By Eseoghene Emuke
An influential group within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Delta State, Delta Unity Group (DUG), has officially endorsed the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, as its preferred gubernatorial candidate for the March 11th governorship election in the state.
DUG, a group which parades some of the best brains and prominent politicians in the state, is the umbrella body for supporters of former governorship aspirant of the PDP and former commissioner for finance, Olorogun David Edevbie.
The group formed for the actualization of Olorogun Edevbie’s governorship ambition has as its members to include former speakers of the Delta State House of Assembly, former Secretary to the State Government and former commissioners who are core loyalists of Chief James Onanefe Ibori, a former governor of the state.
Rising from its meeting held on Monday in Agbor, Ika South Local Government Area of the state, the group announced the endorsement of Omo-Agege as its preferred governorship candidate after hours of deliberations.
A statement containing the resolutions of the group’s meeting was signed by the Chairman, Board of Trustees, Delta Unity Group, Prof. Patrick Muoboghare; Chiedu Ebie, Esq. and Chief Itiako Ikpokpo, who are both Co-Conveners of Delta Unity Group.
Muoboghare is the immediate past Delta Commissioner for Higher Education, while Ebie is the immediate past Secretary to the State Government and Chief Ikpokpo is the immediate past Isoko South council chairman.
The statement said the choice of Omo-Agege was reached after weeks of consultations with the different organs that made up the group.
The statement read, “Delta Unity Group (DUG) is an amalgam of long standing, prominent and emergent leaders of the Delta State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) drawn from all Senatorial Zones, Federal Constituencies, State Constituencies and Local Government Areas across Delta State.
“Our objective and focus are primarily to promote unity and brotherliness within the political space and ensure effective and cohesive grassroots mobilisation for the success of candidates at all levels.
“Recall that arising from a meeting in Kwale on Wednesday, 17th August, 2022 DUG addressed a press conference wherein we implored leaders of PDP Delta State at all levels to show greater commitment to the unity of the party and put the interest of the party as paramount in all their interactions and activities. We further advised the State Chairman of PDP, Olorogun Kingsley Esiso on the need to be an impartial arbiter in the handling of all emerging disputes.
“At subsequent meetings of the leadership of DUG and in particular at a meeting held in Afiesere on the 4th of November, 2022, DUG members reiterated our membership of the PDP with the belief that the state leadership of the party would activate genuine reconciliatory measures, build trust and reinforce party cohesion. We expected also that the gubernatorial candidate of the party, Rt. Hon Sheriff Oborevwori would within this period initiative genuine engagement and avail members of the group of his programmes and policies and importantly, his willingness to integrate all of the tendencies within the party. All of these were never to be, rather the leadership of the party in a most hostile dimension kept members of DUG from all mainstream activities of the party. Our various attempts at mutual reconciliation were rebuffed by the leadership of the PDP.
“On the other hand, the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) and Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege repeatedly approached and consulted DUG and in the series of sessions held with DUG, he explained satisfactorily, inner details of his agenda and his message of hope for Deltans.
“All of these recaps are necessary at this critical moment of decision that will guarantee the future of Delta State or otherwise.
“It is a known fact that the leadership and membership of DUG are desirous of a state geared towards a fast-paced and sustainable socio-economic development, which we believe are achievable through a well thought out modernization process and a State Chief Executive possessing the necessary level of intellect, competence and capacity to steer the ship of State in these precarious times.
“Going further, we are happy to announce that the All Progressive Congress (APC) candidate for the governorship election in Delta State, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege has agreed to fully integrate and incorporate the Modernisation agenda of Olorogun David Edevbie into his Build A New Delta (BAND) governance agenda for Delta State.
“It is on this basis and the general yearnings of Deltans and friends of Delta that we, as members of the Delta Unity Group (DUG) fully endorse the candidacy of the APC governorship candidate and Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege in the forthcoming Delta State governorship elections holding on 11th March, 2023.
“Consequently, the National Executive Committee (NEC) and all Executive organs of DUG (comprising Senatorial, Local Government, Ward and Unit Executives) are hereby directed to mobilize en masse and work for the emergence of the candidacy of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege as the next Governor of Delta State. We also call on all Deltans and friends of Delta including our teeming eligible voting youths to join this patriotic and altruistic task.”
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