The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Iyorchia Ayu, has advised political gladiators within the party in Delta State to eschew whatever disagreement that would make the party to lose the state to another party in 2023 general elections.
Ayu, while admitting the fact that there could disagreement in any family, noted that such disagreement should not degenerate into “damaging the PDP winning streak” in the oil-rich Delta as the party goes into the forthcoming election.
The PDP National Chairman, who did not state clearly the issue he was referring to, spoke on Friday in Asaba at the inauguration of Ralph Uwechue Road and Storm Drainage projects executed by the Governor Ifeanyi Okowa-led administration.
Ayu’s comment might not be unconnected with the lingering crisis between Governor Okowa and former Governor James Ibori over the choice of who flies the flag of the PDP to succeed Okowa in the forthcoming general elections.
While Governor Okowa is rooting for the Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Chief Sheriff Oborevwori, to succeed him in 2023, Ibori is championing the campaign for Olorogun David Edevbie, a former Principal Secretary to the late President Musa Yar’Adua as the next governor of Delta.
But addressing mammoth crowd of PDP supporters at the inauguration of the project, Ayu called for unity among critical stakeholders of the party in the state.
He counseled against disagreements that could jeopardise the fortunes of the party in the elections, saying “since we returned to democratic governance in 1999, Delta has remained a PDP state and I congratulate all our party members in Delta for the unity that has ensured that we remain a PDP state.
“Let me counsel that it is normal to have family disagreements within a political party, but whatever the disagreements we may have, let us ensure that it remains a family disagreement.
“Nothing whatsoever should be done to damage the unity of purpose which has brought about this great development and our winning streak.
“It is said that divided we fall and united we stand. The PDP family in Delta must remain united and I have no doubt in mind that comes next year, the Governor of this state and all members of the state and National Assembly will all come from the PDP.
“We don’t lose elections in Delta and we are not going to, particularly with the performance of Governor.
Inaugurating the projects, Senator Ayu, commended Okowa for his commitment to the welfare of Deltans, describing him as a dedicated democrat.
Ayu, who was accompanied by members of the National Working Committee and Board of Trustees of the party, said only a committed democrat of the PDP family could be as concerned and dedicated to providing welfare for his people as Governor Okowa.
He said “let me thank my brother, the governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, for the great work he is doing for our party and for the people of Delta state. I had planned to visit Delta for a long time; I was salivating because many of these projects I saw them on television.
“I am particularly happy that I am inaugurating this road named after my good friend the late Amb. Ralph Uwechue, was a great intellectual, a diplomat and journalist and he deserves the honour that Delta has extended to him.
“You have done well for honouring citizens that have done well in contributing to the development of Delta and Nigeria. Delta indigenes have put Nigeria on the map in different ways, including soccer.”
Ayu commended Deltans for their massive support for the PDP since 1999 and urged them to remain steadfast in support to party in the forthcoming general elections.
“Aside road construction, he has done well in the health and education sectors but even if you do wonderful infrastructural projects and there is no human capital development, then you are not laying a solid foundation.
“Luckily for us, we have a celebral governor who understands that you need an educated and healthy population and you have to protect that population with solid infrastructure
“Delta is moving forward and Delta will continue to move forward and Delta will,always take its pride in of place in Nigeria as one of the shining states of the PDP family,” Ayu added.
He remarked that while PDP governors were busy inaugurating projects, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) had nothing to offer the people other than insecurity and battered economy.
“Only in PDP you have the National Chairman going from state to state to inaugurate projects; the other parties have no projects to inaugurate.
“All they do is to give us bandits and terrorists that harass our lives and make life unbearable for our people.
“It is because of this that the PDP is determined to take control of power at every level in Nigeria in the forthcoming elections,” he stated. (NIGER DELTA TODAY except edited headline)