Posted by News Express | 20 March 2015 | 5,111 times
Prof. Sam Oyovbaire, former Minister of Information and Culture, is the chairman, Delta State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governorship Campaign Organisation. In this interview with News Express, he says the Urhobo nation will vote massively for Senator (Dr.) Ifeanyi Okowa, his party’s governorship candidate, whom he describes as the man to beat in the April 11, 2015 poll in the state.
Question: As the chairman, Delta State PDP Gubernatorial Campaign Organisation, what is your assessment of the campaign so far?
Prof. Oyovbaire: First, I want to personally commend the state Governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, who created a level playing ground. And, above all, accepted the result of the primaries with such a speed which beats the imagination, against the background upon which the primaries was held. I won’t be tired of saying this because, if he had not demonstrated such high level maturity and democratic tendencies, we would have experienced in Delta State some of the bad experiences in other states. Secondly, he immediately swung into action by bringing all the contestants together and, as we speak today, we have a more united, stronger party than before. The worst is that we have two or so people who decided to go down a little bit to contest lower offices in other parties, and not the governorship of the state.
So, against that background, the campaign organisation came out very peacefully and successfully, to the acclamation of all Deltans: from the flag-off at Oghara to Koko, and the height of them all, Owa Oyibu, which is understandable because it is Senator Ifeanyi Okowa’s Local Government Area; through to Warri to Ogbejoh, which is the local government of the running mate. On the whole it has been a very successful campaign: so far so good. The height of it all was the presidential rally, here in Asaba, which also marked the end of all the 25 local government areas. I can tell you that we are home and dry.
Given the position of the Urhobo Progressive Union (UPU), what are the chances of your candidate in the Delta Central Senatorial District?
Senator feanyi Okowa has a very firm hold of the Urhobo constituency. I have this strong feeling that the Urhobo attachment to Okowa is higher than that of the Anioma. Of course, that of Anioma is understandable. The much that I know is that even when the UPU came out with its Uvwiamuge Declaration, some of us knew it will not make any significant difference. The reason is, because, the UPU is like what we call super-structure in politics. The sub-structure, which is the electorate, in Urhobo is highly attached to Okowa. And I can tell you that the Uvwiamuge Declaration has become significant because it helped to swing the whole process in Okowa’s favour, when Olorogun David Edevwie emerged only 48 hours to the primaries. And why did it happen like that? The answer is simple. He is a good man as an individual, and the fact that he is a grassroots person. He is trusted, and he is liked by the people. He has been around for a while. The UPU represents a super-structure of Urhobo politics. And it does not hold the sub-structure. I can tell you categorically that in the electorate in the Urhobo nationality, you will be surprised, will vote massively for Dr. Okowa.
What do you think stands him out from the rest candidates in the coming election?
I just told you that he is a good man. According to Greek philosophers, virtue, which is goodness, is an invaluable asset; and he has it in abundance. He has gone around telling everybody that I am for Delta State as a whole and will not be an Anioma governor alone. And will he be the governor of Urhobo alone or Isoko or Ijaw or Itsekiri. He has said it everywhere that he wants to govern and lead all Deltans, by the grace of God, irrespective of where you come from.
That is the man, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa. And without unduly talking about myself, I can tell you that I have never related to or with people who are bad. I get close to people in my own knowledge and
definition of who they are. And God has been good to me, in that I have never chosen or associated with people who are bad. It is God’s doing.
What would be your advice to Deltans, as they go to the polls on April 11?
Well, the first thing I want Deltans to know is that, as of today, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa is obviously the best material for the governor of the state. There were about 20 plus aspirants, who are qualified in their own right, but the best material today for the state is Senator Okowa. Let us not make any mistake about it, yesterday is gone, and tomorrow is yet to come. But for the moment, for today, the best material is Senator Okowa. So, I plead with all Deltans, get your voter’s card, come out and vote massively for Senator Okowa. Okowa, to me, will be the governor who will provide equity, fairness, and justice to all Deltans.
•Photo shows Prof. Oyovbaire.
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