.

…assures of free, fair primaries for all aspirants

…says he hasn’t endorsed any aspirant 

debunks allegation of paying thugs N2 billion monthly 

By Festus Ahon & Paul Olayemi, ASABA

DELTA State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, Thursday, said the 2023 politics has not caused any crack in the ‘Ibori’ political family and Peoples Democratic Party, PDP family in the State.

Okowa said at a meeting of all political stakeholders, leaders and aspirants held on 5th April, it was resolved that the three-man Adhoc delegate list in every ward in the state be done by consensus. He, however, decried that a section of politicians tried to hijack the process without success. 

The Governor who spoke at the 2022 quarterly media interaction with Journalists in Asaba, assured of a free and fair primary to pick candidates of the PDP in the State at all levels. 

Okowa debunked the allegation that his government spent N2 billion monthly to pay political thugs. While saying that his government does not encourage thuggery, he said the monthly payment for all political appointees was not near N1 billion. 

He also denied endorsing any aspirant for all the positions being contested in the 2023 general election.

The Governor said: “The Ibori family as you call it is still intact, the PDP family in Delta State is still intact, whatever you are seeing at the moment is just politics.”

On the allegation that his administration spends N2 billion monthly on thugs, he said; “when people are in high offices, they should get the right information so that in your communication to Deltans, ensure you are speaking the truth. But when somebody rises and says they are using N2 billion to pay thugs, it is a very unfortunate statement. 

“I had rather not comment much on that but I do know we do not spend N2 billion to pay political thugs. Am aware that the total payment to all political appointees in the state is not anywhere near N1 billion not to talk of N2 billion to political thugs. So when somebody talks in that manner, it is very unfortunate. 

“But I don’t even know those he calls political thugs because we are not a violent party, the PDP is not violent. The same people who talk about thugs are actually the ones that are violent in this state. Whereas he should be collaborating with the government, yes you belong to another political party but when you are in office, there must be a collaboration to seek the good of the state.

“II will not play the kind of politics they play but it’s time to talk to Deltans, we will speak to Deltans based on what we have done, based on what Deltans have also done to assist us to achieve what we have achieved. We will continue to try to stay responsible. 

“However, I don’t want to talk much when it’s time to campaign we will talk to Deltans. If you are talking about thuggery, if you look at them and look at me, you will see that we are two different sets of people”.

On endorsement of aspirants, Okowa said; “the majority of the people that are using my name, sometimes three persons running for the same position in the same place will claim that I have endorsed them, it’s part of the politics that people play.

“The fact is that I have not endorsed any aspirant, by the grace of God we will work towards the free and fair primary election. People should work hard and we will provide a level playing ground”.

Speaking further, Okowa said; “you will know the direction that God wants us to go when we are approaching the congress which has now been shifted to 23.

“I hope and pray that whoever will succeed me will respect the will of the people, somebody who would have a feeling for every Deltan, somebody who will unite Delta State and somebody who will be humble enough”.

Speaking on the alleged hijack of the Adhoc delegate list, he said; “at a meeting of stakeholders, leaders and all the aspirants held on 5th April we agreed on consensus to pick the ad-hoc delegates across all wards in the state.

“That agreement was carried out across the over 200 wards in the state. Where we have issues, the state executives prevailed. So on the 30th of April, congresses for the delegates were held across all wards in the state.

“It was some other persons who tried to hijack the delegate list against the agreement of on 5th April 2022, but they were not able to hijack the process”. 

Vanguard News Nigeria

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