during the 2019 Senatorial election, another reliable source alleged.
But the state governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, during the recent quarterly media interaction, while fielding questions from journalists, stated that, he was still waiting for God’s divine direction on where to go especially as it regards the rumoured Vice Presidential aspiration come 2023.
It was gathered that some other lawmakers especially in Delta Central and North Senatorial Districts, would soon follow suit in the days ahead to pitch tent with the APC.
While Nwaboshi’s men are resigning from the party one after the other, on May 18, 2021, Ben Iwezu, leader of the party in Ward 1, Oshimili North local government area, being Nwaoboshi’s local government area, resigned his membership of the party.
In another development, on May 18, 2021, the immediate past Chairman of Oshimili North Council Area, Chief Louis Oguguamakwa Ndukwe tendered his resignation letter.
Similarly, Anthony A. Ejiofor JP, on May 18, 2021, equally resigned on ground that he is being persecuted because he is loyal to his boss, Peter Nwaoboshi.
In a dramatic show, the immediate past Chairman of Oshimili south local government area, Comrade Uche Osadebe, was spotted at a reception in honour of the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege,
in Illah, Oshimili North local government area when he inspected the Ogbolu-Illah rehabilitation road by the federal government.
Although, they have not indicated the party of their choice they will be pitching tent with, but there are indication that they are tilting towards the opposition political party, the APC.
Although Niger-Delta Connect, could not reach the aforementioned persons if their rumoured defection is anything to go by.
Another major factor that may fuel the exodus defection by political analysts, is the comment of the state governor on the gentleman agreement on the governorship rotation.
According to the governor,
“A gentleman agreement is an agreement that is not written, I want to believe that, that is how it is supposed to be.
“But whether there was a formal meeting in which the agreement was reached, there was no formal meeting in which a gentleman agreement was reached.
“So, it means that whatever we are talking about or doing today, what is equitable, justiceable and how to define what is fair, what is equitable and justiceable ”, Okowa added during the quarterly media interaction recently.
It is in public domain that Okowa’s desperation to support Ijaw succession to Delta’s governorship in 2023 is not as a result of non existent rotation agreement within PDP as he denied.
The awareness of an unwritten rotation agreement which Okowa benefited has been a common denominator in the party since the time of Chief James Ibori.
It was gathered that the ulterior motive why governor Okowa have decided to live in self denial rest on the enormous pressure on him to comply with a personal, yet unwritten 2015 agreement with Delta Ijaws. The strongest term of that bargain was for Okowa to, at all cost, ensure that an Ijaw succeeds him in 2023 in return for the overwhelming Ijaw support he enjoyed in his two victorious runs for the governorship.
It was also rumour that, the former governor of Delta State, James Ibori is on the view that the rotation policy of the People’s Democratic Party in Delta State among the three Senatorial District is sacrosanct, stating that it is something that nobody can be altered.
Meanwhile former Minister of Information and also governor Okowa ally, Sam Oyovbaire has stated that rotation of the governorship seat of Delta state was not initiated on the basis of ethnic nationalities but on the basis of Senatorial Districts. He made this known during the inauguration of Delta Central 23 recently.
“The issue of rotation or zoning has always been there in the affairs of the PDP, has its own character, how it plays out and continue to play out at the state level, has its own character, even at the local government and ward levels, rotation is there”, he said.
“All of us know that even when a constitution or written agreement has not been entered, there is a basic understanding that the governorship of this state should go round senatorially”.