Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the 2019 general elections will kick off with the Presidential and National Assembly elections on Saturday, February 16, 2019. As it stands in Delta South Senatorial District, the All Progressives Congress (APC), candidate representing the district, Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan is the most favoured to win the seat at the expense of his opponents.
A lot of factors are currently working in his favour, chief among them being the popularity he earned while in the saddle as the governor of Delta State. Emmanuel Uduaghan who is the immediate-past executive governor of the state has so far garnered over 50 endorsements from eminent political groups in and around the senatorial district. This is unprecedented in Delta South and probably one of the biggest electoral boosts for the politician, stemming from his sterling qualities and achievements while in office as the governor. Investigations show that ifone counts every infrastructure dotted all over the state, a greater percentage of them would definitely bear his fingerprint of approval.
The people of Delta South Senatorial District are also disenchanted with Uduaghan’s closest rival who incidentally is the incumbent senator representing the zone. By May 2019 Senator James Manager would have spent 16 years in the red chamber. Those spoken to said they were tired of his representation, and that they have not absolutely felt much impact of the senator, who would have served out four terms as a senator but is nevertheless vying for the position once again on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Uduaghan’s vision and plans for Delta South which indirectly touch the Niger Delta region seem to have endeared him the more to the electorate. Aside from him, no other aspirant has been able to tell the people their plans, just as he continues to run issue-based campaign, laying out achievable programmes for the people of Delta South. In his words, he is on the race to offer his people quality and effective representation that will put smile on their faces if given the mandate in 2019.
While adopting Dr Uduaghan as its preferred choice for the Senate seat, one of the groups, the National Association of Itsekiri Graduates (NAIG) had asserted: “Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan with his wealth of experience as the immediate-past governor of Delta State will bring his experience to bear on his job as the senator representing Delta South Senatorial District.
“He is the most respected of all the candidates, he is a planner and strategist, he is development-oriented and that is what Delta South Senatorial District wants; besides that he cares for the downtrodden.”
Ijaw Liberation Movement (ILM) had supported the claim. According to the group, “We followed Dr. Uduaghan’s painstaking effort to develop our area, nay the whole state, while he was governor of Delta State. We are also aware that he stepped down for our son to continue a few years ago, so he is the most suitable person for the job now.”
Dr. Uduaghan is Itsekiri, and for the 2019 elections, that is a plus. Since 1999, no Itsekiri has occupied that position. In the interest of equity and fair play, his ethnic stock places him better in the hearts of the people of the three major ethnic groups making up Delta South which include Ijaw, Itsekiri and Isoko. The last time an Itsekiri man occupied the senate seat was in 1979; that is about 40 years ago. From 1979 till the current dispensation, five senators have represented Delta South Senatorial District. Out of these five, two were from Isoko (Senator Stella Omu and Senator Francis Okpozo of blessed memory) and another two were from the Ijaw tribe (Chief E.K Clark and Senator James Manager, the incumbent). The first and only senator who was from the Itsekiri stock was Chief Franklin O. M Atake in 1979.
More welcoming is the fact that the political groups which pledge support for his electoral bid are spread across the three ethnic groups. Prominent among them are Ijaw Liberation Movement (ILM), Isoko Political Revolutionary Force, (IPRF) and Itsekiri Youths Vanguard.
What’s more the magnanimity displayed by Uduaghan when he withdrew from the race for Senator James Manager to continue in 2015 in order to ensure that peace reigned in the state was applauded by all and sundry who now believe the time has come for him to give a shot at the position with their full backing.
So as Nigerians look forward to the elections coming up in the next few weeks, the Delta South Senatorial District electorates are ready to roll out their drums to welcome the most perfect and fruitful senate representation in Dr. Uduaghan.