……..Says They Are Not Aware Of Any Change Of The Existing Zoning System
The traditional rulers of Delta North Senatorial District have endorsed Delta Central Senatorial District to produce the next governor of Delta state in 2023.
HRM Obi Prof. Chike Edozie, Asagba of Asaba and HRM Uche Irenuma, Obi of Abavo kingdom, who spoke on behalf of the monarchs, when the Delta Central 2023 (DC-23) lobby group paid them consultative visit at Asaba, Delta State, said they in totality supported rotation of the governorship seat on the basis of senatorial districts.
They said the DC-23 visit was similar to the one they paid to Delta Central eight years ago. “We thank our brothers for this wonderful visit, as traditiinal rulers we cannot relocate to other destinations as the ordinary person will do. Delta State and our various kingdoms are where we belong to.
“And wherever you belong, you have to create an atmosphere of peace because when there is peace there is progress. DC-23 to be very candid, the Delta north people led by HRM Obi Prof. Chike Edozie Asagba of Asaba have been working on a template since the advent of this democratic era.
“Our political class led by Chief Benjamin Elue, Former Depuuty Governor and our respected governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, who is basically the leader of the political class have not come to tell us that there is change of plan.
“What I meant as change of plan is because we supported our son, the present governor on the platform that it is the turn of our senatorial district. Since nobody has come to us that the plan has changed, we are giving the DC-23 the blank assurance that the way you received us and the support you gave to us when we criss-crossed round the country, is that same support we will give to you.
“Because since our political class have not come to tell us that there is change of plan, that means what we have on ground, still remains. We assure DC-23 that as time goes on we will be meeting with our political class. We want the relationship between DC-23 and Delta North to remain the way it is.
“We are standing where we are standing because of peace. The root that we have been following for over 19 years and we have peace, we don’t think it is a bad root”, they added.
Earlier, the National Chairman of DC-23, Senator (Chief) Ighoyota Amori, stated that the body was a lobby group made up of card carrying members of the PDP in the Delta Central Senatorial District to lobby support for the governorship seat for the district in 2023.
He noted that the DC-23 was not different from the Concern Deltans for Ibori (CDI), used to propagate the interest of Ibori which catapulted him as governor of the state. In 2007, G-3 of the Delta South Senatorial District was formed to drive the process of election of immediate past governor of the state, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, and the Anioma Agenda was also formed in 2014 to propel the process of election of the current governor of the state, Senator (Dr.) Ifeanyi Okowa. So we are just copying what others have started.
According to him, “those who want to contest against the aspirants of Delta Central Senatorial district have their argument for the governorship seat, likewise us, but we can’t talk of zoning on ethnic lines because the state is made up of various ethnic groups like Urhobo, Ijaw, Itsekiri, Isoko, Ika, Ndokwa, Oshimili, Aniocha and others; hence, the appeal from us to maintain the zoning arrangement on the basis of senatorial districts in the state.”
“The claim by some persons that the governorship seat, since it had gone round the three senatorial districts, that it should be done as ‘osusu’ that can start from any district, and that they are canvassing for senatorial district and not ethnic is not right. My question is, if not an ethnic agenda, why is it that the Itsekiris and Isokos of Delta South Senatorial District are not in their lobby team, like ours that you have leaders of the eight local government areas in the team,” he wondered.
“It is only zoning on senatorial district order that the PDP can continue with its winning streak in the state. So, what we are pushing for is how a sustainable system can be established where when it gets to the turn of your senatorial district, no one from other senatorial districts will contest against the benefitting district. So, the argument that Urhobo or other ethnic groups contested during the turn of other senatorial districts will no longer be there,” he clarified.
He stated that the DC-23 had started prune down the number of aspirants from Delta Central to three, which include; Olorogun David Edevbie, Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi and Rt. Hon. Chief Sheriff Oborevwori for Deltans to pick one among them as candidate of the PDP.
He appealed to the monarchs to support the DC-23 push for zoning arrangement on senatorial districts to enhance the chances of the PDP continuing in the governance of the state beyond 2023.
He described Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi, as someone who has been with the party from the beginning and he contested with Former Governor James Ibori, Immediate Past Governor Ifeanyi Uduaghan and the current governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa.
He noted that if he was qualified from 1999 to contest the governorship, “is it now that it is our time that he will not be qualified. He is a business guru, inlaw of the Anioma people, a lawyer, financially capable, former Minister. And he has served the government in all ramifications and not a hungry person.
“He is not an ex-convict. Looking at his pedigree, we have no reason to disqualify him. Even at the state, he was at a time, Chairman of DDPA in then Bendel state and chairman of Legal Aide Council of Nigeria. He is a lawyer, criminologist and his wife a judge of the Appeal Court from the Anioma axis. So he is very qualified.
On Chief David Edevbie, he said, “Chief David Edevbie had served as Commissioner for Finance under Chief James Ibori, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan and Senaor Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa; Private Secretary to late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua; and immediate past Chief of Staff in the present administration. So he is highly educated and vibrant.
While on Rt. Hon. Chief Sheriff Oborevwori he said, he is the first Speaker of the State House of Assembly that has served two tenures, which shows that there is something good in him.
“If he was bad he could have been impeached. He is leading one of the arms of government, highly educated and has a master degree in political science, and a Deacon of the Winners Church.
“So we are presenting the three of them to the Anioma people but among the three we will choose one and in choosing one it will be a collective decision”, he added.
Monarchs present the visit included; HRM Obi Prof. Chike Edozie, Asagba of Asaba; HRM Uche Irenuma, Obi of Abavo Kingdom; HRM Clement Ejiofor of Ukala Kingdom; Obi of Idumuje, HRM Obi Jikeme; Obi of Nsukwa; Obi of Atuma; HRM Onyemaechi Josiah Kanyimaga I of Obomkpq; HRM Emmanuel Ofor, Obi of Adonte; HRM Paul Opili, Obi of Ebu; HRM Francis Ijei, Obi of Issele Azagba; HRM Obi O of Obior Kingdom; HRM Obi Solomon Ezechinyelugo II of Ashama; HRM R. COsanwota of Ezhiomu; HRM Obuenwe Johnson, Eze Emu; HRM Donald Ekeruche of Umuebu; Obi of Ute-Okpu; HRM Sunday O. of Ogodor, HRM Inawai of Onya; HRM Anthony Ogboh of Ejeme- Aniogor.
Others are HRM Austin Ezeagume Nzemeke Okolie III of Egbudu-Akah; HRM Samuel N. Otiegeato of Idumo Ogo; HRM Obi Ifechukwude of Olodu; HRM Obi Azuku of Akwukwu-Igbo; HRM Augustine Oghenejabor, Odiologbo of Ibrede; HRM Obi Nzemeke Godwin Opune of Ejeme Unor; HRM Obi Frederick Egbunkonye of Abala Kingdom and others.
DC-23 leaders and members that attended the meeting included Senator (Chief) Ighoyota Amori, National Chairman; Chief Suru Salami, 2nd Vice Chairman; Dr. Chris Oharisi, National Secretary; Olorogun Bernard Edewor, Deputy National Chairman BoT; Olorogun Arthur Akpowowo, National Publicity Secretary; (Chief) Sunday Apah, Assistant National Publicity Secretary; Chief Christian Onogba, National Assistant Organizing Secretary; Chief Faith Majemite, National Women Leader and Dcn Raymond Edijala, Assistant National Treasurer.
Others are Chief Dr. Mrs. Philomena Oyearone, Chief Mrs. Margret Unukegwo, Chief Andy Osawota, Chief Efeturhi Juweto, Engr. Emmanuel Ishaka, Mr. Francis Onogbo, Chief Solomon Oturu, Dr. S. E Omovie, Chief Michael Akpobasa, Chief Collins Eboh, Chief Dr. Isaac Akpoveta, Prince Samuel Robinson, Eruke Asore, Maidoh-Oyearone Iroro, Etabuko Godfrey, Chief Abraham Odjighoro, Engr. Eric Osiobe, Mr. Efe Itie, Members of Delta Ijaw mandate Group led by Hon. Dagidi Andaye, Mr. Okor James, Chief Lucky Emojeya, Hon. Voke Ighoroje, Hon. Emmanuel Oghomienor, Sir Jude Emurotu, Representatives of Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori, Representatives of Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi, Representatives of Olorogun David Edevbie and many others.