Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba
Governor Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa of Delta State is set to be formally named the 2019 governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the state chapter of the party conducts its gubernatorial primary election Sunday.
THISDAY received confirmation Saturday evening that the event would take place today in Asaba from both the state PDP Publicity Secretary, Dr Michael Ifeanyi Osuoza and the Government House Asaba.
The event, scheduled to hold in Asaba, the state capital, is being perceived by political observers as a mere formality, because there is practically no opposition in the party to the second term bid of the imcubent governor.
Unlike in the past, since the PDP has maintained its seeming stranglehold on the governorship seat from 1999, no one has apparently come out within the party to challenge for the number-one position in Delta State in 2019.
Okowa who is about to complete his first in office is from Delta North is entitled to seek another term in office under the unwritten rotaional policy of the party in the state, which allows two terms of eight years for each governor from the three senatorial zones on rotational basis.
All the ‘leading’ 2019 governorship aspirants in the state, including former speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Hon Victor Ochei, Dr Cairo Ojougboh, Prof Pat Utomi and Chief Great Ovedje Ogboru are in the All Progressives Congress (APC), leaving the coast clear for Okowa to clinch the PDP ticket unchallenged.
With the zonal executive committees in Delta South, Delta Central and Delta North having, at separate rallies, declared Okowa as the sole gubernatorial candidate in next year’s general election, the tone appears long set for the smooth process to again present him as the PDP governorship flag-bearer.
Other groups and individuals, includng the over 65-member influential Delta State Council of Traditional Rulers, had similarly thrown their weight behind the reelction ambition of Okowa.
THISDAY gathered that the obvious expression of implicit confidence in the incumbent has been strengthened by the leadership qualities of Okowa with his regular choice for dauntung PDP national assignments in recent time, including his inauguration in Abuja earlier in the week as Chairman, PDP Presidential Convention Committee towards 2019.
Okowa also chaired the last national convention of the party in Abuja, where Prince Uche Secondus emerged as the PDP National Chairman.
According to the Delta State PDP Chairman, Hon Kingsley Esiso, the litany of achievements of Okowa since coming on board in 2015 despite the initial gloomy financial and economic atmosphere makes him not only the most widely accepted leader across the state but also explained by he was given appointments to handle sensitive national duties for the PDP.