… as APC chief, Edozien, asks SMBLF to sanction Okowa
Niger Delta Rights Assembly (NDRA) has described the choice of Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, as the running mate to the presidential standard bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, as the best for Nigeria and Niger Delta in particular.
NDRA, which comprises mainly youths from across Niger Delta states, in a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday and signed by its President, Chief Israel Bokromo, thanked Atiku and the PDP leadership for picking Okowa, describing him as the best man to complement Atiku in the onerous task of tackling the challenges facing the nation.
The statement reads: “We consider Governor Okowa as the most qualified for the position of running mate to Atiku and ultimately, if the electorate wills it, the vice president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from May 29, 2023.
“We want to use this opportunity to caution all those condemning the choice of Okowa to desist from their evil schemes as this will not in any way diminish the rising profile of Okowa as a performing governor, a refined democrat and an icon of good governance.
ALSO, Chairman of Ndokwa East Council of Delta State, Juan Amechee Governor, said Okowa’s choice was a welcome development and a deserved elevation.
“We are excited and confident that your emergence will come with greater development for our people, especially as you are guided by compassion for innovation, learning and inclusive participatory attributes to all concerned.
“You have worked so hard for it and deserve the recognition you are getting now. This is just the beginning of so many glorious days ahead,” he stated.
BUT Delta State APC chief, Prof. LeRoy Edozien, yesterday, called on South and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF) to carry out its threat about working against any southern politician that allows himself to be nominated as running mate to any presidential candidate, if the presidency was not zoned to the South.
Edozien recalled that SMBLF, which comprises Pan Delta Forum (PANDEF), Middle Belt Forum, Afenifere, and Ohaneze Ndigbo Worldwide, had made its intention known last year, following the declaration of 17 governors of southern states of Nigeria that the Presidency should, in the interest of equity and fairness, move to the South.
Edozien said Okowa betrayed the southern bloc and lobbied for vice presidential slot while his southern colleagues were pushing for presidency.
“Further, it is deplorable that state resources were reportedly deployed in canvassing for this nomination. Such pursuit of self-interest at the cost of broader state and regional progress has been a hallmark of Okowa’s governance of Delta State,” the APC chieftain claimed.
He warned that SMBLF risks compromising its integrity should it fail to carry out its threat to work against any southern politician that becomes a running mate in a party that has not zoned Presidency to South.