Delta monarchs tackle SMBLF over attack on Okowa
• Ibori, Uduaghan, Manager absent as Delta welcomes governor
Delta State Traditional Rulers Council has taken what it called ‘’strong exception’’ to utterances credited to Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF) following emergence of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa as Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) vice presidential candidate and running mate to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar in the 2023 general election.
In a communiqué presented by the Chairman of the Council and Orodje of Okpe Kingdom, Major General Felix Mujakpuerou (rtd), Orhue 1, the monarchs described SMBLF position as misplaced and of no consequence, insisting Okowa did not breach any known law of the land by accepting vice presidential slot.
The chairman called for restraint from critical stakeholders and regional groups so as not to further heat up the already tense political atmosphere in the country.
The council congratulated Okowa on his emergence as vice presidential candidate and commended political parties across the country for peaceful conduct of primaries and urged them to do the same in the forthcoming general elections.
MEANWHILE, there was confusion in Delta State PDP family as former governors, James Ibori and Emmanuel Uduaghan, and other party notables, including Senator James Manager, were conspicuously absent, yesterday, at the grand reception organised for Okowa to celebrate his emergence as vice presidential candidate.
But scores of party faithful were at the Cenotaph, Asaba, venue of the reception tagged, “Welcome Home Ekwueme.” Addressing PDP members at the event, Okowa said his joint ticket with Atiku Abubakar would provide hope, victory for the party and rescue Nigeria from collapse. He said he would not have accepted Atiku’s nomination as VP if he did not believe in his programme and mission.
In his address, the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Ndudi Elumelu, said Okowa stepped down his personal ambition for the good of the party.
He said: “I went to Okowa, to tell him to run for the position of President but he told me he was more concerned about building the party. I remember I went a second time, urging him to run for the Senate but he told me he was contented with what God has done for him.”