***Says Joining 2023 Presidential Race Not In His Calculations
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has appealed to Deltans to exercise patience until May 23, when he would have the privilege of unveiling his successor in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and while confirming once again, that he has not endorsed any governorship aspirant, assured that the Political family of Chief James Ibori, is very much intact and he had no intention to contest the 2023 presidency, which had never been part of his political calculations, in this election season.
Governor Okowa made these declarations during the interactive session of the 2022 Quarterly Media parley with members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ Delta State Council, at Government House, Asaba, on Thursday, May 5, 2022.
Governor Okowa said: “On who will be my successor, and whether or not the Ibori political family is still intact, I urge Deltans to be a little bit patient because my successor shall be unveiled on May 23, which is barely 22 days from today.
“All I can say for now is that my successor must be somebody who is people friendly, approachable, somebody that will unite all and sundry in the state, humble enough to listen to Deltans, able to accelerate the ongoing building of a Stronger Delta beyond May 29, 2023.
“To answer your question on whether or not I endorsed certain aspirants in the state, my response to that is NO. As a leader of PDP in Delta State, I cannot be seen to be biased. There shall be free, fair and transparent primaries across board. And I am happy to tell you that all the aspirants are doing well and I wish them luck across board.
“I did not hijack PDP Delegate list and there was no attempt to hijack any delegates list.
“And Yes, Delta PDP family is intact and Ibori political family is also intact. We play politics any time politics is meant to be played, and that does not mean we have a divided house, No. After electioneering politics, we shall remain one indivisible family,” Okowa said.
On speculations that he was interested in contesting for the Presidency in 2023 and the widely held notion that he may end up as Vice President, Governor Okowa said: “I like being fully prepared before embarking on any project and I can tell you that joining the 2023 presidential race is not part of my political calculations at the moment.
“And on the issue of vice presidential ticket, I don’t want to talk about it, because we are still working out lots of possibilities and strategies at the party level, he disclosed.
Both the Delta State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Charles Aniagwu and the Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Delta State Council, Comrade Michael Ikeogwu, in their seperate remarks, noted that journalists in the state have been very supportive in propagating the policies and programmes of the state government and equally expressed appreciation to Governor Okowa for his media friendly disposition.
And while there was mutual admonition for Journalists to sustain the tempo of partnership with the administration, the consensus was that journalists in the state were very happy that the state government had done well so far, in its efforts to deliver a beffiting secretariat to the union in the state.