By Chinwe Molokwu
As 2019 People’s Democratic Party (PDP) primaries draw near, there are very strong indications that a particular aspirant vying for the Aniocha North constituency seat, fearing heavy defeat at the primary election, may have intensified plans to intimidate other aspirants out of the race and ensure that the primary may not be free, fair, credible and transparent after all.
Impeccable sources within Aniocha North political landscape hint that these indications may not be unconnected with an alleged recent move by the Delta State Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Engr. Emma Chinye to prevail on one of the leading House of Assembly aspirants in Aniocha North constituency to step down for a purported Government aspirant in the race.
The sources infer that this alleged move by the Delta state Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, may likely be the proverbial hand of Esau and the voice of Jacob in action at the State level, even as one of the leaders in Aniocha North, who spoke under anonymity, warned strongly that they were prepared in all ramifications and watching to see where any plot to intimidate aspirants or subvert the process would emanate from, stressing that Aniocha North people were wiser this time around and nothing but a free, fair, credible and transparent House of Assembly primary would suffice this time around.
Warning further, Aniocha North leaders equally cautioned that those calling and invoking the name of Governor Okowa as the source from which the alleged imposition of a particular aspirant was coming from, were not being fair to the Governor and should be mindful of the implication of their comments, bearing in mind that Senator Okowa, who has willingly subjected himself to the governorship primary of the PDP and directed all aspirants to go and compete for party tickets across board, on a level playing field, also needs popular candidates to do battle with the opposition in the general elections which is around the corner.
Meanwhile, news making rounds have it that one Hon. Jaunty Okwudi allegedly told some party faithful that the Governor had instructed him to deliver a particular aspirant vying for the Aniocha North constituency seat, who he claimed is the Government’s candidate.
Regrettably, this is coming at a time when the leadership of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) at the National and State levels are propagating an all-inclusive party primaries, where supposedly a level playing field would be given to all aspirants ahead of the 2019 General Elections.
Recall that the 2014 PDP primary in Aniocha North had also been embroiled in controversy and the party had lost-out to Accord party in the 2015 elections due to the imposition of the present incumbent, who narrowly got the ticket by an alleged legal oversight at the Appeal Court, after a purported manipulation declaring him winner, in the wake of the primaries where he had, according to some eye witness accounts, suffered defeat convincingly.
Aniocha North sources contend that there is great optimism and excitement this time around, given the fact that the umpire at the Federal is different from the party at the State level, hence the resolve by both leaderships of PDP at the National and State levels to conduct free, fair, credible and transparent primaries at all levels, even as hopes are high that the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) will not gamble or take chances in the face of the current political realities on ground.