The ship that once sailed quietly in the river occasioned by the support it got seemed to be sinking due to a sudden turbulence in the waters following a perceived withdrawal of support from the same ship.
There seemed to be a major “Crack” in the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Delta state chapter as a former governor and strong supporter of Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, in the state, Chief James Onanefe Ibori, snubbed the party’s state Congress held at the Cenotaph in Asaba, on Saturday 8th August 2020.
The cold-shoulder from the erstwhile governor at the Congress, is a strong indication that all is not well between the incumbent goverrnor and the one-time governor of the state.
Recall that Chief Ibori in his determination to ensure that Okowa, was reelected stormed Asaba, during an exhibition by beneficiaries of the state Skill Training Entrepreneurship Programme (STEP), at the Cenotaph where Ibori openly declared his unwavering support for Okowa’s re-election.
Apart from the flag-off, of the governorship rally during the campaigns in Oghara, the former governor was also present at the Grand Finale at Owa-Oyibu play field to pledge his solidarity and undoubted support for him.
Also conspicuously absent, is Okowa’s representative at the Upper Chambers of the National Assembly (NASS), Delta north senatorial district, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, a one-time Chairman of the party at the state and champion and spearheader of “power shift” which Delta north by virtue of Okowa, been the governor, the region now enjoys today.
Similarly, the followers of the opposing camp to Barr. Kingsley Esiso, who returned unopposed, led by the former council chairman of Sapele local government area, Mr. Godwin Atose, severed themselves from the venue of the Congress.
In same vein, the member, representing Patani/Bumadi Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Nicholas Mutu, was not in attendance.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the five-man PDP Congress Committee, Dr. Lawrence Ezenwa, however disclosed that the Committee expunged the votes of government appointees from the 2, 800 total votes cast.
He returned Barr. Esiso, who scored 2, 792, while his deputy, Chief John Areyinka who pulled 2, 791 votes, and all other 37 former executives, from the Secretary, the Youth Leader to the Woman Leader, who pulled over 2,700 votes respectively, unopposed.
On the other hand, the state governor, profusely begged politicians especially those in his government and party members who have political ambition for 2023, not to heat up the polity, stressing that they should do that cautiously.
Hear him: “There is need for caution, there is the need for caution because there is a lot of time ahead us. We have been elected as a government to provide dividends of democracy to the people. So, it is important that we are cautious about what we do.
“There is a time to politick but for now I want to advise that for now, there is the need for some little caution. I am not asking that people should not play politics but let do it cautiously in a descent manner so that those of us who are in government that have things to do with not get distracted, I want to plead”, Okowa repeated.