Isoko pledge support for Jonathan, Okowa
• ‘Why Delta should back PDP ticket’
THE campaign team of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in Delta, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, yesterday arrived in the Isoko towns of Ozoro and Oleh as part of efforts by the party to ensure that he wins the governorship race in Delta State.
A massive crowd of PDP loyalists and leaders in Ozoro and Oleh were on ground to welcome Okowa and his entourage.
The Oleh stadium was a beehive of activities as different groups of supporters carrying the placards of their respective candidates thronged the VIP area singing and dancing.
The noise of party activities was so intensive that when Okowa and his running mate, Mr. Kingsley Otuaro, arrived at the stadium in the company of their wives, they were barely noticed until the master of ceremonies, Chief Solomon Ogba, announced the arrival of the “governor in waiting”.
Isoko PDP leaders who spoke including Stella Omu and a host of others assured Okowa that people of the oil-producing ethnic nationality would vote for him.
Omu particularly urged Okowa to have the unflinching belief that Isoko would give him and President Goodluck Jonathan 100 per cent vote next month. She, therefore, urged all Isoko PDP loyalists to work hard to ensure that the party wins the governorship, Senate, House of Representatives and state assembly elections.
Okowa promised to end the political marginalisation of Isoko people by carrying them along in his government.
He promised strategic wealth creation through projects and jobs for all Deltans.
Also, a group, “Forum of Patriotic Deltans,” has urged support for the emergence of Barrister Otuaro as running mate to Senator Okowa.
The group, in a statement by its coordinator, Elvis Osadolor Iyamu, a lawyer, said: “As the dust finally settles on the PDP gubernatorial primaries in Delta State, it has become very imperative for us to make this passionate appeal to all those who were involved in the primaries one way or the other and also extend the olive branch to all concerned especially the aggrieved ethnic groups. “Let all Deltans look beyond the primaries in the spirit of sportsmanship and support the PDP governorship ticket personified by Senator Ifeanyi Okowa and his running mate in Barrister Kingsley Otuaro.
“This exercise and press release has become necessary because we want to use this medium to implore all Deltans to rise above ethnic and primordial sentiments and vote for the Okowa/Otuaro ticket.
“Should we throw away the baby with the bath water? Otuaro’s emergence as running mate to Okowa is a welcome development because the former is a man who is passionate about Delta State. Otuaro contributed in no small measure to restoring peace and harmony to today’s Warri and environs as well as the Niger Delta.”
The group added: “Otuaro will give total support to help his boss (Okowa) to take Delta State to unprecedented heights if they are voted into office. Otuaro is a man of God and the people. He is a quintessential gentleman and a man of impeccable character. He is young, vibrant, energetic and loves Delta State passionately.”
Meanwhile, a former Chief of Staff in Delta State, Dr. Festus Okubor, has condemned the attempt by Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) to endorse a candidate for the governorship election in the state.
Some Christians and Moslems in Delta have equally urged indigenes of the state to give overwhelming support to Okowa, his running mate, Utuaro and the Delta North Senatorial District candidate, Chief Peter Nwaoboshi.
Okubor recalled, while speaking with reporters in Asaba yesterday, that the apex pan-Urhobo socio-political organisation did the same in 1999 and its candidate lost to Chief James Ibori, and also in 2007 when it endorsed Chief Great Ogboru against Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, but lost again.
The organisation has not hidden its desire to support either Ogboru of the Labour Party or Emerhor O’tega of the All Progressives Congress (APC), both Urhobo against Okowa, from Anioma in next month’s governorship election in the state.
Okubor said UPU should be cautioned against heating up the polity, a situation, which he noted, is unbecoming of a socio-cultural organisation that should work for the unity of the state.
The religious group, under the aegis of ‘Concerned Gospel Ministers for Nigeria’s Development and Islamic Propagation Centre’, made the call after ‘an ecumenical meeting’ comprising Christians and Moslems in Asaba.
In the same vein, a Lagos-based socio-cultural group, Ubulu-Uku’82 Club, has congratulated Senator Ifeanyi Okowa for emerging as governorship flag bearer of the PDP in next month’s election and has called on people in the state to massively support him.
In a statement jointly signed by the club’s President, Mr. Paul Azuh and Publicity Secretary, Mr. Frank Oshanugor, the group said the emergence of Okowa at the PDP primaries with overwhelming votes among several aspirants was an indication that the former Secretary to the Delta State Government has a statewide followership.
The group has also congratulated Hon. (Mrs) Amaechi Joan Mrakpor for emerging as the PDP flagbearer for Aniocha/Oshimili Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives election primaries.
According to the leaders of the religious group, Bishop Nmalagu Greatman and Mustapha Musa Ringim, Okowa is the hope of the masses in Delta State and beyond.