OLOROGUN John Oguma, JP, is a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in Delta State. In this interview with select journalists, he spoke on the 2015 elections and other issues of national interests.Excerpts:
What is your reaction to the outcome of the 2015 general election?
We in PDP abandoned ‘we’ and we were discussing ‘I’ and that is what has brought us now to this level. It is a bitter lesson that we must have to learn from and we are going to start again from the scratch.
Because we were busy fighting ourselves, APC was busy rigging the election two years back. This election was actually rigged two years back because we were busy fighting ourselves; this governor is not good, that governor is bad; so it is a bitter lesson to our leaders.
Secondly, far as I am concerned, the card reader was a bigger issue than the voting point. In the electoral act, the card reader is not there, but he forced Nigerians to accept it because he knew what he planned.
You said APC actually concluded this election about two years ago. Can you substantiate this?
The taste of the pudding is in its eating. You cannot tell me that if this arrangement were not in place about two years back, why did Jega refuse to use card reader even for one state? If it were not a script he followed; he should have tested the card reader in the Ekiti or Osun governorship elections before going out to use it in 36 states and the FCT.
Do you see the APC really effecting the change they have been proposing given that most of their key men are from PDP?
Like I keep telling people, change is not a manifesto. APC has no manifesto; they only just wiped up sentiments, because PDP had been in government for 16 years and then we played into their hands. You know the rich man has more enemies in society than the poor man; that is why they succeeded in whipping up sentiments. They don’t have a manifesto; they only just said they want change.
Nigeria as a country only has one major source of income which is oil. Today, the Americans are fighting on how the oil price can come down. It is affecting all the oil exporting countries but APC is saying it was because Jonathan did not govern well that the oil price came down and you know that 80% of Nigerians are unlettered; even those of them who claim to be graduates don’t read newspapers.
With so many members of the PDP now defecting to APC, do you see PDP becoming a strong opposition to APC?
As far as I am concerned, those who are defecting are men of little faith. For 16 years, the South-West has been in opposition apart from the last tenure of Obasanjo that PDP was able to win Osun, Oyo and Ogun. Apart from those four years, the remaining 12 years, they were in opposition. So it embarrasses me when I see some PDP members, some of them who have been governors under the party decamping to APC just because APC won election yesterday.
They are men of little faith and that is why I like what the National Chairman of APC, Oyegun told them that as they are coming, they will join the queue. What some of them are doing by decamping to APC, is a suicide mission.
How do you react to the emergence of Dr. Okowa as governor of Delta State against the script of the Urhobo Progressive Union?
We the Urhobos are getting the whole thing wrong. There is no miracle in Okowa’s victory; it is a result of hard work. Granted, we the Urhobos are more, but collectively the Delta South and Delta North put together are more than the Urhobos with their voting strength. We the Urhobos don’t believe in going out for registration. It is not enough to say we have population; what is our voting strength? The man who is asking for equity must come with a clean hand.
We got it all wrong when we said the Urhobos will never allow an Itsekiri man to become governor. They went on air that we should vote for Urhobo candidate. On December 10, 2006, we went for primary in Ogwashi-Uku and Delta South with three ethnic groups were able to come together and produced one candidate, Dr, Emmanuel Uduaghan and Delta North with diverse interest did about the same thing but Urhobo with eight local government areas came with eleven aspirants so we lost woefully.