Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Delta State has described as preposterous the call by a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Hon Lucky Okperi, seeking the withdrawal of the PDP House of Representatives candidate and incumbent minority leader, Hon. Leo Ogor, from the race.
The PDP said the APC should concentrate on selling its candidate to the people and leave the electorate to decide who will represent them in the lower chamber of the National Assembly in 2019.
According to the, Director Media and Publicity, Isoko North PDP Campaign Committee, Mr. Nelson Egware, ”We have read with laughter, the jittery and panic-filled advice by a former member of the Delta House of Assembly and a member of the APC, Hon. Lucky Okperi, that the candidate of the PDP for the Isoko Federal Constituency, Hon. Leo Ogor, should withdraw from the race. The apparent contradiction contained in the statement explains clearly the extent of fear of electoral defeat that has gripped the opposition.
”One wonders why a party that boasts of having the support of the entire Isoko people will not wait to trounce their opponent in the polls to confirm such popularity. Why the futile struggle and desperation to get the PDP candidate and clear favourite to step down?
”For the avoidance of doubt, the PDP wishes to inform Hon. Okperi, his co-travellers in the APC, that Ogor’s entrance into the race of the Isoko Federal seat was borne out of extensive consultation with a large spectrum of Isoko people in various segments of community, religious, socio-cultural and political leadership and a mandate clearly given to him by his political party. With all sense of humility and responsibility, we wish to state with gratitude that Ogor remains the surest choice of the majority of Isoko people given his outstanding and effective representation.”
Egware warned against attempts by anybody to unnecessarily heat up the local polity or ”cause disaffection in Isoko nation in the name of politics”, saying since the people always reserve the right to choose their representatives, they should be allowed to have the final say at all levels at the polls.
He advised Okperi to face the PDP in a fair challenge based on issue-based campaign and desist from ”mere wishful thinking, name dropping and whipping of cheap sentiments”, noting that electoral victory in Isoko land and Delta State in 2019 would be determined by ”visible track records of achievements, wide consultations and overwhelming support of the people”, all which favour the PDP candidate.
Okperi ridiculously claimed that Isoko people were tired of the 16 years representation of Hon Ogor, hence he should withdraw and allow the people to queue behind Joel-Onowakpo Thomas, the candidate of the APC in the 2019 election.