Delta State gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, yesterday picked the nominee of a former militant commander in the Niger Delta, Chief Government Ekpemukpolo (alias Tompolo), Mr Kingsley Otuaro, as his running mate in the February 2015 governorship election.
The emergence of Otuaro, an Ijaw ethnic nationality and cousin of the ex-militant leader put an end to the protracted battle over the choice of running mate to the candidate of the ruling party in the state.
Otuaro is presently a commissioner representing the Ijaw ethnicity on the board of the state’s oil agency, Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC). He hails from Gbaramatu Kingdom in Warri South West local government area of the state.
LEADERSHIP Sunday learnt that Okowa has forwarded Otuaro’s name to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to beat yesterday’s deadline set by the electoral umpire.
The choice of Okowa’s deputy has been a subject of acrimony among the Ijaw, Itsekiri and Isoko ethnic nationalities in Delta South Senatorial District of the state.
The Ijaw and Isoko were opposed to the Ijaw picking the slot on the strength that it could not add it to the senatorial ticket of the ruling party already won by another Ijaw citizen, Senator James Manager, who is running a fourth-term ticket.
Each of the ethnic nationalities had mounted pressures on Okowa to pick his running mate from the group. It was learnt that the disagreement by the three ethnic nationalities accounted for the delay in filling the slot.