Former governor of Delta State, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, has cautioned members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against making inflammatory statements capable of causing division and crisis in the party.

Dr Uduaghan spoke when he hosted PDP leaders of Delta South Senatorial district at the Government House Annex, Edjeba, Warri South Local Government Area of the state on Saturday.

The meeting was held as part of efforts to douse the growing tension among party chieftains and members, especially in Delta Central and Delta South, over the 2023 governorship election in the state.

With less than two years for the incumbent governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, to end his eight-year tenure, PDP members in Delta Central and Ijaws of Delta South had set up lobby groups to clinch the governorship ticket.

While the Urhobos of Delta Central are banking on the gentleman zoning arrangement of the PDP to clinch the governorship ticket being their turn, the Ijaws of Delta South have argued otherwise, throwing up the ethnic card to clinch the ticket.

These different views have in the past few weeks heightened tension and pit party stakeholders in the senatorial districts against one another.

But alluding to the avoidable Rwanda genocide, Uduaghan harped on the need for “unity and peace within the party, with a warning that “hate speech” could result in dire consequences.

“Unity dovetails into the issue of hate speeches. Some of you may have noticed in the last few weeks that pronouncements are being made, that border on hate speeches by members of this party.

“Let us minimize hate speeches. Who will be governor will be; who will be senator will be a senator; who will be in House of Reps, will be there.

“How God will do it, you will not know. Don’t think you can force yourself into any position. I am telling you not because I like talking, but I am talking from experience. Who will be, will be!

“Let us not create enmity because of the election that will not happen this year; let us try to actualise our ambitions in peace. Please, I want to appeal that in our ambitions, we should be careful in what we say, how we act and carry ourselves.

“I have managed crisis before I became governor and while I was a governor. As a governor, I had to put up my hands up in the river, when soldiers pointed AK47 at me. I couldn’t go with security. I am worried about crisis and I pray we do not have any.”

Delta State deputy governor, Deacon Kingsley Otuaro, in his remark, underlined the need for party members to exercise “decorum” in order not to cause an implosion ahead of the 2023 elections.

Uduaghan, other Delta South PDP leaders preach peace ahead of 2023

Uduaghan, other Delta South PDP leaders preach peace ahead of 2023