As PDP Gets Set For Local Govt Area Campaigns …
By Fidelis Egugbo
Basking in the euphoria of the successes recorded during the Ward-to-Ward campaign, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has rolled out programmes for its Local Government-to-Local Government campaign tour.
At the Ward-to-Ward campaign tour of Ndokwa West and Ndokwa East, the turnout of prospective voters to the rallies was unimaginable. Yes! Unimaginable because, pundits can easily say that some Presidential candidates cannot pull such enthusiastic crowd, loyal members of a political party to a state-wide rally as PDP did in its War-to-Ward rallies.
For some of those who are following me up on this PDP campaigns, especially in Delta North, I have done a piece on the rallies in Aniocha and Ika, including part of Oshimili Federal Constituency in my previous write-ups. As such, one can succinctly say that I can comfortably write on what transpired during the visits.
So, if PDP is to start a Local Government-to-Local Government campaign, what is the implication? If at all the places visited in Ndokwa West alone, the turn-out of prospective voters can be described as “Unimaginable”, then, imagine when all the Wards in a Local Government moves to a particular venue. Agreed that the PDP is in what can be described in military parlance as a “show of strength,” one can go further by saying that what the PDP is doing is to tell the opposition political parties that, “this is my land and the voters who belong to my party are not comfortable with political usurpers.”
One can aptly capture the rallies at Ndokwa West as the “Frills and thrills of PDP rallies in Ndokwa West.” From the first place of visit in Ndokwa West, music buffs would say that Congo is learning the art of music while another set of people would say that “Ndokwa West is home of groove, home of good music.” At all the Local Government areas visited in Delta North Senatorial District, the visit to Ndokwa West was beyond carnival, the visit of the campaign train to the area reactivated the festive mood of the people and they all trooped out in support of the political party of their choice.
From Ogume which was the first place of call, an internationally acclaimed highlife musician, Eric Enuma was on stage and another loved musician, Abamba was performing in another Ward within the Ogume community. From Ogume, the PDP Campaign train visited Utagba-Ogbe, Emu, Ndemili, Etua, Utagba-Unor and at the end, the “community festival as engineered by the PDP” concluded its tour of Ndokwa West at Onicha-Ukwuani, that is, the home of the Deputy Governorship candidate of the party in the State, Chief Monday Onyeme. Surprisingly, Chief Onyeme’s wife, Catherine, and her children were at the venue of the rally in Onicha-Ukwuani. As a key figure in the contest in 2023, key players in the PDP, including the Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the State, Barr. Kingsley Esiso were there.
When a community is looking for political limelight and having someone who will address in a practical sense, the dearth of amenities in a democratic era and succeeds in getting someone who is at home with his people, what you will naturally see is support in whatever ways possible. So, the old and the young gathered at the venue of the rally to show their support in physical form for Chief Onyeme in particular and all the candidates of the PDP in general.
The venue was well decorated with live music hitting the people from the jukebox. The turn-out of prospective voters was massive and Chief Esiso was so overwhelmed that he requested that all the candidates for different elective positions should mount the stage to dance with their wives. Chief Oyeme, Prince Ned Nwoko who is the Senatorial Candidate, Delta North, Hon. Nnamdi Ezechi, Hon. Charles Emetulu, mounted the stage with their wives.
Esiso, could not hide his joy and he described the rally as a “celebration before the celebration.” To him, the people were already celebrating the victory of the PDP in the forthcoming elections. In his characteristic nature, he reeled out the woes of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC-led Government. At the end, the people chorused, “PDP five-over-five, PDP all-the-way.”
From Ndokwa West, the campaign train moved to Oshimili South where the people displayed their love for the political party that has changed the landscape of Asaba and put it on the international map of hosting one of the best airports in this part of the world and tourism destination of fun lovers.
From day one of the visit to Oshimili South, from GRA to West End, West End to Ime Ogbe down to Oko, Cable Point to Okwe, the joy of prospective voters was palpable; they believe that with the PDP back to power, the hyper-inflation being witnessed in the country will be checked.
The timing of the campaign tour of the PDP can be described as divine. This is because, it is coming a few days to Christmas and a lot of people are becoming hopeless. The PDP is giving them hope, hope that the cost of living will not be like this in the coming years, hope that the people will be able to buy rice once again, hope that they will be able to clothe their children again during the yuletide, hope that price of fuel will come down and there will be no queue at the Petrol Stations. So, the campaign tour means a lot to the people as the party continues to preach way out of the present situation where a lot of people can no longer afford three square meals a day not to talk about paying house rents.
While the likes of Mr. Henry Olokor, a key follower of Rt. Hon. Ossai Nicholas Ossai, the member representing Ndokwa/Ukwuani Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, apparently acting the script of his boss, came out to drum support for all the candidates of the PDP at Kwale, in Oshimili South, Chief Ejiofor Onyia, former Speaker, Delta State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Peter Onwusanya, also, told prospective voters to cast their votes for all the candidates of the PDP.
At Ndokwa East, the last Local Government Area to be visited during the Ward-to-Ward campaign tour, the people were determined to replicate what they saw in Ndokwa West and as such, from Ase to Ibrede, Ashaka, Aboh, Okpai, Afor, it was carnival train that lasted two days. The last Ward to be visited was Ossissa, home to the Local Government party Chairman, Chief Vincent Osilonya. Ossissa is also the hometown of the Commissioner for Higher Education in Delta State, Dr. Kingsley Ashibogwu, so, naturally, the people came out to show their love for the umbrella political party. Dr. Ashibogwu is very likely, the first Commissioner to be produced by the community and it happened during the administration of Senator, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa as Governor of Delta State.
A chieftain of the PDP, Chief Godwill Obielum is from Ndokwa East and the people of the area were keen on making the world to be aware of the roles he is playing in their lives. This was evident in his recognition in all the Wards visited and his photographs appearing on almost all the billboards mounted in the Local Government Area. Ndokwa people are known for having good musicians and that the people loves “enjoyment” is an understatement, at almost all the Wards visited, renowned musicians were seen entertaining the audience who were mainly made up of prospective voters. At Ossissa, Sir Deskenny was on stage and the people will certainly wish to witness such a situation again. A situation where those who came to canvass for votes and the prospective voters are in one accord about what to do on the days of elections.
Obviously, the PDP has been greatly encouraged by what they witnessed during the Ward-to-Ward campaign that they have fixed a date for the Local Government to Local Government campaign according to a statement signed by the Publicity Secretary of the party in the State, Dr. Ifeanyi Osuoza.
The statement read
DELTA PDP TAKES CAMPAIGNS TO LOCAL GOVERNMENTS, AFTER SUCCESSFUL WARD-TO-WARD TOURS
The Peoples Democratic Party PDP, Delta State, is set to commence its Local Government Campaign tour, after completing our comprehensive and resoundingly successful Ward-to-Ward Campaign tours, which took our teams to all the 270 Federal electoral Wards across the 25 LGAs of the State. This is being complemented with our Ongoing Unit-to-Unit Campaigns.
The focus of our decision to embark on the robust and aggressive ward-to-ward Campaigns, is in line with our established tradition at every election season, to bring the party and our programmes directly to the people, and we have accomplished this objective excellently.
Our Local Government Campaign tours will commence on Wednesday, 21st December, 2022 at Patani and Bomadi LGAs and will be concluded on Monday, 6th February, 2023 in Ika South and Ika North East Local Government Areas of Delta State.
As usual, all our Campaign activities will be conducted within the stipulated schedule of the election timetable and in accordance with the rules and guidelines in the Electoral law.
We appeal to all Deltans to turn out en masse for all our Campaign rallies in all the LGAs as we march towards consolidating our #StrongerDelta agenda, in order to achieve landslide victory across board, in the 2023 elections and to do #MORE for our beloved Deltans.
PDP! Power to the People!!
Dr. Ifeanyi M. Osuoza.
Deputy Director, Media/Publicity Committee,
Delta PDP Campaign Council and
State Publicity Secretary,
PDP, Delta State.”
But, the All Progressives Congress, APC, has also embarked on a Ward-to-Ward campaign in the state, a move the Delta North Chairman of the PDP, Elder Moses Iduh, described as, “copycats.” Chief Iduh said that because APC in Delta State does not have anything to campaign with, the party is copying what the PDP is doing, adding that, “they are even bad copycats; they are even failing with their copying. They were combining about 4 to 5 Wards at a venue to shore up their numbers. Now that we want to embark on Local Government tours, let us see what they will do next?”
He thanked God for the successes recorded during the Ward-to-Ward campaign tour, emphatically saying that “Delta is PDP, PDP is Delta State, what we are doing is to ensure a high margin of votes otherwise, we are aware that most Deltans will vote for all the candidates of our party, the umbrella political party, PDP.”
The days ahead, as usual, promises to be interesting to the political parties, their members, prospective voters, and the general populace, not leaving out pundits and by His grace, we shall be letting you know what transpires at the campaign grounds.
The author, FIDELIS EGUGBO, is the Special Assistant, Media, to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State and member, Publicity Committee, PDP Campaign Council.