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By Chukwudi Abiandu
At the Oghara rally to flag-off the 2019 election campaign of the Delta state Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), today, Friday, January 04, 2019, the opposition parties were told in clear terms by the National leader of the PDP in Delta state, Chief James Onanefe Ibori to campaign without causing trouble, since in a democracy everyone is free to campaign without being made distraught by opponents.
Also, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, who today received wide approval and endorsement to go for second term by the leaders, party faithful and supporters offered himself and challenged his opponents to television debates, with a taunt that they must not run away from the governorship debate.
The rally which witnessed an unprecedented crowd of party faithful, that also saw candidates for the elections receiving their party flags to go for campaigns, the party leaders in taking turns to speak gave their support to governor Okowa to go ahead and contest for second term because he had done excellently well in his first term in office.
Ibori told Okowa: “You have done exceedingly well, and the people of Delta state believe me when I say that you are intelligent, you are capable and that you deserve a second term. I am indeed, pleased with you.”
He then declared that Okowa has all that it takes to lead the party. “I know that you have the capacity to lead this campaign,” Ibori said, and urged the candidates of the party to thread softly by ensuring g that they engaged in peaceful campaigns that is devoid of trouble. “Don’t look for trouble, it does not mean that you are weak,” he cautioned. And to the opponents of the PDP, Ibori, fondly called Odidigboigbo said: “In the name of God, don’t look for our trouble. This is a democracy.”
Governor Okowa who took time to reel out the exploits and achievements of his administration made mocking remarks to his opponents, challenging them to be bold enough to appear with him for a public on issues of Delta State.
He said: “I offer myself to debate issues concerning Delta State. They should come and face me. They should not run away. I want to be governor, I want to be governor, but we know that their penchant is to use thugs to scatter the election.”
But he called on the voters in Delta State not to be scared of the threats by those who want to use police and soldiers to cause fear during the election, pointing out that because he has the people of Delta State behind him he does not need to be afraid of any threat.
“But I advise you to do door to door campaign, even to those in the opposition parties asking them to come over to support PDP.
For Prof. Sam Oyovbaira, former Minister of Information and elderstatesman, there is no vacancy in Government House, Asaba. Urging the people to vote out Buhari from the Aso Rock Villa in Abuja, he acknowledged that Okowa is a man of integrity and focus, who has turned a very bad situation he met in 2015 on assumption of office to a Delta where people are celebrating today. “PDP is taking over the Villa in Abuja,” Oyovbaire said.
Delta State party Chairman, Olorogun Kingsley Esiso while welcoming the party faithful to the Oghara Township stadium, venue of the campaign flag-off, described the turn out of the people at the rally as very impressive. “What we are seeing here today, is simply a pointer that PDP is Delta State and Delta State is PDP. It shows that Nigerians are tired of the inept government in Abuja and so want a change.
“It shows also that Deltans are satisfied with the governor of the state, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa. We have come here to tell Deltans why we are embarking on our campaigns, and why they must vote for the PDP and PDP all the way; that we are embarking on a campaign of issues. We are tired of the APC and we are going to kick APC out of the centre. We are tired of killings, we are tired of hunger in the land.
“That in Delta state roads are being constructed and repaired, that schools are being built and repaired, among other things,” Esiso said.
In her address, Senator (Mrs) Stella Omu, who spoke on behalf of the women of Delta State and Nigeria said women are unhappy with the sufferings in the land, especially the scourge of insecurity and hunger ravaging the country.
And calling for a change to usher in political stability, security and economic viability, she said “we want a change in the political Nigeria.”
Chief Benjamin Elue, a former deputy governor thanked Deltans for the humongous turn out for the rally, and thanked them again for being steadfast in maintaining and entrenching the system of rotation in the state that has brought peace to the state.
He noted that PDP is synonymous with Delta State and that Delta is PDP, he urged the people go back to campaign for Atiku, Okowa and all the PDP candidates.