By Chancel Sunday

Alaowei Broderick Bozimo is an elder statesman, a lawyer and former Minister of Police Affairs who is leading the Delta Ijaw for Governor 2023 Campaign Team in Delta State. In this interview, he spoke on the exploits of the campaign group, trending social media reports on his person among other issues. Excerpts:

How far has the Delta Ijaw 2023 Governorship Campaign Train gone?

Our campaigns have gone beyond expectations. We are surprised at the level of reception, particularly in the northern part of the state and the south where we come from, amongst them are the Itsekiris, the Isokos and the Ijaws. We’re doing very well and I believe that if that tempo is kept, and I hope we will do that, the results will amaze a lot of persons and that’s the truth.

But there’s this news trending in social media, that you, leader of Delta Ijaw 2023 Governorship Campaign group, made a confirmation to the effect that, the 2023 governorship position of the state is being slated for Delta Central Senatorial District. Can you expatiate on it, sir?

Straightaway, it is a lie from the pit of hell! You Know me, I’m an Ijaw man and I’m just like my title, “akan” (bitter kola) which speaks one voice, it doesn’t speak from both sides of the mouth, no, it doesn’t doublespeak at all. I am a regular, I stick with what I say.

So, if for any reason Ijaw nation who gave me the mandate to do what I’m doing changed their minds and tell me to stop, then I will call a meeting for the Ijaw people again and address the press formally as we did when this campaign started, to tell them that, see, Ijaw nation has changed her mind, we’ve decided to paddle the same canoe with the Urhobos. But that hasn’t happened!

I don’t want to go into saying where I think all this is coming from, but clearly the opposition is rattled by the impressive outings of my movement of recent. The grounds we have covered in our campaigns in the past few months are earthshaking and the impact is too much on them and they want to play some dirty games. How can somebody of my status, having agreed to lead the Ijaw nation on this very important task of advocating justice and fairness for Delta Ijaw in canvassing support for a governor of Ijaw extraction in 2023, that I will just wake up one day and begin to reverse on my decision? That’s not my character!

The online report also alluded to a statement you alleged to have made during a private chat with the Vanguard Newspaper, saying that your intention is not to scuttle the 2023 Governorship rotation but to ensure 2031 will not pass by for another zoning without Ijaw getting into the future plan on a platter of gold. Can you make this point clearer to us?

That again is crazy! I don’t do things like that! I thought it very carefully before I accepted to push the project of Ijaw for Governor 2023 when the request was made by Ijaw people. They came to me and made a formal request and I accepted it. So, there’s no way, either in flight of brainwave or madness, you grant an interview to say that Delta Ijaw 2023 project is forgotten, we’re now running with the Delta Central programme of 2031 for Ijaw.

Delta Central, my maternal people, are not God, they don’t have the power to allocate political offices, even governors cannot do that, but that power belongs to God. So, how can they tell me or tell Ijaw nation, you boys should go and sit down, 2023 is for the big boys, you small boys should wait till 2031 and then we’ll not oppose you, we will just support you. Ijaw man does not operate like that, we don’t brook that kind of patronizing attitude from anyone. We voluntarily do things that we do, being guided by justice and fairness concerning the situation.

Tell us the truth, is Delta Ijaw 2023 Governorship Campaign Group campaigning for 2023 or creating awareness for 2031?

Right now, Delta Ijaw for governor 2023 we stand, no shaking. We’re campaigning for Delta Ijaw for Governor 2023 and we’ve already had aspirants lined up. You know, the Deputy Governor, Barr Kingsley Burutu Otuaro, has shown interest, Sen. James Ebiowou Manager has shown interest, Dr Braduce Angozi has also shown interest, we have aspirants lined up for the contest.

How true is the statement that you gave the reason for your group’s campaigns as just to build up a strong plan for lifetime as no one knows tomorrow, whereas you allegedly insisted that 2023 is an Urhobo affair and not for any other tribe?

How can I be campaigning for 2031 when I don’t know at my age whether or not I will be alive then? What kind of story is that? It’s a cock and bull story and nobody can buy into it, except it’s the figment of the imagination of those who do not wish us well.

Then, who do you think are behind this counter campaign on the social media, which was circulated by Cherryl Media?

As I said earlier, I don’t want to go into saying where I think all this is coming from, but clearly the opposition is rattled by our impressive outings of recent.

I am a father and elder of the Ijaw ethnic nationality in Nigeria. Therefore, what our campaign is about is to work peacefully without rancour, without enmity to get the support of Deltans to vote for Ijaw candidate in 2023 governorship. We’re not involved in trying to terrorize our children who may belong to other groups, of course politics is like that. Not every Ijaw must support what I’m saying or what our movement is saying.

There must be some people who prefer to support Urhobo, that is politics and that’s their freedom of choice. We will not go and fight over it because we have competitive ideas in the market place and our position is so fair, just and God-driven and that nothing will shake us from it, we will win.

But let those people not think that because we’re resolute in our course people will be cowed into following us whether they like it or not, no, that is not our position. People are free to do what they want to do, but we Ijaw people are committed to the Ijaw 2023 Governorship project and I believe by the grace of God nothing will stop us. But let them not try to win sympathy by saying that we want to kill some Ijaws who don’t support us, there’s no such thing.

I’m almost 83, why would I go, trying to ruin people’s lives because they don’t agree with me? I can’t do that! Our position is so sellable that I don’t need to harass people to win that position, we will win.

Finally, what do you have to tell Deltans as regards Delta 2023?

Just like my title, akan (bitter kola), I don’t talk any how. Though, the truth may be bitter, it has to be spoken. I want to plead with Deltans that the Ijaw position remains what it was from the beginning when I started this movement, that is to say, come 2023 Ijaws intend to field the governorship candidate and vie for that position, and by the special grace of God, we will win.

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Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.