….as Isoko eye 2031 governorship seat
By Eseoghene Emuke
Fresh facts have emerged why the Isoko ethnic nationality in Delta State have decided to endorsed and settled for Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the March 2019 governorship election in the state.
Insider sources told WARRI TODAY that Isoko leaders and monarchs met severally before picking Okowa over Chief Great Ogboru, who is the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
It was gathered that the leaders and monarchs unanimously agreed at the end of series meetings and consultations which culminated into a emergency IDU conference that the ‘unwritten power rotation’ in the state should be allowed to continue and should be religiously adhered to.
Two of the President-Generals who attended the different meeting confirmed the development to WARRI TODAY on the condition of anonymity.
It was learnt that the position of the PGs and monarchs is meant to position the Isoko Nation as favourite when power rotate to Delta South Senatorial District by 2031 when Delta Central must have completed their turn.
The leaders were also said to have struck an agreement with Okowa and some selected Delta North leaders that the people of Anioma would support the Isoko over their Ijaw brothers when power finally rotate to the district.
It was decided at the final meeting where Okowa was endorsed that, should the Isokos picked Chief Ogboru as its candidate, the development would automatically alter the rotational formula and the Isoko Nation would be at risk considering their numbers.
One of the PGs said “If Isoko Nation do not start playing the politics ahead 2031 governorship election, we will lose again when power comes to Delta South.”
The source added that the endorsement of Governor Okowa by the Isoko Nation cuts-across political lines.
“Leaders of the different political parties including PDP and APC attended some of the meetings and we all agreed that the ‘power rotational system’ should remain unscathed”, the source hinted.
The PG explained that the Isoko Nation would stand at a disadvantage position if it had endorsed Ogboru to Okowa.
They reasoned that the Isoko Nation is supporting former Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan’s senatorial ambition based on the ‘power rotation system.’
The Isoko leaders added that Deacon Kingsley Otuaro, Okowa’s deputy and Senator James Manager are holding their various positions on the principle of power rotation.
“Uduaghan emerged governor on the mantra of power rotation. He’s today also running against Senator James Manager on the same mantra. Okowa chose Deputy Governor Kingsley Otuaro on the same principle. The only position we have gotten from the system is Secretary to the State Government (SSG.
“After Delta Central in 2023 through 2031, it should be the turn of the Isoko Nation for the governorship. Scuttling this system would bring unhealthy and unnecessary crisis among the different ethnic groups in the state. It’s also the turn of Isoko after the one term Uduaghan has promised us”, another influential Isoko leader said.
The PGs also denied allegation that the leadership of Isoko Development Union (IDU) was bribed to endorsed the governor’s second term.
Nobody bribed us to endorsed Okowa – IDU President
When contacted, the President-General of the apex socio-cultural umbrella of Isoko Nation, Isoko Development Union (IDU), High Chief Iduh Amadhe, said Governor Ifeanyi Okowa was endorsed by the Isoko Nation for his sterling performance.
Chief Amadhe also denied the being bribed to endorse the governor.
According to him, “Isoko Nation cannot be bought anybody irrespective of the financial capability of such person. Isoko ethnic nationality is bigger than anyone’s money. We are not cheap people.
“We believe that it is what a man has done that will warrant a nation endorsing him. No any other candidate from any party has approached Isoko people that he is going for gubernatorial election and such needs the support of Isoko Nation.
“As far as Isoko Nation is concerned, we have a number of projects to show in Isoko land that the present administration (of Okowa) has executed.”
The IDU President-General said the Isoko Nation is also in full support of the power shift system, saying “…the political class also know that there such a point (power rotation). The Isoko people will not go against it because it is a beautiful political arrangement that political leaders of Delta State have done.
“The Urhobo people took for eight years when Chief James Ibori came up. Delta South gave it to Itsekiri (Emmanuel Uduaghan) and today, it is with Delta North. If the other two governors stayed two terms each, why not allow Okowa to serve his second tenure?”