2023: The Delta Ijaw Governorship Question

By Grade-One Clark

Though none had removed the veil and come out in the open to express his/her intention, the Delta State Ijaw rumour circle however is on full throttle. The names of this or that are dropped as nursing ambition to contest the governorship of the State, in 2023. I must non the less say that Dr. Braduce A. Angozi, unlike others, had not kept his ambition in the closet. He has been open about it to friends and family.

On different instances, he had told me of his intention to contest, and rightfully occupy the Dennis Osadebey House, Asaba. And had asked that I steer his media team and activities whenever the floor is thrown open.

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Names also emerging from the grapevine as likely Ijaw contenders, in 2023, are; Senator James Manager, who presently represents, Delta South in the Senate and Chief Kingsley Otuaro, the current, Deputy Governor of the state.

They are said to be seriously warming up to lay claim to the coveted seat. The names so far bandied are all PDPs, no APC had been counted. This may be due to it being rather early, and those with intent keeping their gunpowders dry and their genies in the bottle.

Two weeks ago, the State PDP Chairman, Chief Kingsley Esiso, rocked the boat of the state politics, with a statement credited to him. He had without due consideration to his position as that of an unbiased and neutral leader of the Peoples Democratic Party, made a pronouncement, that it is the turn of Urhobo (only) of Delta Central to vie for the state governorship, while other zones must shelf their interest, come 2023.

He did not only receive unexpected scathing condemnations from political pundits of Delta South and North, but was put in his place. They reminded him of his colourless status before being made chairman, and called him a political greenhorn – emphasizing that he was brought from nowhere, dusted, perfumed, and made the PDP chairman by Gov. Okowa and his kitchen associates.

Esiso was further tagged a tribal bigot and accused of propping Urhobo supremacist interest in the state and doing all within his feeble powers to usurp rights of other zones to aspire for the governorship. His critics made it clear that Urhobo politicians had never respected the gentleman zoning agreement of rotating the governorship between the three Senatorial Zones. Urhobo, they said, always field candidates from the ruling PDP and other parties in every election, even if it is the turn of other zones to produce the governor.

The loyalty of Delta Central to the ruling PDP was therefore questioned. The zone had often dissipated its energy and ballots amongst its varied political interests to the disadvantage of the PDP, they stressed. The last election they said saw the PDP losing the Central senatorial seat and receiving questionable votes from the zone, in both the presidential and governorship elections. In this regard, they argued, Delta Central has no moral justification to demand that the governorship seat be reserved for her.

The position presently canvassed and argued is that it is the right of all zones to contest the governorship, in as much as, the three zones had some how rotated it successfully, these past 20 years. That the governorship is not a preserve of Delta Central, as Urhobo had twice produced Governors for the State, in; Olorogun Felix Ibru and Chief James Ibori. It is therefore proper that equity and fairness prevail in the affairs of the state. Chief Esiso was reprimanded and cautioned to desist from attempting to pull the wool over the eyes of other zones, a phenomenon that could fan embers of discord.

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