By Ehis Osajie
As the race to Asaba Government House gathers momentum, Isoko ethnic nationality has endorsed Professor Saliba Mukoro’s aspiration for the 2011 governorship election.
The endorsement followed the findings of Col Odede (Rtd) Fact Finding Committee set up to investigate, assess and nominate a governorship candidate out of the two Isoko contenders; Professor Mukoro and Admiral John Kpokogri (Rtd).
The adoption which took place at Ozoro, Delta State witnessed mammoth crowd comprising representatives of all the clans in Isoko nation.
The adoption of Mukoro has finally put to rest the lingering controversy within Isoko nationality of Delta South Senatorial District on whom to endorse among the two governorship aspirants that emerged from their zone.
It would be recalled that the Col Odede Committee was set up by Isoko Consultative Forum in conjunction with opinion and political leaders of Isoko nation in order to avoid unnecessary political bickering of the candidature of Mukoro and Kpokpogri from splitting Isoko nation.
While announcing the adoption of Mukoro as Isoko governorship candidate in Delta State 2011 election, Odede disclosed that after proper effective investigation, consultation and assessment of both candidates they have finally resolved to adopt Mukoro as their governorship candidate in the 2011 Delta State governorship election.
Noting that there is no victor, no vanquish as both governorship aspirants belonged to one Isoko family and eminently qualified for the position of governor of the State, Odede, however, appealed to Rear Admirals Kpokpogri to join forces with Mukoro in the 2011 governorship race, just as he urged Mukoro to extend a hand of fellowship to Kpokpogri in the spirit of one family.
According to him, “Following the participation of two Isoko sons in the calibre of Professor Saliba Mukoro and Rear Admiral Kpokpogri (Rtd) in 2011 Delta State governorship race, the Isoko Consultative Forum (ICF) decided to set up a 12-Man Committee to assess and adopt one of them knowing that they were eminently qualified for the race.
We members of the Committee took steps to invite and held meetings with both of them, informing them of the need to have a consensus candidate between two of them. They both agreed to an undertaking that they would abide by the result from our resolution and work for the progress of whoever is nominated by the Committee.
“During our assessment we visited both candidates’ campaign office. At Mukoro’s Campaign office there was organised structure with beehive of activities which showed sign of preparedness, while there was no sign of structure on ground showing signs of preparedness at Kpokpogri’s campaign office. Besides, other crucial issues where also taking into consideration which placed Mukoro ahead of Kpokpogri.
After the conclusion of our findings and assessments of both candidates the Committee unanimously resolved and adopted Mukoro as the governorship candidate representing the interest of Isoko community.”
After reading the report, Odede enjoined Kpokpogri and his supporters to join forces with Mukoros’s supporters, just as he appealed to Isoko indigenes both at home and in Diaspora to drum support for Mukoro so that he would emerge as the governor of Delta State come 2011.
“With the adoption of Mukoro by the Isoko community the battle line has been drawn. We must stand behind him and fight the battle to the end,” he said.