XCLUSIVE – Delta Gubernatorial Debate: Okowa Chickens Out Yet Again!
Just three days after he failed to show up at the 24th March 2015 Delta State Gubernatorial Debate, organised by Doely Intermediaries, the Delta State People’s Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate Senator Ifeanyi Okowa has yet again declined to participate in another Delta State Gubernatorial debate scheduled by Delta State Chapter of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) on 4 April 2015.
Xclusive Magazine gathered from a very reliable source that unlike the Doely Intermediaries organized debate in which he made written commitment to attend, Okowa has this time around told the State Chapter of NUJ outright that he is will not show up, confirming our earlier xclusive report that there is an order from above that under no circumstances should PDP participate in any Gubernatorial debate, although the official line being cited is the pending court case, which the State PDP instituted against the All Progressives congress (APC) & Labour Party (LP) for submitting the names of their debuties long after the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) deadline.
“I can’t be seen in debate with candidates whose political parties have flagrantly abused the elections rules as set by INEC. To debate with them is to honour illegals and illegality,” Okowa told the State NUJ contact man.
Xclusive Magazine can authoritatively report that because of Okowa’s “no show” position, the State NUJ is in quandary whether to cancel the debate or reschedule it, as they are not sure that going ahead without the front-runner will give the debate the required bite. They are also keen to avoid a repeat of what happened in last week when the LP Gubernatorial candidate Chief Great Ogboru, who attended, openly refused to debate with his APC counterpart, claiming that Olorogun O’tega Emerhor was a paper weight.
Despite the quandary which Okowa’s refusal to participate in the debate has put the organisation, Xclusive Magazine understands that the Delta NUJ is still hopeful that the governorship candidate’s position may change after the presidential election Saturday, 28 March 2015. Their calculation is that a win for President Jonathan may boost Jonathan’s confidence to encourage the State PDP to take chances.
“April 4 is still far away. Considering that the Presidential election is this coming Saturday, things can change quickly within a short time. Fingers crossed, the debate may still go ahead,” said a source inside the NUJ.
On 25 March 2015, Xclusive Magazine broke the inside story report on why Okowa Chickened Out of the Delta State Gubernatorial Debate. Team Okowa’s attempt to undermine the organisers of the debate by going public to claim there was never any agreement with them was rubbished with an acceptance letter signed by Okowa himself way back on 3 February 2015. The court case used as alibi for shunning the debate was uncovered as a smokescreen, as we have gathered from very authoritative source that President Jonathan does not want Okowa to participate in any debate as it would not augur well for PDP in the State.
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