Delta PDP, APC head for decisive council poll tomorrow

PDP

As Delta State goes to the polls tomorrow for the local government elections, it is uncertain whether the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as usual, would sweep all the results or the major opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) would dust it in some areas.

As of now, some political pundits were of the view that if the election is free and fair there is no way the ruling party would not concede defeat in some areas where the APC appears to be gaining grounds given the defection of some political heavyweights from the ruling party recently.

From The Guardian interaction yesterday, almost all the candidates of the PDP were confident of winning, as some of them expressed optimism that the election “is already won and lost.”

Taking a cursory look at the significant of the council election to the incumbent governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, not a few are surprised that the governor made up his mind to conduct the election contrary to the precedence of using caretaker committees and heads of personnel management of the councils by his predecessors.

It would be recalled that the immediate past governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan did not organize local government elections until the twilight of his administration.

However, public perception was that Okowa sees the polls as one that is very strategic to his second term bid in the nearest future due to the fact that the next governorship election is going to be very tough considering that the ethnic factors that saw him (Okowa) won the PDP ticket narrowly in 2015, is still very much at play.

The Central senatorial district is still very bitter that the governorship has continued to elude the area since the exit of former governor, Chief James Ibori and is seriously repositioning to produce Okowa’s successor.

Although, it was learnt that Okowa started an early horse-trading ahead of the general elections hoping to use the council elections as a good bargaining.

It was alleged that primaries were not held by the PDP in many of the local government as candidates emerged by ‘consensus’, an act, which the party held as a demonstration of maturity and understanding among its faithful.

Pundits maintained that it was another scenario of imposition of candidates for which the party had become notoriously known.

The Guardian gathered that some opposition parties, considered to be natural stooges of the PDP in the state approached Okowa for slots and were granted as permanent allies of the ruling party against the APC.

Despite the intrigues, some political observers in Delta were of the opinion that the present composition of APC is capable of giving the ruling party a run for its money depending on the neutrality of the Delta State Electoral Commission in the election.

In the recent times, the APC has been more organised after it successfully resolved its leadership crisis last year.

The presence of some political heavyweights in the Delta APC, who were well grounded in grassroots politics such as Victor Ochei, former Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Chief Cairo Ojougboh, former factional vice chairman of the PDP to Sen. Ali Modu Sherriff’s group but has now decamped to the APC, among others are nothing but a threat to the ruling party. They are also others in other parts of the state.

Ochei is known for his benevolence, which makes him very popular in his local government area. This has enabled him to produce a House of Assembly candidate from another party after his estrangement by the PDP, although the tribunal later sacked his godson.

Ojougboh presence is also expected to swing the political equation in favour of APC, at least in his local government area and other parts of Ika land that may have been shut out of Okowa’s government since 2015.

Also, the fact that many candidates of the PDP, especially in the chairmanship positions are considered to be tired legs, who have traversed their political terrain for a long time without much impact on the lives of the people at the grassroots, may not help the course of the party tomorrow.

In less than 24 hours, it would be clear whether the change mantra of the APC would thrive in Delta against the confidence of the PDP in the council election.

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