By Mercy Jerry
Ijaw National Leader, Chief Edwin Clark says it is the turn of the people of Delta North where Governor Ifeanyi Okowa hails from to produce the governor of the state for another four years in line with the rotational formula in the state.
Clark, who spoke at a One-Day Innovative Seminar on the 2019 general election organized by a group, E.K. Clark Solidarity for Okowa, however endorsed the governor for the 2019 governorship election in Delta State.
Represented by Chief Mike Sinebe, the elder statesman appealed to Deltans to vote for Okowa, saying that despite the shortfall in revenue to the state, the PDP governorship candidate has performed to be re-elected for another term.
He noted that although he is no more a member of any political party but as a father he would support what is just and right in the administration of the state.
“Chief James Ibori led us from Central for two terms, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan from Delta South led the state for two terms, and now it’s the turn of Delta North. We should allow Okowa to complete his eight years. Okowa has transformed the state in all sphere,” he said.
Governor Okowa, at the event, called for electorate to insist on a free and credible election in the state, adding that the people have the power to determine how elections are conducted.
The governor represented by the Commissioner for Economic Planning, Kingsley Emu, observed that a free, fair and credible election in the country rests in the shoulders of the electorate.
Okowa urged Nigerians to arm themselves with their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) and go to the polling booth to vote peacefully and protect their votes on election day.
“You have the responsibility to ensure that we have a free and fair election. You are the number one security. You should come early to vote and get ready to vote and protect your votes quietly”, he said.
In his keynote address, the former Editorial Board Chairman of the Guardian Newspaper, Prof. Godini Darah advocated for the for proportional representation of political parties in governance, saying such a development would give the parties that lost in an election a sense of belonging in governance of the country.
The university don added, “The idea of winners take it all should be reviewed, any political party that produced about 10 per cent should be rewarded with either Commissioner or other positions. That will help to reduce the number of political parties and also entrenched peace.”
Darah said that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should remain neutral in the conduct of the election.
He said that the 84 millions registered voters across the country was a sizeable figure adding INEC needed to do the extral to achieve free, fair and credible elections.
Darah also observed the issue of Card Readers machine as a challenge and advised the electoral umpire to ensure they were perfectly functional.
“INEC must show equity and neutrality, it should not compromise to the rulers. INEC must satisfy all the parties. Elections are like warfare in Nigeria. Every voter do not want to be cheated and we cannot afford to make mistakes,” he said.
The professor said that Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta had done very well in all aspects of development adding that he deserved re-election to consolidate on his achievement.
The Chairman of the occasion Prof. Sam Oyovwaire lamented that few days to the elections the atmosphere was already charged, appealing to the rest of the world to come and monitor this election.
“We want to tell the whole world that we need fair and free election,” Prof Oyevwaire said.
Earlier, the National Coordinator of the group Sir Simeon Efenudu, said the group became a necessity in the midst of injustice, greed, and lack of consideration for the unity, peace and equity necessary to unite the state.
“The group represents the political ideals of Chief E. K. Clark which is justice, equity and fairness. It is a body that believes in the unity of the Delta State and recognition of all ethnic nationalities in the state.
“The re-election of Dr Ifeanyi Okowa throws up the opportunity of the state to build a state of brotherhood, equity, accommodation and a united stronger Delta,” Efenudu said.