By Fred Latimore Oghenesivbe
The leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Governor of Delta State, Dr Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, has sounded a warning to all local government chairmen in the state to henceforth abstain from supporting 2019 aspirants at various elective levels.
The governor handed down the warning while speaking at the general meeting of PDP, Delta North Senatorial Distric held in Asaba, Delta State recently.
He said any local government council elected chairman found breaching the executive orders handed down by him and the State exco of the party shall have his or herself to blame, pointing out that it is wrong for incumbent council chairmen to openly support some aspirants to the detriment of others.
Gov Okowa further directed that the aspirants should be left alone to carry their cross, no matter the status of some of the aspirants in the party; so as to provide a level playing field for all concerned in the 2019 electioneering process.
The Governor who was given a standing ovation for conducting one of the most transparent, free and fair gubernatorial primaries in Ekiti State; posited that only free and fair party primaries devoid of favouritism, undue influence and paddy paddy politics is the only credible panacea to sustainable democracy, unity and peace within the party structures.
“Heneforth, local government council chairmen and their deputies in the 25 LGAs should never be found supporting any aspirant including accompanying them on pre-primaries consultations and other forms of grassroots mobilization.
“All aspirants are special and valued stakeholders in our great party and it will not be proper to support some at the detriment of others knowing fully well that after the primaries winners who emerged as party candidates becomes our collective responsibility to deliver them at the polls in 2019.
“A level playing field is very crucial and the only way to avoid generating bad blood within the party and among aspirants is for local government chairmen, their deputies, and so on and so forth to restrain themselves from supporting aspirants at the pre-party primaries stage.
“Aspirants themselves should work harder, sell their programmes and or agenda to their people and then be prepared to face a free, fair and transparent party primaries in the near future,” the Governor admonished.
In the light of the above, it appears that the govenor’s executive order if given strict and holistic interpretation also affected all political appointees and aides to the governor and senior state actors who are still serving.
The administrative and political implication of the governor’s executive order cum state party exco resolution is that to support any aspirant requires such appointees or local council executives to first resign their appointments and/or positions before supporting aspirants.
The Delta North PDP meeting attracted party leaders including distinguished Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, members of House of Representatives, State lawmakers from the district, members of the State Executive Council from the senatorial district including the Chairman of PDP in Delta North Senatorial District, et al.
The meeting noted the numerous successes achieved in recent time by Gov Okowa, both in good governance and several national assignment presided over by the smart governor.
The Ekiti 2018 Guber primaries in which Gov Okowa conducted in his capacity as Chairman of the Committee was also cited as one of the several unique achievements that brought honour to Delta State, to Deltans and to the good people of Anioma Nation in Delta North Senatorial District.
The highlight of the occasion was the adoption of Gov Okowa as the consensus candidate of PDP in Delta North for the 2019 governorship elections in the state.
It will be recalled that Delta Central PDP had adopted the Governor at a mega rally held in Sapele last year.
Elders of Delta South PDP also adopted Gov Okowa as their sole governorship candidate last year but the consensus adoption is slated to take place in Warri at a mega rally due to take place anytime soon, to complete the circle of adoption.