January 22, (THEWILL) – The Caucus meeting of the Delta State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, called on Friday night to solely discuss the 2023 general elections in the State and zoning of the governorship seat failed to reach a decision on where to pick its candidate from, pushing the highly contentious matter to another session to be held at a later date.
The meeting which was held inside the State Exco chambers, government House Asaba, chaired by the Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa had all the top party members including former governors Chief James Ibori and Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan in attendance.
Also present at the meeting were Deputy Governor, Deacon Kingsley Otuaro, Senator James Manager and other high ranking party members. “Everyone that matters in Delta State PDP attended the meeting,” our source said anonymously.
THEWILL reports that the meeting that lasted for about two hours failed to arrive at a definite decision as to which among the three Senatorial zones will produce the next governorship candidate of the party.
The three senatorial zones have produced the governor of the state under the PDP, which has ruled since this dispensation. Okowa (Delta North). His immediate predecessor, Uduaghan is from Delta South, while Chief Ibori, who governed from 1999-2007, is from Delta Central.
THEWILL reliably gathered from a top party source at the Caucus meeting that before the meeting started proper, Okowa, Ibori and Uduaghan had met privately to discuss the matter. Details of their talks remained unclear as at the time of writing this report.
Okowa also separately met with Chief Ighoyota Amori and Professor Sam Oyovbaire, his political godfather to discuss the matter.
When the issue of zoning was tabled, top party leaders Kingsley Esiso (State party chairman), Chief Amori, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu and Senator Stella Omu all spoke in favour of zoning the governorship ticket to Delta Central while Deputy Governor Otuaro and Senator James Manager, who are from Delta South, argued that the seat should be thrown open to aspirants from all zones just like it was done in the previous election cycles in 1999, 2007 and 2015, where no formal decisions were adopted by the Caucus.
Following the deep divide on the matter, Governor Okowa craftily ruled that more time was needed for further consultations on the matter and deferred talks to the next Caucus meeting.
THEWILL gathered that in line with the Party’s constitution, a seven-day notice is required to call a Caucus meeting.
However, as politicking for the 2023 governorship elections in the state heightens, governorship aspirants and stakeholders in the State know that Okowa’s support (otherwise known as the system) is critical in selecting who eventually gets the party’s governorship ticket as well as other elective positions.