The widening crisis in the Delta State chapter of the PDP is both alarming and shameful, as the Okowa faction which is backing Sherriff Oborevwori continues to sink deeper into desperation and dissonance.
The report that jobbers for Sherriff have moved into Oghara town to look for 1999 graduates of Oghara Grammar School to procure as accomplices to swear to false oaths for Sherriff Oborevwori is at once frightening and further tells the story of recklessness and breakdown of leadership in PDP.
There is also the frightening situation of dredging up quarrels with the Oborevwori family over the ownership of a certificate. Families don’t issue WASCE certificates, neither do friends or classmates. Certificates can only be affirmed by the examination body which conducted the public examinations. So why is PDP roping in family and friends to validate a certificate not issued by them but by WAEC?
The courts have made a declaration that the certificates he presented to INEC are forgeries and belong to someone else. Why is PDP mobilizing family and friends to quash a court declaration? Why can’t PDP which went to court to appeal the judgement against Sherriff go to WAEC to demand certified true copies and validations for his certificates if they are truly his? This matter is becoming embarrassing not just to Sherriff or the PDP but to the entire Delta State. Delta youth earn thousands of WASCE certificates every year, so why should one man’s lack of credible certificates become a problem and embarrassment to the entire state?
It is obvious that there are no thinking men working with the governor of Delta state Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa. The party, PDP that he succeeded to put in his pocket swings from one desperate move to another one. PDP takes sides in a dispute between two bona fide members and then lacking thought and intelligence, the governor keeps throwing public money on a lost case of certificate forgery. PDP has now moved to forcing old students of Oghara Grammar School to perjure themselves by swearing to false oaths which will sooner or later land them in jail.
As I write, there are a minimum of three cases in court dealing with one subject matter: the criminal issues surrounding forged academic documents submitted by Sherriff Oborevwori to qualify him to contest for the governorship of Delta state in March 2023.
The cooked credentials in acrimony were first discovered and made public by the PDP governorship screening panel in Port Harcourt in May. They had declared the certificates not valid to qualify Sherriff for the governorship. But it was later reported that an alleged $2 million dollar offer persuaded the committee members to change their mind and proceeded to pass Sherriff Oborevwori as the valid PDP nominee for the governorship election in Delta State.
This writer wrote then that PDP having bought a lemon and big trouble in Sherriff Oborevwori’s purchased passage, the party will remain in court for as long as it will take to remove Sherriff from the contest for the governorship of the state or from office if PDP manages to wangle him in.
The disputation to remove Sherriff will never cease as long as he remains on the ballot for the governorship of Delta State for PDP. It was not too much to expect that cerebral men and women in the PDP will provide wise counsel to the Okowa faction to see the futility in the braggadocio and unending disputation for what is evidently illegal and patently wrong.
Now the PDP is throwing public money into trouble that it can never win, definitely not on the basis of public acceptance of those procured credentials which the Federal High Court has pronounced as forgeries.
Sherriff Oborevwori is not a ghost who just happened on Delta state. He was born in and grew up in a community. People knew him growing up and know the schools he attended or didn’t attend. He had playmates, relations, teachers, mentors, friends all across his community and the state. So why is the PDP carrying on as if Sherriff is a man no one in the state knows, as if we need the courts to validate our knowledge of a man who is one of us and who many people know his story?
Sherriff has never lived a hidden life. He grew up as a vibrant and rambunctious youth, known by everyone in his community. People have his schooling and work records and thousands of people can reel the facts of his life off the cuff. We do not need the courts to validate our knowledge of Sherriff Oborevwori. We know him. He is one of us. The courts cannot alter our fraternity with and knowledge of Sherriff.
PDP believes that even if it succeeds in compromising the judges of the appellate courts as they plan to do and force Sherriff into the ballot, that PDP will perform a diabolical sleight of hand to win the governorship election in Delta State. PDP, Okowa and Sherriff do not own Delta state and none can take away the voting and democratic rights and privileges of the citizens to determine who wins in the 2023 governorship election.
So why is it impossible for the party to show respect for the fail safe measures in the new electoral law and voting arrangement and acknowledge that running with the ballot boxes or any other old electoral mischief or malpractices are no longer feasible, particularly when there are other intimidating candidates in the contest?
Do they expect that the voters and other contenders will lie back and allow PDP to re-enact the electoral malpractices of old and concede to be so easily cheated? Why is the PDP and its factions so conceited and insistent on getting away with an obvious forgery in a state ruled by laws? Morning shows the day and PDP by it’s insistence on fielding a rejected candidate is counting on means other than the fair public vote to win the governorship election. And other parties have to take note.
Judging by the hoopla raised by Sheriff’s certificate troubles, what makes the PDP believe that Sherriff has the popularity to win the governorship election even if allowed to run by the appeal court. PDP has failed so spectacularly in Delta State and failed for 24 years to situate the state on the path to development with all the money that the state is blessed with.
The flotsam in the Okowa faction of the PDP has been seduced to think that whoever Okowa presents for governorship election in Delta will win it, the same kind of arrogance displayed during the 2015 elections which swept PDP out of power in the presidency and many states, a catastrophic loss that turned PDP to an opposition party and minority in parliament.
The truth that may shock the PDP is that the forged certificates presented by Sherriff and backed so strongly by the governor and now rejected by the federal high court as criminal fraud, is dealing a devastating blow to the reputation of Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, Sherriff Oborevwori and the PDP in the Delta public. That tattered reputation is now being auctioned for low bidding in the public gallery.
Every day now, the PDP is losing principled men and women who would not stand for fakeries and criminalities. The Sherriff Oborevwori saga is making the party to lose loyalists and persons who cannot stand for the worst among us to be made governor over the rest of us. So even if Sherriff is forced into the ballot by the appellate courts, PDP has been mortally damaged and no longer in any position to win the governorship election in Delta State in 2023.
With Sherriff presented as candidate, PDP will easily be defeated by the more formidable and controversy free candidate of the APC, Obarisi Ovie Omo-Agege. The name Sherriff Oborevwori has been rubbished beyond electoral redemption by the shameful controversy surrounding the man.
Just like Donald Trump in the US presidential election on 2020, the name Sherriff Oborevwori has been irretrievably damaged by an unceasing bad press. So win or lose in court, the PDP will have to choose for itself where to die, in court or at the polling booth.
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