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2023: Finally, Delta Abolishes Zoning, As Aniagwu Says Anioma, Urhobo, Itsekiri, Isoko Can Contest For PDP Ticket

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The hope of a possible renew discussion by the Caucus of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) on the zoning of the 2023 Delta State governorship which is being championed by Urhobos, may have been dashed if the assertion of Delta Commissioner for Information, Charles Aniagwu, is anything to go by.

This is as the state government seems to have foreclosed discussion on which senatorial district or ethnic groups should produce the next governor, maintaining that the race for who succeeds Governor Ifeanyi Okowa is open for all aspirants whether from Delta North, Delta Central, or Delta South.

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Urhobos are championing the senatorial district zoning arrangement for the governorship under the Ighoyota Amori-led DC-23 while Ijaw of Delta South led by Alaowei Broderick Bozimo are also pushing for ethnic groups arrangement for the governorship ticket even as a new political group, Anioma Progressive Union is also rooting for a fresh rotational circle for emergence of a Delta North candidacy.

But giving hint about issues bordering on zoning and ethnic group sentiments, Delta State Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu, while speaking on Arise Television “The Morning Show” monitored in Asaba, on Monday, said the race is open for all aspirants irrespective of ethnic or senatorial district affiliation.

Aniagwu contended that the ethnic groups do not exist in isolation, they exist in the senatorial districts so anybody you choose must belong to one senatorial district whether Delta North, Delta Central, or Delta South, he added.

He said; “There is no written agreement as to where you are to zone to, usually what happens is that the leaders come together and look at the sentiments and begin to think that there is the need for inclusive governance.

“There are a whole lot of very credible Deltans that are taking a shot at the seat, particularly from Delta Central and Delta South, and these individuals are individuals who can hold their grounds any time and any day and have played their role one way and the other towards the advancement of the developmental agenda of the state since 1999.

“Whether it is Delta Central or Delta South, Deltans are going to be the ones to decide but what is going to be the most paramount is the need to sustain the development of the state.

“There will be primaries where members of the party from across the three senatorial districts will gather and then elect who is going to be the flag-bearer.

“What is going to happen in 2022 is not going to be different. Everybody who is interested in law will be allowed to contest, nobody is going to stop anybody, it is up to the electorates at the end of the day to decide whom they are going to cast their ballot for.

“But I am very convinced that at the end of the day, Deltans are going to vote for competence, Deltans will vote for the ability to unite us the more, Deltans will vote for the continuation of the many good things Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa is doing and that is most paramount and on that premise, I can assure you Deltans will vote and they will vote very wisely,” he stated.

He said that Deltans are looking forward to a stronger Delta, a Delta where the hopes and aspirations of the people will prevail.

“Deltans will vote for competence, ability to unite us the more and continue with the laudable programmes of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa,” the Information Commissioner stated.

He, however, noted that with the remarkable achievements recorded by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, it would be very difficult for any political party to compete with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.

He said he can beat his chest to say that no political party can compete with the PDP in view of the many accomplishments in infrastructure development across various communities, youth empowerment programmes as well as urban renewal projects in the state.

Aniagwu maintained that in nearly seven years in the saddle, Governor Okowa has constantly paid workers’ salaries as at when due, built over 1600km of road infrastructure and drainages, human capital development and uniting the peaceful people of the state.

He said Okowa has built bridges of possibilities connecting communities particularly in the creeks.

“If you come to the state capital today, you will see our brand new state Secretariat which is now called the ‘workers city’ when you get there you will see that there’s nothing in this part of the world that can be compared to it”.

“It is a Secretariat that’s called an ‘intelligent building’ that possess a whole lot of facilities to ease work and work related activities within that territory”.

“Beyond that if you come to the state capital today you will see a whole lot of change starting from our airport that was built by the previous administration but upgraded by this administration where we now have a whole numbers of airlines coming in and going out of the state”.

“Delta is now home to the entertainment industry, Asaba is now the headquarters of Nollywood and we are building a world-class film village and leisure park that will make the state capital a well packaged entertainment hub”.

“But beyond that which is the major thing that I see as our major achievement, we were able to take a whole lot of youths off the street through our various job and wealth creation programmes,”

Responding to a question on the alleged onslaught coming from APC and Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, Aniagwu said the PDP in the state had done well to defeat any other political party in any election.

According to him, Delta is one of the states in Nigeria that can be classified as educationally advantaged. What that means is that Deltans are that informed as to be able to take a wise decision.

“As the saying goes, ‘Delta no dey carry last’ (Deltans will never be found wanting). The question is those you think are coming with an onslaught, what are they going to put on the table?

“I have mentioned what the PDP in Delta State have put on the table. We now have a much better State capital, we are working on controlling flood in places like Warri which will make way for a better road network, we now have bridges of possibilities linking up communities, we have a workers city, we have a more functional Airport.

“We have headquarters of Nollywood in the country, we have been able to take a number of youths off the streets on account of different interventions in job creation and empowerment that the government has initiated,” he said.

He said the Okowa administration came on board with a five point agenda code-named SMART, which entails policy priorities aimed at creating prosperity for the people of Delta.

“To the best of my knowledge and a good number of Deltans can testify that, much have been achieved in that direction, a number of Urban centers have been built and we put all these things on the table.

“So we ask those who would want to aspire to become Governor, which the law allows, to bring on board what they represent and let Deltans access who means well and who have done well so far.

And so we are not disturbed because we believe that we have performed and Deltans themselves will judge PDP base on performance, Deltans will judge Okowa base on performance.

“The reason why we beat our chest even when we showcase what we are doing in Delta State, we said we are not going to showcase anything that looks like prototype.

“We will show exact programmes and projects that are on ground. And when you come anytime any day you will see them.

“When we tell you we are building interchange in the Koka junction which will link other parts of Asaba from Ibusa to the main city in Asaba here in the Capital city, you will see that the bridge is being built.

“When we tell you that we have built floating market in Ogheye, bridge in Effurun-Otor-Ovwor-Olomu, even in the riverine communities, and that we are building nineteen bridges to link up our brothers and sisters in the Trans-Warri areas and that we have been able to transform Ode-Itsekiri and that we have built very long roads even in the creek particularly in Burutu axis and Warri South-West, you will see these projects on ground.

“These projects are the things we will put on ground for Deltans. So anybody who is coming will have to showcase what he or she has done.

“Let me tell you the challenge they are having at the moment. The challenge of how to criticize Okowa is a major challenge for those in the opposition because the Governor has performed creditably well and it would be difficult for any party to defeat PDP in Delta,” Aniagwu stated.

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