Governor of Delta State and Leader of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the state, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, has told his former boss and ex-governor, Chief James Ibori, the reasons he would not support his preferred candidate for the party’s 2023 governorship ticket.
A party leader from Delta Central senatorial district told Vanguard that Okowa travelled to Lagos to explain his position on the nominee to Ibori, months ago. National Chairman of the PDP, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, following complaint by Ibori, last month, reportedly counselled Okowa to listen to Ibori’s suggestions on how to move the party forward but not necessarily to take orders from the former governor.
Ibori and Okowa had met after the national chairman’s directive but there was no confirmation that they had reconciled their differences on the governor’s successor. Though the governor was understood to be making effort to reconvene a fresh meeting to enable him, Ibori and possibly, his predecessor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, reappraise their positions before the primaries, there is no indication that he has changed his stance on Ibori’s candidate.
However, Okowa is known to have guaranteed governorship aspirants and stakeholders that under his watch, the party would hold a free and fair 2023 primaries and has made no pronouncement on his own preference.
Report, yesterday, that Senator Ayu and some governors of the party would visit the state today, nevertheless, triggered social media speculation that there was crisis in the state and the national chairman is at the head of the delegation to settle the rift between Okowa and Ibori.
An informed source said: “There is absolutely no crisis in Delta PDP. The governor has guaranteed free and fair primaries. They, National Chairman, Senator Ayu, and others are coming for Mr. Ndudi Elumelu’s empowerment programme for his constituents. “They will, as protocol demands, be hosted by the governor.