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Omo-Agege, Oborevwori Chicken Out Of Arise TV Guber Debate After Ofehe Protested His Exclusion



Delta State governorship candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) and Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, his counterpart in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Sheriff Oborevwori, have chickened out of the governorship debate by Arise TV slated for this evening in Warri.

BIGPEN NIGERIA ( understands that both Omo-Agege and Oborevwori who tout themselves as leading candidates announced their boycott few hours after.the candidate of Young Progressive Party (YPP) Comrade Sunny Ofehe raised alarm over plot to scheme him out of the debate.

Ofehe, one of the frontline candidate in the guber race while attending a program at God’s Delight Gospel Church popularly known as Free Indeed, in Orhuwhorun, Udu council area, raised the alert that he was schemed out of the debate which was a platform for him to tell Deltans what his plans are.

In a post he made earlier on Facebook, he wrote, “Ladies and Gentlemen, as you all know I am the Young Progressives Party (YPP) Delta State Governorship Candidate and as you can see and follow from my campaign trail, I have established myself as a frontline candidate for the Delta State Governorship election.

“I have been receiving calls from around the world that Arise TV is staging Delta State Governorship debate today in Warri and I wasn’t included. I have been reliably informed that one of the candidates from the big political party is behind the reason why I have not been invited for this debate.

“I want to be part of this debate and as an independent and impartial television media (Arise TV), they should give me the chance to speak to Deltans as the other candidates”.

BIGPEN NIGERIA understands that following intense pressure on Arise TV, Ofehe was added as one of the leading candidates for the debate being organised by Arise News, operators of Arise Television.

It was gathered that Ofehe who was still at the church program alongside Labour Party candidate, Ken Pela and Chief Great Ogboru of APGA, have to mount the podium the second time to announced that he has been added to the debate.

“This afternoon, while at the famous “Free Indeed” church in Warri, I received the news that I have been added to the Arise TV debate tonight.

“I mounted the alter to deliver the good news to the church audience, and this is how they all reacted. I am truly loved by the people of Delta State

“God bless all of you who joined in the battle to give YPP a voice. Pray for me please”, he wrote on his Facebook page.

But in an intriguing moves, Oborevwori, few minutes later announced his withdrawal from the debate, citing clash with his earlier scheduled campaign programme in a letter signed by the deputy director, Media and Publicity, Delta PDP campaign council/state Publicity Secretary, Dr Ifeanyi Osuoza and addressed to Arise TV, DMD, Mr. Emmanuel Efeni.

In a spontaneous reaction, Omo-Agege, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Sunny Areh, also announced his withdrawal blaming his decision to opt out on the non availability of the candidate of the PDP, Sheriff Oborevwori.

“In the evening of Tuesday, March 14, 2023, the Delta APC Campaign Organisation received a letter from Arise News, operators of Arise Television, inviting the leading contender for the March 18 governorship election in Delta State and APC’s flagbearer, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, to a debate involving the major candidates. The said debate is scheduled to hold today, Wednesday, March 15 at 6pm.

“Although the invitation came rather late and we had no prior knowledge of the event while having other engagements already lined up, Senator Omo-Agege is prepared to review his appointments and participate in the debate.

“However, his readiness had always had a caveat: His main opponent and candidate for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori, should also be in attendance.

“Unfortunately, we have confirmed that Rt. Hon. Oborevwori has chickened out of the debate. Of course, this does not come as a surprise as the PDP flagbearer had repeatedly indicated that he will not participate in any debate, probably to conceal his inadequacies and avoid his hollow persona being unraveled by the discerning electorate.

“As a result, Senator Omo-Agege is not inclined to participate in the debate when Rt. Hon. Oborevwori is not there.

“However, if as the PDP stated in their letter declining the offer from Arise News that should the organization reschedule it to a new date, their candidate may consider participating, Senator Omo-Agege will promptly review his decision. If only that was truly the case. But we that Rt. Hon. Oborevwori will never subject himself to any situation where he will face a barrage of questions from the media without the aid and guidance of his media aides.

“If the unthinkable happens and the Speaker expresses willingness to be part of the debate, Senator Omo-Agege will adjust his schedule and participate in the debate.

“We believe that a debate involving all the candidates is a veritable platform for the public to further enrich their assessment of each candidate’s programmes. Such exercise can only be meaningful and wholesome if the major candidates, especially the flagbearer of the ruling party in the State is willing to participate.”

Responding to backlash trailing his withdrawal, a statement from Oborevwori’s camp reads;

“Ordinarily, i would not have bothered myself with writing this piece, but in the interest of Deltans whom the PDP administration holds in high esteem and have carried along in every aspect of governance, there is utmost need to provide clarity on what the real issues are.

“First, we saw the news story on Arise Morning Show that there will be a governorship debate for frontline candidates in Delta at 7pm. The campaign management committee wrote a letter to the Management of Arise News explaining the tight schedule of our governorship candidate, the Rt. Hon Sheriff Oborevwori and his inability to attend the event today.

“As I write, our candidate is currently engaging with staff of the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC) in Warri, with other activities lined up for today and tomorrow when campaigns end.

“What beats our mind is that a letter sent by email/WhatsApp to the management of Arise News is now over the social media in less than 2 hours after it was sent by the Deputy Director, Media and Publicity of the Campaign Council.

“From the forgoing, it is manifestly clear that the governorship candidate of the APC is working with some fifth columnists in the media outfit to distract our candidate from engaging with actual voters, knowing full well that the APC and their candidate have been rejected by the people of Delta.

“In any case, we have communicated our plans and manifesto to the people of Delta when the party went round the 270 wards and 25 local government areas as well as engaging critical stakeholders, market unions, labour and the organised private sector.

“At this point, our candidate is more focused on engaging with Deltans directly because cancelling scheduled events and engagements with the people will be counter productive and that’s what the APC and their candidate intend to achieve with a hurriedly arranged debate at the eleventh hour of campaigns.

“Let me reassure Deltans that Rt. Hon.Sheriff Oborevwori, is committed to delivering more for Deltans in areas of infrastructure, human capital development, peace and security as well as economic growth and development, which are embedded in his M.O.R.E agenda”.

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