Delta State Governor, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa has stated categorically that he is not supporting Alhaji Atiku Abubakar or indeed any other aspirant eyeing the Presidential ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in the 2019 general elections, even as he, in the same vein, urged the newly elected Chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC), as well as other politicians and political parties, to be cautious in the choice of words and be decent in their approach to issues as activities towards the 2019 general elections commences.
Governor Okowa, who made these and other disclosures during the 2018 second quarterly media briefing in Asaba on 27/06/18, expressed displeasure over threatening comments credited to Comrade Oshiomole that the APC will take over Delta State in 2019, and cautioned that political leaders and parties ought to ensure that Nigerians should not be divided because of politics, as a result of their utterances.
According to him, “I believe that Comrade Oshiomole is playing politics just as Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has a right to play politics as well as any other political party. The only advise I have for all politicians both in PDP and APC is that there must be decorum. We must be cautious in the language that we use as they should be decent and I believe that what politicians need to do is to address issues and when issues are addressed the people will make their choice.”
Continuing Okowa noted that “As politicians, wherever you are, try to be civil in your approach to politics because that is the way it ought to be,” he said.
The Delta Governor equally used the occasion of the media briefing to shed more light on what transpired when PDP presidential aspirant and former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar paid a consultation visit to Delta State recently.
Okowa said: “If you followed us properly when he (Alhaji Abubakar) addressed Deltans, it was obvious that he made a lot of statements which did interest our people and he did say that he is a friend of the state. So if his programmes, as he says continues to interest the people, I will not be able to hold back the hands of the people; I am not going to force any Deltan to vote the way I think. Deltans who will be delegates in the convention will be allowed to exercise their discretion to vote. I am not the kind of person who insists on how a person should vote, so, if on his programmes he talked about restructuring and the people are excited and they want to follow him, they have that right to so do.”
The Delta governor, who emphatically attempted to stress his neutrality in the eventual choice of a PDP Presidential candidate for the 2019 elections, further said that: “I made my statement and it was clear and cautious. When Sule Lamido came, he spoke so well and he is also a man I respect. He also has his followers in the state and he was well received and I made my comments when he visited. So, it is my hope that all the presidential aspirants in the PDP will start to talk with each other because not all of them will get into the final stage,” he clarified.
The governor continued, “As I spoke when Alhaji Abubakar came, I was very cautious and that is because, I do not want as a governor, to say that this is the man I am supporting, I do not want to directly support any candidate. The people will be given the room to make their choice; the will of the people will be allowed to prevail and not my will,” he stated calmly.