Delta Guber: PDP remains party to beat, says campaign organisation
Chairman, Media and Publicity, Delta State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governorship Campaign Council and Commissioner for Oil and Gas, Prince Emmanuel Amgbaduba, spoke to GODWIN IJEDIOGOR in Asaba on the Chief James Ibori factor in the upcoming elections in the state, what the PDP has to offer, and why it would win the governorship and presidential elections.
What is the level of your party’s governorship campaign in the state now, a few weeks to the elections?
We are giving residents a candidate that has been able to manage the state House of Assembly that is made up of different constituencies and a mirror-image of the state, and this fellow, Sheriff Oborevwori, has been able to manage this House for almost eight years without any rancor, unlike in some states where you get about four to five Speakers before the tenure runs out. It tells you that he understands the system and he has the capacity to manage.
People say he has street credibility; yes, I will classify street credibility as a positive thing. When you know what the people want, you feel the pain and you are part of the people and gear them into your management technique, you procreate your decisions and carry everybody along and you have the best government for the people. In addition, the people will enjoy the benefit.
Therefore, we are presenting somebody who has told the people that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has done very well and he himself would do MORE. By MORE, he means Meaningful development, Opportunity for all Deltans; Realistic reforms and Enhanced peace and security.
We understand when one says that security will be enhanced, it means he is going to go above the normal standards. With a candidate of that nature, who is a unifier, the sky is the starting point.
Despite your candidate’s ability to pull the crowd at his campaigns, why has it being impossible for PDP to get former governor, Chief James Ibori, to join the campaign train?
The PDP, as you know, is a very broad church and we have everything under that umbrella. When people see the genuineness and warmth coming from Oborevwori, the things that I have spoken about before, you would only want to draw yourself closer to him. The aged, male, female and youth, in fact, he is a rainbow man, he is a real unifier and that is why you see different people coming towards him.
Coming to Ibori, he remains our national leader, a financial member of PDP and has been a strong supporter of PDP. Some people keep insinuating that he is not being there, that he is negative, but he is not. Don’t forget that his daughter is running under the PDP for the House of Representatives in his constituency and she has been going round campaigning, and we are all campaigning for her too.
Our campaign kicked off from Patani and later on, we went to Oghara, Ibori’s hometown, and it was a sea of heads. So many people trooped in. Ibori was not there, but as you know, silence is consent. With Ibori’s silence, some people think he is not supporting us, but he is in support, and I am sure that at the right time when he has the opportunity or when he is free, he would come in.
Apart from politics, people have to do other things, in terms of work to survive, and you cannot leave Ibori out. He may have his own business that he is doing or probably other engagements. However, he has never displayed any negative tendency either verbal or non-verbal towards the PDP or the candidacy of Oborevwori.
Don’t you think his absence, especially during the PDP presidential rally in Asaba, sent a negative signal?
You know, perception is something that you cannot change. If that is your perception, I will tell you not to worry about it. His foot soldiers and people were there. The way politics work, if you cannot eat it, do not put it in your mouth. So, if he is not with us, he would tell his people not to be there. When I know my principal would not like something, I will not be there. But they are always there in their numbers. Therefore, I do not think it is right to hold that perception.
But there are concerns that the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, might pull or snatch him away from your party. Would you call that propaganda?
It is propaganda, Ibori is going nowhere! What is Omo-Agege going to use to snatch him? He is not a mace, and you cannot snatch Ibori. They have nothing to campaign about; he (Omo-Agege) has done everything right for his village and Delta is not a village thing. You cannot bring a polytechnic to your village, not just your village, to your quarter; you bring another development, not to your village alone, but to your quarter. We are not talking about that, we are talking about somebody who is a pan-Deltan, with a broad mind, when he goes out, he does not see the state as Anioma, Urhobo or all that, somebody that is detribalised, that is who we are talking about.
Why does the opposition see Oborevwori as an extension of Okowa?
Let me ask you, would you want to fix your car when it is not broken? If something is working well, you do not have it fixed. Having said that, if I find somebody to be a unifier, dependable, detribalised, ready to work, healthy and with strong abilities, I will back him. Everybody has the right to back anybody, but that there is a third term agenda by the governor is far from the truth. The governor is from Delta North senatorial district and Oborevwori is from Delta Central senatorial district.
Where is Senator James Manager, pioneer state chairman of the party and senator representing Delta South Senatorial District? He has not been seen since he lost the governorship primaries?
I was at a time chairman of PDP in Delta South Senatorial District and I presided over meetings where former governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, Senator James Manager and others were in attendance, so I know them. Apart from been a dogged party man, he has also been with us.
Not too long ago, Oborevwori visited Manager in his house. The way he was welcomed, everybody was shocked. So, nothing is going on; they may have some other engagements. Do not forget that Manager just ran for the governorship primary and he went to all the nooks and crannies of the state campaigning, he needs to relax and recoup. He is a human being like you and I.
However, as you can see, his foot soldiers are there and since they are there, he is there. Again, we are yet to get to his local council, Bomadi; you know we do the campaign at the local government level. I trust he will be there when we go to Bomadi. We have his blessings, we have his support and he is doing well.
What edge does the PDP have over APC in Delta and the country?
The APC government at the national level is winding down and winding all of us together. You do not have petrol, you do not have cash and there is nothing to write home about them nationwide. Unemployment has skyrocketed and the country is in shambles.
Therefore, if we do not see the need for us to change the narrative now, then there is something wrong. By now, APC should be apologising to Nigeria, they should come on the platform and go on their knees and apologise to Nigerians.
Of course, PDP was there for 16 years and you could see the difference. We left a bag of rice at N8, 000 and you are buying it at almost N50, 000; we left the US Dollar about N171, now it is over N700. Nigerians should not just remove APC from government; they should kick it out of government with the power of the Permanent Voter Card (PVC).
From recent developments, do you maintain that Okowa is the best candidate from the South South for the PDP vice presidential slot?
Somebody who was a local government secretary, local government chairman, commissioner for water resources, later commissioner for health, secretary to the state government, senator, and now governor, put that wealth of experience together, why would you want to throw it away?
As a senator, he sponsored the National Health Reforms Bill, and today, we have a mirror image of that in Delta State, under which widows, women, children, girl-child and the youth are being taken care of either by empowerment or training. That tells you that Okowa is not afraid to start anything new.
In the Ministry of Oil and Gas, we are training our people in the oil and gas sector because we have found out that people have slots in the oil companies and sell them because they do not have the right qualifications. Therefore, the governor had decided to train them in welding, marine mechanics, all the labours required in the marine sector, and provide them with the right certificate, so that the right of first refusal, if it goes to the community, they will be able to produce somebody.
Can you imagine if all these experiences are replicated at the federal level? It will create so much jobs and free the government from the burdens we have now. With the superb security he has put in place in Delta State and superb financial management, I think he has the qualities and capacity to assist the presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, to succeed at the national level.