Members of the PDP, Isoko South chapter, Delta State, have accused Governor Ifeanyi Okowa's ally, Ross Uredi, of extorting millions of naira from Assembly aspirants in Constituency 1, with the promise to secure the party's ticket to the highest bidder at the forthcoming primaries of the party.
Members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Isoko South chapter, Delta State, have accused Governor Ifeanyi Okowa's ally and former House of Assembly member representing Isoko South constituency 1, Ross Uredi, of extorting millions of naira from Assembly aspirants in Constituency 1, with the promise to secure the party's ticket to the highest bidder at the forthcoming primaries of the party.
The party members alleged that Uredi, a former commissioner in the state, had boasted that he would make one Ovuakpor Evivie, an unpopular aspirant, the party’s flag bearer in the 2019 general elections.
They also noted that that if urgent steps are not taken by the state governor, PDP might lose in the elections.
Speaking exclusively to SaharaReporters, a one-time chairman of PDP in the area, who preferred not be named, for fear of victimisation and sanction, alleged that Uredi, who doubles as the Isoko South PDP caucus leader, was taking advantage of his close relationship with the governor to impose an unpopular candidate on the people.
He also alleged that he had collected huge sums of money to the tune of N10 million from the aspirant who hails from Oleh.
"What is happening in Isoko South PDP is disappointing; a situation where one man, because of his closeness to Governor Okowa, will extort money from House of Assembly aspirants. It is on record that, from 2007 till date, Hon. Ross and his father, Chief Sergeant Uredi, have been taking money from aspirants in the local government."
Also speaking in the same vein, a former secretary of the party in the local government, who also did not wish to be named, said: "I can confirm to you authoritatively that Hon. Ross Uredi has again collected huge sums of money running into millions of naira from an unpopular Isoko South PDP constituency 1 House of Assembly aspirant, known as Ovuakpor Evivie, to manipulate the system to secure the ticket for him against other popular aspirants.
"Reports have it that Hon. Ross Uredi has collected huge sum of money from Ovuakpor Evivie, that's why he is using his position as the caucus leader in Isoko South to impose him on the people. It's a well known fact that Ovuakpor Evivie is not a popular choice, compared to other aspirants from Oleh. The only two persons in Evivie family that can win election in Oleh are Mike Evivie and Stephen Evivie.
"This was how in 2011, the same Hon. Ross Uredi took millions of naira from this same Ovuakpor Evivie. The money was paid by Ovuakpor's father, Chief Evivie, though late now. That House of Assembly election was, however, won by Essien Okiemute of the then DPP. Hon. Ross should return the money he has taken from Ovuakpor and let all aspirants go to the field and test their popularity in the primaries.
"We are therefore using this medium to appeal to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to immediately call to order his ally to stop the extortion, as well as manipulation of the system to favour Ovuakpor Evivie, who is unpopular in Oleh. We want a free and fair House of Assembly primary in Isoko South constituency 1, where the best and popular candidate will emerge at the end of the day. Anything short of this, trust me, the party will lose in the general election," the former PDP secretary stated.
When contacted, Ovuakpor Evivie declined comment, while Ross Uredi, who also declined comment, simply said: "Do you know me well? Ask those making the allegation about me."