From Joseph Obukata, Warri
The Senator Ovie Omo-Agege gubernatorial campaign organisation has alleged that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa is, indeed, a traitor as reportedly claimed by the Edwin Southern and Middle Belt Leaders’ Forum (SMBLF).
SMBLF had accused the governor of betraying the South over his acceptance of vice presidential ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
There have been flurry of reactions in Delta State after SMBLF, in a statement signed by Clark, SMBLF/Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) leader; Ayo Adebanjo, Afenifere leader; Dru Bitrus, Middle Belt Forum president general, and George Obiozor, Ohaneze Ndigbo president general, berated Okowa for accepting the slot.
The Clark group had alleged that acceptance of the ticket amounts to ‘betrayal of the highest order’ as 17 governors of the southern states, both of the PDP and the All Progressives Congress (APC), under the chairmanship of the Governor of Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, had in series of meetings in Asaba, on May 11, 2021 and another in Lagos, on July 5, and again in Enugu, on September 16, reaffirmed their decision that the presidency should rotate to the South in 2023.
Clark’s SMBLF had said Okowa reneged on the agreement which was based on the principles of fairness, equity and justice that the presidency should rotate to the South, at the end of the statutory eight years of President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure.
Leveraging on the development, Omo-Agege camp, in a statement by Ima Niboro, director, Communications and Media Strategy, berated the governor over his claim on national television where he reportedly hinged his decision to accept the nomination on party supremacy.
“No matter the number of media interviews granted by the embattled governor, it doesn’t detract from the fact that he is a traitor, and the statement by our elders in SMBLF that Governor Okowa spent extensive sums of money to lobby for the position has vindicated us.
“We condemn the use of taxpayers’ funds and the collective resources of Deltans to fund personal political ambitions of a failed governor.
“The import of the vice presidential candidate’s betrayal is that anybody who dines with him should do so with a long spoon. A governor who betrayed his colleagues and the entire South for his personal ambition cannot be trusted,” he said.
Responding, the Delta State chapter of PDP, chided the APC governorship campaign organisation for being jittery over the emergence of Governor Okowa.
The party, in a statement by its state Publicity Secretary, Ifeanyi Osuoza, said it was not surprised that the APC is stressed out because the news of the joint presidential ticket of Atiku and Okowa has already sent shock waves into their fold. “As result, the opposition has since become nervous and agitated making rapid jumpy movements and issuing silly, childish statements to cover their agitation and apprehension.”
He dismissed claim that Okowa used Delta State’s money to ‘buy’ the slot as boring and ordinary.
“Of course, Deltans are too knowledgeable and cultured to fall for that cheap APC deception, knowing that political party campaigns are not funded by state governments, but by political parties. It is their game and their duty.
“This base argument, therefore, confirms Delta PDP’s position that the Omo-Agege/APC campaign organisation is clueless, unimaginative, nervous and agitated.
“As usual, the opposition disinformation machine talks about ‘credible evidence at its disposal’, a euphemism for lies, ruse, and sham. If Omo-Agege wants people to believe that ‘the 2023 general election is a PDP conduit pipe to loot the State’, will it not also stand to reason that Omo-Agege’s gubernatorial ambition is APC’s conduit to loot the Federal Government?
“Perhaps, we need to remind the hapless APC propaganda structure that in 2011 and 2015, Governor Okowa ran for elections, even against the state-sponsored aspirants, and even brought the international media twice to cover the 2011 senatorial primary with his own finances, having resigned from his position as the secretary to the state government of Delta State.
“Okowa is a leader who is always ready and prepared for any assignment he takes up and he has done it twice successfully, when he was not even occupying a government position. Obviously, Niboro’s history is too short to remember that time.
“As earlier observed, the reckless and clueless argument of the APC and its gubernatorial campaign organisation did not just manifest from nothing. It is propelled by jitters, a nervous attack inflicted by the sudden emergence of Governor Okowa to run on the joint ticket of the PDP presidential candidate.
“Indeed, Deltans are fed up with APC media team’s clichéd and worn-out, imaginary and mediocre arguments about ‘credible intelligence at its disposal’. It is a lie, it is propaganda and Deltans will not fall for APC’s deception.
“What it shows is that the APC has nothing tangible with which to market its gubernatorial candidate to Deltans. It is all because, its so-called candidate, Omo-Agege, is unmarketable, as he lacks sales appeal for Deltans.Delta PDP thanks our members, leaders, supporters, and party faithful for remaining consistent with the party and for believing in the PDP state government, led by Okowa, who incidentally, is pushing ahead for higher service to the nation, in the months ahead. This reality is what has incensed the Omo-Agege gubernatorial campaign organisation, and it has difficulty in coming to terms with it. That is why they are jittery,” he said.