*Says Buhari will unite APC leaders on visit
By Onome Oghenetega
A former governorship aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and spokesperson of the APC Presidential Campaign in Delta State, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh has said the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and governor of the state, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa might withdraw from the governorship race days before the election.
Ojougboh said it is better for Okowa to withdraw from the race to save him of the embarrassing defeat awaiting him in this Saturday’s governorship election in the state, saying that Okowa’s defeat would be “too massive.”
The APC chieftain stated this while confirming the visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to the state today (Monday) morning for a ‘thank you visit’ and a town hall meeting with traditional rulers in the state at the PTI Conference Centre, Effurun, Uvwie LGA of Delta State.
Ojougboh, who is an Ika kinsman like Okowa, disclosed to WARRI TODAY that President Buhari would spend some of his brief moment in the state to resolve the lingering crisis rocking the state chapter of the APC ahead of the governorship election.
The former PDP National Vice Chairman (South/South) told this medium that Mr President would also campaign for the state APC governorship candidate, Chief Great Ogboru, during the visit.
According to him, “Being that Okowa is the governor of the state, he is allowed to welcome Mr President but if the governor now wants to withdraw and join the APC, he can withdraw and join the meeting.
“But I can see a situation where Governor Okowa will withdraw because he knows that his not going to win the election. I will advise him as my brother that there is no need to continue to contest so that we will not disgrace him. He (Okowa) should withdraw honourably because his defeat will be the talk of the town.
“Although, it is a town hall meeting with traditional rulers and stakeholders in the Nigeria Project, Mr President will use the visit to campaign for Ogboru for the governorship election in the state.”
Speaking on the crisis in the Delta APC ahead of the election, Ojougboh stated, “Anybody with grievances should pocket it for now and let’s deliver our governorship candidate, Chief Great Ogboru for the election, and make sure that will also win the required seats in the Delta State House of Assembly.
“The President would not be happy that Delta State will be in opposition. That is why we are encouraging Deltans to do the needful and enter the mainstream of the Nigeria’s politics instead of fooling around with small opposition parties that will soon fizzle out into thin air in Nigeria.
“It’s a town hall meeting and the President will do his best. First of all, what the President will do is that all members of the party work collectively for the victory of Chief Ogboru in the election and that must be achieved. Once that happened, APC will win the state. Mr President will do its best on the visit to ensure that the party becomes one and there is no more division in the party.”
On while the President coming to the state, he added, “Mr. President is visiting because he wants to use the opportunity to thank the party in Delta State and Deltans for their support for him during in the last Presidential election.
“Mr. President is overwhelmed by the show of love for him in spite of all the difficulties APC encountered in Delta from the wicked PDP government in Delta State. But that notwithstanding, the party was able to garnered over 25 per cent votes needed for the President’s re-election.
“President Buhari’s visit is also to encourage the party to make sure that the party properly coordinated and as a leader of the party to instruct all party leaders and members to pocket their grievances till the elections were over.”