The immediate past Governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, has accused the Peoples Democratic Party of never protecting its own after using and dumping them.
Speaking late on Friday on Channels Television monitored in Warri, Delta State, the Itsekiri-born medical doctor also vowed to oust incumbent Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and other PDP office holders from the state come 2019 general elections.
Uduaghan, who only last week defected from the PDP to the ruling All Progressives Congress, while responding to whether mass defection would follow his “John the Baptist” allegory, said there will be more defections from the PDP because the current conditions in APC favours them.
He saidL “Let me tell you something: the PDP has never protected its own.
“PDP can use you and whatever happens to you after, nobody cares.
“People will move from PDP to APC because the conditions in APC now favour the development of the Niger Delta.
“And so, we’re going to mobilise people from PDP in the South South to APC.
“If you looked at that statement, I said that agreements have been reached between the APC, that is, the Buhari government and the people of the Niger Delta, and we need to have people inside the APC to be able to push some of these agreements that have been reached.
“Not to start a fresh agreement.”
According to the Delta South Senatorial District hopeful, nothing positive is in the offing for the PDP at the national level, saying: “Oh yes… (giggles).
“We all know.
“The PDP at the national are busy dealing with the issues of the National Assembly.
“Is there something really good of the PDP at the national?”
Uduaghan, however, acknowledged that the APC has been a weakling in the state, saying he has assumed the role of coordinating the party from the grassroots to be reckoned with ahead of the 2019 elections.
He said: “Now, the APC in Delta has been very weak.
“We don’t have a House of Assembly member, only one National Assembly member.
“It has not won any election even at the council level, let alone state or national level.
“….It has been built around an individual.
“In those days, you could come to the state with money and people begin to flock around him.
“Delta State has gone beyond that.
“We have to come together collectively and build the party.
“What I’m doing now, I’ve been going around talking to the leaders that we need to build our party from the ward level not from the top.
“A party should be built from the grassroots not from the top.
“That’s my first responsibility that I have.”
Uduaghan denied the insinuation that he defected from the PDP to the APC to evade the rod of anti-graft agencies, saying he was one of the most investigated past governors in the country and therefore had nothing to fear.
He said: “I’m the most investigated former governor.
“I’ve gone to EFCC in Lagos, Port Harcourt, in Enugu, in Benin and Abuja.
“So, what other investigations are they talking about?
“The EFCC has come to Delta State this last three years, took the SSG office for three days.
“It has never happened in any state.
“It called all the permanent secretaries, arrested some people and bought them to Asaba.
“I’m one of the most investigated past governors in the last three or over three years.
“If you go to the EFCC, they’ll tell you that the highest number of petitions is from Delta State.
“There’s virtually nothing I’ve done that has not been investigated by the EFCC.
“What other investigation is going to happen, again?
“EFCC has virtually turned Delta State up, down, left, right and centre.
“So, my defection has nothing to do with EFCC.”
Uduaghan declined to rate the performance of his predecessor, especially as it relates to the free medical care for pregnant women and children under five years, which he described as one of his legacies, but wasn’t aware if the programme was still ongoing in the state.
Speaking on how he feels pitching his political tent with Chief Great Ogboru, whom he fought to a standstill twice in the 2007 and 2011 governorship elections, Uduaghan swiftly quipped: “No, no, no.
“This is politics.
“There’s no permanent enemy, no permanent friend in politics.
“If you decide to make permanent enemy in politics, you can never move forward.
“If you decide to make permanent friend in politics, you can never move forward.
“Politics is about interest.
“And my interest at the moment is what APC has done through the Niger Delta, which is, for me, quite encouraging.”
Uduaghan said his defection to the APC would not affect his relationship with his cousin and former Governor, James Ibori, adding that there was a difference between Ibori political family and the PDP family in the state, and that he belonged to the former.
Meanwhile, Governor Okowa, through his Chief Press Secretary, Charles Aniagwu, has stated that Uduaghan’s defection from the PDP “will not shake the leaves of the PDP tree let alone its roots,” noting that APC has no chance of winning any election in the state.
. Nigerian Tribune.