A political earthquake has hit Delta State as the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, mainstream wing, Delta Unity Group, DUG, on Sunday declared for the All Progressives Congress, APC, with a commitment to vote all candidates of the party in the 2023 general elections.
The DUG is renowned as the strategic and intellectual arm of the Delta PDP. The group previously coalesced around Olorogun David Edevbie, Former Delta Governor, Chief James Ibori’s choice for Delta state governor; a choice that was rebuffed by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, in favour of controversial House Speaker, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori.
At a Special Declaration Rally, Sunday, January 22, at the St George’s College, Obinomba, thousands of DUG members donning their signature red shirts and hats, led by three time member of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon Daniel Reyenieju; ex- house speakers, Chief Monday Igbuya and Rt Hon Olisa Imegwu, among others, declared formally for the APC.
Speaking, Rt Hon Reyenieju said the DUG was founded and created to support the best candidate of the PDP, but when the best could not be presented, “we went round the state for a man who could do the modernization programme of David Edevbie and found that capacity in the person of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege.
“We will show PDP pepper. We can’t continue like this, we can’t have a president that will sell all our assets, we can’t have a vice president that will continue to borrow money with nothing to show. All the money they borrowed and kept away will turn to fertilizers in their farms.”
Former House Speaker, Rt Hon. Igbuya, recalled that when Governor Okowa came on board with him as Speaker, “he complained that the debt burden incurred by former Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan was so heavy, he cut all our entitlements that there was no money. Now the debt he has incurred in eight years will be difficult to pay back in a life time.
Also speaking, Chief Evans Iwurie, a prominent DUG leader and former Delta Assembly member, said Governor Okowa, by his incompetence, has become an embarrassment to Delta State, Nigeria and the medical profession, assuring that with Senator Ovie Omo-Agege as governor, Delta State will regain its pride again.
An obviously elated Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, Deputy Senate President and Delta APC Governorship candidate, said he was in awe but not surprised by the the development.
“But frankly speaking, who would have believed, two years ago, that the people who made things happen in the PDP would “tear the umbrella” and join the APC?
*We have always made the case that Delta State under Governor Okowa is not the State we inherited from our parents. Look around, no roads. Schools and health facilities are in very poor condition. Retirees are dying, their gratuities and pensions unpaid. Yet Governor Okowa wants to secure a third term through his stooge, Oborevwori.
Good news is that come February 25 and March 11, we have all it takes to chase him and PDP away. With the APC force and reinforcement from DUG, which is two thirds of Delta PDP, we can effortlessly defeat Governor Okowa and his remnants in the PDP. This is now a liberation movement. Come out and chase Okowa, Atiku and PDP away.”
Senator Omo-Agege assured the DUG decampees that he will ensure just and equitable governance when elected governor. “We will be fair to all, no senatorial district will be discriminated against, what Okowa refused to do we will do. We will apply our resources judiciously and equitably. Poor healthcare will be addressed, and the facilities and quality of education in our schools will be improved.
“The common struggle now is to chase Governor Okowa and PDP away. I formally welcome all our leaders. We have no joiners and no founders, people will be rewarded for what they do.”
State Chairman of the APC, Elder Omeni Sobotie, said when Chief James Ibori was governor, nobody left the PDP, but under Okowa, greed and pride destroyed the party.
Said he: “to my decampees, APC is your home, you shall not regret it. You are going be integrated into all the facets of the party from unit to national level. We will expand our campaign council to reflect our new reality. Some will serve at the state and others at the national level”
Director-General of the Delta APC Campaign Council, Elder Godsday Orubebe, celebrated the leadership of the DUG for joining in the effort to salvage Delta state at a most critical moment. He noted that governance collapsed in Delta once Chief Ibori left as governor, and that the state is yet to recover.
On his part, Olorogun O’tega Emerhor, said his dream for APC to take over Delta State is coming to pass. “We had some problems, we were fighting against each other, but God took that problem and gave it to PDP. God has divided PDP to three parts and brought two thirds of it to join the APC.”
Among leadership of the DUG that decamped were: Hon Daníel Reyenieyu, former three-term House of Reps member; Hon Mercy Almona-Isei, former House of Reps Hon member; Rt Hon. Monday Igbuya, former Speaker of Delta State House of Assembly; Rt Hon Olise Imegwu, former Speaker and former House of Reps member, and Chief Judith Enamuotor, former Commissioner and Board of trustee, BOT, member of PDP.
Others included Hon Alaowe Timi Tonye, former State Assembly member; Dr Karo Ilolo, former Commissioner Urban Renewal; Chief Faith Majemite, former Ethiope East council Chairman; Chiefs Stanley Odali and Pius Ovbije; Hon Evans Iwurie, Felix Ndukwe, Comrade Mike Akpobire, Chief Florence Akpoibo, Ejifeoma Esere, Comrade Ingo Isaiah Tam and Dr. Sebastian Agbefe.