By Emma Amaize
ASABA- Ijaw Agenda for Governorship 2023, DIA-G23, an Ijaw sociocultural pressure group, has urged the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Delta State, to select Senator James Manager as its 2023 governorship standard-bearer, saying Ijaw ethnic nationality in Delta South senatorial district cannot wait until 2031 to govern the state.
The group in a communique by the director general, Felix Okpe, after a meeting in Warri, said: “We (Ijaw) cannot wait till 2031 to produce a governor from Delta -Ijaw extraction, rather 2023 is the set time for us to produce Senator James Ebiowou. Manager, the first PDP state chairman, who has paid his dues by installing all the previous governors in the state.”
“The leaders and stakeholders of PDP should forget about zoning governorship in 2023 to allow peace to reign in the party because there is nothing like zoning since the inception of the party in 1999. Our stand is that the party should vehemently support Senator Manager to emerge as governorship flag- bearer.
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“The party should not prevent Senator Manager, the consensus candidate of Delta- Ijaw extraction because we cannot take this political marginalization and oppression any longer.
“The political leaders from Delta Central should not be selfish, but be considerate for the sake of equity and fair play to allow Delta- Ijaws to produce the next governor of Delta state because Delta state belongs to all of us as they have constantly denied Delta- Ijaws the number one seat of the state since 1991,” the group stated.
Maintaining that Senator Manager was unstoppable, DIA said the group mulled over last Friday’s caucus meeting of the party, “where former governors, Chief James Ibori, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, incumbent governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, deputy governor , Barr Kingsley Otuaro, Senator Manager and other party leaders on the said gentleman zoning arrangement.”
It said media report indicated that “Senator Manager, Barr Otuaro, both governorship aspirants from Ijaw extraction and former state PDP chairman, Chief Edwin Uzor, opposed the zoning arrangement because since inception of the party, there was nothing like zoning, therefore, 2023 cannot be exception.”