The Lagos-based multi-millionaire, Chief Peter Okocha, has said he will take over from the incumbent Governor of Delta state, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan in 2015.
He was unperturbed that over 15 aspirants from Delta North Senatorial District where he hails from have declared for the race.
Okocha, whose unlawful exclusion petitions threatened the election that produced Governor Uduaghan for over two years, when the case lingered from tribunal to Court of Appeal in Benin, Edo state, said he is not in the race again to play second fiddle.
The challenge Okocha’s petition posed between 2007 and 2009, coupled with the political war waged by Chief Great Ogboru of the defunct Democratic Peoples Party (DPP), made PDP supporters home and abroad to panic when eventually Ogboru’s petition ousted the Governor out of office temporarily.
The business mogul dumped the ruling party in the wake of the alleged ‘abracadabra’ that trailed the party’s primary election in 2007 and joined forces with the defunct Action Congress (AC) to pose the needed challenge.
His return to his original party prior to the conduct of 2011 general election has since been applauded by his teeming supporters across the state who believes he holds the blueprint for the development of the state.
According to him, since former Governor James Ibori savoured Delta Central’s eight years before handing over to Governor Uduaghan, “his cousin” who is about to complete Delta South’s eight years, he has been destined to do the bit of Delta North for another eight years, on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Speaking at his country home in Ibusa, Oshimili North Local Government of the state, Okocha who was unperturbed that his next of kin, Prof. Pat Utomi, has declared for the race under the All Progressives Congress (APC), said power-shift or no power-shift, he is the next Governor of the state.
He said, “Now I am in PDP, I will win my primary election there, win the election proper and govern the state for the next eight years. If anyone encroaches on my liberty, I will not fight and take the law into my hand, I will go to court again. In 2007, I didn’t take Uduaghan as a person to court. He is my brother. I took my matter to court because I was unlawfully excluded from the race, not because Uduaghan won.”
On his romance with the former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Okocha said, “I was never Atiku’s political boy as being speculated. I was already a multi-millionaire before I met Atiku. I have no godfather in politics. If at all I have one, it will be Chief E.K.Clark and General Ogemudia (rtd.) They both gave me scholarship by paying my school fees when I returned to the state as a poor man. Atiku is a just a friend. That I am in PDP and he is APC doesn’t mean we are enemies. It is just a matter of political ideology.
“Those that left GLO to MTN and vice-versa did not do so because they hate GLO or MTN, no. it is a matter of convenience. I met Atiku as a businessman when I wanted to clear my vessels at the port, then he was a custom officer. So, how would a government official then be my political godfather?