Former Governor James Ibori of Delta State and other Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leaders have endorsed Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and Deacon Kingsley Otuaro, his deputy, for second term in office.
The endorsement was on behalf of the Urhobo, Ijaw, Itsekiri and Isoko ethnic nationalities of Delta at a grand rally organised by Delta South chapter of the PDP at Oleh, Isoko South Local Government Area of Delta.
Ibori also performed the tape-cutting ceremony to commission the Isoko Unity House, which was conceived in 1984 and constructed by Okowa’s administration.
Those who spoke at the rally said Okowa and his deputy would get automatic ticket from the PDP to run for the governorship election and would eventually be re-elected in 2019.
Aside Okowa and his wife, Edith, other personalities that attended the political rally include former Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, Okowa’s predecessor; Broderick Bozimo, former Minister of Police Affairs; Roland Oritsejafor, former Defence Minister; Solomon Ogba, president of Athletics Federation of Nigeria; Edith Okowa, wife of the governor; among others.
According to Ibori, “Governor Okowa has performed creditably, and on behalf of my family, my ethnic nationality, my friends, I join the good people of Delta South Senatorial District to say, congratulations our governor. There is no doubt that the people of Delta South will lead you (Okowa) back to Government House in 2019.
“We need all the votes for our governor. It is very clear that we all will vote for Governor Okowa and Deputy Governor Otuaro in 2019. All aspirants for different political offices will abide by the regulations of the party,” Ibori stated.
Uduaghan, in his speech, asserted: “All the ethnic groups in Delta South have said they want you (Okowa) back in 2019. So, there will be no primary election for the governorship position. We are going to work very strongly for Governor Okowa.”
Bozimo, who was chairman of the occasion, had stated that the Ijaw nation always speak with one voice.
Said he: “The Ijaw people are totally committed to the divine ticket of Governor Okowa and Deputy Governor Otuaro. You don’t change a winning team. But the bottom line is that we must all have our Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs).”
Eulogising Okowa for his achievements, Oritsejafor said: “Those of us from Itsekiri see our governor as a builder of peace, roads, the youths, infrastructure of all kinds, and we will vote for him again in 2019.”
Emmanuel Okumagba who spoke on behalf of the Urhobo in Delta South, reiterated: “We are here to show solidarity with the works which Chief Ibori started, Dr. Uduaghan continued with it and Governor Okowa consolidated on the work.
“If Chief Ibori spent eight years in office with the slot of Delta Central and Dr. Uduaghan did eight years for Delta South, we believe Governor Okowa deserves another four years in office, Governor Okowa should complete eight years in office.”
Ogba promised that “Isoko people will deliver massively for Governor Okowa in 2019.”
Kingsley Esiso, chairman of Delta PDP, commended the people of Delta Central for the massive mobilisation of people for the rally.
Elated Governor Okowa, in a brief speech, said, “this is more than a political rally in a state; it is a national rally. Delta South is always reliable and we know there is no fear, PDP is a house built on solid rock; it cannot collapse. There is peace in Delta State and I must thank all Deltans, especially, the youths for giving peace a chance.”
He reassured all aspirants that the PDP in the state would provide the enabling environment for credible and acceptable primary elections.