On Wednesday, November 3, 2022, in a carnival-like event, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, shut down the Delta State Capital City, Asaba for the inauguration of the party’s Campaign Council in the State ahead of the 2023 general elections.
For more than two days prior to the inauguration ceremony, Delta State was buzzing with such questions as, “who are those that made the list?” “Is my name there?”
Even members of the opposition political parties were interested to know if their names appeared as members of the PDP Campaign Council. This did not come as a surprise because, there is no other political party that is on ground in the State other than the PDP.
Yes! There may be some dissenting voices but at the end of the day, every politician that is worth his salt in Delta State will not want to lose his unit to another political party. This is not because he will not get patronage from the PDP-led government but because his colleagues will be using such to taunt him or her.
Senator Ovie Omo-Agege who is the Governorship Candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, cut his political teeth on the platform of the PDP and same situation applies to all the other candidates of other political parties. These most times get their followers confused as they will not be sure if at the end of the day, the person that they are supporting will switch and vote for the candidates of the PDP. They want to remain relevant as it is almost impossible for any other political party to win in the State, not to talk about when the incumbent Governor, Senator, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, a man who has delivered practical dividends of democracy is contesting as the Vice-Presidential candidate on the PDP platform.
Deltans are in love with Governor Okowa’s administration. Politics aside, the people are beneficiaries and are witnesses to changes from empowerment programmes to delivery of infrastructure in the State and they are proving this with the massive reception the party is receiving at different Wards its campaign train is visiting.
Trust Governor Okowa, during the inauguration of the Campaign Council, he said, “There is only one team that can deliver Nigeria out of where we are and that is the Atiku-Okowa ticket.
“I have looked at all of them and ordinarily they would have been capable in a country that works but we are now in a country that is not working so you need those who know what to do.
“It is the Atiku-Okowa ticket of the PDP that can take us out of where we are and move us forward.
“PDP won’t lie to Nigerians, we have a difficult task but working with Nigerians we will get the country working again.
“The APC has not done well for this nation, they have taken us into troubled times, they have made our people lose jobs, our people have lost their businesses, and they have led us to insecurity.
“The only way they can possibly find a pathway to campaign is to lie but it is not good when people come out to lie in such a manner that even the blind will know that they are lying.
“They lied that we haven’t done anything in Asaba what about the storm drainages that prevented flood water from taking over people’s houses like it used to be in the past?
“What about the State Secretariat which is the best and most functional we have seen in the country?
“What about the Dennis Osadebay University, the Film Village, and Leisure Park that will be inaugurated in January by our Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar? It will attract a lot of tourists to this State but they can’t see it.
“What about the roads, the flyover, and interchange that we are helping the Federal Government to build?
“What we need to do is to pray for them that they may see because, apparently they are blind and they are not seeing but if you pray for them they will start to see.
“So let us go out there and convince the people to vote for us because it is a great opportunity to rescue this country and take it up to greater heights.
“They have driven us down the valley, we want to rise, its a tough task but Atiku Abubakar and I have accepted that working with all PDP members and all stakeholders in Nigeria including the organised private sector collectively we are able to take Nigeria back out of that valley and take it to greater heights,” Okowa stated.
The governorship candidate of the party and Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori at that inauguration ceremony talked about his programme for Deltans, saying, his M.O.R.E Agenda: Meaningful Development, Opportunities for All, Realistic Reforms, and Enhanced Peace and Security was geared towards consolidating and extending the gains of the current administration is designed to continue and expand the infrastructural and human capital development programmes of the Okowa administration.
“The vision is to keep Delta State ahead in all aspects of social and economic well-being and it is my promise to all Deltans that I will listen more, do more, and achieve more.”
Yours sincerely is in the campaign train for Delta North Senatorial District and on Monday and Tuesday, the train was in Aniocha North. Aniocha North being the first Local Government in Delta State based on alphabetical order was also, an ideal local government area for the commencement of the Ward-to-Ward, Unit-to-Unit, Family-to-Family, one-on-one campaign movement of the PDP in Delta State.
Aniocha North is home to political gladiators in Delta State – former Deputy Governor of the State, Chief, (Sir) Benjamin Chukwueweniwe Sunday Elue, is from the area that also has a woman who played active politics in the administration of Olorogun Felix Ibru, was active in the administration of Chief James Ibori, that of Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan and based on years she has been playing active roles in government, she is commonly addressed as Mother of Government, M.O.G for short, that is, Chief Nkem Okwuofu.
So, Aniocha North is, naturally, home to the PDP, but the joy in the people as they welcomed members of the campaign council of the PDP was palpable, it was infectious. Why not? The Local Government has produced the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Ndudi Elumelu who is seeking re-election to represent Aniocha/Oshimili Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives and of course, the Senatorial Candidate of the PDP for Delta North, Prince Ned Nwoko, is also, from Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State and as candidates of the party, they were in the campaign train.
The Deputy Governorship candidate of the PDP, Chief, (Sir) Monday Onyeme, was in the forefront of the campaign letting the people know why they should not waver in their support for the party.
At all the places visited which practically translates to all the communities in Aniocha North, the people felt the vibration of the PDP.
As a political party that has been on ground since 1999, the people were already aware that they are used to thumbprinting only where there is the umbrella logo, the logo of the PDP, so, it was more like a family meeting in a convivial, carnival-like event as the people danced to different songs been dished out from the jukebox or their native songs which they most often used to sing the praises of the candidates.
It is on record that among other achievements in the area, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s administration ensured that the people of Obomkpa and Ukwunzu were saved from the ravaging effects of erosion. It was to Governor Okowa administration’s credit that roads to these communities were also completed.
Chief Onyeme during the last lap of the tour, said, “We are here to thank you; thank you because, since 1999, you have remained steadfast with the umbrella political party, the PDP.
“Thank you because you appreciate the fact that there is no other political party that will do what the PDP is doing for you; thank you for believing that by voting for our great party, the PDP, more persons will get political appointments, more roads will be tarred, more schools will be built, more people will be empowered that is why our Governorship Candidate, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori, has promised M.O.R.E for Deltans.
“Yes! Deltans are getting since 1999 but Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori’s administration will give more and our Governor, Senator, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, who will be Vice-President, will also, make us get more, your son who is going to the Senate, Prince Ned Nwoko, will attract more, your son who is the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, will bring more smiles to your faces, and of course, Hon. Emeka Nwaobi will bring more from the House of Assembly as his colleague, our Speaker, Rt. Hon. Oborevwori will be the Governor.
“From me, you know as a lecturer, an accountant, I know how to count money and I know how it can be judiciously used, so, you will get more.”
The Senatorial Candidate, Prince Ned Nwoko, also, reeled out what he will do as a Senator to make youths to be employers of labour.
Normally, the Ward Chairmen would speak first before the Local Government campaign Coordinator, who in this case, is Deacon Chuks Nwaebuni, followed by the Chairman of the party in the Senatorial District, Elder Moses Iduh who had the task of introducing the candidates.
Though, the campaign was taking place simultaneously in the three senatorial districts of Delta State, the Chairman of PDP in the State, Olorogun Kingsley Esiso, with his entourage met the Delta North campaign train at Issele-Azagba and followed them to visit other Wards in the Local Government.
The campaign train took a day off on Wednesday, possibly to assess the progress made so far, and move to another Local Government Area on Thursday as each Local Government is assigned two days campaign tour by the campaign train which among top PDP Chieftains, has the Deputy Speaker, Delta State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Ochor Christopher Ochor, Chairman, Delta North PDP, Elder Moses Iduh, State Secretary of PDP, Engr. Dan Ossai, Secretary to Delta State Government, Chief Patrick Ukah, Chief Godwill Obielum, Chief Nkem Okwuofu, and Chief Fidelis Tilije.
From the feelers from the campaign of the PDP in the three Senatorial Districts, Deltans are, as usual, very receptive and are eager for the election to commence to enable them cast their votes for the umbrella political party.
Let us continue with the zeal as Delta will continue to be better.
The writer, Comrade Fidelis Egugbo, is the Special Assistant, Media to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State and member, Media Team of the Delta State PDP Campaign Council.