Blank NEWS Online (NIGERIA):

The Movement for Stronger Delta, MSD, wants to state it loud and clear that Nobody can impose anybody on Deltans; not even Godfathers, not ethnic-based political pressure groups, and not even Traditional ruler’s groups or Senatorial based Traditional institutions.

Infact, in the history of Delta politics, it has never happened before and it is not likely to happen this time around. What usually obtains before the primaries, is that these groups identify who they prefer to support and then embark on a serious campaign of consultations, negotiations, and agreements with other contending interests to seek alignments and alliances in the quest to garner as many delegates for their favoured candidate.

Democracy is, of course, the government of the people, by the people and for the people and since the voice of the people is the voice of God, it is the people, either in form of nominated or elected delegates for the primaries or the electorate in a general election, that will decide who emerges as the winner at the end of any elections.

It is on the strength and basis of this incontrovertible electoral truism, therefore, that we must continue to appreciate, applaud and reemphasize the clear, unambiguous, and unequivocal statement of our dynamic, unwavering Governor, Senator, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa (Ekwueme), that the primaries of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, will be free, fair and transparent.

Thus, anybody who intends or nurses the personal ambition to govern Delta State, must take this declaration seriously and consider it as sacrosanct in whatever plans, strategies, and campaign module they chose to employ in the run-up to the primaries.

Of course, we have been informed by impeccable inside sources within certain political parties, that they have concluded arrangements to conduct mock primaries, where they have perfected plans to impose a single aspirant on the rest of the party membership with brazen impunity.

Interestingly, Deltans will recall with unerring accuracy, that no Governorship candidate that was imposed by a political party on its members during its primaries and on Deltans during the general election, has ever won any election in the State.

Those who have followed the political history of Delta State objectively can confirm that even in instances where people have shouted that imposition took place, especially in the PDP, the facts have revealed a totally different picture.

For example, many Deltans have falsely continued to perpetuate the erroneous logic that Chief James Ibori imposed a candidate on Deltans in 2007, for the simple reason that they were cousins, yet they forget that the same candidate would have been disqualified from the primaries completely, if not for a fortuitous, in-the-nick-of-time midnight trip to Abuja, which eventually secured a waiver for many of the aspirants to contest the primaries.

It is even rather unfortunate that those who have been trumpeting zoning with seeming reckless audacity and unjustified, unconstitutional authority, have done a great injustice to the tremendous efforts, humongous funds and extremely exerting and tortuous hard work which these aspirants put in, just to drive and fulfill their ambitions in every election.

We are indeed more disturbed by the fact that some of those who are vociferously advocating for zoning today, even to the extent of invoking cataclysmic repercussions should a particular arrangement not be maintained, have forgotten so soon, the “Uvwiamughe Declaration” preceding the 2014 PDP primaries, where the umbrella body of a particular Senatorial zone decided that they will give block votes to a national party that picks one of their own as its governorship candidate for the 2015 general elections.

This declaration was made irrespective of the political fact that it was only Delta North that had not taken its turn at the Governorship of the State, amongst the three senatorial zones and to consolidate on their position, they went ahead, without any qualms whatsoever, to throw their weight and block votes, to their candidate, even when the so-called zoning arrangement ‘demanded’ that it was Delta North’s turn to govern.

We must continue to extol the remarkable equanimity, political brinkmanship, courageous doggedness, and unparalleled sportsmanship of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa who, even when it was obvious that Delta North should take its turn at the Governorship, still campaigned vigorously and admirably on a Pan-Delta mandate, declaring that he was going to be a Governor for all Deltans and not just a Senatorial district champion.

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa participated in a robust, free, fair, and transparent PDP primary election in 2014 and the point must be made categorically clear that heavens would not have fallen, peace would have reigned and Delta State would still have continued to exist as ‘the Big Heart’ or even the ‘Finger of God’, if Okowa had lost that election and that Senatorial zone had carried the day with their candidate.

The simple and singular reason for the peace would have been because Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa (Ekwueme), is a man of peace, a God-fearing man, who has always pursued and championed the cause and entrenchment of peace, not just in his personal life but across Delta State. He did it in 2007, he did it in 2011, and he did it again in 2015, when, as Governor, he accommodated many of those who contested against him as Deltans, in the PDP Primary, in his cabinet. Nobody should therefore attempt to intimidate Governor Okowa. He will always do the right thing in the interest of peace, fairness, and EQUITY.

He is indeed a great and Godly man of peace that all politicians, political group leaders, traditional rulers, and institutions should emulate, instead of invoking restive echoes, for a better society and more harmonious coexistence amongst all Deltans.

If we must tell it like it is, then the naked truth that we are running away from or being economical with is the glaring truth that stares us all in the face and that the unambiguous truth that with the mandatory two terms of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa now achieved and winding down nicely, every Senatorial zone in the State has now had its taste of the Governorship, so nobody or zone will now cry or shout that it has been marginalized or short-changed.

This was the dangerous misnomer that nearly happened in 2015, when some people had cynically plotted with surreptitious subterfuge, to ensure that the two major political parties presented Governorship candidates from only their zone. But God intervened because power comes from God alone. Deltans still remember but as a people under the divine leadership of God, we have forgiven and moved on.

However, it must be pointed out in passing, that Delta State is a geographic entity of major heterogeneous nationalities, lumped together rather unfairly now, but in the wisdom of the delineators then, within cardinal Senatorial zones, coexisting in contiguous yet harmonious proximity, all contributing to the growth, development, commonwealth and collective patrimony of our dear State.

The need for us to join Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and embrace the clarion call towards building a #StrongerDelta for all Deltans is what we should all aspire towards achieving as we match steadily and peacefully towards 2023.

That, indeed, should be the SIMPLE Agenda for all Deltans henceforth.

© MOVEMENT FOR STRONGER DELTA. February 25th, 2022

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News Reporter
Blank NEWS Online founding Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, Albert Eruorhe Ograka, is a Graduate of Mass Communication. He also holds a Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Journalism from the International Institute of Journalism (IIJ).

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