On Thursday, January 17, 2019, the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Delta state literally told the Delta state government that it was time to pack and go. That was the day that President Mohammadu Buhari zoomed into Warri township stadium for his Presidential campaign and to flag off the governorship campaign of the APC popular and highly revered candidate, Olorogun Great Ogboru.
Apart from the undisputed fact that the stadium was filled to the brim, over 20,000 fanatical supporters stood outside the stadium screaming, “General, General”, referring to Ogboru who is fondly called The People’s General by his fierce supporters.
As President Buhari handed the flag of honour to further authenticate Ogboru’s candidacy, the stadium exploded, singing almost in harmony a tune that says , ” This time, this time, wayo no dey.. if youwant to rig election , rig am make we see..” “, a resolve that this time , they would resist every attempt of their opponents to rig the election . The stadium quaked, people practically convulsed with ecstasy as they sang and danced. From Ijaw, Urhobo, Aniocha, Oshimili to Ika and Ndokwa , to this stadium, this place of hope, this place they called the gathering of a New Delta, here was a confluence of spirit and audacious faith ; people jumped, danced and praised God, for a new dawn, a new unity, and a new bounce and gusto.
Issues of rotation, tribe, and religion were buried in a bottomless tomb . All that the jubilant gathering wanted was a Great Ogboru victory to assure a new life in Delta state. “It was stunning”, said Tino Egbejule, a core member of Ogboru’s Think-Tank and Strategy Directorate. “I have never seen a gathering like this in this state. I can tell you now that the choice is clear. Deltans want Ogboru”, he stated.
For the plodding, diligent, bound and determined Secretary of the APC Campaign Council, a working person’s person, Peter Omaruaye, “the gathering, the passion, the joy I see in the crowd are clear indication that Deltans desperately need a change of government. It is a yellow card to PDP, a warning to start packing their belonging because the red card will follow on Saturday, March 2, 2019”. Laughing, he adds, “I am already making some special dresses for the celebration on May 29, when ‘General’ will be sworn in as Governor and all our Senators and State Assembly members will follow”.
The panic triggered by the massive rally has allegedly led PDP to start some diabolical moves to destabilize the APC and subdue the buoyant spirit of the members. But so far, these moves have yielded no fruits as underscored by the staggering turn-outs at APC rallies in Asaba, Iselle-Ukwu , Okpanam and Agbor , all in the Delta North Senatorial District, areas that the PDP has launched a deafening tribal sentiment- laden campaign using zoning as a camouflage. The turn-out in these Anioma people’s domains is simply a terse, crystal message to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and his PDP harbingers of zoning that their blinkered, small-town mantra and mindset have lost both cogency and potency.
And even the PDP boneheads seemed to have realized the zoning fiasco. Now they are trying to use APC members against APC . The recent simple pronouncement of the Appeal Court on Thursday, January 25, is an acute example of their fatal desperation. The Appeal filed by the APC through their lawyer, Chief Adeniyi Akintola, SAN, was against the decision of a Federal High Court in Asaba presided over by the Honourable Justice T.B Adegoke on November 1, 2018 over procedure to be adopted by the trial court. The Appeal Court dismissed the appeal on the ground that the appellants failed to seek leave of the court before appealing and so declared that the order made by the High court remains valid. The parties were therefore to go back and continue with the trial of the substantive case before Hon. Justice T.B Adegoke.
This simple Judgement is what the PDP started clinging to and sponsoring some Delta state APC members of a tame and transient , inconsequential faction to misrepresent it on the media to cause confusion among the good people of Delta state who from all indication and attestation are ready to send the PDP packing with their votes.
But even this lamentable quest is not working. What the PDP seems not to know or perhaps are living in denial about is the inalterable fact that they will perpetually contend with the public persona of Ogboru, his unimpeachable character, iron-cast integrity, astounding popularity and above all the inhumane and fiendish injustice meted out to him through re-writing of election results and denying him of electoral victory. As the late Nigerian icon of journalism, Dele Giwa puts it in his seminal piece, Son of a Dog, “Any evil done by man to his fellow man will be avenged; if not now, then later; if not by man, then by God, for the victory of evil over good is but temporary”.
No question, defeat stares Delta PDP in the face. They do not know how to campaign. Their specialty is writing election results in hotel rooms. Now they are trying to campaign but their efforts are in tatters and unconnected because it’s not their forte. Now there is an air of eerie mystery. They know that time ticks for them.
Indeed the signs now loom. The omen for the PDP is gloom, if not doom. And March 2, 2019 is the day of red card for their government to vacate the government house in Asaba.
Okafor, the media director, Delta State APC Campaign Council, wrote from Warri.