By Joshua Erubami
A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Henry Ofa has said there is the need for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to make all necessary adjustments that will allow the voting of independent candidates in future elections.
Ofa, a former commissioner on the board of Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC), explained that “we are in a time when electoral candidates should be supported not mainly on the basis of their political party or ethnic affiliations, but because of their verifiable credibility, leadership wit and the confidence of the masses that such candidate will deliver when voted into power”.
Speaking at the inauguration of the Delta Central Senatorial wing of the Association of Registered Political Parties (ARPP) at Ohuwhuorun, Udu Local Government Area of the state, the PDP stalwart noted that at present, political parties are the only vehicles for driving political interests in Nigeria.
“In the spirit of fairness to all, this should not be allowed to remain so. It is my opinion that other criteria besides party primaries be set up to allow credible candidates contest in elections on the platform of their credibility and wide acceptability”, he said.
“I hereby call on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Delta State Independent Electoral Commission (DSIEC) to make the necessary adjustments that will allow citizens vote in candidates who may not enjoy the support of their party caucus but are fully backed by the unflinching support of a larger percentage of the voting population of our state and country”, added Ofa who was chairman at the occasion held on Sunday.
On the 2019 polls, the former DESOPADEC Commissioner appealed to the representatives of the various political parties in the state “to assiduously work hard to return Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to the Delta State Government House, Asaba because he has creditably done well”.
According to him, “Okowa has scored above board in the task of delivering prosperity to all Deltans through his SMART Agenda. Anyone who had lived in Delta State since 2015 will agree that not a little has been achieved by the current administration in the state despite our plummeting and receding national economy that has prostrated many state governments in the country.
“As we speak, the facts speak for themselves in the three senatorial districts of the state. From public utility infrastructures to education, health to agriculture and economy to job creation, Governor Okowa has been able to prove his mettle as a seasoned administrator and prudent manager of human and economic resources. This is why many well meaning Deltans have rightly observed that the masses will be strength of Okowa come 2019”.
In his remark, the State Chairman of the ARPP, Comrade David Ashikodi also called on Deltans to massively support Okowa by 2019 because of his credibility and track records, urging all political parties in the state to offer constructive criticisms of government activities.