*Esiso returned as state party Chairman, 38 others unopposed *
There seems to be a major “Crack” in the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Delta state chapter as former governor James Ibori who is an ardent supporter of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, was conspicuously absent at the party’s state Congress held in Asaba, on Saturday, August 8, 2020.
This could be an indication that all is not well between the incumbent governor and the one-time governor of the state.
Equally, the Senator representing Delta North Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Bar. Peter Nwaoboshi and the member, representing Patani/Bomadi Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Nicholas Mutu, were not present during the congress of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) where the State outgoing chairman, Olorogun Kingsley Esiso, was returned unopposed.
Nwaoboshi, is Okowa’s representative at the Upper Chambers of the National Assembly (NASS), Delta north senatorial district and one-time Chairman of the party in the state.
He also a champion and spear header of “power shift” which Delta north by virtue of Okowa, been the governor, the region now enjoys today.
Recall that Chief Ibori in his determination to ensure that Okowa, was reelected had stormed Asaba, during an exhibition by beneficiaries of the state Skill Training Entrepreneurship Programme (STEP), at the Cenotaph where Ibori openly declared his unwavering support for Okowa’s re-election.
Apart from the flag-off, of the governorship rally during the campaigns in Oghara, the former governor was also present at the Grand Finale at Owa-Oyibu play field to pledge his solidarity and undoubted support for him.
Similarly, the followers of the opposing camp to Barr. Kingsley Esiso, who returned unopposed, led by the former council chairman of Sapele local government area, Mr. Godwin Atose, severed themselves from the venue of the Congress.
Their absent further fueled ongoing rumour that there is a major crack in the state chapter of the party. This, sources claimed is prelude to the scheming for the 2023 governorship election among leaders of the party.
The congress attended by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa in Asaba, the state capital, was to elect new officials to run the party affairs in the state for the next four years following the expiration of the State Working Committee in May.
It was gathered that Nwaoboshi, elected on the platform of the PDP, is being rumoured to have concluded plans to defect to the All Progressives Congress (APC) where he is being alleged to battle Okowa for the soul of the Delta North Senate seat in 2023.
There has been rumoured cold war between Okowa and Nwaoboshi, a former chairman of the party in the state over alleged differences emerging from the 2019 general elections where the lawmaker was almost edged out of the seat by billionaire lawyer, Prince Ned Nwoko.
The tenure of the Kingsley Esiso-led state executive council of the PDP had expired in May, this year but due to the outbreak of the COVID-19, the exercise could not be conducted.
Although no reason has been adduced for their absence, sources claimed that they had lobbied for a different chairmanship candidate to replace Esiso who was gunning for second term.
The party sources said the leaders were not impressed with Esiso’s performance in his first term, adding that his chances for re-election were further dimmed when PDP stakeholders in his Sapele Local Government Area allegedly rejected him.
However, Esiso emerged after consensus arrangement purportedly championed by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa.
Moreover, all the 39-member executive council were also returned unopposed due to the consensus arrangement.
Addressing party faithful and the newly elected party officials, Governor Okowa urged politicians especially those in his government and party members who have political ambition for 2023, not to heat up the polity, stressing that they should do that cautiously.
According to Okowa, “There is need for caution, there is the need for caution because there is a lot of time ahead us. We have been elected as a government to provide dividends of democracy to the people. So, it is important that we are cautious about what we do.
“There is a time to politic but I want to advise that for now, there is the need for some little caution. I am not asking that people should not play politics but let do it cautiously in a decent manner so that those of us who are in government that have things to do Will not get distracted, I want to plead”, Okowa emphasized.
Governor Okowa urged them not to be distracted by the antics of opposition parties, noting that the consensus arrangement showed that the PDP was very united in the state.
In his acceptance speech, Esiso however thanked Ibori and other party leaders particularly in Delta central, for the role they played to ensure he re-emerged as state chairman.
Esiso appealed to aspirants for the 2023 elections to exercise restraints and avoid distracting the present administration.
He told opposition political parties to forget about winning the state in 2023, describing the PDP as a moving train that will crush any party that stood on its way for the 2023 polls.
The congress which was witnessed by officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), was conducted by a committee from Abuja led by Dr. Lawrence Ezenwa.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the five-man PDP Congress Committee, Dr. Lawrence Ezenwa, had disclosed that the Committee expunged the votes of government appointees from the 2, 800 total votes cast.
He returned Barr. Esiso, who scored 2, 792, while his deputy, Chief John Areyinka who pulled 2, 791 votes, and all other 37 former executives, from the Secretary, the Youth Leader to the Woman Leader, who pulled over 2,700 votes respectively, unopposed.
On his part, the Speaker, Delta State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori called on Deltans to continue to give their support to the Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa-led administration for more development across the state.
He expressed appreciation to Deltans for their support for the state governor and the House of Assembly just as he tasked them to sustain the tempo.
He commended delegates for their dedication, commitment and the peaceful disposition in ensuring that the Congress was successful, saying they are very organized, focused, dedicated, articulate and united.
“You can see that things are going on smoothly. You can see that all the contestants are returned unopposed”, he said.
“I want to thank Deltans for their support, understanding and corporation for the Okowa-led administration and they should keep it up”, he added.
Meanwhile, Speaker Oborevwori has hailed the re-election of Chief Kingsley Esiso as Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Delta State Chapter.
Rt Hon. Oborevwori also congratulated other elected officials of the party as well as the delegates and party members who put in their best to ensure a successful 2020 Delta State PDP Congress.
In a congratulatory message by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Dennis Otu, the Speaker said the build up to the victory was as a result of hard work and commitment.
According to the speaker, “From the beginning, this election set out to be a different kind of election. The unity and resilience of our great party (PDP) was tested. I am very happy we came out victorious today.”
“This is a huge win. The mood today at the just concluded 2020 Delta State PDP Congress was that of joy and happiness. I am happy the delegates read the situation correctly,” he added.
The speaker called on party stalwarts to see the triumph of Chief Esiso as the wish of God and enjoined them to work together with him to move the party and state forward.
He charged the re-elected chairman to bring his wealth of experience to bear by injecting fresh ideas into the party administration.
The Speaker admonished Chief Esiso to sustain the existing unity in the Party, imploring him to run all inclusive administration as he had always done and wished him success.
Rt Hon Oborevwori also commended the delegates and the security agencies for the peaceful conduct of the congress.
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