The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Uche Secondus, has revealed how a former Delta State Governor, Chief James Ibori, ensured the emergence of Ifeanyi Okowa as governor of the state.
Secondus explained that Ibori called him from London where he was serving his jail term prior to the 2015 governorship election and pleaded that the National Working Committee of the PDP should support Okowa to emerge governor.
He added that the party had no choice than to support the decision.
Secondus spoke on Saturday at a thanksgiving and grand reception organised by Olorogun John Oguma, a chieftain of the PDP, in honour of Ibori at the Ibru Unity Square, Ovwor-Olomu, in the Ughelli South Local Government Area of the state.
He said, “Before the 2015 elections, I received a call from our leader (Ibori), and I asked him the direction. He (Ibori) told me Okowa should be supported.
“I was then the Deputy National Chairman. I gathered all my people; I said I have received an order from our leader. Your Excellency, I am grateful that your decision was right. That is how we supported Dr. Okowa because the leader spoke to us.”
The PDP national chairman, who called on Nigerians to support the PDP to rescue the country from what he described as the looming total collapse under the President Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress government, said that the lies and propaganda upon which the APC rode to power wouldn’t work in 2019.
He noted that under the APC-led Federal Government, Nigerians had been subjected to hunger and insecurity as bloodletting pervaded almost all the states in the country with the government becoming helpless.
Secondus added, “On Monday, we will be in Jigawa and will move across the nation to let Nigerians know that it is only the PDP that can rescue this nation. An APC senator, Dino Melaye, said that in three years, APC borrowed N11 trillion. PDP ruled for 16 years but only N6 trillion was borrowed. Who is more corrupt? Where is power?’’
While congratulating Ibori for his safe return to the country after serving out his jail term in the UK, Secondus said the ex-governor was a man worth celebrating.
He added, “Our leader (Ibori) has passed through political tribulations because he believes in the people and considers the poor. He believes in the masses; that is why God delivered him.’’
Okowa said Ibori should be commended for laying a solid foundation for the past and present administrations to develop the state.
The governor said, “I’m the only governor who had the support of the first and second governors. That was because there was good following that has continued to beget following. I understand our leader (Ibori) because he trained us well as politicians. I have learnt the game from him so well. I am happy that we recognised our leader (Ibori) as a good man’’
In his remarks, Ibori, who called for unity among Urhobo leaders, particularly the political class, said he bore no grudges against anybody over his travails which led to his conviction in the UK.
He said, “Your prayers have brought me back home. When I attended the thanksgiving service of Olorogun Aguariavwodo, I told people that the journey was an act of God and not the will of man. It was not man who did what happened to me. I have forgiven everyone both within and outside. That’s how God said I should do it.”
Also, Oguma said chief Ibori had impacted positively on the state and stabilised the political terrain.
The event was attended by a former Governor of the state, Emmanuel Uduaghan Prof. Godwin Onokerhoraye, members of the PDP National Working Committee and the state PDP Chairman, Kingsley Esiso, among others.