By Eberechi Kennedy

Since the ruling People's Democratic Party announced the November 29 date for its governorship primaries, the political atmosphere in Delta State has witnessed great activity as political gladiators strategize on how to win power. The aspirants jostling to occupy Government House, Asaba, come 2015 have intensified their efforts with fierce and open campaigns.

Before now, the issue of who succeeds the incumbent governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, had been discussed behind closed doors; but with the release of the timetable for the PDP primaries, the coast appears clear for aggressive political campaigning in the PDP-controlled state. Billboards and campaign posters of various shapes and sizes, showing the different aspirants, have flooded strategic locations in the state.

Fortuitously, in the build up to the governorship primaries across the states, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) aspirants in Delta State have called on the President Goodluck Jonathan and the National Party Chairman; Adamu Mu'azu to intervene in the ploy by the incumbent Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan to impose a candidate on the party.

This call was made sequel to the meeting held between the Governor and the aspirants on Saturday night during when the Governor made known his proposal to distribute delegate positions among them as against the ward congress that ought to have held that day.

Alleging that Governor Uduaghan wants the majority of the delegates to be his loyalists, the aspirants insisted that delegates must be elected from all wards in the state to affirm the party's candidate. “The governor is already in control of the super delegates (elected officials) in the state. His proposal is to distribute four slots each to governorship aspirants, thereby ensuring that majority of the delegates are his loyalists and would support his anointed candidate”, one of the aspirants had said.

Incidentally, the ward congress is regarded by analysts as the main battlefield for the soul of party structures in the states, which often pitch incumbent governors against other stakeholders as in the case of Delta State. Many of the aspirants have the political will, influence and patronage to win elections in the state. Therefore, they call on Mr. President to advise Dr. Uduaghan and the Delta State PDP Chairman; Chief Peter Nwaoboshi to conduct congresses at Ward levels.

Furthermore, it would be recalled that President Goodluck Jonathan had earlier told governors elected on the platform of the party that they must produce for PDP very popular and acceptable candidates that are capable of winning elections.

According to the President, the governors must not hand pick candidates, it must be done through consultation with leaders, elders, stakeholders and party members in the state, just as he stressed that there should be primary election where the people of the state would decide who should be the candidate of the party.

By and large, the PDP should quickly put her house in order so as not give the opposition the chance to leverage on any political miscalculation of any sort to take over the state in 2015 as imposing an unpopular candidate might swing the pendulum to the opposition during the general elections in February, 2015.

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