•Asks other parties not to contest poll in Delta •Ibori commends governor’s leadership
Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba
Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa yesterday said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) “is on a mission to rescue Nigeria from the All Progressives Congress (APC).”
Okowa, specifically, asked aspirants of other political parties not to waste their money to contest elective offices in the state, saying the state “is the stronghold of the PDP.
He made these remarks in Asaba, the Delta State capital yesterday during a mega rally organised to unveil “Operation Harvest APC Members” in the state.”
The gathering was attended by a former governor of the state, Chief James Ibori; the Deputy Governor of Delta State, Mr Kingsley Otuaro; Minority Leader, House of Representatives, Chief Ndudi Elumelu; Senator James Manager; a former Senate Chief Whip, Senator Stella Omu and Chairman of Delta PDP, Chief Kingsley Esiso, among others.
At the gathering, a former chairman of Delta APC, Chief Cyril Ogodo led thousands of supporters of the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege to the PDP.
The defectors pledged to work for the PDP to ensure that the APC as a party in the state was rendered practically irrelevant in the state.
Speaking at the meeting, Okowa pledged that that primaries for all elective positions would be free, fair and transparent, stressing that the PDP remained one united family.
The Delta governor added that leaders of the party in the state would ensure that primaries for all elective positions were free and credible.
Okowa said the massive mobilisation for the rally represented a booster for the readiness of the PDP to rescue Nigeria from the ruling APC, advising aspirants in other political parties not to waste their money to contest elections in Delta State.
He said: “I give thanks to God for what is happening here today. I thank our leaders in the PDP. I thank our state and local government executives for this rally. I thank our youths and women for the massive mobilisation for this rally.
“It is by the grace of God and through their hands that we have mobilised to make a statement today across Nigeria that PDP is prepared to take over this nation.
“One good thing about us in the PDP is that we are one family. We are not like the other people where one man takes it all. Here in PDP. We are one family.
“We work as a family with the love of God. But in the other parties, they are always fighting themselves. We have been doing a great job as Deltans. But it is because Deltans voted us into power. That is why we have the opportunity to do the great job that we are doing for our state.
“It is because you have always supported us. That is why when we win, we win very well. We won well in 2015 and in 2019. In 2023, we will finish work again.
“We are advising those who want to run in other political parties not to waste their time and money because there is no space for them in Delta. Never in the history of this state have youths been so empowered through our various empowerment and entrepreneurship programmes.
“We have done well for our women and we will continue to do more for them, and let me make it clear that even as we play politics, we will continue to do the work that you asked us to do.”
Speaking on the state’s infrastructure development, Okowa assured that his administration was not about to slow down in the tempo of work across the state.
He said: “Until I leave office in May, 2023, we will continue to build more and more roads and for those who haven’t been to Asaba in recent times, when you see our new State Secretariat you will be proud that you are a Deltan.
“All our achievements are the collective efforts of all Deltans because you gave us the peace to work and we can’t thank you enough. We are one family in PDP; we cannot fight and we will never fight; at the appropriate time, it will be well with us.
“But, one thing I have always promised and I still promise today is that there will always be free and fair primaries. So, there is no room to fight. There is no room to quarrel. Let us work together as one family that we are and ensure that PDP stays continuously as a family.”
At the gathering, Ibori commended Okowa for his leadership style in the state and the party, saying that he would continue to support him to succeed beyond his tenure as governor of the state.
Ibori said: “I thank you for the job you are doing in Delta and at the national level for the benefit of Nigerians. I most especially thank you for what I am seeing here today because you have done very well in Delta State and I cannot be more proud that you are our governor today.
“You are leading us very well and it is our duty, and we are all committed to say that you will finish very strong and at the end of the day we will all gather to thank God for you.
“From what I can see here you have provided an atmosphere for a free and fair contest and you have provided an atmosphere for people’s aspirations to be heard without intimidation whatsoever.
“Of a truth, this was the philosophy behind the formation of this great party when I said in 1998 that democracy is about opening up the space and environment for everybody to aspire to whatever he or she believes in and I thank you for continuing with that vision.”