The immediate past governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, is set to quit the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) this week. The move comes after a major wave of defections from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) last month, which saw Senate President Bukola Saraki and many federal legislators quitting the ruling party for the main opposition PDP.
Uduaghan, who is expected to issue a statement to announce his exit from PDP during the week, sources said, would join APC to secure election into the Senate.
According to inside sources, Uduaghan’s resolve to leave the PDP followed unresolved differences over his political ambition, which involved a concession the party leadership in the state was unwilling to make. However, sources close to the former governor, attributed his decision to leave the party to disagreement between him and the incumbent governor, Ifeanyi Okowa.
Okowa is currently doing everything within the PDP zoning arrangement to resolve the issue as different ethnic groups such as Ijaws, Itsekiris and Isokos are laying claim to the Delta South Senatorial ticket. Inside sources hinted that Uduaghan intended to realise his desire to go to the Senate on the strength of an automatic ticket, a choice that would naturally deny incumbent Senator James Manager the opportunity of doing another term.
However, while Manager was said to be willing to take his chances at a primary between him and Uduaghan, the latter was said to have insisted on being handed the ticket on self-recognition, a request the leadership of the party thought was difficult to make, given the prevailing political atmosphere.
Prominent persons in the state, including the sitting and former governors, had intervened with a view to arriving at a compromise, but Uduaghan was said to be unwilling to shift his ground.
Sources also hinted that because of ethnic rivalry between the Ijaws and the Itsekiris, Uduaghan’s demand became seemingly impossible within the many considerations, except in a situation, where both men (Uduaghan and Manager) would be seen to have keenly contested the position, with one losing and the other winning.
Although PDP leaders in the state and beyond were said to have wished Uduaghan well as he planned to quit, they also reckoned his exit was inauspicious for the party at this period, when the numbers really matter.
Uduaghan is expected to make an official annoucement on the development later this week.