News, Politics

Okowa Bombs Ibori

Delta State former governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa has finally bared his mind on his political war with his godfather, James Ibori.

Okowa said: “James Ibori’s governorship choice, David Edevbie had tricked me into believing he would respect the Delta PDP zoning provision ahead of the governorship election in 2015.”

“I don’t like to talk about it but obviously there’s no doubt that we didn’t work together.”

“We went into the primaries not agreeing on the same candidate, we talked about it but Ibori did not want to shift ground on his candidate, David Edevbie.”

“That’s the truth and I did not agree with that candidate for basic reasons which I made clear enough to him and also to his own candidate.”

“I did not hide it. Till tomorrow, I speak about it in truth not because I thought I was a godfather that needed to install somebody. David Edevbie is my friend.”

“We were with former Governor James Ibori in his tenure together as commissioners, but in 2014, when it became obvious that it was the turn of the Delta North-Delta Central and Delta South had had their turns, I heard that David was going to run and he was indicating interest.”

“I went from Abuja with three of my friends to visit him in Lagos and I said ‘David, please, it’s only fair, I know that there are so many people competing but I’m coming to you as a friend.”

“It will not be fair if you run. Governor James Ibori has been there, Governor Uduaghan has been there, it’s obviously the turn of the Delta North; why don’t you allow us to have our space so that we can all be said to be part of the state? Thereafter, we can all work for you to become governor’.”

“And at the end, he said ‘I will not run anymore, I will support you’. I thanked him and left back to Abuja.”

“Edevbie went against his word and was holding secret meetings with stakeholders, strategising on how to become governor.”

“And then suddenly, next thing we heard was that they had endorsed David but this same David had committed himself to me.”

“So we went into the race, a very tough race but God enabled me to win.”

“In the second year, I started hearing that he was holding meetings in Lagos and other places where they were already prepping him to be governor without anybody discussing with me.”

“The zoning rules meant the governorship seat in 2023 would go to Delta Central, Edevbie’s zone. I was adamant that the David Edevbie would not be a beneficiary.”

“In the first instance, he did not want the zoning to Delta North, so if the zoning was going to continue, he’s my friend but he shouldn’t be the one to benefit from the zoning he did not want.”

“I’m careful in what I do so it will be difficult for me to support someone outside Delta Central but my only mindset is that somebody who did not believe in the zoning cannot be the one to benefit from it and I made it clear to the former governor.”

“Ibori met with me a few days before the primary election to reach a compromise on a fresh candidate but I noted that it was too little, too late.”

“I told him it would be difficult to withdraw support from my candidate. I don’t do things like that.”

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