The Governor has re-echoed it time without number and at different fora that the PDP would organize free and fair primary elections in Delta State. The fact that this assurance was made at different stakeholders’ meeting to the hearing of all and sundry should leave no one in doubt about the Governor’s resolve to see it through.
In his words at the recent Delta North Party leaders and stakeholders meeting: “Henceforth, Local Government Party Chairmen and their Deputies in the 25 LGAs should never be found supporting any aspirant including accompanying them on pre-primary consultations and other forms of grassroots mobilization. All aspirants are valued stakeholders in our great party and it will not be proper to support some to the detriment of others”.
Judging from the statement above, the Governor has clearly sent a word of caution to party officials, Chairmen and Vice Chairmen in the various LGAs, whose presence and utterances at certain familiarization meetings could suggest the endorsement of some candidates at the expense of others, from accompanying any aspirant of their choice. All of these restraints are in a bid to uphold the hope and expectations of aspirants in the entire process.
Continuing, the Governor made this call to aspirants- “We have the right to aspire for any political position but we should conduct ourselves in honourable ways in our campaigns. In campaigning, you talk about yourself, you don’t talk about others. I campaign with what I can do and what I want to do and let the electorate decide”.
This was his call to aspirants on the need to embark on issue-based campaigns rather than malign and cast aspersions on themselves bearing in mind that victory in a free primary election would be hinged on aspirants’ antecedence, integrity and present deliveries whether as a public or private personnel.
The Governor summarized the issue of organising fair Primaries when he called again on aspirants- “Aspirants, please do not malign others so that we do not destroy ourselves before the elections. We are going to have free and fair Primaries and all party chairmen should work with us in that direction”.
He had gone further to physically demonstrate his public utterances while conducting the Gubernatorial party Primaries in Ekiti State by ensuring a level playing field for all; no wonder the first runner up polled more than 700 votes even though he had to later decamp from PDP for the sake of contesting the gubernatorial elections, he had previously testified to the election being free.
In my opinion, the public statements made so far by the Governor along with the public outings on behalf of the PDP are enough proof to persuade all doubting Thomases that the mind of the Governor is cast on stone towards ensuring free and fair Primaries.
In corroborating the Governor’s declarations, the Party through its State Publicity Secretary, Ifeanyi Michael Osuoza had in an online article titled: “DELTA PDP ASSURES ALL CONTESTANTS OF A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD IN THE FORTHCOMING PARTY PRIMARIES” stated thus:
“The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Delta State Chapter, wish to state categorically that we are fully primed and determined to ensure a level playing field for all aspirants, contestants and all those who have confirmed their interest or are intending to contest in the Primaries of any elective office, under the platform of our great Party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.”
From the foregoing, it is therefore my considered opinion that when the Party and it’s State leader are jointly concerned as well as interested in organizing a free and fair primary, then it is no longer business as usual. Having followed the activities of the Party thus far, one can boldly assert that the PDP is undergoing a process of ‘Rebirth’.
In this rebirth process, the party is upholding the virtues of fairness, equality, integrity, inclusiveness, party cohesion and above all, team spirit. Therefore, there are already indications that every member is deemed valuable and would not be sidetracked or pushed aside. It is now a collective will of the party and everyone is called upon to assist His Excellency and the PDP as they plan towards organizing FREE AND FAIR PRIMARY ELECTIONS FOR ALL PARTY POSITIONS.