The emergence of Senator Ifeanyi Okowa as the Delta State governorship flag-bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has been described as a divine manifestation of an already ordained mandate, which had been set in motion as far as 2007.
This declaration was made by former chairman, Delta State Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Bro. Emmanuel Ogidi, when he fielded questions with select newsmen in Asaba, in the wake of the flag-off of the PDP governorship and general elections campaign in Delta State.
Ogidi said that it was inevitable that Senator Okowa would emerge as the governorship candidate of the PDP in Delta as a result of the tremendous goodwill he enjoyed across all the ethnic nationalities in the State.
According to him, “Okowa’s emergence was divine and inevitable. He was second and runner up to Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan in 2007 and equity demanded that if anyone should take over from Uduaghan in 2015, then that person had to be Okowa. That had been my position as the party chairman at that time and Okowa had been faithful to that arrangement since then till date. So when it was time to consider a governorship candidate from Delta North it was inevitable that the mandate was going to fall on him”, Ogidi said.
Ogidi, who is also the Cordinator, Delta South Campaign Organization for Okowa, admitted that everybody was entitled to have their own political interests, including Governor Uduaghan, who was the leader of the party, also averred that he had decided to pitch his own tent with Dr. Okowa in fulfillment of the 2007 agenda and his reputation, not only as a successful state party chairman, but indeed as a statesman in Delta state would have been greatly blemished if he had abandoned Okowa in his quest to become the next governor of the state after Uduaghan’s tenure had elapsed.
Speaking on the intrigues that informed the choice of the running mate, Ogidi noted that the decision to choose a deputy was the sole responsibility of the candidate in consultation with the party machinery and the uppermost consideration in the choice for Okowa’s running mate, was to ensure that he picked someone who had the political capacity to attract a large number of votes to the party and the ticket.
Chief Emmanuel Ogidi, who has also served as the state representative on the Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), said that while the Isoko ethnic nationality, where he hailed from equally had the right to aspire for the running mate position, the final decision to settle for Barrister Kingsley Otuaro, from the Ijaw ethnic nationality was a party decision, which all party faithful had already taken in good faith in order to ensure total victory for the PDP in Delta State.
While respecting the decision of the people of Delta Central over the Uvwiamuge Declaration, Ogidi however described it as a clear signal by the Urhobos that their interest was paramount in all political calculations and nobody should undermine their relevance in the scheme of things in Delta state.
Ogidi praised the people of Delta Central for the overwhelming show of love and support they extended to Okowa by trooping out enmasse to welcome the PDP flag-off campaign in Oghara, Okpe and Sapele, adding that Okowa was a humane and caring candidate, who would surely reciprocate the show of love for him by the people of Delta Central when he is elected Delta governor in February 2015.
Describing the ultimatum issued by Dr Cairo Ojougboh, the National Vice-Chairman, South-south of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, (PDP) to decampees to return to the PDP fold within 48 hours as a necessary condition to check such activities, the former Delta PDP Chairman noted that while it was imperative for the party to send a strong signal to members who decamped, it was also a ploy by the party to express the importance with which it held such party men.
Ogidi, who frowned at the fact that, some of these party men had attended a peace meeting called by Governor Uduaghan and had even been co-opted into the PDP campaign organization, only for them, to turn around and join other political parties to contest the elections, however appealed that such persons should ensure that they quickly return to the PDP once the elections had been concluded, as the PDP would be ready to welcome themwith open arms.
Bro. Ogidi, who hailed governor Uduaghan for the fatherly role and magnanimity he has exhibited, as party leader, during and after the PDP governorship primaries, enjoined all aggrieved party members to emulate the governor, who had to jettison his own Senatorial ambition for peace to reign, even as he assured that the PDP had resolved all its differences and was now poised coast home to victory in the February 2015 elections.