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Press Statement

Delta Guber Primary Was Free, Fair, Transparent; Okowa, Esiso did not Impose Anybody – MSD

The attention of the Movement for Stronger Delta (MSD), has been drawn to a recent press statement titled: “OKOWA AND ESISO’S JOURNEY TO MURDER DELTA PDP: THE END JUSTIFIES THE MEANS”, issued on May 27, 2022, and signed by Engr. Aruoture M. Efe, Spokesman, Delta State Concerned PDP Leaders’ Forum.

As far as we are concerned, this statement is distasteful, uncharitable, totally unnecessary, annoyingly unbecoming, and unfortunately immature from a group which calls itself ‘Concerned PDP Leaders Forum’, especially at this auspicious time, when the party has just concluded its hugely successful primaries for all elective positions across the State.

Any group which calls itself Delta State Concerned PDP Leaders’ Forum and even identifies with the party in any form or nomenclature, should be extremely happy and be beating its chest with pride that there was no fighting, no disruptions, no killings, no maimings, no disorderliness throughout the Primaries. Even in situations where there were disagreements or deadlocks in results, the ballots were recounted in the presence of everyone and Run-off elections were held which all produced results that were satisfactory to all concerned.

Compare this to what has been happening in the opposition APC Primaries, which has been filled with protests, disorderliness, maimings, and even reported casualties and you will agree with us that anyone or group connected with the PDP should be filled with pride and confidence that the party, under the able and astute leadership of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa “Ekwueme” and the State Executive Council piloted by the calm but firm navigation of Olorogun, Barr. Kingsley Esiso, has done a great job and delivered on its pledge to provide a level playing field for the conduct a free, fair, credible and transparent Primaries.

As for the baseless allegation of imposition, let’s get the facts clear. Rt. Hon. Oborevwori scored a total of 590 out of 821 valid votes to emerge the winner. David Edevbie polled 113 votes in second and Senator James manager got 83 votes in third. This cannot be said to be imposition by any stretch of imagination, except by mischief makers, disgruntled elements, and bad losers.

We have read of instances in other States, in this same PDP guber  Primaries, where out of over 800 votes winners will get over 790 votes and above. Now that is what we call imposition if there was ever a clear example of the word. And so for the so-called Delta State Concerned PDP Leaders’ Forum, to describe what happened during the Primaries as a ‘charade’, is not only an insult to the hard work which all the Aspirants, Delegates, supporters, and loyalists, including themselves put in, it is sadly a clear testimony that they may not even be loyal and committed members who are ready to sabotage the party, once they don’t get their way. This is truly a shameful way to behave.

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Besides, if Edevbie had won, they would have said Chief Ibori imposed him. If James Manager of Kingsley Otuaro had won, they would have shouted to high heavens that Tompolo or Pa. EK Clark imposed either of them. Now that Sheriff has won in a free, fair, and transparent Primaries, they are calling Okowa and Esiso, whereas, as it can be seen from the results, the Delegates, especially in this novel situation where they were even elected Delegates, not statutory as we had expected, exercised their free will to vote their choices and a winner emerged.

It’s high time we stopped this childish behaviour of always crying foul and issuing wild and unhelpful threats, if our aspirant does not win and support the winner to achieve ultimate victory. In every election, there must be a winner and losers. Delegates cannot vote for more than one person in an election. We know for a fact that all the Aspirants were given equal opportunity to access and lobby Delegates for their individual or block votes and those who convinced the Delegates got their votes.

Considering the fact that there were over 10 aspirants from Delta Central, it would have been impossible for Delegates to vote for all of them at once, especially since the conventional mindset, on the grounds of equity, had been that it was the turn of Central to produce the next PDP guber Candidate and subsequently the next Governor of Delta State.

So, naturally, the Delegates voted for Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori, who they felt had the better all-around capacity, capabilities, and advantage to ensure victory for the Party in the general election. The South also had at least three aspirants who were not ready to step down for one person to emerge as the consensus candidate. The votes also made a statement of their own. That’s how democracy works. This is the clear and incontrovertible logic.

Finally, we find it quite funny and childish that Engr. Aruoture M. Efe, the Spokesman for Delta State Concerned PDP Leaders’ Forum, should be chiding the State Public Secretary, Dr. Ifeanyi Osuoza for, according to him: “hurriedly congratulate Rt Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori without extending a consolatory message to the losers of the guber primary.” It is now quite obvious from this statement alone, that these so-called ‘Concerned PDP Leaders’ either don’t know how to read or are deliberately being mischievous.

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In any case and for the avoidance of doubt, we refer the ‘Concerned PDP Leaders Forum’ to read paragraphs 2, 4, 5, 6, and the last paragraph of Dr. Osuoza’s press statement. If the contents of these paragraphs out of a nine paragraphs press statement are not sufficient to show Engr. Efe and his co-travelers that the PDP is one big family and there’s no room for discrimination anywhere, then they are looking for another thing that is more dubious and unhealthy as ‘concerned party leaders’.

We are also quite happy to note that the ‘Concerned PDP Leaders Forum’, has advised that steps should be taken to reconcile all the aggrieved Party faithful. This is very important because there’s a popular saying that, you please some of the people all the time and you can please all the people some of the time, but you cannot please all the people all the time.

No situation, especially one which involves human participation can ever be delivered to perfection, which is why there are percentages in grading things and we in MSD score PDP 95% in the just concluded party Primaries. We must therefore caution the ‘Concerned PDP Leaders Forum’, to be careful with threats of “swallowing bitter pills” and he who laughs last laughs best”, or are they planning to sabotage the PDP by cutting their nose to spite their face in the 2023 elections? This is indeed a point to ponder and food for thought.

We know that in every contest there will be winners and losers and not everyone will be happy with the results, which is why reconciliation is key. However, we must make bold to state categorically here that reconciliation can only be possible when parties are willing to come to the table honestly and with an open mind to embrace each other, and not when they issue incendiary, bitter, and acrimonious press statements that forecloses even the attempt to reconcile.

We have even noticed that not many aspirants have congratulated the winner and we urge that it is not too late to find the words to do so in the interest of party unity and family bonding. That is where the true spirit of reconciliation, maturity, and sportsmanship should start from, no matter what subsequent actions are being considered, going forward.

The key point which all aspirants must understand and embrace is that in the end, it is the party that will win the election, no matter whose name is on the ballot. So, all hands must be on deck and all forces must come together to ensure victory for the party for that is the only way, even considering, without conceding to all options, that those who are aggrieved can only get to enjoy their victory if they succeed in turning the tables. “Party is Supreme” and all members of the party are winners when the party is victorious.

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Two very important takeaways have however emerged from the recently concluded PDP Guber Primaries. The first is that, despite all the innuendos, misinformation, negative and misleading allegations of betrayal, and other wicked accusations, especially against Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, the people of Delta Central got the governorship ticket, in fulfillment of the equity and rotation argument which had threatened to scatter the party as a result of the nefarious rumour mongers and detractors.

It is expected, that it will be the turn of Delta South and a smooth sailing all the way to get the ticket in the next election cycle after the mandatory period of the Central. We hope and pray that there won’t be any arguments whatsoever, by those like ‘Concerned PDP Leaders Forum’, who always want to participate in every election, when the time comes.

The second is that, contrary to the myopic, shortsighted mindset of Engr. Aruoture Efe and his ilk, PDP actually conducted successful and well-received Primaries for all elective positions and not just for the Governorship ticket, and those who followed the elections, will agree that there was a particular instance of ‘imposition’ and intimidation, which ‘Concerned PDP Leaders Forum’ have deliberately refused to talk about, but are instead blaming Governor Okowa, for their own failures.

This silly penchant of always using Okowa to create a diversion, because he is quiet and does not like trouble, must stop henceforth. Governor Ifeanyi Okowa is the leader of the PDP in Delta State and those who are true and committed members of the party understand this fact and have given him his due respect. All detractors should know this and know peace. PDP is one big, united family.

Already, the victorious Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori has penned a humble and passionate message to all members of the party, including his co-contestants, in which he declared with great humility that “We are all winners”.

What every concerned and happy member of the party should be doing now is to join hands with Governor Okowa to ensure a comprehensive, landslide victory for the party in the general elections, so that the PDP can continue and consolidate on its agenda of building a #StrongerDelta for all Deltans in the next dispensation.

That, without doubt, is and has always been the SIMPLE Agenda.

MOVEMENT FOR STRONGER DELTA, (MSD)

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