- The PDP is on the verge of losing, Delta, a south-south state crucial for the opposition party in the 2023 general elections
- Ifeanyi Okowa, the governor, and his political benefactor, James Ibori, are in a cold war which is threatening the party's existence in Delta
- There are fears among the members of the PDP in the state that the party may not have a governorship candidate for the 2023 general polls
Asaba, Delta state - There is a battle of supremacy currently going on between the incumbent governor of Delta state, Ifeanyi Okowa, and a former governor of the state, James Ibori, over the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s governorship ticket.
The cold war between the two party leaders, according to a report by The Punch, has created fears among PDP members that their party may not have a governorship candidate for the 2023 general elections.
In the INEC's recently published particulars of the candidates nominated by political parties for the 2023 governorship and state assembly elections in all the constituencies nationwide, the details of Sheriff Oborevwori, who won the party governorship primary and had his name submitted to the INEC, were missing.
The state’s INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Monday Udoh-Tom, confirmed that the PDP in Delta had yet to have a candidate for next year’s governorship election, adding that there were no details of any candidate for the party.
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He said the electoral body has to wait for the verdict of the Court of Appeal regarding the authentic governorship candidate of the party in Delta.
The current Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Sheriff Oborevwori, won the PDP governorship primary.
However, his closest rival and former Chief of Staff to Okowa, David Edevbie, approached an Abuja High Court seeking Oborevwori’s disqualification on grounds of discrepancies in the certificates he presented.
The High Court subsequently granted Edevbie’s prayers by disqualifying Oborevwori and declaring the plaintiff as the party’s candidate.
Although Oborevwori filed an appeal against the judgment, Edevbie’s supporters have been jubilant, claiming that INEC recognised their principal as a candidate by issuing him form E13B.
Ibori versus Okowa: The cold war
Edevbie is Ibori’s anointed candidate while Oborevwori is backed by Okowa who is also the vice presidential candidate of the PDP.
Also, although he was in the United Kingdom serving a prison term, Ibori could be said to be instrumental in the election of Okowa as the state governor in 2015.
Speaking on the development, the state chairman of the party, Kingsley Esiso, urged party faithful to remain calm, adding that INEC had asked stakeholders to be calm until court processes were exhausted.
However, the director of operations of the David Edevbie Campaign Organisation, Julius Akpovoka, accused party of taking sides in the suit challenging the eligibility of Oborevwori.
The crisis in the Delta PDP may also jeopardise the chances of the party's presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, in the 2023 elections.
PDP may not have a governorship candidate in Delta - Analyst
Commenting on the development in Delta state, a social analyst and human rights activist, Victor Ojei, said with the look of things, the PDP may not have a candidate in the 2023 general election.
As I speak to you now, the judges are on vacation, which most likely to end in the second week of September," The Punch quoted Ojei as saying.
Prominent south-south leader endorses Omo-Agege as next Delta governor
In another report, an elder statesman in the south-south, Edwin Clark, has endorsed the governorship ambition of Ovie Omo-Agege, the deputy Senate president.
Omo-Agege is the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Delta state and currently representing Delta Central in the Red Chamber.
Clark spoke on Thursday, July 14, at a 3-hour ceremony with top personalities from Delta state at his Asokoro residence in Abuja.