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Ijaw leaders insist on producing Delta governor in 2023

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Ijaw leaders, youths and women from seven councils of Delta State, at the weekend, insisted that the ethnic nationality should produce the next governor in 2023 and urged other ethnic nationalities to support a candidate of Ijaw extraction.

They made the declaration after their meeting in Warri, Delta State, adding that in spite of making huge sacrifices, contributing to the socio-economic sustenance of state and supporting other ethnic nationalities over the years, they had not been allowed to produce a governor of the state.

Their demand might fuel political crisis in the state, as the Urhobo of Delta Central senatorial district believe it is their right to produce the governor, following the state’s rotation and zoning agreement.

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Insinuations are also rife that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa was planning to favour the Ijaw man as governor for fairness and equity, when he said during the quarterly media interaction recently, that there was no formal agreement in which zoning was discussed and ratified.

He had said: “There was no formal meeting where an agreement was reached on zoning, and that is the truth as at today. It means that whatever we are doing or talking about today is about fairness, equity and how to define what is fair and what is equitable and hinged on justice.”

In a communiqué signed at the end of the meeting by former Minister of Police AffairsM Alaowei Broderick Bozimo, Chief Godspower Gbenekama, and Elder Edmund Tiemo, they said they had been active in the socio-economic and political affairs since the days of Western and Mid-Western regions, Bendel State and now Delta State.

They also argued that they were at the forefront of the struggle for the creation of Delta State and that despite the human and socio-economic contributions of the Ijaw to the state, their communities do not have commiserate infrastructure development.

They noted that Chief Dennis Osadebey of Anioma was the Premier of the defunct Mid-Western Region, when it was created in 1963 with Chief Jereton Marierie from Urhobo as Governor.

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“In the present Delta State, the Ijaw massively supported Olorogun Felix Ibru and Chief James Ibori from Urhobo ethnic nationality, Emmanuel Uduaghan (Itsekiri) and Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa (Anioma) ethnic nationality as governor.

“In the spirit of fairness, equity and brotherhood, we appeal to the other ethnic nationalities of the state to support a candidate of Ijaw extraction for the governorship in 2023,” the communiqué reads.

They commended Okowa for his infrastructure development of the state, his vision for a stronger Delta and urged the Ijaw to continue to support Okowa’s administration.

Senator James Manager, Wing Commander Peter Biakpara (rtd.), President Ijaw National Congress (INC), Prof. Benjamin Okaba, Catholic Bishop of Bomadi Diocese, Hyacinth Egbebo, Prof Biliki Isaiah, Hon. Nicholas Mutu and Mrs. Bamuza Mutu, among others, attended the meeting.

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