By Etop Ekanem
Chief Tunde Smooth, popularly known as Bolowei of the Niger Delta, has called on politicians in Delta State to stop blackmailing Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and his deputy Deacon, Kingsley Burutu Otuaro over alleged imposition of candidates for the forthcoming local council polls in the state.
Addressing newsmen in Warri during the weekend, Chief Smooth said: “The allegation of impositions or planned imposition of candidates, to make the electorate feel oppressed, is unfair to Governor Okowa who is working hard to attract development and satisfy the yearnings of the state in these economically difficult times.
“Governor Okowa made it clear that candidates cannot emerge from him but from various wards/local governments via agreed democratic processes. Chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, with influence should direct same towards positive ends rather than blackmail that will cast the state in bad political image.”
Smooth, a marine magnate and Ijaw leader, said political leaders should rather coordinate themselves and conduct peaceful, free and fair primaries within democratic tenets and should not blame their failure to do so on Governor Okowa and his deputy, Otuaro.