By Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba
The Delta State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described Monday’s visit to the oil-city of Warri by President Muhammadu Buhari as being in ‘bad taste’ and not in the interest of the overall good of Delta State.
The party warned that Buhari’s visit to the town, the second in about two months, though apparently intended at intimidating members of the PDP and the people of the state, through alleged planned manipulation of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies, would not change the people’s resolve to re-elect Governor Ifeanyi Okowa on Saturday.
The Delta State PDP said: ”We say this because of the March 9, 2019 governorship and state House of Assembly elections, as we have it on good authority that Buhari’s trip is not altruistic, and has nothing to do with the good and progress of Delta State.
”Already, the entire Delta State is abuzz with claims and insinuations and it is being openly said that the president and indeed the whole gamut of well known election manipulators and hatchet men in the national APC leadership, are visiting Delta State ostensibly to perfect an APC rigging plan and subvert the electoral process and the ultimate democratic decisions of Deltans who have sworn to return Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for a well deserved second term and vote for all the PDP candidates in the March 9, 2019 state Assembly elections.
”It is indeed a thing of shame that President Buhari will ignore other very important and urgent state matters to come to Warri to be at the head of a despicable scheme to manipulate and swing votes in favour of the unpopular APC and its candidates.
”We condemn the president’s insensitivity to the sensibilities of the people of Delta State who have taken PDP as their party. We also decry the shameful, slimy drive of Buhari and his detestable mission to use the power of state to secretly get the various agencies of the federal government, namely, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the police, the military and other security agencies to intimidate and harass PDP supporters, voters and subvert their democratic will and foist on the state an unpopular APC and its candidate.
”While the foregoing is to seriously inform and educate the general public of Delta State, Nigerians and the world at large of the president’s tricks and treacherous game plan being schemed to thwart and by subterfuge subvert the already known will of Deltans who are poised to vote for Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and other PDP candidates, we warn that President Muhammadu Buhari must be held responsible for any complications that may develop from his inglorious interference in the voting process in Delta State.
”Let the president be reassured that the people of Delta State are resolute in their decision to vote for the PDP candidates and keeping the party in Delta State. Certainly, he should understand that no amount of intimidation and other ill-conceived and devious ideas to thwart the people’s will shall thrive because Delta State is PDP and PDP is Delta State.
”We totally condemn Mr. President’s moves and schemes and say that they are mean and uncomplimentary. It is curious why the president has chosen to visit Warri at a time like this in the heat of preparations for, and almost on the eve of the state elections in which his party, and the APC is the major opposition party. We warn that he should not do anything that would be seen as his interference in the process that will make Saturday’s election not to be free, fair and credible.
”On this note, we call on PDP faithful, leaders, supporters and faithful not to be intimidated, but should come out in large numbers to vote the PDP, ensure that their votes count.”
Meanwhile, Isoko Development Union (IDU) and the entire people of Isoko nation worldwide as well as local leaders of the APC and other parties have reiterated their support for the re-election of Okowa.
During a meeting at the IDU Secretariat Sunday in Oleh, President General of IDU, Chief Iduh Amadhe, said: ”Governor Okowa has done well for the Isoko people and as such deserves to be re-elected for a second term.
“We have put all previous governors on a scale and it is important to state that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has performed very well in developing the Isoko nation. We cannot forget in a hurry how he assisted us in resolving the Ibrede crisis and his commitment to the development of the Isoko communities in Ndokwa East Local Government Area.
“Under the Okowa-led administration, we got full accreditation for the engineering and law faculties, accreditation of courses at Ozoro Polytechnic as well as construction of several roads in Isoko nation. If you go to Ofagbe Technical College you will see the huge investments the governor has put in there.”
Also speaking, the Isoko North Council Chairman, Hon. Emmanuel Egbabor, warned against the use of security agencies to intimidate and harass the Isoko people, stressing that the government will not take it kindly with anyone found using security agencies to persecute anyone before, during and after the election.
The meeting was attended by the Majority Leader in the Delta State House of Assembly, Hon. Tim Owhefere; Chairman of Isoko South Local government Area, Hon. Itiako Ikpokpo; and his Isoko North counterpart, Hon. Emmanuel Egbabor; Mr. Joseph Ogeh; Askia Ogieh and Mr. Daniel Omoyibo.