By Barth Ozah
It was a show of strength and dominance at a mega political rally held at the Ughelli Township Stadium, last week Wednesday by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Delta Central Senatorial district.
The 10,000-capacity stadium was filled to the brim as enthusiastic supporters of the PDP gathered to drum support for the re-election of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa. The rally was equally an opportunity for over 5,000 decampees from the opposition All Progressives Congress APC to switch allegiance to the PDP.
Speaking exclusively to Urhobo Voice at the venue of the rally, the Chairman of the publicity subcommittee of the mega rally, Chief Abel Oshievire, said the significance of the rally was to tell Deltans that PDP remains the most formidable political party in the State.
Oshevire noted that those who were in the opposition parties have come to realise that there is nothing like PDP in the State; “It is a united family, a party that takes welfare of its members as priority; a party that does not discriminate and cares for everybody.”
“Among the decampees are people who have been in the opposition for very long and they have realised that nobody can dismantle the PDP in Delta State. Therefore, it is better to join the party now than never.”
He claimed that PDP has no threat in the forthcoming general elections in the State, adding: “What I tell you, you can take to bank that there is no opposition in the State. PDP will score more than 90 per cent of votes in all the elections in the forthcoming general elections.”
According to Oshievire, Okowa is “Urhobo’s candidate” come 2019 because what is fair is fair. “Okowa represents the Delta North because the Delta Central and Delta South have had their eight years each. So for unity sake Delta North should complete their turn and that is the unity because we love ourselves. We believe in unity, love, fairness and justice. In 2023 the governorship will return to Delta Central. Urhobo people don’t eat alone, we are our brothers’ keepers and that is what is playing out here. So we are saying Governor Okowa is returning to Government House in 2019.”
He advised Urhobo sons and daughters who are aspiring to be Governor to wait till 2023, saying; “It is their right to aspire to any office in the land but I do not want them to dissipate their energies until 2023.”
The decampees along with their teeming followers were seen in joyful mode as they danced round the stadium in solidarity with their new political family pledging to work assiduously to ensure that PDP emerges victorious in the 2019 general elections.
Speaking on behalf of Kwankwasia group, Chief Edward Ofomona, said his group was happy to be given this opportunity to be in the PDP family. He paid tributes to Chiefs Paulinus Akpeki, Ighoghota Amori, Terry Noah and others for making it possible for him to reunite with the PDP family, adding that the group was also persuaded by the the good work Governor Okowa is doing in the State.
“Okowa’s achievements are there for the people to see. We the followers of Kwankwaso in Delta are so happy to join PDP. We are assuring you that Kwankwasia Movement in Delta has structures in all the LGA in the State, and we will vote for PDP. We used to be in APC but today we formally join PDP and we thank Governor Okowa and PDP for receiving us.”
Chief Ochuko Johnson, the Deputy Campaign Director General, Ogboru Campaign Organisation in 2015, said he decided to consummate and cement his relationship with PDP because of the achievements of Governor Okowa, insisting that PDP remains the only party in Delta State.
He said he was joining the PDP political family with all the members of Ogboru Ladies in politics, Concerned Okada Riders for Ogboru, which has now changed its name to Concerned Okada Riders for Okowa, stressing that the era of tribal politics is in the past as Delta is now one big, united family.
Chief Reuben Oteri, noted that Ughelli used to be the headquarters of opposition politics in the State but today the story is changing. “I worked with Chief Obafemi Awolowo as an opposition leader in the country,” Oteri recalled. “Today, I formally decamp from the APC to the PDP. We are joining forces to ensure that Delta moves forward. I want to thank our leaders, Chiefs Steve Oru, Ovie Agas, and others who are instrumental for my joining the PDP.”
Chief Samuel Umunedi, who also decamped from the APC to the PDP, commended the State Chairman of PDP who was instrumental for him joining the PDP, saying he is joining the PDP to help build the party and make it stronger in Delta State.
Chief Abel Orierumu, aka Zuma, an indigene of Abraka, who resides in Atlanta, USA, said he was pleased to announce that every member of his family is now in PDP, disclosing that he and his supporters came with a coffin to formally bury the APC in the area.
Another decampee, Chief Jairo Jerimo, who was described by the State PDP Chairman as the Bell Ringer of the APC in Delta Central, said; “ I am here as a leader to so many people with followers across the State. I am back and my people are back to the PDP family. I am happy to see the Governor here to receive us.”
Receiving the decampees, Okowa said: “It is a thing of joy that those who we described as big fishes in the opposition have come to join us in the PDP. With these persons that have joined us today, it is a smooth victory for PDP in 2019. God is with us. We are with the people. We are not deceiving people. We tell our people the truth and we are working with them.”
“For the 2019 elections, we will hold on to our units and wards. We will not allow anybody to intimidate us; we will win the next election decisively with the massive support we have. As we move towards our primaries, I assure you that PDP will organise free, fair and credible primaries.”
The State PDP Chairman, Barr. Kingsley Esiso, was full of praises for the Governor. “Governor Okowa is working,” he declared. “We believe in the principle of rotation of the governorship seat. Governor Okowa will complete his eight years in office. We are here today to tell the world that the people of Delta Central are fully in support of Governor Okowa in 2019.”