PDP Picks Tompolo's Nomination As Delta Deputy Governornorship Candidate

The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Delta State, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, has named Mr. Kingsley Otuaro, a commissioner at the state Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC) and a nominee of former militant leader, Mr. Government Ekpemupolo, popularly known as Tompolo, as his running mate in the 2015 governorship election.
According to information, the PDP submitted Otuaro’s name and data to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) just in time to beat the Boxing Day deadline.
Otuaro, an Ijaw, emerged despite opposition from the Isokos, another major ethnic group in Delta South, who had long been coveting the deputy governorship slot of the party going by the unwritten zoning arrangement of the ruling PDP in the state.
Before Friday, political wrangling in the state had stalemated all efforts to pick a running mate for Okowa.
Local sources said a tense atmosphere had been created in the state following the outcome of all the PDP primaries and the political undercurrent that took place during the gubernatorial primaries that produced Okowa as the standard bearer of the party.
Sources said the decision to choose a suitable running mate had become a herculean task for Okowa and his team owing to the political alignment and realignment going on in the state.
It learnt that the gubernatorial  candidate was being careful not to choose a running mate from the wrong camp so as not to jeopardise his chances in the general election as the ethnic groups scheming for the position are threatening to spring a surprise if the choice did not favour them.
The calibre of persons now holding the political ace in the southern district and posing as kingmakers had given some prominent leaders in the state cause for concern and that was one factor that stalled the process until Friday.
What seemed to be a simple political arithmetic to determine who emerged as running mate turned messy as two major ethnic nationalities in the Delta senatorial district, Ijaw and Isoko ethnic groups, have remained at daggers-drawn over the position.
It was gathered that the committee saddled with the responsibility of choosing a running mate for Okowa had found it extremely difficult to make a head way following the plethora of names being submitted to it from the two major ethnic groups scheming for the plum job.
Okowa was also said to have rejected several names suggested to him.
After his emergence as the PDP’s candidate, the Isokos ethnic nationality had presumed the deputy governorship position would ordinarily be left for them going by political calculation that Ijaws have taken their turn in the person of Senator James Manager who won the Delta South senatorial district race.
The Isoko, Ijaw and Itsekiri had formed an alliance to which they rotate political offices in the Delta South among the ethnic nationalities. Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan became governor in 2007 following the ‘G3’ alliance and quest for power shift.
Manager took the Ijaw turn in the Senate in 2003 and has perpetually retained the position for 12 years running. He again took what is supposed to be the turn of Itsekiri in the just concluded senatorial primaries when Uduaghan who was his main rival suddenly quit the contest.
Understandably, the Isokos were the next in line to be empowered with any prominent position coming to the Delta South but alas the Ijaws had bargained for the job with their vote for Okowa in the primaries and have been lobbying the power-that-be in Abuja to ensure that they get the position.
Sources said the governorship candidate had zeroed his mind on picking a running mate from Isoko prior to the primaries but the outcome of the PDP primaries where it was widely believed that some forces from Isoko ethnic nationality worked against him during the contest may have made him change his mind.
Tompolo, who is believed to have helped in swaying votes for Okowa, alongside Senator Manager, who maternally is from Isoko, are elements that pulled the strings for an Ijaw running mate notwithstanding the political imbalance it would cause in the Delta south senatorial district.


Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria

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