2023: Group Alleges Delta Delegates Held Hostage by Government Agents Ahead Of Guber Primary
Post created on 11:38 am
Delegates of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for Wednesday’s governorship primary in Delta State are allegedly being caged by politicians said to be working for the state government.
It was further alleged that the said politicians also seized mobile phones of the delegates so as to prevent them from being contacted by governorship aspirants not enjoying Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s backing.
Raising the alarm in a statement on Tuesday evening, a pro PDP group, Delta United Forum (DUF) said the caged delegates have been instructed to vote for Governor Okowa’s favoured governorship aspirant and speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Chief Sheriff Oborevwori.
The group lamented that barring the aspirants from being accessed by other governorship aspirants negate the promise of free, fair and credible exercise reiterated by Governor Okowa. In a statement signed by Chief Aphensus Dibi (Delta South), Mr. Collins Okafor, (Delta North) and Claude Oghenekvwe (Delta Central), DUF called on the national leadership of PDP to intervene and stop anti-democratic forces from hijacking the exercise.
The statement read, “It has come to the attention of the Delta United Forum that hotels like Benaza, owned by Kingsley Emu, and others such as Hampton, Copperfield Okpanam Road, Dulux are where delegates are presently lodged and already instructed to vote the candidate of the Governor Ifeanyi Okowa in the person of Sherriff Oberovri.
“While we have no problem with lodging or voting by delegates for a candidate of their choice, but we are concerned about a situation where they are being held incommunicado and their phones seized only to be driven to the venue so as to prevent other aspirants from seeing them is ungodly, unconscionable and reprehensible. We condemn it in its entirety.
“As call to most of the delegates especially the ones from Delta North met dead end as they were all switched off.
“It is worrisome that this incidence of delegates being held hostage is being traced to the Governor’s camp. The fact that a winner of one of the senatorial seats of the party is being mentioned as the leader is most unfortunate.
“We are indeed surprised by the turn of events. This is not what the governor had promised. Months ago, he promised free and fair primaries but the current development contrary to his pledge, even in the church.
“The Governor must realize that denying other aspirants the right to meet with the delegates on the eve of the primaries is not only a threat to democratic ethos but also a mischievous plot to undermine democratic growth. All this would have far reaching consequences.
“Therefore, the Delta Unity Forum wishes to draw the attention of all Nigerians and Deltans in particular to the daylight brigandage being perpetrated to deny delegates right to associate with aspirants on the eve of the gubernatorial primaries.
“The delegates must be allowed to meet freely with the aspirants and their phones be switched on. A primary election is a game and not a war.”