CHIEF O’tega Emerhor is an All Progressives Congress (APC) aspirant for the vacant Delta Central Senatorial seat occasioned by the death of Senator Pius Ewherido. An insurance expert, he is chairman of Standard Alliance Group, Lagos, Emerhor spoke on the political situation in Delta Central, the state and the country in general. He also opened up on his prospects and plans to win the bye-election. Excerpts:
There are comments that you have not made up your mind yet to join any political party. Is that correct?
I am not only a full-fledged member of APC, but also, I am among aspirants gunning to be the party’s candidate in the forth coming Delta Central Senatorial bye-election in the state. I have already declared my interest to run for the election and I know I shall eventually emerge as the party’s candidate for the bye-election, and I also know that with the kind of structures I already have on ground I will win the bye-election.
Delta State Chairman of the Democratic Peoples Party, DPP, Chief Tony Ezeagwu, was quoted to have said that you are a friend of the party….
I agree. I am a friend of the DPP. You know, initially, all of us who are progressives were in DPP. But when APC was registered, so many of us who fought for the registration APC pulled out into APC when the p[arty was eventually registered by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
Maintaining of contacts
But I still maintain my contacts with DPP because some progressives are still there. In fact, I am working hard to ensure that APC and DPP form alliance or merger as soon as possible so that all the progressives can be under one political umbrella. Our over all interest is to wrest power from PDP and that means we must come together as a united front for the struggle.
What is your relationship with Chief Great Ogboru?
He is my very good friend. We are political brothers and we do agree on many things. I know that we shall soon agree in the area of alliance or merger of APC and DPP in Delta State.
Do you think that APC or DPP, as the case may be, can wrest power from PDP?
Oh yes. Alliance or no alliance, merger or no merger of APC and DPP, I can assure you that APC will continue to beat PDP, as usual, in this Senatorial District, and eventually in this state. It is only at the national or presidential level that we shall all vote for President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. It is a journey and we shall complete the race.
What is your relationship with Urhobo Progress Union, UPU?
Extremely cordial! As you may have heard, I am actually doing my best for my Urhobo people, and I will continue to do my very best. This is my home and I should be foremost in the work of developing it.
You made a substantial donation some years ago towards the building of the Urhobo Cultural Centre at Uvwiamuge, are you satisfied with the level of work done at the moment?
Well to be frank, I am not very satisfied with the level of work done so far. I think the previous executive did not do well. I do hope that the present executive, ably headed by the revered Gen. Patrick Aziza (rtd), will do much better, and some of us will always be there to assist them achieve the onerous task of completing the centre to the glory of God.
How would you respond to claims that the “Political Family” of the late Senator Ewerido requested you to fill the vacuum left on his demise?
When we talk of Pius Ewherido’s political family, we mean the people who stood by him while he was developing this senatorial district. They are party members, friends and immediate family. They are the progressives in the state. They have jointly called on me to start from where Ewherido stopped. I accept the offer and I am currently working towards the realisation of that objective, and with God on our side, we shall achieve it.
Why are you contesting the bye-election for Delta Central Senatorial District and in what areas are you going to make impact, if elected?
First of all, I want a stop to the marginalization of the Urhobo in government. If you take a look at the composition of the federal cabinet, you will not find an Urhobo man. That should stop. But I can assure you that the present marginalization of the Urhobo is not orchestrated by the President.
In fact he seems not to have been properly briefed on the true position of things until recently when a delegation of Urhobo elites, led by the President-General, General Patrick Aziza, paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja and used the opportunity to brief him on the situation report before the President got the full knowledge of the situation. He has promised to rectify it and we know that he is a man of his words. He will do just what he said.
What is your assessment of Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan’s administration?
No much comment for now. I salute him. I think he is doing his best.
What is your assessment of PDP as a party in the country and in the state in particular?
I do not want to meddle into the affairs of PDP. I am not a member of PDP and I cannot speak on its performance. But what I do know and convinced on is that APC will always displace PDP in Delta Central Senatorial District. It will also do that in 2015 and subsequently at the state level. However, I and my people will vote for President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan at the national level, in 2015, and he shall win again. We support his government.