By Festus Ahon
GOVERNOR of Delta State, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, yesterday said he would have left the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP if the Supreme Court had decided in favour of Ali Modu Sheriff’s faction.
Speaking during a stakeholders’ meeting to celebrate the victory of the Ahmed Makarfi-led Caretaker Committee, held in Asaba, Okowa said the party was positioning itself to win the 2019 presidential election.
He said: “I did contemplate leaving the party, unfortunately, the party leadership at the national level was in the hands of Ali Modu Sheriff at that time, and they brought out a candidate for Warri South Constituency I bye-election without consulting us.
“So, we decided to stay indoors. That was exactly what happened. We stayed indoors and the PDP did not do well, hence the Accord Party candidate won. Our victory will make the APC-led Federal Government sit up and deliver democratic dividends to the electorate.
“The victory is for democracy, you know that APC is in power at the moment, and if we don’t have a credible opposition, it will not be good for the country, it will not be good for the economy. I believe that with the victory, the APC government at the centre will sit up.
“We the PDP members have also learnt our lessons. So, I believe that we are going to have a better process of integrity going forward in the party. I believe that it is good generally for democracy in the country and for our economy.
“The government at the centre knows that they need to sit up. We have given them a sack notice for 2019 because we are working very hard, and I can see the enthusiasm not only in Delta State but across the nation that the PDP needs to take over in 2019.’’
Also speaking at the well-attended event, former governor of the state, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan said the Supreme Court victory was a victory for democracy.
Uduaghan said the PDP remained a stronger party, urging political appointees to strengthen the party by spreading dividends of democracy to the people.
He said: “If you are holding a 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.’’
In their separate speeches, the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Mr. Leo Ogor, and the Chairman of the PDP in the South South geopolitical region, Mr. Emmanuel Ogidi said the Supreme Court judgment had returned the party’s winning streak. They urged members of the party to remain focused and committed to the ideals of the party.