Nigeria 2015 Elections Scenarios and Recommendations: Delta State

Published January 15, 2015
By Peace and Security Working Group
Nigeria Election Scenarios and Recommendations
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Disclaimer: The following analysis is based on discussions with State-level actors and so reflects their perceptions, not the view of the Peace and Security Working Group. These scenarios were produced prior to the 2014 primary elections and are thus subject to change. Where relevant, updates have been made to reflect evolving dynamics.
 
 

Delta At-a-Glance

 

Current Governor
Emmanuel Uduaghan
 
Current Ruling Party
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)
 
Key February 2015 Elections
Presidential
Gubernatorial
Senate
State House of Assembly

 
Prognosis
According to CLEEN report, a moderate level of election related violence is expected for Delta state.
  CLEEN Map of Hot Spots for Election Violence
   
Peace Map (www.p4p-nigerdelta.org) Violence Heat Map Jan 2009-Dec 2014

 

Elections in 2011

  • During the 2011 gubernatorial elections, Emmanuel Uduaghan (PDP) won 51.69% of the votes, narrowly defeating Great Obgoru (DPP) who came away with 42.65% of the votes. Ovie Omo-Agege (ACN) only won 1.53% of the vote. Protests ensued from lack of voting equipment, election officials and security. Due to significant reported irregularities, INEC demanded a re-run, after which officials involved in electoral offences were reportedly prosecuted, signaling a step in the right direction against tolerance of electoral fraud.
  • Ethnic Tension in 2011: There is a history of Ijaw/Itsekiri tension and group grievance, which flared in Warri North LGA.
  • LGAs Affected by Election Violence: Ethiope East (2 deaths of party members, houses burned), Udu, Uvwie, and Warri N/S/SW.
  • Types of violence included clashes at rallies and political thuggery. However, women were not specifically targeted.
  • Main Responders: Police, Army, Media

 

Key Political Developments Since 2011

  • During the 2011 political season, three major political parties featured prominently (PDP, DPP, and ACN). Since then, there have been several political alignments and realignments. The once powerful opposition party, DPP, has disintegrated and the key actor, Chief Great Ogboru, has moved to the Labor party. A fragment of the Labor Party joined the ACN to form APC.
  • At the moment, PDP and APC are the predominant parties with PDP ruling and visible in all the LGAs. However SDP is also noted in some local government areas.

 

Major Political Players in Delta State

Name Position Elected/
Appointed
Party Additional
Information
Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan State Governor 2011 PDP (1)
Amos Utuama Deputy Governor 2011 PDP (2)
James Ebiowou Manager Senator 2011 PDP -
Emmanuel Aguariavwodo Senator 2011 PDP -
Okowa Ifeanyi Arthur Senator 2011 PDP -

Additional Information:
(1) Running for a senatorial seat in 2015.
(2) Utuama is running in the Delta 2015 Governorship race

Other political players include:

  • Chief Onanefe Ibori, Former Governor of the State
  • Elder Godsay Orubele, Former Minister
  • Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, Former SSG
  • Honorable Ndudi Elumelu, National Assembly
  • Rt. Honorable Sam Obi, State House Assembly
  • Rt. Honorable Victor Ochei, Former Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly
  • Chief Ogboru
  • Dr. Ngozi Olejeme
  • Engineer Tony Obuh, Permanent Secretary in the Government House
  • Bar. Ovie Omoagege
  • Chief E. K. Clark, Elder Statesman
  • Chief Otega Emerhor, APC Governorship Candidate

 

Elections in 2015

Conflict Drivers:

  • Zoning system of PDP
    Update: In the months prior to the gubernatorial elections, the Urhobo Progressive Union indicated that they would block their vote should Delta Central zone be denied the ticket. However, Delta Central and South have had the opportunity to hold the governorship for eight years each. The current governor, from Delta South zone, however, indicated that Delta North zone should have the opportunity to run a gubenotorial candidate. In early December, following the PDP primaries, Ifeayani Okowa, a senator from Delta North District, won in an upset, beating the UPU consensus candidate by approximately 100 votes.
  • Imposition of candidates, lack of democratic process and follow-through
  • Ethnic Polarization
  • Outcome of party primary election
    Update: In early December 2014, following the PDP primaries, Ifeayani Okowa, a senator from Delta North District, won in an upset, beating the UPU consensus candidate by over 100 votes.
  • Negative political speech during the campaigns

 
LGAs with Possible Risk of Violence:
Warri North, Warri Southwest, Warri South, Ethiope East, Burutu, Uowie, Udu, Ughelli North, Ika South, Ika Northeast, Aniocha South
 
Possible Types of Violence:
Disruption of verification of voters; Rigging; Thuggery; Hijacking of election materials

 

2015 Election Possible Scenario

(Note: these findings were from before the primaries, in which Senator Okowa from Delta North emerged as the PDP candidate for governor)
 
Before Elections:
 

  • Within the PDP, several aspirants have emerged from the three Senatorial Districts. Delta North believes that it is their turn to produce the next governor of the State. They have made it clear that they will not accept anything less.
    Update: In early December, following the PDP primaries, Ifeayani Okowa, a senator from Delta North District, won in an upset, beating the UPU consensus candidate by approximately 100 votes.
  • Despite this agitation from the North, aspirants from the South and Central Senatorial districts are warming up for the party primaries. These aspirants from both the South and the Central include former Niger Delta minister, Elder Orubebe Godsay from Delta South. His contention is that the PDP constitution speaks of zoning among ethnic nationalities, not senatorial districts. Therefore, since the Ijaws have never governed, it is their turn.
  • Meanwhile, Delta Central believes that they have been marginalized by the present administration; therefore, they wish to claim the State House. It is alleged that the Governor is fielding Engineer Tony Obuh, a permanent secretary from the North who just resigned to contest the governorship election. This action has left the other aspirants feeling slighted as it is a deviation from the party norm of going outside the political class.
  •  
    During Elections:
     

    • If Engineer Tony Obuh, a former permanent secretary, gets the PDP ticket, it will lead to serious intra-party conflict. There will either be mass decamping or serious anti-party activities that will lead to violence.

     
    After Elections:
     

    • If a non-politician emerges as the Governor of Delta State, the political class will resist and there is bound to be sabotage and violent protests.
    • If a non-Delta North senatorial governor emerges, it could equally degenerate to massive and violent protests.

     
     
    These reports are a collaborative effort of The Fund for Peace and other members of the Nigeria Peace and Security Working Group (PSWG) in Nigeria. These reports reflect the result of a participatory process with national and local-level stakeholders on potential risk factors and scenarios for the February 2015 Nigeria general elections.
    For more information, please contact:
    Nate Haken at The Fund for Peace, nhaken@fundforpeace.org.