By Olanrewaju Oyedeji
When bigwigs of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in Delta State began to post vote of confidence notices on Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, alongside second term endorsements a few weeks ago, many wondered if it was not too early.
This is because the incumbent has only just served out the first year of a scheduled four year term.
However, developments in the Delta State chapter of the rival All Progressives Congress, has now come to partly explain why the PDP leaders are in a hurry to close ranks at the present time.
On Tuesday, the APC officially approved the membership of prominent opposition leaders in the state, including the stormy petrel of Delta politics and former governorship candidate of the Labour Party, Chief Great Ogboru.
Equally coming on-board is the erstwhile speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Engr. Victor Ochei.
At a meeting of the state APC executive committee, including leaders and other stakeholders of the party held in Orhuwhorun, Udu Council area of the state on Tuesday, the party was clear and unequivocal that the granting approval for the juggernauts to now formally join the party was a major boost towards wrestling the state from the ruling PDP in 2019.
Equally being admitted are decampees from the Delta State Labour Party who came along with Chief Ogboru, erstwhile members of the Accord Party who are accompanying Rt. Hon. Victor Ochei, a former speaker of the state House of Assembly into his new berth, some leaders of SDP and some aggrieved leaders of the PDP in the state.
Speaking at the event, the leader of the APC in the state and its governorship candidate in the last elections, Olorogun O’tega Emerhor, advised members of the party to embrace the new members with an open mindedness and to provide a conducive environment for them to contribute to the growth of the party in the state.
With this development, analysts say that the battle to occupy the Delta Governors Lodge in 2019 may have presently swung into full motion with the trio of Ogboru, Emerhor and Okowa being seen as the first three contenders in the race.