By the time the zoning arrangement was watered down, the next challenge obviously became who was the preferred candidate to give Ijaws a brighter fighting chance at the primary of the Peoples Democratic Party, as three of the finest politicians from Ijaw extraction made known their intentions to contest the election from a very early stage and remained committed to finishing strong.
The need to provide a candidate with the wherewithal to challenge and wrestle the ticket from aspirants of other ethnic nationalities led to the next line of consultations and deliberations among key stakeholders.
The dilemma led to several interventions and joint sessions with the leaderships of Ijaw National Congress, and the Ijaw Youth Council of Delta extraction, critical stakeholders, the Broderick Bozimo-led Committee, the three aspirants and an Evaluation Committee headed by former Vice Chancellor of DELSU, Prof. Victor Peretomenele, saddled with the responsibility of interfacing with the three aspirants, in a bid to pruning down the number to a single aspirant to increase the chances of Ijaws winning the ticket.
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A reliable source, who was privy to all the processes told Daily Report Nigeria that “the Committee interfaced with the the aspirants individually and collectively.
“The three aspirants after several hours of interfacing and discussions among themselves, could not agree on a sole candidate, but declared their intention to abide by the report/decision of the Evaluation Committee.
“After over 48 hours of critical assessment of the content, capacity, antecedents, political capital and other variables amassed by the aspirants over the years, the Committee, after a contentious debate among members at Alaowei Bozimo’s residence, picked Senator James Manager as the preferred candidate.”
Our source noted that while the two other aspirants were eminently qualified, it was wise that a single candidate is picked to battle with others in the interest of the Ijaw nation.
Our source also noted that the report on the decision of Manager as a preferred candidate has not been forwarded to the leadership of Ijaw Nation for further actions, which the source said would be done soon.
When contacted on if Ijaws have picked a preferred candidate, the INC President, Prof. Okaba said there was a Committee responsible for that, and that the decision of the Committee has not reached him.
Efforts to reach Alaowei Broderick Bozimo for his comments on this proved abortive as calls and text messages to his mobile were not attended to.
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