The Delta State Commissioner for Information, Charles Aniagwu, says the opposition governorship candidates are not conversant with the realities in the state.
The Commissioner of Information stated this at a press conference on Thursday in Asaba, the state capital.
Aniagwu spoke when he explained why the Peoples Democratic Party governorship candidate, Chief Sheriff Oborevwori, could not attend the Arise TV debate for Delta State governorship candidates.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that governorship candidates of four political parties in the race for Saturday’s election in Delta State on Wednesday engaged in debate organised by Arise TV.
The debate featured the candidates of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Great Ogboru; the Labour Party, Kennedy Pela; Young Progressive Party, Sunny Ofehe; and Social Democratic Party, Kenneth Gbagi.
However, the candidates of the PDP and All Progressives Congress, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, were absent at the debate.
Aniagwu, in Oborevwori’s defence, said that the PDP candidate had waited for the debate before the aborted election of March 11, adding that the debate was good but it had been overtaken by the exigencies of the moment.
According to him, Oborevwori was not able to attend the Arise TV Governorship Debate because the party had started a review of the outcome of the February 25 presidential election in Delta State.
He said: “We had looked forward for a debate before the postponement of the governorship election scheduled to hold on Saturday, March 11.
“Now, we have started a process of reviewing what happened on the February 25, where another political party (Labour Party) came in to infect the PDP domination in Delta.
“We told you that Delta had a PDP in its DNA, but there was an infraction and this has caused a lot of damage to the PDP as a party in Delta.”
Aniagwu said that the PDP family had to engage in a serious door to door campaign to avert a repeat of the February 25 Presidential and National Assembly elections experience in the state.
He said: “We value the debate and what the Arise TV has done but the timing was not convenient enough for our governorship candidate to participant not because we want to run away from the debate.
“However, our four brothers that appear in the debate were telling stories that demonstrate that they were not in touch with the happenings in Delta.”
According to Aniagwu, most of the contenders had no poster or carried out campaigns until the outcome of the February 25 Presidential and National Assembly elections.
He said that Oborevwori was a great partner in Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s Administration with commitment to continue and deepen the development stead.
Aniagwu said no other governorship contender in the state could rival Oborevwori in terms of commitment to development and as a unifier and peace advocate.
According to the Commissioner, the opposition candidates are very busy churning out lies, they claimed that the state had borrowed N850 billion, which is a lie from the pit of hell.
He added: “But you do know the number of projects we have executed, I do not want to believe that there is iota of truth that contractors came from a particular part of the state.
“We have tried as much as possible to democratise our processes whether in the area of appointment, projects and in our policies in other to promote oneness as people from a state.
“This has contributed largely to the peace we have in the state.
“Though we can not claim perfection, yet in 2019 as a political party, we won, 23 out of 25 local government areas of the state voted for Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of the PDP.”
Aniagwu noted that the two Ethiope East and Ughelli North Local Government Areas that did not vote for PDP then, were greatly impacted by the Okowa-led administration to demonstrate that governance was about the state.
He added: “We have tried to be fair to all and have not left anybody behind in our development stride.
“So, those who are churning out lies ahead of the elections are doing so because they want to play politics.
“Though dirty as it is, we do not want to join issues because we believe that when they go low, we go high in the word of Mrs. Michelle Obama.
“Again, we have produced and showcased a candidate that we believe has the capacity of uniting the state in the person of Chief Sheriff Oborevwori.
“Oborevwori is the Speaker of State House of Assembly for upward of six years with development trajectory that suggests and clearly demonstrates that he is indeed a pan-Deltan, that is in touch with the grassroots.”
Aniagwu urged the people to vote for PDP and Oborevwori to deepen the peaceful coexistence and development trajectory of the Okowa-led administration in the state.
On his part, Olisa Ifeajika, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, noted that the governorship candidates at debate were economical with the truth about Okowa’s development stride in the state.
According to him, Gbagi lied when he alleged that local government councils do not receive their monthly allocations.
Ifeajika said: “Gbagi also lied when he alleged that he was denied access to Government House.
“Okowa’s administration has been running free medicals care for pregnant women and under five, which have been graduated to contributory health insurance scheme in the state.”