Delta Community on the Warpath Over Councillorship Ticket
The peace in a Delta Community, Ute-Okpu in Ika North East Local Government Area of Delta State was disrupted last weekend as political leaders in the community battle over councillorship ticket in one of the two wards in the area.
The Councillor representing Ute-Okpu Central (Ward 9), one Hon Bright Ogbeje, a loyalist to former speaker Delta State House of Assembly and one time acting governor of the state, Rt Hon Prince Sam Obi, who is seeking re-election was asked by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, leadership in the local government to step down for an anointed candidate of the Principal Secretary to the executive governor of the state, Mr Hilary Ibegbulem.
Hon Ogbeje, a popular youth leader in the community, unsatisfied with the arrangement insisted that there must be a primary election to decide who gets the PDP ticket for the ward which the party leadership agreed to.
XCLUSIVE MAGAZINE reliably gathered that trouble started after Ogbeje, having gathered enough support from the people of his ward, discovered that the party leaders sent to conduct the Councillorship election were out to act on a script. He felt he was robbed in broad day light of victory as the party leadership settled for another candidate. In order to justify their action, the party leaders resorted to a zoning system which, according to Ogbeje, has never been practised in the ward.
The development, which did not favour Ogbeje and his team of supporters, led to a fight where some persons were beaten to coma and cars destroyed. XCLUSIVE MAGAZINE discovered that the car of one of the PDP leaders in Ute-Okpu, Mr George Kuhodu, was destroyed.
Ogbeje, who managed to speak to us on phone, promised not to chicken out from his re-election bid, stating that he remains undaunted in the fight against impunity and oppression in his ward. He said that Mr Hilary Ibegbulem and the PDP Chairman in Ika North East who is a native of the community, Chief Godwin Ogadi, should stop imposing Councillorship candidates on the people, noting that he will not relent until the wish of the people prevails. He disclosed that he is still to recover from the severe injuries he sustained during the fight.
Meanwhile, the PDP leadership in the local government have denied the allegation of Ogbeje, saying due process was followed in the emergence of the party Councillorship candidate in Ward 9. Hon John Aleh, who spoke on behalf of the party, warned Ogbeje and his cohorts not to discredit a free and fair election, adding that the decision of the party concerning the conduct of the primary election cannot be reversed.
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