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The streak of Impunity and the penchant for leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to impose unpopular candidates have been identified by the party’s rank and file as the bane of the party in Delta state.
This was the submission of a select number of party faithful who spoke today, Friday, July 21, 2017 at a reunion and unity meeting of the Delta state chapter of the party that held at the Event Centre Dome on Okpanam Road, Asaba today, with a call on leadership of the party at all levels to follow the rules of the party in the handling of its affairs.
The meeting which was called to reappraise and further cement unity in the party since the Supreme Court landmark judgment that confirmed the Caretaker Committee leadership of Senator Ahmed Makarfi as the authentic leader of the PDP, saw party faithful, including those who had defected returning to re-establish their membership of the party.
The Event Centre Dome was packed full with PDP faithful from all the 25 local government areas of the state, all of who expressed joy with the Supreme court Judgment, which many confirmed has revamped the party from its slumber and crisis state to effectively engage in plans to re-establish and reassert itself as the number political party in the country.
“I am smiling today because my heart is full of joy. We have reasons to celebrate. Sometime ago, we faced challenges, and because we believe in god, we waited patiently, until judgment was delivered. That was a victory for democracy,” Olorogun Kingsley Esiso, the state PDP chairman said in his welcome address
Esiso, a barrister at law, took a swipe at the ruling opposition All Progressives congress (APC) for imposing recession and hardship on Nigerians with a lack-luster and rudderless administration at the centre. “Today, unfortunately, we have a government at the centre that has no direction; no economic policy. They came with recession. For me, what we have is not recession but hardship,” he lamented.
He urged the party faithful and supporters to remain solidly behind the party, and that returning members should not be discriminated against but welcomed with open hands back into the PDP fold. “In your respective local governments and wards, don’t see the victory at the Supreme Court as victory for Okowa faction, or any faction. Please welcome everybody with open arms,” Esiso said, adding: “We must remain solidly united and focused for 2019.
Elder Emmanuel Ogidi, South-South PDP Chairman called on party leaders to change their inglorious attitudes by not imposing unpopular candidates. “Don’t come to Abuja by trying to come and change what has been done in the state,” Ogidi said.
Senator (Mrs) Stella Omu said victory came the way it came because the Makarfi Caretaker Committee believes in the rule of law as opposed to the rule of impunity. She pleaded with party leaders at all levels to follow the rules as laid down by the party, and by observing the PDP Constitution to the letter.
Mrs Omu then called on the party leaders to ensure that the party rule to give 35 percent of positions to women should be enforced.
Speaker of Delta State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori in express joy that the PDP meeting was called in the state, with a call on the party leadership to stand against imposition of candidates. He said: “The coming local government elections will be a litmus test. Let there be no imposition of candidate. Let the popular candidate emerge at the primaries. Let there be free and fair primary in the local governments so that the popular candidate will be acceptable. Let the popular candidate emerge and the 2019 elections will be a walk over.”
For the Minority Leader in the Federal House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Leo Ogor, the hour has come for the party faithful to come together, with an open heart to receive everybody back into the PDP fold.
His logic is that it is only in so doing that the misgovernment of the APC federal government can be replaced by the PDP. “There is hunger everywhere. We have to rescue this country, and it is only the PDP that can do that. Even the APC people are fed up with their Federal Government. Delta state’s situation is a closed case for 2019. All we need to do is to stick together so that we can march to Aso Rock in 2019,” Leo Ogor declared.
Meanwhile, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa at the event urged members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to bring back those who had intentions of leaving the party and also, win members of other political parties to the PDP.
“Please, reach out to our brothers and sisters to come back to the Party, we should be more united and stronger; don’t drive anybody away, this is the time to call on members of other political parties, including members of the APC (All Progressive Congress) to come and join us; it is the PDP that Nigerians want, it is a party that will give power back to the people; there is no more faction in our party, we are all one,” the Governor stated, adding, “the Supreme Court judgment was a victory for democracy, it will bring about credible opposition and make the government of the moment to sit up and do the right thing for the people; as an individual, I never contemplated that we were going to lose and I have remained steadfast in the party as a true party man.”
He congratulated members of the PDP on the Supreme Court judgment, saying, “I want to congratulate all of us for the victory at the Supreme Court; I am surprised at the large turn-out of people for this meeting, this is not a political rally, it is a party meeting but, I am impressed with our conduct and our turn out.”
The Governor also used the occasion to call on Deltans who are 18 years and above to ensure that they are captured in the on-going voters registration exercise by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
He expressed confidence that the PDP will emerge victorious in the 2019 general elections, stating that the registration exercise was a sure way for people to participate in the elections.
While expressing hope that more Deltans who have not registered will participate in the exercise, Okowa said: “As at the close of the first quarter, Delta State has done very well, but, we have to do more for us to vote in future elections.”
He also, urged political office holders not to relent in their empowerment programmes but, insisted that such empowerment programmes should be sustainable, stating that while those who have businesses should be empowered to do better in their chosen fields, those who are jobless should be trained to acquire skills and equipped to practice what they have learnt.
Former Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan at the occasion said, “congratulations for the victory at the Supreme Court, it was a victory for democracy, it was a victory for all of us.”
He disclosed that for the PDP to remain stronger, political appointees should strengthen the party by spreading dividends of democracy, stating, “if you are holding political position, the only way we can build our party is to spread democratic dividends; Governor Okowa has done excellently well and you should not run down the government, especially if you are holding a political office.”
Dr. Uduaghan urged those who are aspiring to take over from Governor Okowa from other political parties’ platform to desist from telling lies against the government but, concentrate on issues.