A PUBLICATION MADE BY BINEBAI PRINCEWILL/NDU SAMUEL
As the debate on which senatorial district should occupy Dennis Osadobe House, Asaba come 2023 continues to gather momentum, several political permutations and gimmicks are already playing underground.
Currently, some leaders from a particular district are whipping up zoning sentiments in a bid to stop others from taking a shot at the governorship position. People from Delta central says its their turn to succeed the incumbent Governor, Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa who hails from the North, their argument is based on an undocumented zoning arrangement which they claim has been in place since the present political dispensation in 1999.
When Nigeria returned to Democracy in 1999, the Central produced the governor in person of Chief James Onanefe Ibori, and on completion of his two tenure of eight (8) years, Dr. Emmanuel E. Uduaghan from the South took over, ruled for eight years before handing over to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa whose tenure elapsed in 2023.
From the above, one may be forced to conclude that the position is actually rotating among the three senatorial zones when in the actual sense it was only a mere happenstance.
As stated earlier, zoning has never being in practice since inception of Democracy in Delta State. As a matter of fact since people became awakened to participate in democratic elections in 2003, every senatorial zone has actively participated in Delta state gubernatorial elections.
In 2003 for instance, Prince Ned Nwoko, Chief James Ibori, Great Ogboru and many others from across the three zones, contested the Delta State governorship position, but Ibori from the Central was still able to retain his seat for a second term in office.
In a related development in 2007 when the erroneous mantra began which has been in breach than practice, every senatorial districts participated in the governorship which negates any zoning formula rumoured to be in practice.
Delta North had the likes of Godswill Obielum, Peter Okocha, Ifeanyi Okowa, Fidelis Odita and many others, in the same vein Delta south paraded big shots like Pz Aginighan, Emmanuel Uduagan, Young Daniel Igbrude and Albert Okumagba
For Delta central, the list is too long to mention, but notably were Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege, Pius Ewherido, Ejaife Odebala, Emmanuel Agwariawvkdo, Oscar Ibru, Great Ogboru, Olorogun Otega Emerho etc.
In 2011, the same scenario played out, Ovie Omo-Agege, Great Ogboru, and Samuel Onocharigho from Delta Central made attempts to clinch the ticket. Emmanuel Uduagan, Braduce Amakazi Angozi, Saliba Mukoro, John Kpokpogri were among the bigwigs from Delta South and so in the North that battle for the governorship position of the state.
The story was not different in 2015, Delta North came to the battle with political players that include Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, Victor Ochei, Ngozi Olejeme, Charlse Emetulu,Tony Obuh, Peter Okocha with the host of others.
Delta central had Ovie Omo-Agege, Otega Emerho, Great Ogboru, David Edewvie,
Otive Igbuzor while Godsday Orubebe from South took a shot as well.
One indisputable fact from the above is that all senatorial zones have participated in the state’s governorship elections, even those persons who have made respect for zoning formula their new song cannot deny this fact.
From the political analysis above, it is obviously lucid that all senatorial zones have always participated in all the elections that have taken place in the state since 2003 till date.
. big question begging for answer is if there is zoning agreement among Deltans, why then would politicians from all the three senatorial districts be contesting for the governorship position in each political dispensations, and if anyone from the said districts had won, would they have rejected the position.