Senator James Manager, a frontline aspirant in the just concluded Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship primary in Delta State has reacted to the outcome of the shadow poll held at the Stephen Kechi Stadium, Asaba, on Wednesday.
Rt. Hon Sheriff Oborevwori, speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly and anointed candidate of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, had won the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship primary in the state with 590 votes.
David Edevbie, a former commissioner for finance, who is the anointed candidate of former governor James Ibori came second with 113 votes, followed by Senator Manager who garnered 83 votes. Others were the state deputy governor, Kingsley Otuaro who scored 9; former attorney-general and commissioner for justice, as well as Peter Mrakpo and Fred Majemite who scored 9 and 6 respectively.
Senator Manager, in an emotional statement on his verified Facebook page on Wednesday night said: “I want to thank God Almighty for his mercies and grace upon my life. I also want to thank my teeming-supporters, and well-wishers for standing and identifying with me in these times. Finally, I wish to particularly thank my brother and wonderful friend, H.E Senator Ifeanyi Okowa for all he has done for, and with me. Yesterday has come and gone, Today is with us and tomorrow is yet to come. God bless Delta and her people.”
The statement has, however, drawn a lot of reactions.
Close sources to the senator who is representing Delta South Senatorial District in the senate, however, told THE WITNESS that PDP chieftain was disappointed as he was deceived by Governor Okowa to cede his bid to return to the red chamber to an ally of the governor in exchange for the governorship ticket. This, however, didn’t play out.
Michael Diden, alias ‘Ejele’, a former chairman of Delta State Oil Producing Development Commission (DESOPADEC), had emerged winner of the PDP primaries for Delta South Senatorial District. Ejele polled 176 votes to beat House of Representatives member, Mr. Daniel Reiyeneju, who scored 49, with Ayodele Othihiwa coming third with 46 votes.
“The agreement between Governor Okowa and Senator Manager was for him (Manager) to drop his senatorial bid in exchange for the party’s governorship ticket, but alas, the governor deceived him. The general election will be tough. The governor is fighting hard to take control and replace Chief James Ibori in the state and has vowed to crush anyone who will stand in his way politically.
“You can see what played out during the primaries. Governor is gradually taking charge of the entire state. The battle line has, however, been drawn between them,” a source close to Manager said.
Similarly, Edevbie in a statement while thanking the delegates and youths in the state for their support said that though the result was unfavourable, “due to several unsavoury factors which came into play in our politics, particularly over the last few months, we remain steadfast in our aspiration for a modernised Delta to be bequeathed to the next generation.”
Oborevwori, the party’s governorship candidate emerged speaker following the impeachment of the former speaker, Hon Friday Igbuya in May, 2017.