HURIWA defends ex-gov’s defection to APC
All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain in Delta State, Prince Yemi Emiko, has said that the recent understanding between the Isoko and Itsekiri to cede the Delta South senatorial seat to the latter is not because of former Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan.
Emiko, who battled for the seat in 2015, however, told The Guardian that the former governor stands in a good stead to clinch the seat.
This came on the heels of Uduaghan’s defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the party that gave him the governorship ticket in 2007, to the APC.
Senator James Manager, who represents Delta South in the red chamber, is gunning for his fifth tenure.
Emiko said: “If you ask me of Uduaghan’s chances, I will say very bright. But our visit to Isoko today is not about Uduaghan or APC. I’m a party man; I will vote APC any day.
“What is really annoying is when people describe the zone as Senator James Manager’s stronghold. Manager is just an individual. We are just returning from Isoko where the leadership of Itsekiri and Isoko across all political divides met and took a very progressive decision on the 2019 senatorial election.”
Meanwhile, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has defended the erstwhile chief executive of oil-rich Delta on his political choices.
Speaking with the media in Abuja, the national coordinator of the group, Emmanuel Onwubiko, cautioned against straitjacketed and politically-motivated diatribe directed at Uduaghan by those who oppose his move to the APC.
His words: “From the benefit of overwhelming hindsight, our members in Delta State have called to inform us that the leadership of the ex-governor’s former party might have inadvertently pushed Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan out of his former political party because of the alleged plot by the governor to reward all serving National Assembly members with automatic return tickets, irrespective of how abysmal their performances over the past three years have been.
“As a human rights group working to ensure that the frontiers of the exercise of the fundamental political freedoms, including freedom of association, are expanded, promoted, nurtured and protected, we are of the considered opinion that the decision of the former Delta governor to move to another political platform to seek the mandate of his people to offer them qualitative and people-oriented representation in the Senate is well within the purview of his constitutional right.”
“We therefore think that those criticising him may need to give him a hearing chance and to accept his very profound reasons in good conscience. Unlike serving senators or office holders, Dr. Uduaghan, to the best of our knowledge, is only a private citizen who has the zeal to run for an elective position on the platform of his new political family. So what is wrong with a private individual who is shut out in his party due to lack of internal democracy, moving to another party?”