Mixed reactions have continued to trail the purchase of sport utility vehicles (SUVs) by Delta State Governor, Mr. Emmanuel Uduaghan as gifts to settle some loyal politicians against his perceived opponent in the 2015 general elections.
According to a staunch supporter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, who pleaded for anonymity, the vehicles which included Corolla cars and pickup vans cost the state government several billions of naira and were purchased in the months leading to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primaries.
While lamenting the governor's motives behind the procurement of the vehicles, the PDP member described the procurement as a conduit pipe to loot the state treasury, especially when the governor knew that he had barely few months to leave office and still proceeded to procure billions of naira in vehicles.
“Immediately Uduaghan saw that so many of his perceived enemies were in the governorship race, he began the politics of bitterness and witch hunting but as God will have it, he was disappointed at the last minutes because he could not secure his own senatorial ticket, neither was he able to deliver his earlier anointed governorship candidate nor his last minute candidate. Uduaghan must come out to give account of those vehicles procured when he has few months to leave office.” the PDP member stated.
A former commissioner who was sacked by the governor before the primaries has also condemned the procurement of the vehicles and revealed to SaharaReporters that Uduaghan's earlier intentions were to use the vehicles to secure some of the loyalists he was hoping to appoint as commissioners and special advisers.
“Before my sack from his cabinet, Governor Uduaghan had procured those vehicles parked at the government house and his intentions were to give out the vehicles to some of his loyalists he had already pencilled down to appoint as commissioners and special advisers after a planned major cabinet shakeup, which never came to pass due to the political "tsunami" that dealt a heavy blow on him. Uduaghan had planned that he will bring in as new appointees those that will work for his senatorial ambition and his earlier anointed governorship candidate in the person of Mr. Tony Obuh against other governorship aspirants, but all his plans hit the rock [bottom] when he could not deliver himself after chickening out from the race and later abandoned his earlier anointed governorship candidate. As we speak he could not have the moral justification to share out all the cars as earlier planned." the unnnamed politician said.
“As I speak with you, I can authoritatively tell you that, Uduaghan has not yet woken up from the political tsunami that swept him off his feet, a defeat which made him irrelevant politically as far as politics of Delta state are concerned.”
Several government house sources who spoke to SaharaReporters have strongly condemned the procurement of the vehicles which they described as a waste of public funds to the detriment of Deltans at this critical time of dwindling economy.
It would be recalled that early this year, Governor Uduaghan had told journalists that he had the right to contest for the Delta South Senatorial seat and that he has grown in the politics of Nigeria and therefore was qualified to contest for any elective position in the country. Uduaghan who made this declaration said there was an unwritten zonal arrangement among the different ethnic nationalities in Delta South and that such rotational arrangement favour the Itsekiris where he hails from.
“I have the right to go to senate come 2015. I have a lot to offer but I should not be breaking my head over 2015 senatorial election.” Uduaghan reassured.
Barely few days after the Uduaghan’s declaration, news filtered into town that Uduaghan, who was earlier said to have endorsed his former Chief of Staff, Dr. Festus Okubo, dumped Okubo and anointed former permanent secretary, Mr. Tony Obuh as his successor.
During the 54th independence anniversary of Nigeria, held last year, Uduaghan is reported to have remarked to some PDP 2015 governorship aspirants that “I know those who will not taste the governor’s seat.”
“The money they are using to plan their evil against me and Delta state were made from the state. Because they want to be governor at all cost. They are planning evil, I have gone beyond been pulled down, you cannot pull me down, you cannot pull down Delta. I will jump past all their evil plans against me and against Delta state. Whoever that will become governor, I don’t know but I know those who will not become governor in the state."
“No evil planner will be allowed to become governor. Those of you ganging up against me, ganging up against Delta state, circulating all sort of documents and promoting rumour mongering, remember that no matter how much you hide the truth, one day it must come out.” Uduaghan added.
Reacting to what he called the collapse of Uduaghan’s dynasty in Delta politics and condemning the procurement of the billions of naira vehicles, another principal member of the State House of Assembly, who requested anonymity, informed SaharaReporters that Uduaghan was overly ambitious and overly confident of himself which hastened his downfall.
“Come to think of it, at the end of the day, Uduaghan who was chasing two rats at the same time, crashed landed and lost out in his senatorial ambition and failed to produce his successor and funny enough, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, one of his perceived enemies, clinched the PDP governorship ticket thereby leaving the master planner, Uduaghan to bury his head in shame. What a pity.” he stated.