By Onome Oghenetega
Several leaders and stakeholders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ojobo ward five in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State have dumped the party for the All Progressives Congress (APC) over the alleged failure of the PDP to bring meaningful development to the riverine community.
Ojobo ward 5, an Ijaw speaking oil -rich community, is the hometown of the Director-General of the Delta State PDP Campaign Council and Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s Senior Political Adviser, Hon Solomon Funkekeme.
The defectors, while announcing their defection to the APC, vowed to deliver the Deputy President of the Senate and governorship candidate of the APC in the state, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege and other candidates of the party in the 2023 general elections.
They made the declaration when the former PDP leaders led a delegation on a solidarity visit to the Effurun residence of Senator Omo-Agege to pledge their support for his governorship ambition ahead of forthcoming polls.
Taking turns to speak at the meeting attended by the State Chairman of the APC, Elder Omeni Sobotie, the Ijaw leaders accused the Governor Okowa-led administration of failing to construct the only access road to the community.
They also berated Funkekeme, a former commissioner for works in the state, for failing to use his position to attract and ensure the completion of the now abandoned Ojobo community which connects several other riverine communities in Burutu.
Some of the leaders of Ojobo ward 4 in the delegation include Chief Ondokare Fufeyin, Amb. Dibi Yinkore, Karuna Etonye, Zuokumor Bibi-One, Benjamin Oroso, Febbah Washington and Ebi Brisibe.
The spokesperson of the visiting Ojobo community leaders, Hon. Karuna Etonye, said Senator Omo-Agege was the most prepared and qualified candidate to succeed Governor Ifeanyi as the next governor of the state, stressing that Delta Central senator has the capacity to change the ‘negative narrative’ in the state,
He reiterated that the people of the community are fully in support of Omo-Agege and would ensure that PDP is massively defeated in Burutu ward 5 in the forthcoming polls.
On his part, Hon. Zuokumor told Omo-Agege that they were at his residence to pledge their unalloyed support to his governorship ambition as well as inform him of the developmental challenges of the people of the area.
Zuokumor said, “I have been following your campaigns and one of your cardinal points is education. To be frank, PDP over the years has destroyed the educational system. If you visit Ojobo, it’s the community effort that enables us to pay teachers. If you go to the primary school, there are no seats. The pupils are sitting on the floor.
“The moment we heard of the opportunity to visit you, we said, we will bring this information to your notice. We are confident of your capacity. When you become the governor, please, revive the education system. For us in Burutu ward 5, our industry is education.
“We also have a general hospital that is more or less like a dispensing centre because there are no doctors. Something urgent needs to be done about the plight of our people. We are confident that you will win.”
Responding, Senator Omo-Agege commended the guests for the solidarity visit, noting that the coming election is a liberation struggle against bad governance which the people of the state have been subjected to over the years.
The Delta Central lawmaker, who also announced to the defectors that he planned visiting the community, assured that his administration will complete the now abandoned 8 kilometres Ojobo community road.
Omo-Agege, who stated that he was determined to bring lasting legacies through concrete social reforms and development to all nooks and crannies of the state, added that the various challenges confronting the people of the state are encapsulated in his EDGE Agenda.
Also speaking, the state chairman of APC, Elder Sobotie, called on Deltans to use their PVCs in the forthcoming elections to sack PDP from the state, saying that the likes of Funkekeme who were still following Okowa were doing so for their selfish interest.
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