Members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Isoko, Delta State, have rejected the candidature of Leo Ogor, the minority leader and member representing Isoko Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives.
Instead, the party members have resolved to support Joel Onowakpo Thomas, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Members of the PDP made the public rejection of Ogor at Oleh, headquarters of Isoko South Local Government Area of the state, during the official inauguration of the campaign council and committee. They said they would support the APC candidate, rather than allow Ogor, who has health challenges, to return to the house for the fifth time.
In September, Isoko indigenes had urged Ogor to quit politics and take care of his health.
Earlier in May, Mrs. Peace Ogor, wife of the PDP lawmaker, had expressed her displeasure with "unnecessary pressure by selfish politicians" on her husband, who has been battling stroke to join the 2019 contest.
Led by the son of the Chairman, Isoko traditional ruler's council, Prince Anthony Ovrawah, they disclosed that the rejection of Ogor by the PDP family became imperative following the federal lawmaker's "critical" health challenge, which has made it impossible for him to attend plenary for the past five months.
Ovrawah, who is the son of the traditional ruler of Oleh kingdom, and Chairman of the group, Election Beyond Party Lines, admonished Ogor to drop his ambition to take proper care of his failing health, adding that they wouldn't want a continuation of representation by proxy.
Speaking on the decision of the members, he said: "Honourable Leo Ogor should take a bow and retire home peacefully and attend to his ill health which calls for urgent attention.
"Be that as it may, we in the PDP rejected and disowned Honourable Leo Ogor as his emergence as flagbearer of our party, PDP, has made it look like a mockery, foolery, and insult to the sensibility of Isoko nation. At times one will ask, as vibrant as Isoko nation, full of intellectuals from all walks of life that cut across all party lines, does that mean if Honourable Leo Ogor dies today, the Isoko nation will not produce another person to represent them at the National Assembly?
"The emergence of Hon. Joel Onowakpo Thomas as the flag bearer of the APC for the Isoko Federal House of Representatives has rekindled hope of robust and genuine representation at the National Assembly come 2019. On behalf of myself and thousands of PDP faithful across the Isoko nation, we have vowed to lend our support to Hon. Joel Onowakpo Thomas, come 2019 general election into the Federal House of Representatives. Honourable Joel Onowakpo Thomas remains a new face and hope for Isoko nation with sagacity that is full of life to represent Isoko nation in the National Assembly."
In his remarks at the event, Thomas assured the people of better representation.
"My campaign should be anchored on youth empowerment, infrastructural development which will include the completion of the Isoko Ring Road, the completion of the 132KVA step down in Ozoro, creation and completion of many more roads," he said.
"Moving NDDC and other agencies of government from merely renovation of classroom to construction and implementation of major projects. Take this as my social contact with the Isoko people: I will not be a contractor and a legislator at the same time."