• 20 APC members defected
  • Defectors are paper weight says APC source
  • I am not afraid of Oshiomhole says Okowa
  • Okowa calls on God for help
  • Ibori absent at rally

 

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By Jon Egie

 

 

 

Gov Okowa followed by Barr Esiso march to the rostrum

Governor Okowa narrowly escaped being choked to death by fumes emanating from APC defectors’ brooms that were set on fire in Ughelli.

It was on Wednesday, Sept. 12 at the Ughelli Township Stadium, when the PDP in Delta Central senatorial district held a mega rally of reconsolidation and reception of politicians who were defecting from the APC and other political parties to the PDP.

The number of attendees to the event grew but not near to the capacity of the stadium till about 1318 hours when Gov Okowa arrived.

The rally significantly show cased the presence of various aspirants to the DTHA, House of Reps, Senate and their supporters and noticeably, the teeming supporters of Kwakwanso who like a school of fish, covered a large area of the stadium in their uniform costume.

They all carried banners and posters of their principals with clear campaign inscriptions as they competed for space to display their insignia for sighting and recognition before the governor and leadership of the party.

There was no group that displayed any rival contender to the governor except that all aspirants used the image of Gov Okowa as a prop for relevance and recognition on their path to victory at the forth coming primary elections of the party.

Dr AP Fovie, Chairman of PDP in Delta Central mounted the rostrum and assured Gov Okowa that the party in the senatorial district was not resting on its oars to check mate the ravaging and invading force of the opposition party, APC, in Delta state.

He accused the APC of being propagandists of empty and vain promises and assured that come 2019, the PDP will disgrace the APC at the polls.

Surveyor Terry Noah who was chairman of the organizing committee for the rally also took stage to introduce the party chairman at the state level, Barr Kingsley Esiso who in an Elysium, danced and hopped around as defectors prepared to renounce their former partisan faiths and declare allegiance and loyalty to the new faith, PDP.

While this was going on, a group of persons bearing a coffin on which APC RIP was boldly written danced around the stadium supposedly mimicking the death and burial of APC in Delta state.

The Undertakers were said to be recruited by one of the defectors, Chief Diplomat Oharume who defected from the APC to the PDP.

From the vantage position of this reporter, the number of APC brooms- bearing defectors were counted and confirmed by PDP members who sat close to him to be not more than 20.

“Well, that is the number I will write before in their exaggeration they inflate it to the thousands” the reporter told the PDP members.

“No, do not write it like that, they are 20,000 defectors or you can write 5,000” the PDP members objected.

One PDP member was identified as an APC member who was among those that was decamping to swell the number of defectors but the guy refused such labeling saying he was a member of the PDP and not an APC defector.

Built in the year 2002 during the first tenure of Chief James Ibori, the Ughelli Township Stadium has a capacity of 5,000 people.

The defectors, 20 of them as confirmed by the PDP members were assembled before Gov Okowa, Barr Kingsley Esiso and other PDP bigwigs on the rostrum, waving their brooms.

In Elysium, the state party chairman, Barr Esiso assured the ‘ship jumpers’ that come May 29, 2019 Gov Okowa would be sworn in again as governor of Delta state.

He stressed that the Federal Government led by the APC has failed woefully. “They have not performed and we must change them” he charged.

“By May 29, 2019 we are going to have a President of PDP extraction” he assured.

The defectors: Col Morrison Ide(retd), Chief Diplomat Oharume who was  a onetime candidate for the DTHA on the platform of Labour Party, Chief Ochuko Johnson, Chief Reuben Oteri and Chief Samuel Umunedi; at the prompt of the state party chairman, Esiso, gave testimonies of their convictions in jumping from the ship of the  APC to that of the PDP.

Significantly among the testimonies were the narratives of Diplomat Oharume who said having been with Chief Great Ogboru for 15 years in the political struggle to wrest power from the PDP in Delta state, “I know Ogboru’s weak points and I will make sure he wins in Anambra state and not Delta state”.

Reuben Oteri gave a long narrative of how his father, Chief Samuel Oteri of blessed memory who was a one-time chairman of Ughelli local government council charged him to be in opposition to fight for truth and justice and how he had maintained faith with Great Ogboru for decades to no avail.

He expressed gratitude to Dr Isaac Akpoveta and other PDP leaders in Ughelli North who piloted him from political despair in APC to see the light in PDP. His boring testimony demanded the patience of Gov Okowa to be concluded and beamed a smile after the governor received his scripted message and gave him a pat on the back with the cue, “I will see you later”.

After the testimonies, a ritual for initiation and acceptance into the PDP fold was observed.

All the defectors handed down their dangled brooms which were collected into a heap and the brooms were set ablaze.

A thick fume thereafter emanated from the burning brooms and like lit incenses at a spiritual ceremony, arose up to the rostrum where the Delta state governor, Kingsley Esiso and other PDP bigwigs on the rostrum stood.

The dancing and flexuous gyrating of the governor and the state PDP chairman soon ceased as the conflagration increased and the smoke rose up, choking them.

The governor and Esiso quickly brought out their handkerchief to cover their noses from the choking smoke and when it became unbearable, the governor ordered that the fire be put out.

Quickly, PDP members and APC defectors sought for water to put out the APC brooms’ fire and the fire was put out before Gov Okowa spoke.

Speaking, Gov Okowa said his works which are visible across the nooks and cranny of the state speak for him.

He admitted that it has been difficult, since the present democratic dispensation, for the PDP to win Ughelli North LGA but was optimistic that henceforth, with the caliber of persons who defected from the opposition, winning Ughelli would be a walk over.

In a near weeping syllable voice, the governor said he was not bothered by the loquacious nature and threats emanating from the APC national chairman, HE Comrade Adams Oshiomhole because “I am working”.

He said the APC train has crashed long ago and therefore, encouraged the defectors and PDP members not to be afraid.

“Don’t let them intimidate you. There is the hand of God in Delta state. We will win the election because you are with me and those who decamped are with me.

“I am not afraid because you are at my back and God is on our side. We will do a free and fair primary and go to the election to win.” Okowa reassured.

Political analysts in Ughelli however advised Gov Okowa to do more work if he must win Ughelli.

A source who craved anonymity described one of the defectors, Reuben Oteri as having no political base to influence votes for the PDP following the antecedents of his political progenitors and hence, “Okowa should not count on people like him”.

During the rally, ex-governor James Ibori was conspicuously absent.

The ex-governor whose membership of the PDP has been described as ephemeral following the recent decamp of his older cousin, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, from the PDP to the APC, hails from Oghara in Ethiope West.

PDP members and leaders from Ethiope West were among those who attended the rally without James Ibori.

Ibori’s absence further made bold the question mark as to the reality of the political statement made by Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan when he described himself as a harbinger (John the Baptist) , in decamping from the PDP to the APC, said he fore runs the exit of very big masquerades and small ones that will trail his exit of the PDP for the APC.