WARRI/Nigeria: As the curtain for the primaries of the different political parties draws closer based on the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC time tables for the 2023 General Elections in Nigeria, different interest groups and alignment are working towards a harmonious agreement to ensure there is victory for their preferred aspirants or candidates.
This was the case with the Ijaw National Congress, INC, when last weekend invited the three aspirants of Ijaw Extract running under the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for discussion in the race to the office of the Governor come May 2023, for a dialogue on how their interests will be harmonized for the interest of the Ijaw Nation.
The meeting which was attended by the leadership of the INC, and other stakeholders from the area, was to plead with the aspirants who are aspiring agree for the Ijaws to present just one aspirant to contest with the aspirants from other part of the state.
However, it was learnt that the meeting came to a deadlock, as the three aspirants, Chief Dr. Braduce Angozi, a onetime Commissioner of Agriculture in the state, and a successful businessman, Barr. Kingsley Otuaro, the current Deputy Governor, and Senator James Manager, a current Senator of the Federal Republic, who is representing the Delta South Senatorial District, refused to step down for each other, and would rather prefer to go to the poll to try their luck.
Reacting to a news publication insinuating that the Ijaw National Congress, and the entire Ijaw Nation had agreed and endorsed the aspiration of Senator James Manager to fly the interest of the Ijaw People, Chief Braduce Angozi, in an interview said such report is false, there was no agreement to stepdown for any person.
According to him, the meeting ended in a deadlock, and the INC setup a committee headed by former Vice Chancellor of Delta State University, DELSU, Prof. Victor Peretomenele to look at the situation and submit their reports to the body after interfacing with the aspirants.
He stated in an interview that, to the best of his knowledge, the committee had not reported to the INC, as the President of the body had confirmed that he had not seen the report, and the committee had not forwarded any to him, which was the position of Alaowei Broderick Bozimo, the Chairman of the Committee coordinating the Ijaw Governorship Project Agenda.
“I can tell you that I don’t know of any report, as I am not aware if the committee that was setup had submitted their report, but from my interface with the President of the Ijaw National Congress, INC Prof. Okaba and Chief Bozimo, there is nothing like that. I am not aware.” He said.
“However I must state and tell Deltans that I am prepared for election, and I urge my supporters not to be bothered of such report, as it’s false as nothing of such had happened.”
Speaking further, he stated that aspirants should not take their aspirations as a do or die affair, but work towards victory and for the collective development of the state.
Meanwhile the leadership of the Ijaw National Congress had reacted to the story, debunking the endorsement of a sole candidate, describing it as fake news.
INC President, Prof. Benjamin Okaba in a reaction according to Vanguard explained that, “the Ijaw nation gave an assignment to a committee and it’s expected that the committee will revert back to the leadership which they have not done.”
Speaking further, he said, “on behalf of the entire Ijaw Nation I wish to ask the general public to disregard such news. It is a piece of fake news that is a proposition of a few greedy individuals whose mission is to undermine the obvious Ijaw candidate’s victory in the Governorship Elections of 2023.
“The Ijaw nation is expecting the report from the Prof. Peretomode’s committee.
“It is pertinent to say that the Ijaw Nation has not made a position yet and will do so when it is appropriate. I want to further state that it is the duty of the Ijaw Nation Congress (INC) to make declarations on behalf of the Ijaw Nation and not any individual.
“God bless Delta State and God bless the Ijaw Nation.” The statement concluded