Asaba, the capital of Delta State stood still on Saturday when political bigwigs of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stormed the town for the reception of the state governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa by his people of Anioma nation otherwise politically known as Delta North Senatorial District.
National chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus, Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu and Rivers State Governor, Nyesome Wike led the party chieftains to the event which doubled as an endorsement of Governor Okowa as the sole candidate of Anioma nation for the 2019 governorship election in the state.
Two former governors of the state including James Ibori from Delta central and Emmanuel Uduaghan from Delta south also made solidarity appearances.
But chairman of the planning committee and senator representing Delta north, Peter Nwaoboshi was conspicuously absent, and no reason was given for the development. Nwaoboshi is seeking a re-election to the Red Chamber.
His absence fuelled speculations in some quarters that he was allegedly being detained by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), a theme that was being discussed in hush tunes at the Cenotaph, venue of the ceremony. His welcome address which was typed in the brochure of the event was read by Prof. Epiphany Azinge, a titled chief in Asaba.
Addressing the mammoth crowd, Governor Nyesome Wike said Deltans were lucky to have Okowa as their governor, and told him (Okowa) to prepare for his swearing-in for second tenure on May 29, 2019.
Wike said other political parties were virtually non-existent in Delta State, nothing that the PDP has evidence of development that would make the people return the party to Government House in 2019.
On his part, Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu urged Nigeria to borrow a leaf from Delta State where he said equity, justice and fairness were being displayed at the political arena.
National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus said the party was very proud of the achievements of Okowa as governor, and restated the determination of his party to regain power at the federal level in 2019.
Secondus said Nigerians will no longer fall for the lies and propaganda of the All Progressive Congress (APC), adding that the APC has failed to fulfil any of the promises it made in 2015 which made Nigerians to vote for President Muhammadu Buhari.
“I bring you greetings from the national secretariat, and want to say that the part is very proud of Okowa. We have promised to provide a level playing field for everybody. There will be no imposition or impunity. This is the new rebranded PDP, and we are determined to regain the lost ground.
“No amount of intimidation, lies or propaganda will stop the PDP from taking over in 2019. If they like, they should arrest and detain our leaders. If they like they should continue to announce names of alleged corrupt Nigerians, they will not get through again with lies and propaganda.
“APC is a sinking ship and that is why they are harassing and intimidating everybody and telling all sorts of lies that will not work this time. They did it in 2015, but it is not going to work in 2019,” Secondus stated.
Earlier in his goodwill message, Chief James Ibori promised to mobilise his numerous supporters for the re-election of Okowa.