Senator representing Delta North Senatorial District, Peter Nwaoboshi has berated Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State over his reported plan to hand-pick his successor ahead of the upcoming 2023 Gubernatorial election.
Nwaoboshi, who was speaking at a press conference recently criticised the Governor for allegedly planning to truncate the arrangement of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) regarding the zoning of the 2023 governorship seat in Delta State.
Okowa, a two-time Governor of the PDP fold had hinted that in June, he would be committing himself to full politicking in the state and the process of picking his successor.
“I urge our people that this is the time to stay together; this is the time to think alike and I want to reassure you that in the next one month, we will start the politics,” Okowa had said.
Following pronouncements made by Okowa, the crisis rocking the Delta State Chapter of the PDP has escalated as scores of PDP chieftains have tendered their resignation letters to the party.
Asides the protracted crisis rocking the Delta PDP, the alleged plan by the Governor to hand-pick his successor in the state has generated fresh fuss among PDP chieftains in the state.
Reacting to the crisis in the state’s chapter of the PDP, Nwaoboshi expressed disappointment over the actions and inactions of Okowa which have generated to a full blown crisis.
Nwaoboshi stressed that no single man can produce a governor in Delta State adding that they have the resources to check and fight any of such tendencies.
Recalling how he fought for power shift in 2006, during the tenure of former Governor James Ibori of Delta State, Nwaoboshi stated that he lost his commissioner position to ensure that every group in the state has equal representation.
“I lost my commissionership because I was fighting for power shift which he is a beneficiary, then at the tail end of your tenure you are saying there is no written agreement,” the lawmaker said.
Nwaoboshi also accused Okowa of undermining the leadership of the PDP and destroying the unity of stakeholders.
According to him, the cohesion that existed in the PDP has been eroded, noting that during Ibori’s tenure, every one of them was treated as stakeholders.
In his words, “It baffles me that Okowa can make such a statement against zoning. If you say it is on ethnicity, okay we agree. Ika man has gone, it is now the turn of Oshimilli and Ndokwa after that it goes to Urhobos and the Okpes, Ethiope and Ughelli will say it is their turn and before you know it we will end up with town by town zoning.
“In Nigeria we are talking about north and south. We don’t say after Yoruba it will come to midwest. Is there any written agreement in our constitution where it is said north and south? I don’t want trouble in this state. Many of us have put our lives on the line to fight for this power shift.
“I rose and told him that in our meetings at various places the notion is that power will rotate amongst the senatorial districts and that he cannot hand over power to another person from central; that this is the understanding that we all have.
“My brothers from central rose against me including the present Deputy Senate President. I stood my ground. I formed ‘Equity 2006’ to challenge the power that was in power in Delta State.
“Then, we worked as a team. Ibori treated us as colleagues and did not take decisions on his own. When Ibori won his election, he summoned many meetings in Warri for us to discuss the government. We saw the government as our own were collective decisions are taken.”
“We all stood for Okowa because the decision to be a commissioner was a collective one. You saw when Ibori had his problem, everyone was trouping to UK to see him because we saw him as the leader of the struggle.
“When Uduaghan was governor, we used to meet, share ideas and also advise him on some of the things he was doing. At the beginning of Okowa’s government, Ibori had gone back, but then he (Ibori) wanted us to meet from time to time. It is not happening again. Since I am not wanted, I have decided to stay on my own,” the senator added.
Asked if he is leaving the PDP, he said,”I am a PDP senator. There are rumours and there must be rumours in the rumour mill. If I decide to go to APC, it is my legitimate right. But, as I am talking to you now I am a member of the PDP and a PDP senator. That is all I can say for now.”
The New Diplomat had reported that the crisis in the Delta PDP deepened recently as top chieftains of the party resigned their membership.
The Administrative Secretary, PDP, Delta State, Elder Charles Nwarache and the chairman, Oshimili North Local Government Area of Delta State, Hon. Peter Okocha have both resigned their membership over some “illegitimate” decisions made by the party.
Also, Ogbuefi Anthony Ejiofor, Assistant State Organizing Secretary of the party, Chief Dennis Oguguamakwa Ndukwe (PDP Oshimili North ward 10) and Chief Dr. Ben Uwezu (ward 1) have all announced their decision to leave party.