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Okowa’s VP slot only hope for Niger Delta, IYC tells aggrieved stakeholders By Obayomi Abiola Benjamin On Wednesday 22nd June 2022Politics & Governance 47

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Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) Worldwide has appealed to aggrieved Niger Delta stakeholders to tread softly in their criticism of the Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, following his emergence as running mate to Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.

The group, in a statement signed, yesterday, in Port Harcourt by its President, Peter Timothy Igbifa, said Okowa’s current political status remained the only strategic and major position available to the Niger Delta in the entire arrangement for the 2023 general election.

He advised that instead of pulling Okowa down, all stakeholders should rally round, close ranks and support him.

He said: “The only best political position available for us in the Niger Delta now is the running mate and Okowa has been selected to represent the region, which could have been any other. If Okowa’s PDP wins, Niger Delta will have the opportunity of occupying the position of vice president again.

“The South already has two presidential candidates from other political parties but doesn’t have any other position bigger and better than a running mate in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). This region’s interest is paramount. Therefore, the people should unite and queue behind him.”

Igbifa advised Okowa to embark on fence-mending to bring all stakeholders, including his colleagues in the region, on board and carry them along in all his decisions and consultations ahead of the general elections.

“We urge them to forgo their misgivings and support the governor in the overall political interest of the Niger Delta,” he said.

Meanwhile, Igbifa has said it is unfair to accuse Okowa of betraying the region for accepting to be a running mate, saying it is purely the decision of his political party.

“Okowa did not make himself a running mate. The PDP and the presidential candidate, Atiku, chose him. The decision of the party is always supreme and it behooves the Delta State governor to accept it.

“It is the prerogative of the candidate to select his running mate and since he has chosen Okowa, the only thing expected of all stakeholders is to support him.

“It is high time the Niger Delta stopped the pull-down syndrome. They should emulate their northern counterparts, who despite unfavourable political decisions, support their own.”

 

 

[GuardianNG]

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