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Delta 2023: What is APC doing differently to take over from the PDP?

Hon. Ebiakpo Ezebri

By Ochuku Onosakponome

As the race to Delta Government gathers momentum with different political gladiators throwing their hats into the ring, particularly from the ruling party in the State, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, which members are eager to see the exit of the incumbent governor from Government House come May 2023, with over 7 guber aspirants showing interest at Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s job as the last counts. Okowa’s outburst over the contentious issue of power rotation didn’t help matters as it ignited tensed political reaction across the state thereby setting the tone for power tussle two years ahead of his second tenure.

However, one striking thing that has kept Deltans wondering is the fact that the opposition parties in the state led by the All Progressive Congress, APC, has maintained sealed lip as the strategy they are going to adopted this time around to reverse the political underperformance that has been their lot since 2013 when the party contested for the Senatorial Bye-Election, where it came a distant third. The party has not faired any better since then, even in the 2019 election, with federal might and the collapse of other major opposition parties into APC in Delta, self-inflated internal crisis robbed them of the gains of their coming together.

Looking ahead to the 2023 elections in Delta State, what is the APC going to do differently to position itself as the alternative party to the PDP which 21 years of governance have been described by many Deltans as “motion without movement.” What is the APC game plan now that the two dramatist personnel whose inability to find a common ground cost them huge losses, has finally put behind them the dividing lines and embraced each other for the overall party’s interest.

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If the APC must do well in the coming 2023 elections, they must match PDP strategy for strategy. And one thing that has worked for the PDP since 1999 which is part of their winning formula is “balancing of power,” here PDP has managed to distribute power centers in the party in such a way that every part of the state have a sense of belonging, thereby creating a sense of ownership and stakeholdership of the party in the minds of Deltans, hence the party has become entrenched in the state.

APC should formulate a deliberate policy ahead of 2023 by ensuring that the three senatorial districts have an equitable power-sharing agreement within the party structures and elective positions. To achieve this, effort must be made to assuage and disabused the minds of many party faithful that APC belongs to the Urhobos, this narrative must be changed in terms of the party structure and appointment coming to the state.

Giving the fact that “power rotation” favors Delta Central in producing the next governor in the coming election in 2023, one would have thought that the leadership of APC in Delta State will ensure that they get a credible, loyal, grassroots APC chieftain from the Ijaw nation, which has been the greatest PDP allied since this political dispensation and make him the chairman of the party, this will assuaged their feeling of being relegated in the APC and also give the Ijaws the status of stakeholder, which they are currently not enjoying even though they form a major voting bloc in Delta.

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A serious party that is desirous of winning the election come 2023 will look towards Ijaws for its state chairman as the party governorship ticket goes to the Urhobos. When Chief James Ibori was in power, the position of the party chairmanship remained in Delta South, Ijaw; however, when power shifted to Delta South, Delta North produced the party Chairman and when Governor Okowa came on board, Delta Central produced the chairman, and this has worked for the PDP over the years and will continue to work for any party in Delta.

APC are on the verge of electing its National, State, Local Governments, and Wards Executive throughout the country, having a party chairman is a key to winning an election, and if Delta APC must break from its past that has caused the party electoral misfortune in Delta, a party man who has remained committed to the APC, a man who has not been polluted by the PDP, a man that has remained in the opposition since 1999, is the man for the job.

And if Delta APC leaders are looking for a man to send, Hon. Ebiakpo Ezebri, is ready and if the leadership of APC believes in loyalty to the party, no one stands better than him, a grassroots politician who was elected as a councilor on the platform of ALL PEOPLE’s PARTY (APP) 1999-2002.

Even when most of his contemporaries jumped ship and join the PDP because of stomach infrastructure, Hon. Ebiakpo Ezebri stood for the party and contested for House of assembly in 2003 under the ALL PEOPLES PARTY. APP

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In his quest to serve his people at the grassroots level, he ran for chairman of Burutu local government council 2004, under the same party, an election which set for his wining because of his acceptance by the people but was, however, rigged out as their state government used apparatuses to allocated results to PDP members.

Not daunted by this momentary setback, he again, ran for House of assembly and was the candidate of All Nigerians People’s Party, ANPP 2007, any political watchers in Delta knows what played out in that election, leading to a rerun of the governorship election. He repeated it also in ANPP candidate in 2011. Hon. Ebiakpo Ezebri, a battle-tested hand was also elected and served as the State Financial Secretary of APC Delta State chapter from 2014-2018. If elected chairman of the party in Delta State, he will be coming to office with a handy experience in electoral matters and strategies, having run for elections at different levels.

He is one young politician from the Ijaw nation, who has built networks across the three senatorial districts in Delta and also has strong followers in Bayelsa and Edo State. If APC wants to win Delta come 2023, Hon. Ebiakpo Ezebri is the winning formula.

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