The lingering crisis rocking the Delta State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) following the party’s primaries, especially the governorship primary election, is said to have taken a new dimension.
SaharaReporters learnt that some chieftains of the party have allegedly concluded plans to exit the party over what they described as “lack of trust, high-handedness, and imposition of governorship and deputy governorship candidates” among other things on the part of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa.
SaharaReporters reliably gathered that the national leadership of the party in Abuja has intervened and urged Okowa to as a matter of importance and urgency reconcile with all the aggrieved chieftains of the party, especially former governors James Ibori and Emmanuel Uduaghan.
Others include the senator representing Delta South and former governorship aspirant, James Manager; and former finance commissioner and former governorship aspirant, David Edevbie.
However, the governor is said to have blatantly ignored the advice and cut off communication with them.
Okowa recently nominated the state internal revenue board chairman, Monday Onyeme as the running mate to the party’s governorship candidate in the 2023 general elections and Sheriff Oborevwori as the Speaker of the state House of Assembly.
SaharaReporters learnt that some chieftains and stakeholders of the party were angry that Okowa nominated the candidates without consulting them.
This has further aggravated crisis, with some of them now looking to leave the party, sources told SaharaReporters.
A former principal member of the state House of Assembly who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “All is not well with our party, the PDP in Delta state and I am bold to tell you that aggrieved chieftains and stakeholders are seeing the state governor, Ifeanyi Okowa as an enemy of the party who has prepared the ground for the party to lose in the forthcoming 2023 general elections.
“How can Okowa singlehandedly produce the party’s governorship candidate and his deputy? So many of our members, especially aspirants left our party after the primaries. Is the party his personal estate?
“The way and manner the state governor is going about the whole thing like a dictator call for great concern to all right-thinking members of our party. The party chieftains and stakeholders across the three senatorial districts of the state are not happy with Okowa; none is on good terms with him and these are people of note who can make or mar him during elections.
“So Okowa thinks he can do it alone? Let’s see how PDP will win the election alone and how Okowa will impose his candidates on the people come 2023. Let’s see how he becomes the country’s vice president. We are waiting and watching at the same time.”
“Can Okowa really do without these party leaders, elders and stakeholders when it comes to general elections in the state?
“Okowa was told by the national leadership of our party in Abuja to come and reconcile with these aggrieved party chieftains and stakeholders, he deliberately ignored the advice and singlehandedly nominated a running mate to the governorship candidate. What an insult!
“Well, Okowa should be ready for the shocker of his life because all plans have been perfected. Just take a look at the inaugurated peace and reconciliation committees, very ridiculous,” another source said.
Some of the chieftains of the party including Ibori; Uduaghan; Manager; Edevbie; former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Peter Mrakpo; and former aspirants and other stakeholders from the 25 local government areas of the state last Thursday shunned the party’s grand reception to welcome the governor to the state after being announced by Atiku Abubakar as his running mate for the 2023 presidential election.
Meanwhile, in order to prevent the exit of some of the aggrieved chieftains and stakeholders of the party, the leadership of the party in a statement signed by Ifeanyi Osuoza, state publicity secretary and obtained by SaharaReporters, announced the inauguration of what it called “peace and reconciliation committees”.
The committees are expected to reach out to all aggrieved persons to appeal to them to work for the party’s victory in the 2023 general elections.