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….As Senator Osakwe , Chief Elue Urges Delta Central, and Urhobos to Stick Together

Jennifer Dafiovo

The leaders of the Delta North Senatorial District have passed votes of confidence on Olorogun (BARR) Kenneth O. Gbagi (FNIM) for the governorship position of Delta State come 2023. In a series of consultation visits paid to the homes of elder statesmen and political juggernauts in Delta North politics, from the distinguished Senator Patrick Osakwe, His Royal Majesty, Obi Emmanuel O. Efeizomor II, the Obi of Owa Kingdom, Elder John Nwagimejen and Chief Benjamin S. C. Elue, former Deputy Governor, Delta State.

At each of these four places, accompanied by a crowd of supporters, a crowd so large and impressive that each of the elder statesmen commented on its size, Olorogun Gbagi made known his intention to run for governor come 2023, while appealing to the statesmen for their support and prayers. Addressing the different congregations, Olorogun Gbagi reminded them how he is a founding member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Delta State, and with no history of defection. “As at today, I am the oldest living member of PDP that wants to be a governor. We collectively agree that a lot of work still needs to be done in the state. My friend, my brother, the leader of the party in the state has done so much. I seek your understanding; I seek your fatherly guidance, come 2023 when our amiable governor will be exiting, and given that agreement and plan you and I had.”

“We had an agreement. We started PDP in Delta State 1998/1999, and when it started, it started from Central, where we had one of ours as governor for eight years. When he finished, it went to the Delta South Senatorial District. Naturally, with the understanding we had, it came to the North afterwards, and by his grace, the governor today emerged. Once he finishes, it will come back to Central. We all, as founders of this party, we have an understanding that the governorship of the state will rotate among the three senatorial districts. I am an industrialist, I am a businessman. My success stories are there for anybody to search. I am blemishless, I have no excess luggage that will impair my speed and character to develop this state.”

Senator Osakwe, who was described as the gateway to Ndokwa nation in his reply, commended Olorogun Gbagi saying that he had taken the right step. “I have said it before, that the rotation, nobody can stop it. But you know we have a party leader, and at the end of the day, the leaders will meet and take a decision.”

Addressing Olorogun Gbagi’s supporters, Senator Osakwe said, “You are selling a good market, a very good marketable commodity. Therefore, it is left for Central to reconcile themselves in order not to split votes. But, we Ndokwa people, we go one way. You have my blessing; and the blessings of the Ndokwa people. But be very mindful; you Urhobo people should come together and don’t share your votes. But as far as Senator Patrick Osakwe is concerned, Central should produce our next governor.”

His Royal Majesty, Obi Emmanuel O. Efeizomor II, the Obi of Owa Kingdom appreciated the early flag off and declared that he and his people wouldn’t forget those who had supported their son, the incumbent governor to come to, and remain in power, and it would be only just to reciprocate accordingly. He encouraged the Olorogun’s supporters to remain steadfast in their support. The Obi called upon God for divine blessings to make a successful venture. “We know enough of the politics of Delta State. We know enough of those who will contest and I will not be surprised if by tomorrow, such names come up again saying they want to contest. Even when they lose, they will go to court, because they must do what they are used to. While our son was fighting for this position, we know those who helped, and we have taken record of the way every other person helped. So, my appeal to you is that you should maintain the level of dignity, respect and cordiality of your friendship with His Excellency.”

“Our prayer is that he will land well, and end well. In other words, anybody who is seeking this position must help him to end well. I think that is the premise of which many of his supporters and admirers and those of us who have a special kind of relationship with him will operate when the bell rings. Those who continue to assist him, we will not forget when the time comes.”

In his country home, Elder John Nwagimejen of Agbor Community prayed for the grace of life till 2023 when he hopes that the Gbagi dream will be realised. He assured the house of the reliability of their word. “Ika South will listen to you. For as long as you keep coming, because you are going to have to keep coming here, we will continue to listen to you.”

Chief Benjamin Elue, whose Obior country home was the last, but by no means, not the least port of call welcomed Olorogun Gbagi and his team with such exuberance, it was contagious. His fatherly and amiable mien was unmistakable as he addressed the assembly. “Telling me that my friend sitting here, with all his pedigree and his records, that he cannot be a governor, na lie o! He can handle it. He is capable. I do not think that people here would tell any other person coming from other areas not to contest. But because we are very disciplined, we would think about it and consider whether the person is towing our line of equity and justice. We from this part of the state are very orderly. It is not to a fault that we are orderly but it’s what will follow, what God can bless. You just don’t have to play with politics in everything. Go back to strengthen politics in Urhobo land. In the UPU, you have a great force to mobilise your people and I will advise that you should do this without rancour and I pray that the other party or parties should give PDP a chance on a very peaceful platform for the next election. Use the platform of your ambition to keep PDP as one till the end.”

At every compound Olorogun Gbagi made a call, there was a crowd of supporters from the community to greet and welcome him. Deserving of notice were the women dressed in colourful attires, who greeted the Olorogun and his team with smiles, songs, and a general air of good cheer.

Also in attendance at the various venues were Dr. Nelson Ejakovi, Chief Oviri Ovis, Chief Kenneth Okocha, Chief Promise Obioho, Chief Samuel Okunwa, Chief Augustine Elekwe, Chief Nkecho Okpokiri, Chief Onyewiri Okoh, Chief Ifeanyi Anwulika, Chief Edo Okpofukoro, Chief Thompson Eweri (JP), Hon. Fred Ofume, Chief Emmanuel Aworo, Lady Peace Etetekie, Princess Doris Ejinyere, Mrs Linda Ukuwrere, Mrs Gloria Okunbor among others.

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Comrade Kelly Gilor is a graduate of Communication Management from Delta State university (Delsu), Abraka. He believes in Justice and Equity with Good Governance. He is an activist of the Niger Delta.