Delta PDP Governorship flag-bearer, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, has called on all aggrieved members of the party as well as party supporters in the state to drop their differences and work in unity for the victory of the party.
The Delta PDP flag-bearer made this plea while addressing the crowd of supporters during his campaign rallies in Bomadi and Patani, in continuation of the governorship campaign programme of activities.
Okowa, who displayed great courage and bravery in the face of a seeming hostile environment and sued for peace and harmony among party members in the area, spoke thus in Bomadi: “Delta State belongs to all of us; we must not allow our personal differences to divide us. The PDP is one family in Delta and we must be united to deliver our party. I enjoin our youths to shun violence and support the efforts of government to make life meaningful for every Deltan. We must remain in peace and make Delta a state for all of us,” Okowa stated.
The campaign train then moved to Patani where the governorship candidate addressed the crowd and also pleaded for unity amongst the youths and supporters of the party, urging them to eschew violence and embrace peace in other to ensure total victory for the party in the February 2015 general elections.
A mild drama however ensued in Patani, when the Party Chairman, Chief Edwin Uzor, asked all the endorsed candidates of the party from the area to join him on the podium.
Senator James Manager and Hon. Nicholas both stepped up but when it came to the turn of the Candidate to represent Patani L.G.A, in the DeltaState House of Assembly, the Deputy Speaker, DTHA, Hon. Basil Ganagana and Commissioner Special Duties (DESOPADEC) Hon. Timi Tonye both stepped forward.
Both men had earlier stormed the rally venue with their supporters and danced all over the arena singing solidarity and praise songs in support of their candidates and claiming ownership of the ticket for Patani LGA in the Delta Assembly.
Hon. Timi Tonye had already been declared as the authentic PDP candidate representing Patani LGA and presented with the flag as the flag-bearer of the PDP in the forthcoming general elections during the flag-off campaign rally at Oghara, much to the chagrin and anger of Hon. Ganagana, whose name had earlier been listed as the candidate.
But in its usual tradition, the Delta PDP Chairman gave both men the opportunity to address the crowd, Ganagana as the Deputy Speaker, DTHA, and Hon.Timi Tonye as a Commissioner in the Delta State cabinet, but while Ganagana, who spoke first, asked the people to vote for President Jonathan, Senator Manager and Hon. Mutu, he dramatically omitted the position of the Patani House of Assembly candidate.
Hon. Tonye however, simply greeted the crowd and asked them to vote for PDP in the forthcoming election, without making any further contentious statements.
The rally then passed off smoothly to its successful end as Okowa and his team returned triumphantly and safely to Asaba.
But the story could have been so different if the angry youths from Bomadi and Patani local government areas of Delta State, who invaded the campaign venue had been allowed to have their way completely.
The Bomadi incidence was said to have been orchestrated by youths and persons suspected to be ex-militants who went on an orgy of violence at the Bomadi campaign ground, over an alleged oversight in the recognition of a particular militant leader, who was overlooked while his subordinate was recognized.
The near-bloody incident, which occurred even before Senator Okowa arrived the venue had many supporters scampering for safety and forced many campaign buses carrying supporters into the community to turn around as the violence spread onto the road linking the community to the East-West road by-pass.
A quick intervention of some soldiers of the Joint Military Task force (JTF) and some mobile policemen brought the situation under control, as the police quelled the violence.
Okowa, whose convoy met the fleeing supporters, showed great courage and bravery by asking them to turn around and head back to the campaign venue, which, though destroyed beyond recognition, still provided the atmosphere for the PDP Flag-bearer to address the remaining crowd and sue for peace amongst the people.
The story was the same in Patani, as shortly after the arrival of the PDP campaign train in Patani, it was discovered that Senator James Manager was not amongst the dignitaries and party top shots on the initial team
Further inquiries on his whereabouts revealed that another group of youths alleged connected to the party was said to have waylaid him on his way to Patani from Bomadi and gone on a rampage, destroying a Toyota SUV said to belong to the Senator.
Senator Manager was said to have quietly left the scene of the attack and returned to the campaign rally venue later with another Jeep, accompanied by mammoth crowd, where he apologized to Senator Okowa and Deltans for the hostile reception.
Below are some photos from the Patani and Bomadi rallies.