By Akpos Oghenetega,
Leaders from Tuomo community, Burutu local government area of Delta State have accused a former minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe of allegedly imposing his preferred candidate for the position of Supervisory Councilor on them contrary to the candidate chosen by leaders and stakeholders of the community.
The leaders in a meeting at Warri on Thursday, also raised alarm that the former minister is using his influence to arm twist the state governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa and the state chairman of the PDP, Kingsley Esiso towards ensuring that his candidate, “who scored just 11 votes during the PDP primaries for the council polls, is selected against the wishes of the people.”
The leaders made up of a former majority leader of Bendel State House of Assembly, Prince Okpabeni Johnny, chairman of the community, Ozidi Seaman and the traditional ruler of the community, HRH S. Emopko, also vowed to resist any attempt to change the name of their nominee, Ebipade Awolowo for the position of supervisory councilor for Burutu council.
It would be recalled that during the PDP primaries for the local council polls in the state, Orubebe’s candidate scored 11 as against his rival who was nominated by the leaders having pulled 309votes, but Orubebe appealed to the governor and stakeholders of the party to select his candidate.
The governor on his part, asked the leaders to make a nomination for the position of supervisory councilor, a position Orubebe is equally try to usurp again.
In a communiqué signed by Johnny and Seaman at the end of the meeting, they threatened that any attempt to bring an unpopular person for the position of supervisory council, would spell doom for the PDP in the area.
They said: “Our nominee is accepted by the people and the state governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa needs to balance all sides for the political growth of Tuomo community, we also want to use this opportunity to pledge our support and loyalty to the state governor.
“This same nominee lost to a popular candidate during the PDP primaries but was selected to still go ahead as lawmaker representing the area in the Burutu legislative house. Am sure the governor would not subvert the political will of the people.”
Though efforts to speak with Orubebe was fruitless as at press time, a co-founder of the Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, High Chief Mike Loyibo when contacted, said: “I want to assure the people to be peaceful and law-abiding because the Okowa I know would not do anything that would undermine the people of the area. Am sure the governor would not subvert the political will of the people.”