Oshimili North Arise, a political pressure group, has urged the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to provide level-playing ground for aspirants in its nationwide House of Assembly primary election on Saturday.
It particularly called on Delta Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, to ensure that fairness prevailed in the exercise in the state, especially in Oshimili North constituency.The group made the call in a statement in Abuja on Sunday by its National Chairman, Dr Ndu Ojejeh and National Secretary, Mr Carl Enumah.
It reminded the governor of decades-long political domination of major parts of Oshimili North Local Government Area by only one community, Ibusa, which had continued to alienate other communities in the area, politically.
The group revealed that in the forthcoming primary election, the community’s political leaders, in collaboration with the local government chairman, had deployed blackmail and intimidation tools against Mr Frank Esenwah, the only aspirant not from the community.
According to the group, Ibusa’s `political community’ headed by Sen. Peter Nwaoboshi, wants the community to continue to occupy the constituency’s seat in the House of Assembly as it has been since 1999.
It said that since 1991 when Delta was created, Ibusa had occupied all political offices at all levels, available to the entire local government area, oppressing and marginalizing other communities.
The group, therefore, urged Ibusa political leaders and the local government chairman to eschew blackmail and threats to delegates for the primary election “and allow them freedom to vote fairly”.
“Let there be a free and fair primary so that any contestant who emerges from it will be seen as the people’s choice.
“The clandestine movements to ensure than Ibusa occupies the local government’s seat in the assembly in 2019, and for their lackey in the local government’s council to pick the slot in 2023, should stop.
“It is unacceptable and will be resisted. Let the democratic process of selecting a candidate fairly at the polls run its course in Oshimili North – enough of impunity, blackmail and intimidation.”
The group reminded the public that “all commissionership slots for the area had always been taken by Ibusa since the creation of Delta, save for the current holder. The same applies for chairmanship of the local government.
“Between 1999 and 2007, Dr Felicia Nwaeze, from Ibusa, was in the House of Assembly, and from then to date, Mrs Pat Ajudua, wife of Fred Ajudua, also from Ibusa, has been in the saddle.
“Currently, Mr Peter Nwaoboshi, also from Ibusa, who was commissioner in the two terms of James Ibori as governor, and later became PDP Chairman in the state, is the Senator representing Delta North District at the Senate.
“In spite of these cases of marginalization and brazen insensitivity, Ibusa is currently pushing with every might, for Ajudua or another person from the community to be in the Assembly in 2019.
“Ibusa is only one community out of others, including Okpanam, Illah, Ebu, Akwukwu-Igbo (Headquarters), Ukala-Okpuno, Atuma, Aninwalo and Ukala-Okwute, in the local government area.”
Recalling its earlier statement on the issue, the group said, “We are saying that for equity and justice, the House of Assembly position should go to any of the other communities in the area in 2019.”
“Besides, the current position of Nwaoboshi as senator suffices as huge political gain for Ibusa people as it dwarfs the positions of commissioner, house of assembly member and local government chairman, put together.
“Rather than be the arrowhead for perpetuating political disequilibrium and disharmony in the area, Nwaoboshi should show gratitude, magnanimity and transparent leadership by letting other positions go outside Ibusa in 2019.
“The senator should not hold the grudge against Esenwah over allegation that he did not get enough votes in Illah community in 2015.
“This is particularly so when the senator is pushing hard to return to the Red Chamber and everybody in the local government area has endorsed it and is in the vanguard for actualizing it.”
The group added that Nwaoboshi, like the governor, should show good political leadership laced with tolerance, justice, accommodation, selflessness and inclusiveness.