By Jon Egie

 

POCChief Pius Ovbije aka POC, has replied critics of his move to galvanize the PDP in Ughelli North saying that so long his motive is to secure the re-election of Dr Ifeanyi Okowa as governor of Delta State in 2019, “I am not worried”.

Chief Ovbije in an exclusive interview said the approach to political overtures in Nigeria has transcended from the top-bottom model to the bottom-top model and that so long the card reader has been constitutionally recognized as the new means of expressing franchise, any good politician should calculate political victory from the perspective of bottom-top approach.

“When you play politics of ‘carry go’, the top-bottom approach is good but if votes must count, then the bottom-top approach is the lee-way. That is my motive fo Ughelli North and that is why we are organizing ourselves to move the local government forward to ensure victory for Okowa in 2019”.

Pius Ovbije has recently convened meetings of leaders of the PDP in Ughelli North LGA with the sole aim of taking control of decisions for the party keeping elders of the party aside, strictly to play advisory role.

But critics say the move has dismembered the party in the LG leaving the PDP umbrella in shreds arising that the disunity between the elders and the leaders.

The critics allege that the Ovbije group aims to even scores with Gov Okowa who succumbed to the wish of the elders to impose Hon Godwin Adode aka Coach Tete as council chairman against the pick of Aduvie, one of the aspirants for the local council chairmanship seat election conducted recently by the DSIEC.

They also allege that the leaders’ group formed by Pius Ovbije has the ulterior motive of supporting immediate past chairman of the council, Hon Kenneth Ibru for election into the Ughelli Constituency 1 seat of the DTHA. These motives, the critics claim, would tear the party apart and endanger the chances of Okowa’s re-election.

But Pius Ovbije told Spy News Online that since the days of former Gov Uduaghan, the elders of the party in the LG have not called a ward meeting to deliberate on the fortunes of the party. The development, he said, left many leaders of the party in the cold as their views were not sought before decisions were taken and because they were not considered in the scheme of things the leaders folded their arms to watch while the opposition had a field day in the LG.

“If not for this intervention, there would have been mass defection from the PDP. The movement has put a temporary stop to that. We oiled Okowa’s project since 2011 and we cannot let it be destroyed by sit tight elders and that is why we took the bull by the horn.

“We are happy welcoming people to the PDP for Okowa second tenure. Since there is a consensus to support Okowa for a second term whether it is POC group or elders group all that is important is Okowa is returned.

“There is no division among members of the PDP leaders and elders. There is the elders forum which meets at their own time but since the advent of politics in Ughelli North, we who belong to the category of leaders do not meet and we are the foot soldiers that go to the field for elections.

“We decided to get a forum where the leaders can meet and deliberate on the future of the party. We have been able to bring back the aggrieved members of the party and more are still coming. We have been able to stop others from defecting.

“When the need arises, the leaders and elders will meet and whatever decision that is taken at such meetings would easily be disseminated to the grassroots to comply in line with the bottom-top approach and not the top-bottom approach which is obsolete” Ovbije said.