An unprecedented crisis is currently rocking the opposition political parties under the aegis of the Association of Registered Political Parties in Delta State. This news comes following a series of reports of car bribes and cash Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan promised to offer them. This action is viewed as the  soonest way to betray the various opposition parties in time for the October 25th local government ballots,  and with special attention, the 2015 general elections.

Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan had told Journalists during a press conference that the 2014 Children’s Day and Democracy celebrations would be low key. The governor had on May 29th invited over twenty opposition political parties, excluding the All Progressives Congress, Democratic Peoples Party, and a few other parties, to an elaborate dinner, and had promised to buy over twenty cars he would offer to them, as well as making available “some cash,” running well into several millions of naira. 

Shortly after Uduaghan’s bribery promises, a thunderous ovation was heard from members of the various parties in attendance. The chairman of the association, who also doubled as the state chairman of the Accord Party, Mr. David Ashikodi, claimed that the governor had, since 2007 when he was sworn-in, “put opposition parties in the state to shame,” with his developmental strides. 

“Your Excellency, I want you to know, that from the stipends you are giving to opposition parties, we use some of it to run our national secretariats. You have intimidated, and embarrassed us with your achievements such that, opposition parties in the state have nothing to say again,” one leader of an opposition group was quoted as saying at the aforementioned gathering.  

According to Mr. Ashikodi, members of the association had resolved not to field any candidate against the wishes of the governor, at any level, especially in his senatorial ambition.

But SaharaReporters has learned that the leaders of the opposition parties have devised a ‘sharing formula,’ that will kick into place, when the cars and cash bribes, eventually arrive.

While some party members divvy up the spoils, some chairmen of opposition parties in the state have accused Mr. Ashikodi of ‘selling them out,’ to Governor Uduaghan, and his Peoples Democratic Party. Meanwhile, the state chairman of the Labour Party, and four other parties have dissociated themselves from the speech said to have been presented by the association chairman.

The Labour Party Chairman, Comrade Emeka Nkwoala, condemned, in its entirety, the speech made by the association. 

“For me, I don’t sponsor my national secretariat. My National Chairman, Barrister Dan Nwuanyanwu, is a national figure of great repute. All the chapters of my party are well catered for by the national body. The endorsement of Uduaghan, as the sole candidate for the senatorial seat in Delta South, was a unilateral decision of his Accord Party, so I will advise the governor to stop basking in the euphoria of such political statements. Even the Governor knows that it is not possible. Mind you, we are political parties aiming to capture power. We will definitely field a candidate in Delta South,” Emeka Nkwoala went on, adding that the PDP should be prepared to lose in the forthcoming October 25 local government election in the state.

Also reacting, the state chairman of Democratic People’s Party, Chief Tony Ezeagwu, while condemning the way and manner Governor Uduaghan used the state funds as father Charismas, had noted “(the) DPP has been vindicated. It is a question of who is fooling whom. You will recall that Governor Uduaghan sometime this year, (had) told the PDP National Chairman Alhaji Ahmed Mu’azu, that Delta State is a ‘one party state.’ Where did the governor find those (party members) he is about to give cars and cash gifts to?”

On his part, the Executive Director of Centre for the Vulnerable and the Underprivileged, Mr. Oghenejabor Ikimi, a human rights lawyer, warned Governor Uduaghan against public funds. According to the human rights activist, “It is wrong to spend public funds this way. Giving car gifts, and cash, running into millions of naira to politicians and friends, while many Deltans live in penury and abject poverty, is unacceptable to me. I cannot comprehend this. As I speak, many pensioners in the state are yet to receive their gratuities, since their retirement two or more years ago.” 

It was reported earlier that Governor Uduaghan, who is good at fleeting the state treasury to the detriment of Deltans, without any form of remorse, had in 2013, gave out bribes of N50, 000 each, to the same chairmen of the local opposition political parties. Among that list were: Oke Idawene, SDP, Joe Chukwu, ADC, Efe Tobor, MPPP, Moses Abeh, APA, Chidi Odogwu, NNPP, Ngozi Ogbogo, AD, Paul Isamade, ACPN, Victor Egwuenu, PPN, Jude Eze, KOWA, Nelly Nwaka, AA, David Ebrunu, ACD, Ashikodi David, Accord Party, Peters Emuakpoje, CPP, Oluremi Mohammed, PDC, Anyanwu Ikechukwu, NCP, John Freeman Ghiadike, NPP, Tony Eboka, APGA, and Val Chichi, UDP. This ‘gift’ of bribes was issued to the above named, geared for them to endorse the 2013 by-election of the Delta Central Senatorial District. This was done openly and announced in a press conference where the above named would work in favour of the PDP candidate, against the APC candidate.

That press conference which was conducted by Governor Uduaghan’s Special Adviser on Inter Parties Relations, Mr. Taju Isiche, and the Special Adviser on Education Monitoring, Mrs. Rhoda Ikede, later generated a political crisis, when the chairmen learned that the money which was run through the office of the Special Adviser on Inter Party Relations, amounted to N5Million, and the SA gave them ‘peanuts,’ of just N50, 000 each.

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