By Fred Oghenesivbe
A foremost Urhobo leader and legal icon, Elegbete (Barrister) Moses Odibo has said that the firm promise made by the Governor of Delta State, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa to handover governance in 2023 to an Urhobo governor is not only the best deal, its constitutionally protected.
He made the assertion at a crucial meeting of directors and local governmnt coordinators of Amori4Senate Campaign Organisation held on Monday March 26, 2018 at the campaign headquarters, Odibo Estate in Effurun, Delta Central Senatorial District.
According to Odibo, If the All Progressives Congress (APC) is allowed to produce governor in 2019, Delta North will rule for another eight years from 2019 to 2027, plus Gov Okowa’s four years making a total of twelve years; which is not constitutionally protected as one senatorial district cannot retain state power for 12 years at a stretch.
He posited that what is constitutionally protected is the promise made by the incumbent governor, Senator Okowa to handover the governance of the State to a democratically elected Urhobo governor from Delta central under the power sharing arrangement in place from 1999 till date.
“Our principal, Senator Ighoyota Amori and his campaign organisation are in total support of equitable distribution of political power in Delta State; under the subsisting power sharing formula which guarantees the unity, peace and progress of the various ethnic nationalities.
“Urhobo Nation of Delta central through our former governor and national leader, Chief James Onanefe Ibori, made our stand known in 2017 and again in 2018 at Ovwor in Ughelli South during the grand reception in his honour by Urhobo political class, that Delta North should be allowed to govern the state for eight years by re-electing Gov Okowa in 2019, so as to complete the power sharing circle initiated in 1999.
“Chief Ibori ruled for 8 years as Delta Central slot from 1999 to 2007 while Delta South through Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan governed the state for 8 years from 2007 to 2015. It follows that Delta North through Gov Okowa should be given the total support by South and Central to complete her eight years slot in that sequence without unnecessary political and tribal sentiments.
“In the same vein, Urbobo Nation is not in support of APC’s unreasonable political scheming aimed at producing Urhobo governor in 2019; so as not to truncate the progressive power sharing process. Such arrangement will automatically short-change Delta North because APC will rule for another eight years before handing over power to Delta South in 2027. This will not and cannot happen in the present dispensation. It’s not constitutionally protected.
“If an Urhobo governor emerges in 2019, the implication is that during the first full circle of power sharing; Delta Central and South must have governed the state for eight years each while Delta North ruled for only four years. If this unscrupulous political power scheming is allowed to succeed, APC Delta would have done great injustice to Delta North in state power game process.
“Gov Okowa is a perfect gentleman, a detribalised political leader and above all, a promise keeper. He has proved it through the numerous political appointments and huge infrastructure development in Delta Central, Delta North and Delta South senatorial districts within three years in office as governor. We trust him and he shall surely handover power to Delta Central in 2023.
“Our country is going through pains of economic recession, anti people socioeconomic policies and programmes; acute insecurity, lopsided federal appointments anchored on tribal and ethnic bigotry, high rate inflation, high cost of pump price of petrol, a weak naira at N380 to $1and many other problems confronting our nation without solutions at sight. The way forward is for Nigerians to vote out APC in 2019.
“It is unthinkable in Delta State and in many other states across Nigeria for APC to win 2019 elections. Our people are sluttered daily by Fulani herdsmen without any arrest and prosecution by law enforcement agencies under APC national government.
“In the same vein, APC leaders in Delta State have become extremely insensitive, docile and have deliberately refused to appeal to their APC government to protect vulnerable Deltans and Nigerians that are being killed daily by criminals invading our lands under the guise of cattle business.
“Deltans shall continue to support Gov Okowa and the PDP. The entire political structure of Amori4Senate Campaign Organisation strongly support the majority decisions of Urhobo Nation and Deltans to allow Delta North to complete her two tenure of 8 years and handover power to Delta Central on May 29, 2023.
“Urhobo Nation will never allow failed serial gubernatorial candidates in the opposition to deceive our people by either selling an APC Urhobo governor agenda or any arrangement that will produce Delta North APC governor in 2019.
“If allowed to happen, Delta North will either govern the state for twelve years from 2015 to 2017 or APC Urhobo governor that will short-change Delta North with four years of political power. Either way, justice is not served which is why Deltans and Urhobo Nation must work very hard for the landslide victory of Gov Okowa in 2019,” Odibo added.