It is a battle of ‘godson’ versus ‘godfather’ in Asaba as Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and Chief James Onanefe Ibori go head-to-head at the Delta State in what is seen as a do-or-die gubernatorial primary election of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The party and the rival All Progressives Congress (APC) are holding the g o v e r n o r s h i p primaries nationwide on Wednesday and Thursday. PDP has held state and federal assembly primaries which APC is getting ready to hold throughout the weekend with its presidential one that stretches to next week.
In Asaba, Okowa is believed to be supporting House of Assembly speaker Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori as against Ibori’s former finance commissioner David Edevbie in what observers and many others see as the battle for the political lives of the ex-governor and the incumbent.
Heavy financial inducement of the delegates by both sides is being alleged. Also in the race are Deputy Governor Kingsley Otuaro, former Okowa Justice commissioner Peter Mrakpor and Deacon Chris Iyovwaye among others while Chief Kenneth Gbagi and Comrade Donald Awolowo Egbo have dropped out and may be heading to other political parties to actualise their ambitions.
Egbo is a youthful aspirant with a mass grassroots appeal among the millennials. Meanwhile, the opposition base against the ruling APC ahead of next year’s election has been widened beyond the PDP as a third force or coalition alternative comprising about six registered political parties, labour groups and civil society organisations has emerged. The coalition has adopted the Labour Party (LP) as the arrow head of the third option.
Parties in the coalition are Labour Party (LP), New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), African Democratic Congress (ADC), Social Democratic Party (SDP), Allied Peoples Movement (APM), People’s Redemption Party (PRP) and National Rescue Movement (NRM).
The third force which has been much awaited in some quarters was berthed after months of deliberations by progressive- minded democrats desirous of changing the political order, The Trumpet gathered.
It was said to have taken 15 months of continuous c o n s u l t a t i o n s , deliberations and agreements among allied political parties and the National Consultative Front (NCFront), to agree to field a joint presidential candidate on the platform of the Labour Party in 2023. The decision was made known in a communique issued at the end of a meeting.
A spokesperson for the National Consultative Front (NCFront), Ms Bello Bilikis, disclosed that the formal endorsement of the Labour Party by the ‘3rd Force’ Movement was ratified by separate political commissions of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) with their allies like the The Political Alternative Movement (TPAM) and the Civil Society.” She said the new movement is set to reposition the Labour Party as an “alternative platform for rescuing Nigeria ahead of the 2023 general elections.”
According to Bilikis, Prof Attahiru Jega of the People’s Redemption Party (PRP), Professor Pat Utomi of the Labour Party and Senator Saidu Dansadau of the National Rescue Movement, are also on board with the arrangement and have been instructed to build a Mega Electoral Alliance and adopt a single line of candidates among the seven allied parties involved in the ‘3rd Force’ alliance talks for the 2023 elections.
“With the novel synergy between the Labour Party and the NCFront, the convening platform of the 3rd Force Movement, which is also today the largest political mass movement in the country, Nigerians can be rest assured that the glorious future we all desire for our dear country, is now achievable by 2023, especially with the brewing implosion hovering over the ruling cartels of APC and PDP, which will soon burst into unpreventable disintegration after their party primaries.
“To this end, an inclusive Consensus Technical Committee to screen presidential candidates and other candidates of ‘3rd Force’ allied Parties towards the adoption of a single line of candidates across all 2023 elections, is expected to be set up next month after the conclusion of all party primaries,” the communique read.
Going further, she said the ‘3rd Force’ Coalition leaders and parties are expected to jointly address the nation soon to present its mission of saving Nigeria from imminent collapse and anarchy foisted by the ruling parties in Nigeria.” The 3rd Force may be a readily available platform for aggrieved aspirants that lost out of the power games ongoing in both APC and PDP.