By Onome Oghenetega
The governorship ambition of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Delta State, Chief Great Ogboru, on Thursday suffered heavy setback as the traditional rulers and the President-General of Isoko Nation endorsed Governor Ifeanyi Okowa as their governorship candidate in the 2019 general elections.
Ogboru, who is banking on the support of the Isoko people to realize his long time ambition of being a governor of the oil-rich Delta, seems to have been once again dashed as the people led by the President-General of Isoko Development Union (IDU) and traditional rulers picked Okowa ahead of him for the race.
Rising from an emergency national conference of Isoko nation convened by the IDU at Oleh, Isoko South local government area of the state, the Isoko ethnic nationality said they had no alternative than to choose Okowa for his sterling performance in their communities.
The royal fathers observed that the only way they could reciprocate Governor Okowa’s good governance in Isoko land is to re-elect him to continue with his good works and further development of the Isoko Nation.
The Ovie of Oleh Kingdom, Omagha I, HRM Anthony Ovrawah, who is the Chairman of Isoko Traditional Council of Traditional Rulers, led more than 19 traditional rulers to pray for the governor, assuring that all Isoko sons and daughters will cast their votes for him.
Earlier, the President-General of Iyede Kingdom, Chief Jerry Okokowa moved the motion for Isoko people to collectively, cast their votes for the return of Okowa to Government House, Asaba till 2023.
According to Okokowa, “We have no other option than Governor Okowa, he has executed a lot of projects in Isoko land including the construction of this edifice, the Isoko House and he will do more for us in the next four years.”
The motion was subsequently seconded by the President-General of Oleh Kingdom, Chief Believe Alakri.
Responding, an elated Governor Okowa, thanked the Isoko people for the love through his endorsement for a second term, saying that the Isoko Nation would never regret the decision.
The governor said, “I am surprised, I am excited at what you have done this afternoon. It is a great honour that you have done to me and I must thank the Isoko people for the love you have for me and my administration. What is happening here today convinces me that you have accepted me as one of you.
“It tells a lot of story that you are not ashamed to identify with me; I thank you for the peace you have continued to give to us as a government which has given us the enabling environment to carry out development projects.
“Thank you for the partnership which will make me to relate more with the Isoko nation; in the next four years, a lot more will be done for the Isoko nation because, the Isoko people truly deserve it. With the pronouncement of the traditional rulers, this is a total support, which will give me more votes than what you gave us in 2015.”
The governor in an emotion-laden voice, pleaded with the traditional rulers and the president-generals to vote for all the candidates of the PDP, especially, for Alhaji Atiku Abubakar for President, Senator James Manager and Hon. Leo Ogor.
According to him, “Since you have shown love to me, show love to other candidates of the PDP because, the success of the PDP in the February 16 elections will make the March 2 elections easier.”
In his remark, the President-General of IDU, the apex socio-cultural umbrella of the Isoko Nation, Chief Iduh Amadhe said, “what is happening in Isoko has never been done for any man, Isoko people are not sycophants but, when we heard that you (Governor Okowa) are coming to Isoko nation for campaign rally, an emergency national conference was called for you; 19 traditional rulers are here, the president-generals of different kingdoms are here and whatever we have done today will be translated to all the villages in Isoko and It will be respected, you will get the votes of Isoko people. “
However, fillers reaching WARRI TODAY indicates that the endorsement of Okowa ahead of Ogboru has ruffled the state chapter of APC as leaders of the party have called for an urgent meeting to review the development.
The State chairman of APC, Prophet Jone Erue and the candidate of the party for House of Representatives, Hon. Joel Onohwakpo-Thomas both hail from Isoko South.