By Fred Latimore Oghenesivbe Esq.
Delta State Governor, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, has denied endorsing any governorship aspirant in the state, as far as 2023 general elections is concerned.
The governor who spoke through the State Commissioner for Information, Hon Charles Aniagwu, on Thursday said the fact remains that as the state leader of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, he will continue to play the role of a father figure to all aspirants, and cannot be involved in the business of endorsing candidates, rather he will ensure a free, fair, transparent and credible party primaries.
Deltans will recall that a certain governorship aspirant has been dropping names of prominent party leaders of PDP extraction, who had at one time or the other endorsed him as the preferred candidate, including the state governor, a development which contradicts the earlier promise made by governor Okowa to provide a level playing field for all aspirants irrespective of economic, social and political status.
The platinum governor through HC Information again reaffirmed his total commitment towards ensuring credible primaries across board and urged Deltans to disbelieve any aspirant dropping his name.
He further advised aspirants gambling with his name and enviable reputation to repent and stop misleading party faithfuls, delegates and the general public.
“The governor of Delta State is not moving towards the direction of endorsing any aspirant and those dropping his name should retract their statements and face the governorship election squarely,” Aniagwu said.
The governor’s denial foreclosed all manner of rumours pointing to show that he may have endorsed a particular governorship aspirant prior to party primaries, a fraudulent claim calculated to mislead PDP delegates.
In the same vein, the State party Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Barrister Kingsley Esiso, had earlier affirmed that all aspirants shall be treated equally. He expressed the party’s determination to conduct credible party primaries, to be witnessed by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
Esiso gave the positive assurance at the party Secretariat on Wednesday while speaking during the formal declaration of governorship ambition to the party by the Speaker of Delta State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Sheriff Oborevwori, JP.
It is the common practice in democratic politics for political pressure groups and other organised groups to endorse aspirants, as can be seen from the rain of endorsements trailing the governorship ambition of Mr Speaker, Rt Hon Sheriff Oborevwori, wherein the most formidable political pressure group in the state, Delta Political Vanguard, DPV, adopted him as her preferred governorship candidate, and not the governor in his official capacity.
Therefore, it is safe to assert that Oborevwori’s earlier endorsements by DPV and other groups remained valid, legal, perfect and subsisting. This is different from a situation where a particular aspirant openly declared through the media that the governor had endorsed him as his successor.
The governor’s denial of such fraudulent claims by desperate aspirants is very timely, unequivocal and instructive.
In the light of the above and from this day forward, no aspirant is permitted to oil his governorship ambition through fraudulent claims that he had been endorsed either secretly or in the open by the platinum governor of Delta State, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa.