By Timi Black
There has been indication that the Delta central 2023 lobby group, popularly known as DC-2023 may abandon moves to select three consensus governorship aspirants among the earlier pruned five aspirants in Delta Central Senatorial District to contest the PDP primaries in the state.
It was learnt the group was formed to lobby Deltans, especially those of the north and south to support Delta central to produce the next governor in the state.
The group is a political movement made to protect the interest of Delta central people. Part of its mandate is to prune the high number of governorship aspirants contesting for the governor seat from Delta central.
The group which had earlier pruned the number of governorship aspirants from twelve to five in Delta central, met on mid January to decide three consensus aspirants from the five selected, to engage other aspirants from Delta South.
Among Delta central (Urhobo) PDP aspirants who made the list of the earlier five, during the screening of DC-23 last year were former Minister of State for Education, Delta State Industrialist, Chief Kenneth Gbagi, former Chief of Staff, Olorogun David Edevbie, Speaker, Delta State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Sheriff Oborevwori, former Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Senator Emmanuel Aguarivwodo and immediate past Commissioner for Works, Chief James Augoye.
Other Delta central aspirants who were screened out from the governorship race by DC-23 committee were Chief Fred Majemite, Hon Ejaife Odebala, Hon Efe Ofobruku, Chief Kenneth Okpara, now late, Chief Bright Edejeghwro, Hon. Festus Ovie Agas, Chief Abel Esievo and Chief Sunday Oruarefe.
However, there was another apprehension on Sunday January 16, 2022 when the committee met to further screen the earlier pruned five aspirants to three consensus aspirants to strategically pursuit the Urhobo agenda in this year’s PDP primaries.
But the DC-23 group has received several backlashes since its last sitting on January 16. The screened three consensus aspirants have been expected to be announced since the process has been completed. The delay in announcing the three consensus aspirants as made many to insinuate that the group has gone oblivion.
Meanwhile, some of the earlier screened out aspirants have damned the effectiveness of DC-23 screening committee, adding that the committee does not have such powers to stop them from participating in the governorship primaries in the platform of PDP.
While one or two of the affected governorship aspirants have agreed to step down for the collective interested of the Urhobo nation.
But there is also grumble among the earlier selected five aspirants that the DC-23 moves to further screen them was a calculated attempt to stop some of them from running for the governorship race.
One of the earlier selected fives, a former Minister of State for Education, Delta State Industrialist, Chief Kenneth Gbagi, has recently said there was rumour that the Delta Central 2023 (DC-23) lobby group was making moves to dump him in the second phase of the screening.
The leading Urbobo aspirant, Gbagi stated this during his consultative visit to PDP Elders and Leaders Forum in Udu Local Government Area of the state on the penultimate month.
He reiterated: “As a criminologist, I am aware of clandestine moves by certain persons in the party and Delta Central senatorial district plotting to stop my emergence as the standard bearer of the party in the forthcoming PDP party primary election”.
Again, he expressed confidence that nobody can dumped him from the guber race.
Meantime, a source who pleaded anonymity gave some name of aspirants who may likely pass the screening of the five guber aspirants in Delta central as former Minister of State for Education, Delta State Industrialist, Chief Kenneth Gbagi, Speaker of Delta State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori and former Chief of Staff, Olorogun David Edevbie.
A youth leader who equally pleaded his name not be in print said the screening has been completed and the former minister’s name has been screen out but fear of the unknown had stop them from announcing the outcome of the the successive three aspirants in the second phase of the screening.
However, attempt to reach DG DC-23 for comment was abortive as calls made to his cellphone was not responded.