By Fred Oghenesivbe
EFFURUN/Nigeria: Aspirants seeking party flags for elective offices under the Delta State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have been told to brace up and get cracking, reach the grassroots and mobilize heavily so as to actualize their ambitions at the forthcoming party primaries.
State Party Chairman, Olorogun Kingsley Esiso gave the advice while speaking at the April 2018 meeting of PDP Delta Central held at Uvwie Hall, Effurun in Delta State.
He frowned at the attitude of some of the aspirants parading themselves as the state governor’s endorsed aspirants, adding that to the best of his knowledge neither the state party leadership nor the incumbent governor, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, endorsed any aspirant.
“Let me clear the air over rumours making the round that some aspirants have been endorsed either by the party leadership or our past and present governor, His Excellency Senator Dr Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa and Chief James Onanefe Ibori. Those peddling the mischievous falsehoods are those not sure of their political pedigree and connection with the people at the grassroots.
“Ignore such rumours and go to the field to do what you need to do before it is too late. I am saying this here and now because our party leadership resolved to run free and fair primaries where only popular and astute politicians with performance promise shall be elected at the primaries by delegates.
“Delegates are members of our party, and we expect them to vote wisely such that only well grounded and popular aspirants will emerge as candidates. Party leadership encourages all aspirants to work hard and never to rely on hearsay and/or privileged relationships with some of our leaders to brag and to intimate other aspirants; suggestive of endorsement and invisible support.
“I urged aspirants to disregard any attempt either by implied conduct or spoken words. Key party leaders, Chief Ibori and Gov Okowa did not endorse any aspirant and shall not do so. All aspirants must work hard and participate in party primaries. Only the best aspirants shall emerge as candidates for various elective positions in PDP,” Esiso assured.
Prof Sam Oyovbaire, a chieftain and father of government in Delta State; expressed satisfaction over the huge turnout of leaders, aspirants and some of their supporters at the April meeting of PDP Delta Central.
He re-echoed the need for party members in Delta Central to clinch victory for the party and Gov Okowa in 2019, adding that the very essence of the senatorial meeting is to consistently come together to cross fertilize political and electioneering ideas and craft legitimate ways and means of winning elections and spread dividends of democracy to all Deltans.
Oyovbaire also corroborated the views expressed by the state party chairman, Barrister Esiso, when he posited that it was an act of irresponsible conduct for any aspirant to either openly or secretly parade his or herself as a special aspirant endorsed by either the party leadership, past governors or the incumbent.
“Aspirants must work hard, test their popularity and acceptance during our party primaries due to hold any time in the near future. Those intimidating other aspirants and bragging here and there must desist from the shameful and fraudulent conduct because transparency shall be the hallmark of the forthcoming party primaries.
“The only party member and leader that have been overwhelmingly endorsed well ahead of the general elections is our amiable Smart Governor, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa. There is no vacancy in Government House come 2019.
“Our amiable Governor has done well and the party leadership in the three senatorial districts of Central, South and North decided to have one aspirant who is also the sole candidate come 2019, in the person of Gov Okowa.
“Take the good news round the state that Gov Okowa is the only aspirant and candidate of PDP. Apart from the Governor, no other aspirant has been endorsed or favoured in any way. The field is open and we encourage hardwork and massive mobilization of the people so as to clinch the party tickets at the primaries,” Oyovbaire added.
Secretary to Delta State Government, Rt. Hon Festus Ovie Agas told newsmen that Delta Central leaders and party faithful are determined to improve on 2015 governorship elections victory, saying that the general consensus is that Gov Okowa has consistently fulfilled and still fulfilling his electioneering promises to the good people of Delta State.
“We in Delta Central also resolved that there is no need changing a winning team; therefore the duo of Gov Okowa and his Deputy are good to go into second tenure till May 29, 2023. Besides, we had our fair share of 8 years through our amiable national leader, Chief James Ibori who served as governor from 1999 to 2007.
“Our Delta South brothers through Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan governed the state for another 8 years before state power came to Delta North and it’s only fair and morally correct that Delta Central and South to give Delta North through Gov Okowa the necessary support to complete their 8 years before power returns to Central in 2023,” Agas added.