By Timi Black
Following the announcement of three consensus aspirants by Delta central lobby group, DC-23, Chief James Augoye, the immediate past Commissioner for Works of Delta State has faulted the move to bar him from the governorship contest in Delta state, adding that he is still very much in the race.
Augoye, while speaking in Asaba, the capital of the State, disclosed this to newsmen while criticising the outcome of a screening exercise conducted by Delta Central 2023 (DC-23).
The former Commissioner said he subjected himself to the DC-23 exercise to fulfill all righteousness, stressing that the outcome of the political pressure group’s screening exercise is not final.
Acccording to him, he has the mandate of Deltans to represent them as Governor come 2023, and that throwing in the towel at any point when the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) was yet to conduct primaries would mean letting Deltans down.
Augoye maintained that candidates for elective positions in Nigeria are determined by political parties and not political pressure groups. He, therefore, urged his teeming followers in the State, across the federation and in the diaspora to remain calm, focused and stay the course.
His words: “The outcome of the screening exercise of DC-23 has been brought to my notice. The outcome is not surprising. The screening committee had its job cut out.
“I shared my ideas and plans for the growth and development of Delta State with the committee. I was able to prove to the committee that I am the best choice for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to win the 2023 governorship election in Delta.
“I told the committee that I am not only contesting the governorship election on a personal mandate, but on a collective mandate of Deltans. Deltans have reposed their trust on me. They have given me their mandate. So, I cannot let them down.
“Even, our amiable Governor, His Excellency, Senator (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa and other leaders of our great party, the PDP have agreed that the governorship primaries would be free for all, fair and transparent.
“Moreover, I subjected myself to the screening exercise to fulfill all righteousness. The outcome of the screening is not final. As enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, only a political party can present a candidate for election, not a pressure group.
“On these grounds, I am still very much in the race for the 2023 governorship election of Delta State. We will see at the primaries. At this time, I urge my teeming followers at home and in the diaspora to remain calm, focused and stay the course”.