Implication of imposition: what Ibori, Okowa need to do

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Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa and former Gov. James Ibori

By Kparobo Ehvwubare
The first step in losing an election is to impose a candidate on the party by way of automatic ticket, especially, at critical areas. Once that is done, the party becomes divided and unwittingly sends a message that it is undemocratic and unwilling to play by the rules.
The imposition, naturally, generates deep rancor and acrimony. The infighting sends signal to the electorate that the party can’t be trusted with vote. While the party leadership may be satisfied, the electorates are disgusted thinking what could have been the rationale for such imposition.
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Kparobo Ehvwubare
Two questions comes to mind, first is if such candidate was imposed to cover up their mess in government and secondly whether for selfish gains. The answers to the above questions finds expression to the roles played during party primaries.
The imposition of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the last 2015 presidential election against the will of many in the party was one factor that paved the way for the abysmal failure of the party at the polls. I am sure they have learnt their lesson from that bizarre experience but it seems that no lesson was learnt, especially in the Delta State, where one man dictates the destiny of the State.
I have brought out this experience against the backdrop of the plan by the party in Delta to grant automatic ticket to the incumbent governor and lawmakers (senate, House of Reps and House of Assembly) in the forthcoming 2019 general elections.
There is nothing wrong if a party desires that a certain candidate should be their flag bearer in an election but that choice should follow laid down democratic process otherwise it is authoritarian.
Besides, it is an open invitation for intra party acrimony. As I said earlier, PDP tried this in 2015 and failed. They ought to have learnt their lesson from that.
The repeated refrain of a free, fair and credible election would have no meaning if from the outset some interested aspirants are edged out in favour of others. Good enough that some of the party leaders and aspirants are strongly opposing the idea of automatic ticket.
Election rigging starts from the primaries within parties. Blocking interested aspirants in favour of some others is tantamount to rigging. Democratic norms demand that every interested aspirant should pass through the crucible of party primaries to be a legitimate and democratic choice.
The masses are tired of having unfit individuals imposed on the polity to govern against their wish. That explains why some districts and local government in the State is in a pitiable state. As each election presents fresh opportunity to elect new leaders who are expected to change the ignoble state of affairs, parties (if they’re patriotic) should learn from the past mistakes and desist from imposing candidates on the electorate.
In my dear State, many resourceful individual, groups are yielding for a change for credible representatives in position of authourity. In this piece I choose to offer my useful advise to former Gov. James Ibori who was adjudged to still control the State political permutations, dictates whom the pendulum favours and the incumbent Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa on the forthcoming primaries in the State.
Since I have decided to endure what I could not cure with the way politics is being played in the State, I choose to offer my candid advise to them for smooth sail of PDP in the State.
I have discussed this with some leaders in the State that if really Ibori want Okowa back to Government House come 2019, he must be careful with certain decisions he must take, especially with those that may fly the party flag in the three senatorial districts of the Delta.
For Ifeanyi Okowa to have smooth sail in Delta north senatorial district, then  Sen. Peter Nwaoboshi must be given return ticket to represent the Delta North at the red Chambers, because Okowa cannot afford to give the party ticket to Ned Nwoko who will wrestle power with him later,  Deltans cannot forget in hurry the tough times he gave to Ibori then.
Nwaoboshi being the incumbent senator representing the district still have more sway in the area, if the Okowa made the mistake to deprive him of the ticket, that will amount to defection and of course would pave way for a stronger opposition in the district.
For Aniocha, Oshimili Federal constituency, Okowa should return Mrs. Mrakpor to the House, I understand that the Elumelus are fighting hard to return one of their own to the House, hence the recent visit of Tony Elumelu to Okowa to seal the deal with him, but I belt Okowa that it will be suicidal if he buys into such deeds.
In Delta South, Ibori and Okowa has little or no work to do in that axis only if they get it right, the only remedy to Okowa victory in Delta north is for Uduaghan to get the senatorial ticket.
That would even make the opposition to work for him in the area and Uduaghan being a former governor has more leverage than any other aspirant the governor can think of in the area.
But Ibori and Okowa should expect more work to do if Uduaghan is denied of the party ticket, the major opposition will be too excited to have Uduaghan as their own in the forthcoming general election. Okowa should not forget in hurry the power of a former governor, not just a former but immediate past governor. He still has boys (loyalists) across board, hence Okowa need to be very careful with the decision he take/will take in Delta South; as any decision he make would mar or make his journey back to Osedebeye House.
For Delta Central senatorial district, where Delta political messiah happens to come from would be a walk over for Okowa, even if the opposition give their ticket to Ogboru, Ibori influence would have the day.
Being that as it may; the governor still need to be calculative on whom to give the party ticket as senatorial candidate of the party.
For me, Chief Ighoyota Amori and Evelyn Oboro are two perfect hands to represent the district, but the question that comes to mind is; who could be trusted with power?
In my own little analysis, Amori would be favourably disposed in that regard, Amori has been tested and he remained a trusted party man, who is not power drunk and would forever remain loyal to Ibori till Armageddon.
Another critical area Ibori and Okowa need to be so meticulous is who to fly the party ticket to represent the people of Ethiope Federal Constituency.
By way of gentleman agreement, the incumbent member representing the Constituency would be completing the eight years sharing formula of the Ethiope East; and it behooves on the East to support the West come 2019.
The only favourable aspirant that has the war chest to man that position in all ramifications for now is Ben Igbakpa, who has 90% support of the masses.
Political leadership in the local government should as a matter of concern support Igbakpa, which will amount to Okowa total victory in that Federal constituency. He remains the PEOPLE’S MANDATE.
At the moment, anxiety mounts awaiting Ibori pronouncement on whom he want to represent Ethiope Federal constituency, his decision may coast the party to victory or mar it, as any decision that is not in tandem with the people would amount to massive defection in the area. The party should not forget that Ethiope East has never being a PDP local government in the State and if Ethiope West is divided, victory is eminent for the opposition.
At any level, the people know whom they want and they would vote for. The votes of the governors matter mainly at the primaries and it is in their own interest to choose a popular winning candidate.
No friend, No foe, the masses INTEREST remain paramount in my heart. God our resourceful leaders who has the masses at heart.
Kparobo Ehvwubare is the publisher of sunreporters, political/social analyst writes from Oghara, Delta State. Could be reach at or 70767546856.

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