Ajiri Joseph Oreh
In order to brighten the chances of Egini Community in producing the next Executive Chairman of Udu Local Government Council, a 12 man screening committee set up by the community leadership led by Chief William Riebelle, permanent secretary (retired) has adopted Justice Irikefe Iyasere of the Peoples Democratic Party as choice of the community for the polls, asking the other aspirants to queue behind Iyasere in the race.
In a statement signed by committee chairman, William Riebelle and Secretary, A. A. Emaduku, the committee disclosed that it became imperative when the foremost political leader from Egini community, Elegbete Barr Moses Odibo requested that the Chairmanship aspirants from Egini be pruned down to one and based on the request tabled before a delegation of PDP top shots from the community, the committee was set up on the directive of Chief Sam Odibo, the Otota of Udu Kingdom with the President General of Egini Community, Mr. Jerry Tachere; the Vice President, Pastor Ejovwo Waka as members.
Other members of the committee according to the report obtained by our correspondent, are former member of the Delta State House of Asembly, Hon Chief Gordon Okpako; Chairman of Best Western Wetland Hotel, Barr Richard Kpedi; PDP leader from Egini, Chief Godwin Moghior; Evang. Apepe Bukata, Sir Richard Odibo, John McCathney Obrotu, Pa. Lamidi Ughegheruvwe and Jonathan Orhoro.
Those considered and screened by the committee include Revd Fred Arutere, Chief James Akpowan, Mr. F.K Tuoyo and Justice Iyasere and the committee was saddled with the responsibility of picking the best among the lot for presentation to the political class and the Peoples Democratic Party ahead of the PDP primaries.
The statement added that a set of criteria and modalities for the exercise was developed to include Educational Qualification, acceptability with the PDP, acceptability within the community, previous anti party (PDP) activities, financial capabilities, appearance, previous service to the community, articulation, temperament, recognition within Udu community, relationship with the Traditional Council amongst others.
‘’This set of criteria and modalities were discussed and approved by the convening authorities. The aspirants were invited for several meetings wherein they were made to answer questions on the set out criteria.
Of the four aspirants only Chief James Akpowan and Mr Justice Iyasere physically appeared before the committee to answer questions. Mr F. K. Tuoyo sent a representative to stand in for him, while the fourth candidate did not appear neither could he be reached by text messages or telephone calls. All efforts by the committee to get in touch with him proved abortive as none could state his whereabouts.
‘’On the final day of the screening, 9 of the 12 committee members were present to take the final decision on the choice of candidate. These were the members who have participated actively throughout the sitting of the committee. Those present were Chief William Riebelle, Chief Godwin Moghior, Chief Gordon Okpako, Evang. Apepe Bukata, Mr. Jonathan Orhoro, Mr McCartney Obrotu, Lamidi Ughegheruvwe, Pastor Ejovwo Waka, and Mr Emaduku. Papers on the set criteria were distributed to all committee members to mark the aspirants according to their preferences. At the end the vote of each of member depending on who they scored highest amongst the candidates was scored as a single vote.
‘’At the end of collation of the result, 8 of the committee members voted for Mr. Justice Iyasere, while one voted for Chief James Akpowan. The other two candidates, Revd Fred Arutere and Mr F.K Tuoyo scored zero votes. Therefore Justice Irikefe Iyasere was therefore declared WINNER of the screening exercise’’, the statement added.
Meanwhile, the PDP leadership in Udu has zoned the position of Chairman of the Council to Udu South while Udu North is to retain the position of House of Assembly member in 2019. The zoning was adopted on Sunday at the residence of Chief G.N. O Sefia house with elected and appointed political office holders, party leaders, elders and officials in attendance.
The resolution, we learnt was designed to douse tensions, prevent unnecessary financial expenditure and reduce the scope of political gymnastics ahead of the council polls.
The decision now leaves incumbent Chief Solomon Kpomah, Justice Irikefe Iyasere, Chief Donald Brosu, Chief James Akpowan, Efeturi Sorhue and Revd Fred Arutere in the race.