– By Sunday Apah
The 13-Man Committee setup by the Delta Central 2023 (DC-23) lobby group to prune down the number of aspirants jostling for the governorship seat from the district has swung into action with nine out of the twelve invited aspirants in attendance.
The exercise which was held at the Sapele Athletic Club at Sapele in Delta State have in attendance nine governorship aspirants including Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori, Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly; Olorogun David Edevbie, immediate past Chief of Staff in the state; Chief James Augoye, immediate past Commissioner for Works; Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi, represented by Deacon Solomon Ala, and Senator Emmanuel Aguariavwodo, former Managing Director of the NDDC.
Others were Chief Kenneth Okpara, former Commissioner for Finance and Economic Planning in the state; Chief Ejaife Odebala, former member of the Delta State House of Assembly; Hon. Efe Ofobruku, former member of the Delta State House of Assembly, and Olorogun Fred Majemite, former Commissioner for Lands and Survey in the state.
Rt. Hon. Festus Ovie Agas and Chief Abel Esievo could not attend, but a member of the committee who pleaded for anonymity said that their excuses for being absent from the invitation had been granted, adding that another day might be arranged for their screening.
He added that the committee had not heard from Hon. Bright Edejegwhro on why he could not attend the screening invitation.
It could be recalled that the 13-Man Committee which included Prof. Nyerhovwo Tonukari, as Chairman; Prof. Sunny Awhefeada, Secretary with Arthur Akpowowo Esq, Assistant Secretary; Dr. Godfrey Enita, Edewor Omonemu Esq, Andy Osawota Esq, Anthony Akpomiemie Esq,Very Revd. Fr. Christopher Ekabor, Dcn. Raymond Edijala, Hon. Felix Anirah, Dr. Mrs. Augustina Erah, Mrs Rarute Mgbeke and Mrs Florence Jakpovi as members was setup two weeks ago to prune down the number of aspirants from the Delta Central Senatorial District of the state.
The committee was given the mandate to carefully examine all the aspirants from the district with a view to pruning them down to five at the first instance and reducing that to three before finally picking one for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) primary election in the state.
As part of the terms of reference, the committee was to identify the aspirants and others that may express interest within the period of screening, look at the PDP guideline and the Nigeria constitution for qualification of the person for the office of the governor of the state.
“Interact with such aspirant(s) and carefully examine each of them if he has what it takes to be governor of a state; draw, set, develop their own criteria, strategy, modus operandi in carrying out the committee work; shall hear, take evidence directly or indirectly from aspirants and other sources (stakeholders) within and outside Delta Central for the purpose of evaluating each and every one of them.”
“Areas to evaluate shall include medical fitness, financial capability, suitability, capability, acceptability and others by the generality of Deltans.”
“The committee can also take other recommendations based on evidence gathered from all over the state and country for the interest of the people of Delta Central and Delta State with equity, fairness and justice as the guiding principle.”
Some of the aspirants who spoke with journalists after the screening expressed confidence in the committee and promised to adhere to the decision of the committee.