As the politics of defection thickens in the battered Nigeria Governors’ Forum, the Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, has declared a ‘do or die’ loyalty to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party.
The governor, who categorically debunked his planned rumoured defection to the All Progressives Congress, did not only decry the speculation, but declared his keen interest in anything that has to do with President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.
Governor Uduaghan, who was said to be nurturing to represent Delta South Senatorial District in 2015 on the platform of the APC, should the PDP refuse him its ticket, described the published rumour as “not only misleading but figment of the imagination of those who concocted it.”
Demystifying the speculation further during his New Year Briefing at the new Government House, Asaba, Governor Uduaghan, who described himself as a foundation member of the PDP, wondered why he should develop headache ahead of what becomes of the 2015 general election.
He said: “Aside being a foundation member, I am a life member of the PDP and I have a lot to offer if I am in the Senate.
“The rumour that I am planning to defect to an opposition party because of my senatorial ambition if my party does not give me its ticket is mischievous.
“As a matter of fact, the next political arrangement of the party in my district favours the Itsekiris, where I hail from, so it favours me.
“So, do I need to break my head for the race?
“I have a lot to offer if I get to the Senate.
“But 2015 is still far away and I have a lot to still do as a governor.
“So, why should I start cracking my head over crossing to another party in the name of senatorial ambition?
“What has happened today that I will leave PDP?
“I will swim and sink with PDP.
“Of course, some of my colleagues have left the party because of rumour mongering.
“That is not enough for me to defect.
“Delta State is PDP.
“All the National Assembly members from the state are in PDP.
“The few ones in opposition party are merely waiting for the party chairman to give them their date of the day they will declare for the party (PDP).
“So, I have not seen what will make me to leave my party.
“For 14 years of unbroken democracy, the party has stood its ground.
“Even while others were busy changing names, merging and scattering, camping and decamping, PDP remained indivisible.
“Yes, there have been pressures on me to run for my district’s senatorial seat, but when the right time comes, you will know.
“Despite that politics is getting stronger in the country, PDP is still the party to beat in Nigeria.
“Nobody is mourning in PDP for lost members.
“We are only putting things together to bring them back.
“I have assured the leader of the party in Nigeria, His Excellency, President Goodluck Jonathan, and the National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, that I am not leaving PDP.
“In the last three years, our dear President has faced a lot of challenges.
“For us in Delta State, we will give him all necessary support to deliver on the mandate that produced him.
“In the history of Nigeria, no President has faced the kind of security challenge he is facing and he is still carrying on.
“We have gone beyond Delta State to canvass for support for him – to say enough of these distractions, to say they should give him the chance to work.”
While vowing said nothing would change his unwavering loyalty to the party that produced him, Uduaghan said President Jonathan should be rest assured that the entire Delta State is fully behind him and would accord him all necessary support when the “right” time comes.
He said the Ugborodo crisis, which almost rubbished the $16 billion Gas City Project, was another calculated attempt by fifth columnists to stall its proposed take-off and discredit President Jonathan from achieving more of people-oriented projects.
The governor noted that the trumped up reports on the crisis were the handiwork of persons that were bent on stalling the take off of the project, disassociating security agencies from the shootout at Ugborodo, the site of the project.
Uduaghan informed those present at the briefing that he has met with the National Security Adviser, the Chief of Naval Staff and the Inspector General of Police, adding: “Everything is being done to ensure there is adequate security in the area for the project to go on.
“My interest is to ensure that there is peace in the community and that the project succeeds because this project is beneficial not only to Ugborodo Community, Itesikiriland, Delta State but Nigeria as a whole.”