Ahead of the 2023 governorship election in Delta State, politicians from Ijaw nation of Delta south and their counterparts from Urhobo nation in the central have been urged to be patient and wait for direction from Governor Ifeanyi Okowa on who should succeed him.
An Ijaw prominent leader and Prime Minister of Tuomo Kingdom in Burutu Local Government Area of the state, Mike Loyibo gave the advice when a Frontline lobby group from Delta central, DC-23 paid him a consultative visit.
The Urhobo in Delta central believe it is their turn to produce the state governor in 2023 based on the unwritten zoning agreement among the three senatorial.
But the Ijaw are also making a case for the exalted office on the ground that the rotational agreement should be ethnic-based rather than senatorial district.
During the visit, Loyibo told DC-23, led by Ighoyota Amori Governor Okowa as the leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, has a role to play on who succeeds him in 2023.
Loyibo noted that DC-23 has a very valid argument that an Urhobo should succeed Okowa, but added that they should be patient with the governor to give a headway on where his successor should come from.
“The DC-23 has a very valid argument. But the Ijaw governorship is rooted in every Ijaw man. There is only one shepherd and the governor is the current shepherd of the PDP political family in Delta State.
“I am a follower and believer of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa. The governor has told me that he is still praying. So I want to appeal to all of us to be patient and wait for the outcome of that prayer because I believe that the prayer will be answered.
“Whatever the governor decides, I will fully support. I am not a man that can be intimidated by anyone. What I say, I have the capacity and resources to back it,” he said.
National Chairman of DC-23, Ighoyota Amori had urged Ijaw nation to jettison their governorship ambition and allow Urhobo to be governor after Okowa.
“I have been in this politics since the beginning. I was the General Oversear of James Ibori political family. Everyone that has become governor after Ibori, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan and Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa are my brothers from the same family.
“Ordinarily, I am not contesting for governor, so don’t misquote me. What we are after is how PDP will rule in Delta forever. We are not concerned about what is happening in the centre. Our concern is Delta, how we can maintain the victory we secured in the state in 1999.
“We know that all the times, people from all over the state have always contested for the governorship position. But always, it is only the one favoured by divine intervention, based on the principle of zoning that always emerge.
“The governorship zoning has never been on ethnicity basis but on senatorial basis. If you believe you can lay claim to it, the Isoko man is from the south, he can claim it too. The Ndokwa man can say it is Ika that went, it should be our turn now.
“We are not here to stop you or to force you, because it is your right, but we have come to appeal to you to allow us go and when it is your turn we will support you and that time no Urhobo man will raise his head to contest.
“Remember also that nobody has disobeyed the zoning arrangement and ever succeeded. We tried it twice and failed. That’s why I am appealing to you to let this rotation flow,” Amori pleaded.