By Akinwale Kasali
Great Ovedje Ogboru is an household name in Delta State politics. Most especially during election period. Some political analysts call him a serial loser, while some call him ‘ Uduaghan’s nightmare’.
Having contested for the governorship seat of Delta State, though, he a Nigerian businessman turn politician who was the gubernatorial aspirant for Alliance of Democracy, Democratic Peoples’ Party and Labour Party in the 2003, 2007 and 2015 Delta State governorship elections.
From obscurity comes the Great Ogboru, who has been silent since his lost to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the 2015 election.
Ogboru has however emerged again to tussle for the governorship seat on the platform of the All Progressive Congress, APC, which is at the center.
Ogboru emerged the candidate of the All Progressives Congress for the 2019 governorship election in a parallel governorship primary held at the College of Education (Technical) Asaba, the state capital.
his is coming barely a few hours after Prof. Pat Utomi emerged also as the flag bearer of the party at another parallel governorship primary organised by Chief Cyril Ogodo-led faction.
Ogboru, who is contesting for the fifth time to rule the oil-rich state, clinched the party ticket at a primary conducted by the Gen. Lawrence Onoja’s electoral panel under the Jones Erue-led faction in the state.
Onoja, who declared the results in an exercise which began on Sunday, said Ogboru polled a total of 3,292 votes to defeat his closest rival, Victor Ochei, who scored 160.
Renowned political economist, Utomi, scored 26, votes while Dr. Cairo Ojougboh polled 12.
Meanwhile, Comrade Sunny Ofehe is human rights activist. He was a Governorship aspirant in Delta State under the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC until he stepped down for Chief Great Ogboru last week.
“My campaign is more like to talk about the issues, the issues that have deprived our people of their commonwealth and to find a way for them to get the benefit of the natural resources that this state is blessed with, and also to utilise the human capacity that God has deposited in all the people of Delta State.
“And I concluded by saying if there is anyone in the race whose passion and vision is bigger than mine, that God should give that person the seat. That is not to say it was why I stepped down. What happened was that, at a time, I was approached by notable people within the party. They told me that they have followed my campaigns, they have seen how much I have promoted the party and that they want me to remain in the party even though I was against the increase in the price of the nomination form.
They told me that Chief Great Ogboru has the grassroot popularity, he has the name that could enable the party gain the number of votes that will help her win the governorship election in the state. Then I had a private meeting with Ogboru, I discussed with him and about his economic plan for the state because that is where my passion lies. Because we need to improve in alot of areas to boost our economy in a way that we can create jobs for our youths, find a sound pension plan for our elders and then we can also bring in quality and affordable healthcare services for our people, most especially our mothers and pregnant women and also every child must have access to quality education in Delta state.
“With that you can be able to drive the economy in a way that the middle class can be strengthened. For any economy to function, you have to ensure that your policies promotes the strengthening of the middle class and encourage people to be able to do more, earn salaries, take care of their families, pay their bills, and then we can have system that revolve around economic emancipation principles. And so after my meeting with him, I saw the passion in the man, I saw his dedication, I saw his commitment to want to see that the people of Delta State are delivered from this current poverty situation as you have him described it, which off course we have also seen.
“And so after my discussion with him, I felt yes, he is somebody that I can work with. And then I attended his rally in Ughelli and saw the mamount crowd which also justifies what I was told that he has a massive grassroot support base. I saw people who were committed to his course, not just crowd that were hired to attend rallies, I saw dedicated supporters who believed in him, and then when he gave his elaborate speech, I was impressed by the content of his message to his people. And when it was time for me to speak, I told his supporters that I will do everything within my capacity to ensure that victory comes to Chief Great Ogboru. And also to ensure that all my policy plan for the state can also be channeled into the state through his administration”.