The Isoko Development Union (IDU) has threatened to dump the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) if it failed to consider one of its sons or daughters for the position of deputy governor in Delta State.
IDU which is the apex socio-cultural organization and the mouthpiece of Isoko nation said the area will not hesitate to vote en-masse for the opposition All Progressive Congress (APC) if the party picks one of its own for the office of deputy governor.
The threat by Isoko nation is coming on the heels of wide speculations that the leadership of the PDP and its candidate, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa were being pressured to pick an Ijaw native as deputy governor despite an existing political understanding.
In a statement by the group’s President General, Major General Paul Omu (Rtd.), OFR and Secretary General, Comrade Julius Malam-Obi insisted that Isoko nation has always conceded top political positions to other ethnic nationalities of Itsekiri and Ijaw in Delta south since 1999.
According to the statement, IDU expressed concern over alleged neglect, exclusion of its stakeholders in the sharing of political offices ahead of the transition in 2015, disclosing that interactions with the leadership of the PDP and the APC indicated that both parties were not considering an Isoko native for the position of deputy governor.
“IDU hereby states that only the political party that appoints an Isoko son or daughter as Deputy Governor will have the vote of our people. The consequence of this should not be lost on all.
“We shall, regrettably mobilize our voting strength of about over a million voters nationwide for any party in the forthcoming elections. IDU will ensure that our votes will count. We shall do so because it is unacceptable to the Isoko people to get less than Deputy Governor from any political party.
“We therefore call on the President and the National Chairman of the People Democratic Party (PDP) and other party leaders to urgently act to avoid any ugly occurrences,” the statement read.
Besides the agitation by IDU, the Isoko PDP Elders and Leaders Council stated that by all political permutations and norms, it was only natural for the Ijaws and the Itsekiris to support Isoko nation in the quest for the deputy governorship since the Delta north was already given the governorship ticket.
“Since 2003, the Isoko ethnic nation has continuously conceded the senate seat to our Ijaw brothers. In 2007, we generously conceded the governorship to our Itsekiri brothers. Having been conceding top positions, we expect that any top position, elective or appointive coming to the Delta south, the Isoko Nation should be considered first.
“Consequently, this time around, the position of Deputy Governor should be reciprocally ceded to the Isoko Nation. We do not expect our Itsekiri and Ijaw brothers to object to this fair and justifiable demand of the Isoko people,” chairman of the council, D. E. A. Etaluku and his deputy, P. O. Oju said in a statement.