Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta state has allegedly threatened to deal ruthlessly with the newly sworn-in chairman of Isoko North Local Government Area, Christian Iteire, should he be involved in ‘factional’ politics during next week’s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primaries for the forthcoming House of Assembly bye-election to fill the vacant position created by the death of the majority leader, Tim Owhefere.
House of Assembly bye-election to fill the vacant position created by the death of the majority leader, Tim Owhefere.
Owhefere, a lawyer and journalist in the state House of Assembly, died at the Federal Medical Centre, Asaba from suspected COVID-19 complications on Wednesday, January 27, 2021, aged 57. He was a member of the PDP and represented Isoko North Constituency in the house.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Tuesday scheduled the bye-election into the Isoko North Constituency of Delta State House of Assembly for April 10, 2021 following the death of Owhefere and the subsequent declaration of vacancy for the constituency by the Delta State House of Assembly.
A statement by the National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, revealed that political parties must conduct their primaries between March 11 and 20, 2021, adding that the deadline for the submission of list of nominated candidates is 6pm, March 24, 2021.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the state governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, during a meeting with the newly sworn-in 25 local government chairmen at the Government House, Asaba, allegedly threatened to deal ruthlessly with the council chairman of Isoko North, Christian Iteire, should he be involved in any form of factional politics during the party’s primaries slated for next week at the council’s headquarters, Ozoro.
Okowa, our correspondent reliably gathered threatened the council chairman following the factional, controversial and rivalry circumstances that brought the council boss into office, which created so many divisions in the Isoko North PDP.
A council chairman, who attended the meeting and spoke on condition of anonymity, said Okowa threatened and warned the council chairman against any form of factional politics during the party’s primaries coming up next week.
“We have never seen governor Okowa in such a vexation mood before. He warned the Isoko North council chairman, Christian Iteire, against playing any form of factional politics during the party’s primaries for the forthcoming house of Assembly bye-election.
“Oga warned the council chairman not to play camp politics and that he must carry everybody along. But if the council chairman chooses to do otherwise, he will see the other side of him. Oga also reminded him of the circumstances surrounding his emergence as the council chairman during his nomination and primaries which created so many divisions in the party in the local government.”
When contacted on the issue, the chairman, Isoko North Local Government Area, Christian Iteire, simply reacted: “If that is what they said the governor said, then quote him.”
It would be recalled that following the rejection of the council chairman, Christian Iteire by some leaders and staunch members of the party in the area, Leo Ogor, a House of Representatives member, representing Isoko Federal Constituency, allegedly shed tears and threatened suicide if his candidate, Iteire, was denied the chairmanship position in the local government area in the last local council elections in the state.
The PDP in the area was thrown into a crisis over its candidates for the local government elections.