By Maris Ikperikpe
It is crucial to clarify certain issues regarding what we expect from our Senators. Do we value their political, family, or business name, or do we prioritize their ability to improve the lives of the locals and put food on their tables? As we approach the upcoming election, it is worth pondering these questions.
When selecting a Senator, it’s important to seek someone who is reliable, available, and accessible to understand the issues facing their community. We should also consider their track record and determine whether they genuinely care about the people they represent or are willing to betray them for self-aggrandizement.
To aid in our decision-making process, let us examine the backgrounds and histories of three candidates vying for the Delta Central Senatorial District seat, whose attributes could assist us in selecting the best representative.
Chief Amori is one of the founding members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Delta State. He held significant influence during James Ibori’s administration, serving as commissioner for eight years and effectively acting as Governor. His residence was a popular destination for politicians seeking his endorsement for appointments, and he leveraged his position to establish a political dynasty through the Urhobo Political Forum. Amori also held various positions in both Uduagan and Okowa’s governments.
Despite spending 24 years in politics and amassing considerable wealth, there is no evidence that Amori established any visible industries for his community. Instead, he built a grandiose country home in Mosogar during Ibori’s tenure, which Ibori himself praised as fit for a king, commending Amori for using his political influence wisely.
In 2011, Amori contested for the Delta Central senatorial seat against Pius Ewherido of the DPP but lost. He challenged the results in court, but the court upheld Ewherido’s victory. However, Ewherido passed away suddenly in 2013, creating a vacancy in the Senate that needed to be filled. Amori declared his intentions to participate in the by-election, but his political family opposed his candidacy and instead nominated Emmanuel Aguariavwodo.
In 2015, Amori ran again for the Delta Central senatorial seat, this time against Omo Agege of the Labour Party. During the election, Amori’s supporters tore up result sheets that showed Omo Agege leading at the polls, prompting Labour Party to lodge a protest with INEC. The election was cancelled, and a rerun was announced.
Amori was initially declared the winner of the rerun election and resumed in the Senate, but Omo Agege challenged the results in court, and the court overturned Amori’s victory, ordering Omo Agege to be sworn in instead.
Amori’s defeat raised questions about his intentions in the Senate and the source of his wealth. Many people were puzzled by his decision to go on a boat cruise in the US with several women dressed in white, celebrating his birthday when the court announced its verdict. This earned him the nickname “Cruise Boat Senator” and further scrutiny into his political career.
Chief Ede Dafinone comes from a distinguished family, with his father, the late Chief David Dafinone, being a former Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and a renowned chartered accountant. The Dafinone family holds a record in the Guinness Book of Records for having the highest number of accountants in a nuclear family. However, beyond his impressive academic and career achievements, there is little known about Ede Dafinone’s connection to the communities he seeks to represent in Urhobo politics.
Despite his family’s political legacy, Ede Dafinone is not seen as an Urhobo man by many, and he has done little to dispel this perception. He is perceived as aloof and disconnected from the people he seeks to represent, preferring to interact only with those in positions of power.
In past political campaigns, his lack of presence at street-level engagements and party meetings has been a source of frustration for his supporters. During his campaign for the DPP Senatorial primaries in 2015, Ede had few billboards and posters in circulation, yet his name recognition was strong due to his father’s reputation. However, Pius Ewherido, who had better connections with the local people, ultimately won the ticket.
Ede’s subsequent loss in the bye-election after Ewherido’s death further reinforced concerns about his ability to connect with the people he seeks to represent. He contested the result but did not follow up on his promise to go to court to reclaim his victory.
In the current Senatorial race on the APC platform, Ede has again avoided street-level engagement and is instead relying on his party members to campaign on his behalf. However, this approach is unlikely to endear him to the local people, who are already skeptical of his commitment to their interests.
Ede’s decision to collect the baton from Obaisi Ovie Omo-Agege, who many Urhobos view as having failed to deliver on his promises, has further eroded confidence in his candidacy. There is little evidence of tangible accomplishments that Omo-Agege has achieved for the Urhobo people during his time in office, and many believe that Ede is merely seeking to ride on his coattails rather than charting his own course.
In sum, Ede Dafinone’s political record is marred by a perceived lack of connection to the local people, a reputation for aloofness, and a tendency to rely on others to advance his political ambitions.
PETERS OMOKUAYIGBE OMARUAYE
Meet Peters Omaruaye, the man whose name is synonymous with strength, resilience, and unwavering dedication to excellence. He is a true inspiration, a leader of men, and a role model to his siblings and everyone around him.
Peters’ story is a testament to the power of human spirit and the indomitable will to succeed against all odds. After losing his father on the day of his graduation from the university, Peters rose to the challenge of taking over the family business and caring for his siblings with grace and poise. He turned Omar’s Royal into a thriving industrial block producer that sets the standard for quality and durability.
But Peters’ accomplishments do not stop there. He has been a staunch supporter of Chief Great Ogboru’s vision for Delta State for over 20 years, tirelessly working to see his ideals and principles come to fruition. As the DG of Great Ovedje Ogboru’s campaign organization, Peters led the charge in delivering notable victories for his candidates, including the election of Senator Omo-Agege and Reverend Ejiroghene Waive to the Federal House of Representatives.
Peters’ commitment to his community is unwavering, as evidenced by his courageous stand against electoral fraud in 2015. In the face of adversity, Peters rallied the people to protest against the rigging of the election, resulting in the eventual cancellation of the fraudulent results.
As a senator, Peters promises to bring his trademark strength and dedication to the service of all the communities in his district, representing their interests with distinction and ensuring their voices are heard in the halls of power.
The choice at this senatorial election could not be clearer. Peters Omaruaye is a leader of exceptional character, a man who embodies the best of what Delta State can be. His track record of success, his unwavering commitment to his community, and his boundless energy and passion make him the obvious choice for anyone seeking a better future for their district.
So let us stand behind Peters Omaruaye, the man who will make Urhobos proud and take Delta State to new heights of greatness.