By Etop Ekanem
Chief Tunde Smooth, an Ijaw leader, has called on politicians in Delta State to stop blackmailing Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and his deputy, Deacon Kingsley Otuaro, over alleged imposition of candidates in the forthcoming local council polls in the state.
Addressing newsmen in Warri, Smooth said: “The allegation of imposition or planned imposition of candidates to make the electorate feel oppressed is unfair to Governor Okowa who is working hard to attract development to the state and satisfy the yearnings of the people in these difficult times.
“Governor Okowa made it clear that candidates cannot emerge from him but from the wards and local governments via agreed democratic processes. Chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, with influence should direct same towards positive ends rather than resorting to blackmail that will cast the state in bad political light.”
Smooth said that 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 Okowa and his deputy.