DELTA 2023: OKOWA, IBORI IN SUPREMACY BATTLE TO CHOOSE SUCCESSOR

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Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa and Chief James Ibori

 

BY VICTORY OGHENE

 

With few weeks to the May 21, 2022, Peoples Democratic Party governorship primaries, chieftains of the party in Delta State are yet to arrive at a decision on who to present as the party flag bearer in the state.

There seems to be a prevailing stalemate between Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and the leader of the party and former Delta state governor, Chief James Ibori on who to present as the party gubernatorial candidate.

Recall that a similar scenario played out in 2014 under the watch of former governor Emmanuel Uduaghan and the impasse was resolved with a free and fair primary election which culminated into the emergence of Okowa.

Okowa and his godfather, Ibori are not on the same page on the choice of candidate. While Okowa is surreptitiously rooting for the speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Hon Sheriff Oborevwori, who has been the speaker for over five years, Ibori, on his part has publicly thrown his weight behind former chief of staff to Governor Okowa, Olorogun David Edevbie.

The governor NATIONAL WAVES gathered is antagonistic of Ibori`s choice because according to an insider, Okowa and Edevbie fell apart when the latter was his chief of staff.

Although Edevbie has continuously denied having a rift with his former boss, Okowa

For instance, Edevbie while consulting with party faithful and delegates at Ika North East, (Okowa’s local government area), said that he had no axe to grind with Okowa.

”I was here in 2014 and some of you might remember what I said then. If you recall, I talked about us as a football team and I said your son is Number 9 and I am Number 10, that if your son scores, we will all support him, and your son scored and I supported him fully from day one. And that is why he appointed me his Commissioner of Finance for four years.

”You do not put someone you do not trust to be in charge of your money. Your son is sensible, so he picked somebody he trusted to manage the state funds for him. After I did four years on that, he picked me again to be his Chief of Staff for two years. And I have given him my full support since he became governor in 2015.

”This is an opportunity for me to ask you to thank him on my behalf. He appointed me even though I ran against him in 2014. Throughout the time I worked for him, he did not treat me like a subordinate. He treated me like a friend, like a colleague. That is unusual in Nigeria.

”Anything you hear today is politics. He is my personal friend and if you ask him, he will confirm it. We are friends. There is no enmity between us, none at all. You know, in the court of the king, the king does not have enemies. It is the courtiers, the people who do not really know the history, those who got into the court through talks and tricks, they are the ones who say ‘Oga and that man are quarreling.’

”But it is lie, there is no quarrel at all, there is nothing like that. You know, in the same court you have jesters and clowns. There are many. They are the ones that talk nonsense, those who do not know but claim to know. They are like somebody listening to a football commentary on radio but claims to be more conversant with the match than the players on the pitch. We have come together and we will always be together, forget anything to do with politics,” said Edevbie.

NATIONAL WAVES gathered that the PDP national chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, and some PDP governors have concluded arrangements to settle the rift. They are expected to meet with Ibori and Okowa after attending the empowerment programme of Hon Ndudi Elumelu.

 

 

 

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