Why we voted for Uduaghan – Ukwuani widows
Widows from Ukwuani local government area of Delta State have explained why they voted massively for Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan and all other PDP candidates in the 2011 general elections.
Speaking at Umuaja during the PDP local government reconciliation meeting, Mrs. Magaret Onyolu , a community leader, who spoke on behalf of the widows, said the victory of the party in Ukwuani was because a few weeks to the election, “an illustrious son of this local government, Mr. Leonard Esegbue, was appointed as a commissioner”.Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, Delta State Governor:
According to her, this was the first time in history that an indigene of the community would be appointed in spite of it having the highest population in the local government area. “Before now, all major appointive or elective positions have always been occupied by Obiaruku and Umutu people, a situation that has surprisingly re-enacted itself again immediately after PDP won the election . We thought that his appointment was designed to address this age long injustice, not knowing that it was for the purpose of just achieving victory for the party”, Onyolu said.
According to her, Esegbue is the only politician in Ukwuani LGA who has severally implemented a welfare program for the widows when he served as Secretary to Local Government. “He expanded his welfare program to include the orphans when he became the vice chairman of the local government council. Immediately he was made a commissioner, he opened a welfare centre where he was addressing the problems of all manners of people from this local government.
He always came to our aid whenever we were oppressed and had cause to bite our fingers in remembrance of our late husbands”, she said. Onyolu went on: “For us as a people, voting for his party PDP was a medium of showing him appreciation for what he has done for us in the past. We all witnessed the seven Uduaghan souvenirs he distributed in the state towards the party victory during the election.
If not for his sake, DPP would have swept this local government area because both their governorship and deputy governorship candidates have parental roots from this LGA. We will not stand seeing our messiah, a serving commissioner kneeling down in an open field and begging people to vote for Uduaghan.
We had no option than to join him in convincing the people to vote for Uduaghan. Most of us fasted and prayed for PDP victory because of Esegbue.
“This is the only ward PDP won election in this local government area and we also gave the party the highest number of votes. This made it possible for the party to achieve more than the constitutionally required 25 or 30 percent of total votes cast.
We can also tell you that a lot of people changed their perception of PDP and voted for the party in other wards because within few days after his appointment he created a government complaint centre which was commissioned by the then Chief of Staff, Government House, Chief Solomon Areyinka, where he was addressing the various problems of our people. So, to most of us, his presence in the government enclave was innovative and the beginning of a new dawn .All the PDP candidates we voted for won their election s except the House of Assembly candidate who though won in this ward lost in the remaining nine wards that make up the local government including his ward. Though, today he is the Transition Committee Chairman.
“For proper reconciliation to take place, they should first of all address the injustice that has been meted to the man who made us vote for them. None of the past or even present political office holders from this local government area can boast that PDP won any election in their wards expect Esegbua, who was just a few hours in office hours in office as a commissioner before election .
The big question now is, if PDP has lost elections in all the wards in the state, like they lost in the ward of the present office holders, would they have been able to form a government to be appointing their friends and forgetting those that made it possible for the party’s victory?” Speaking in the same vein, another widow, Mrs. Angela Osai, said, “Our hopes have been dashed because we had a covenant with Esegbua. He told us to vote for President Jonathan, Governor Uduaghan and all PDP candidates, so that he will take care of us. We did just that, but today where is the benefit? We are not happy with what is happening. We know we have no power, but God is watching”.