By Fred Edoreh
Lately, some members of Delta Unity Group said they decamped from the PDP to the APC and that got Senator Ovie Omo-Agege “balubabluuing” that he has scored a tsunami against Delta PDP.
In actuality, it was a non-event to be best described as a mutual delusive denial of reality. The so-called decampees were led by Hon. Daniel Reyenieju, Rt. Hon. Monday Igbuya, and Rt. Hon. Olisa Imegwu amongst others. Agege ought to have known that they were already personae non gratae in the PDP but, true to character, he enjoys wallowing in self-deception in his illusory pursuit of the Governorship of Delta State.
That was how, in the 2021 Isoko South Constituency 1 House of Assembly bye-election, he boasted so much of upstaging the PDP, possibly by Federal might. He was particularly upbeat that with the then State APC Chairman, Prophet Jones Erue, and the former House of Representatives contestant, Joel Onowakpor being from there, the APC will steamroll the ballot. He slept in Isoko on the eve of the election.
The PDP only threw one Odogwu Emakpor (I Have A Dream) at them and Agege left Isoko thoroughly disgraced as the APC scored just two votes in their State Chairman’s unit. Besides his own vote, the community is still searching for who offered the APC the second vote.
Agege has never forgiven Erue since then, including allegedly masterminding his removal from the list of persons nominated for the NDDC board and ensuring that the Isoko nation never got anything from the APC Federal Government, from projects to appointments to contract patronage for even its members. This explains why the State APC Secretary, Otunba Nick Ovuakporie, has decamped to the PDP leaving the APC secretariat in a hollow few weeks to the elections.
Having learned nothing from that disgrace, Agege is at it again, making fluff about a band of bitter persons desperately seeking political rehabilitation.
To be clear about who they are, where they are from, and what their motive is, the group comprises five categories of people: Those who had long benefited from the PDP and the State Government but had long lost political value because of their self conduct which is unbecoming of true leaders; those who were no longer getting contracts and are hungry; those who lost out in the 2022 PDP primaries but are unable, in their sense of entitlement, to accept the reality that political positions would rotate at different times to other persons and constituencies too; those who are simply jealous of Sheriff Oborevwori because he does not strut in the misguided self-conceit and arrogance with which they carry themselves; and those who genuinely supported Olorogun David Edevbie in the PDP primaries and were apprehensive that the party leadership might discriminate against them.
Many in the latter category, understanding that the primary was a contest in which only one candidate was bound to emerge, that the political and legal process had taken full courses from the State congress to a logical conclusion at the Supreme Court, and, being informed and civilised democrats, have since found their way back and have been fully re-integrated into the mainstream of the party, with even the Chief Coordinator now a Deputy Director in the PDP Presidential Campaign Council, while the bitter few in the other categories have chosen to carry on their political life in bitterness.
Interestingly, many of the bitter elements were never really openly there for Edevbie in the run-up to the primaries, many could not even muster one single delegate for him from their wards while those who contested for various positions in the primaries, with a few exceptions, were simply evasive all through.
From the period of consultations to campaigns and by May 25, 2022, when the State Congress was held, there was nothing like DUG. They all only converged around Edevbie after his initial victory in the suit against Oborevwori at the Federal High Court. They had hoped that the verdict would be sustained at the upper courts to enable them to seize the reins of the party and governance of the State queueing behind him.
They had declared that they were supporting him as a matter of respect for the rule of law, following the verdict of the FHC but, curiously, when he finally lost at the Supreme Court, they no longer wanted to respect the rule of law that vindicated Sheriff. In their duplicity, they started talking about negotiations or seeking another direction.
They had tried so much to drag the name and influence of Chief James Ibori into their scheme, but how would the party concede to the terms of persons who have lurked irredeemably in disruptive bitterness and had been long actively out of the party?
Everybody knows Monday Igbuya. He was the former Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly. He was impeached in 2017 by 22 of 29 members. He has never forgiven Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and Sheriff who succeeded him as Speaker and was unanimously re-elected in 2019.
In fact, grieving over his impeachment, he reportedly brought thugs to disrupt the commissioning of road projects in Sapele by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa in 2017. He was chased back by party faithful led by Sheriff Oborevwori and Micheal Diden. He had hoped that with Ibori’s return, Okowa would be forced to compel the House to lift his suspension and reinstate him as Speaker but Ibori would not associate with the conduct he displayed. Since then, he had been groping in political lurch.
Daniel Reyenieju was several times a member of the House of Representatives for Warri Federal Constituency. He was defeated in the 2019 primary by Chief Thomas Ereyitomi, the Akatigbi-Ayeola of Warri Kingdom (a.k.a. Ojogbojo). Unhappy with his defeat, Reyenieju opted out of the PDP to join the SDP which gave him ticket to confront Ereyitomi again in the main election. Like in the primary, Ereyitomi defeated him again.
Rt. Hon. Olisa Imegwu was also at different times a member representing Ndokwa East State Constituency, Speaker of the House of Assembly, and member representing Ndokwa/Ukwani Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives. His people removed him for Hon. Ossai Nicholas Ossai in the 2011 elections. He went to court but later discarded the suit. He attempted to stage a comeback in 2019 but achieved no headway. That also left him in a political lurch.
While they kept wimping, they refused to acknowledge that they were indeed rejected by their people. In his usual self-delusion, those are the faux Agege is celebrating as having decamped from the PDP to help his bloated ambition.
For those who are still pained because they lost in the last primaries, we can only sympathise with them if they do not recognise that they have enjoyed good times and, as life happens, some other persons must also take their place.
The whole comedy of Agege’s new journeymen reminds one of Shakespeare’s creation named Sergeant Falstaff, a dishonest, cowardly, boastful, narcissistic rogue enjoyed as a dramatic personae for his craftiness and deceptive repartee. Alas, characters in plays are not real people, just like the DUG band of rancorous and deluded beings.