The Democratic Peoples Party, DPP, the party which once threatened the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP on all fronts in Delta State is set on an unscripted path of implosion.
After the 2011 elections, Delta State became the only state where the party, remained a force to be reckoned with. Former Governor Attahiru Bafarawa who founded the party had deserted it to return to the All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, and across the north, many others had moved to other more politically viable platforms.
However, in Delta State, the Great Ogboru magic wand became the party’s saving grace. Added to the Ogboru mystique was the entry of the late Senator Pius Ewherido.
Ewherido with his political network helped to transform the party he met into a political force that fought the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP to a standstill in most parts of Delta. In Ewherido’s base in Delta Central, he overcame political and human institutions in Urhobo land to win the Delta Central Senatorial contest in 2011, and by that, became the only DPP senator in the country.
However, by the time he died, Ewherido was already planning to do to the PDP in the two other senatorial districts, Delta North and Delta South, what he did to the ruling party in Delta Central. But death took away the powerful senator away last June and by that changed all political permutations in the state.
By the time he died, Ewherido and those he came along with into the DPP were already plotting fresh strategies as concerning a fresh platform to actualize the 2015 project.
Ewherido’s plans for a fresh platform were partly brought about by the reconfiguration of political alliances in other parts of the country, following the merger plans of the country’s major political parties into the All Progressives Congress, APC.
Ogboru who had been the bastion and banner for the political opposition in Delta State, it emerged, was not favourably disposed towards the APC option.
Some alleged that Ogboru preferred to be a small fish in a small river rather than allow himself to be swallowed up in the APC.
The late Ewherido was, however, determined to move forward and hence a cleavage emerged in the DPP just before he died.
Besides the division, it was alleged that Ogboru was also not comfortable with suggestions that Ewherido was himself planning to run for the governorship in 2015, a thought that some alleged, troubled Ogboru who some believed was already planning another run.
Remarkably, many of those in the party believed that Ewherido was in a better position to win the governorship for the opposition. Even chieftains of the APC were in serious talks with Ewherido and it had come to be assumed that he was the APC governorship candidate in waiting. His chances were unarguably bright, given not just his political linkages, but also the family linkages.
Born of an Urhobo father and an Isoko mother, the late senator’s wife is from the prestigious Bozimo family in the Ijaw area of the state.
However, all such permutations disintegrated with the death of the senator last June.
If the loss of Ewherido is not enough, Ogboru and the DPP have also lost support from hitherto political associates of the opposition politician.
Others that have left DPP and Ogboru include his uncle, Chief Julius Ogboru whose defection to the PDP was greatly helpful in the PDP’s victory in the recent Delta Central Senatorial re-run.
Chief Fidelis Tilije who had campaigned with Ogboru as his running mate in three previous elections has also left him. Tilije went to the APC instead of the PDP.
The member representing Ughelli North/Ughelli South/Udu Federal constituency in the House of Representatives, Chief Austin Ogbaburhon who went to the House on the banner of the DPP, had on the 10th of October 2013 led his supports in the party to the PDP in a well organized reception that was attended by the State Governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan and other top politicians in the State.
Presently, out of the nine members of the State House of Assembly that were elected on the platform of the DPP in the 2011 general elections, only Mr Abel Oshevire representing the Ethiope East constituency seems to be the only one remaining in the party, the others have either moved to the PDP or the new APC.
Only recently, Chief Philip Adheke a two-term chairman of Isoko North Local Government Area left the DPP for the PDP with about 5,000 of his supporters.
It was as such not surprising that the Secretary to the Delta State Government, SSG, Comrade Ovuozorie Macaulay, who is himself from Isokoland was on hand to receive Adheke and his followers back to the PDP. The PDP it seems is determined to mobilize every support it can get and to bleed Ogboru everywhere and anywhere it can.