Whether you are one amongst the massive multitude of admirers, supporters, peers, and loyalists of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, Ekwueme of the Universe, or you belong to that dwindling, rabble-rousing, infinitesimal crop of incorrigible, willing or reluctant detractors and cretins, who are always ready and eager to bad mouth and undermine him, one thing you must give to the Ekwueme himself is that he has never got it wrong and will never get it wrong. Governor Okowa has always done and will continue to do the right thing in the interest of Delta and Deltans.
The Movement for Stronger Delta, MSD, recalls with clarity that when, in January this year, Governor Okowa declared that only God, not man, can direct him on his successor and urged Deltans to seek the face of God, adding that he can’t play God and whoever will succeed him must keep the Alter fire burning, certain persons with very questionable and counter-productive motives, started applying all manner of subtle, covert, surreptitious and even downright hostile and acrimonious propaganda against the office and personality of the Governor, to actually compel him to play God and make a definite pronouncement and anointing.
But we are quite joyful and satisfied that Governor Okowa, like the visionary, deeply prayerful and always consulting leader, who wants the best and nothing but the best for Deltans, kept his calm, unruffled, patient, strategically astute counsel and countenance, even when the din from various interest groups was loudly threatening to implode the polity and set in motion, a well-orchestrated plot by those in pursuit of their personal ambitions, to disunite, dislocate and derail the divine mandate and consolidation of a #stronger Delta for all Deltans.
Following the assent of President Muhammadu Buhari to the amended Electoral Act, and the release by INEC of the timetable and guidelines for the 2023 general elections, activities in the political space became clearer and more robust as the apprehension which had trailed the President’s repeated refusal to sign the electoral bill into law dissipated rapidly, even though clause 84 (12) still remains a potential game-changer, as political permutations unfold.
The Movement for Stronger Delta is quite impressed with the fervour and intensity of the debate which has surrounded the issue of ‘zoning’, especially in the PDP and we are strongly convinced that just like in the previous three election cycles before now, the matter of ‘zoning’, will be settled amicably and resolved without any further controversy, to the satisfaction of all, under the wise, divinely guided watch of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa.
Ekwueme will not disappoint Deltans on ‘zoning’ and you can take that to the bank.
Intriguingly, however, the ‘zoning’ conundrum in Delta State, particularly in the PDP, actually involves Delta South and Delta central, and we must indeed applaud the political maturity of Delta North for whom Governor Ifeanyi Okowa is serving out its second term to complete the ‘zoning’ arrangement that started with Delta Central and was followed by Delta South.
We want to commend Delta North PDP for its exemplary and admirable discipline, in ensuring that some renegade politician, whether sponsored or not, has not sprung up from Anioma Nation to start campaigning for the Governorship ticket, after Governor Okowa’s tenure, but that the entire Delta North PDP family has unanimously, categorically, and unequivocally spoken with one voice in solidarity with their son, that they will follow Governor Okowa in 2023 and where ever Ekwueme goes, is where they will go.
No trust can be greater than the trust of your people and Governor Okowa has earned the trust of the Anioma Nation.
As it stands now however, the Guber front runner from Delta South is the Deputy Governor of Delta State, Deacon (Barr.) Kingsley Burutu Otuaro. A man of meek and Godly virtues, and a recognized legal practitioner, he has served loyally, diligently and with unquestionable commitment to the mandate, first of the SMART Agenda and then the consolidation of #Stronger Delta. He will indeed make a worthy successor and the field is open for a free, fair, and transparent primary in the PDP, as Governor Okowa has pledged.
Delta Central, however, appears to have prepared itself properly for 2023, when some noble, patriotic and seasoned political figures in the PDP, under the aegis of DC-23, a Pan-Delta Central ethnopolitical pressure group, took it upon themselves, with real vigour and crusading zest, as they have every constitutional right and freedom to so associate, to try and set an agenda for the emergence of a candidate that will be supported by all in the long run, except of course those who do not mean well for the zone or the party.
Interested aspirants were encouraged to submit themselves to a properly composed screening committee, comprising some of the most distinguished, erudite, and well-respected statesmen from the Central Senatorial District.
At the end of the pruning exercise, three aspirants emerged as the selected choices of DC-23, and while a number of those who didn’t make the shortlist have continued campaigning, the unanimous consensus is that the three aspirants; Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori, Chief Kenneth Gbagi, and, Mr. David Edevbie, also have the requisite capacity, acumen and appeal, to represent Delta Central perfectly.
Chief Kenneth Gbagi, a former Education Minister, Criminologist, entrepreneur, lawyer, and philanthropist, often regarded as one of the founding fathers and pioneer pillars of Delta State, actually declared his governorship intention first and has embarked on a dynamic, highly visible, and energetic campaign.
His competence and experience, as the only elder statesman amongst the shortlisted aspirants, are not in doubt, but while he has attempted to engage the issues of a development agenda with some gusto, he has not however covered himself in glory with some of his utterances and innuendos, which have not only hinted at divisive, polarizing, and genocidal tendencies, but also echoed derisive descriptions aimed at some top personalities in the PDP; all of which have actually left many wondering about his loyalty to the party.
He is also carrying a personal baggage of alleged domestic violence and despite a legal victory over his petitioners, the baggage still hovers around him like an ominous cloud.
Mr. David Edevbie is an economist, an investment banker, with an impressive academic resume which includes an MBA from Cardiff School of Business, University of Wales, and the renowned Harvard Business School.
He is said to have cut his teeth at the globally reputed Barclays Bank, London, and grew to top Investment Executive at Hill Samuel Bank from where the Commonwealth Development Corporation engaged him as Investment Officer for Asia and the Pacific Region where he contributed to the economic and social development of such nations as Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong and the rest of the Asian Tiger countries.
Young, debonair and generally regarded as sophisticated and elitist with a healthy post-modern work-ethic and a seeming attitudinal arrogance allegedly tilting distastefully towards contemptuous, haughty, egocentric snobbishness, Edevbie’s political credentials begin and end with his stints as a hitherto long-serving Commissioner in the Delta State cabinet, a Principal Secretary to the President (PSP) and the Chief of Staff to Governor Okowa’s Government.
He also has a personal baggage, carried over from his first stint as Delta State Commissioner of Finance from 1999 – 2007 and those who remember that tenure and it’s aftermath, will know what this is all about.
Rt. Hon Sheriff Oborevwori, is the Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly. His political credentials are impeccable. He is a thoroughbred grassroots politician, having started his political career from the very root, as a councillor and rising through the political trajectory to become Chairman of his Osubi Community, a legislator representing Okpe Constituency in the Delta State House of Assembly since 2015 and emerging by overwhelming popular choice, as Speaker in 2017, following the removal of the then incumbent.
He was re-elected as their legislator by his people and again as Speaker in 2019 and his tenure as the number one lawmaker in Delta State, has arguably lasted more than any of his predecessors and has ushered in the most peaceful, rancour-free, pragmatically driven legislature, working in harmonious tandem and symbiosis with the Executive and Judiciary, in the history of Delta State.
None of the other aspirants have contributed more to the actualization of the SMART Agenda and the consolidation of #Stronger Delta, than Rt. Hon.Sheriff Oborevwori.
Calm, focused, determined, firm, exhibiting admirable humility and simplicity, and unwavering in his conduct and convictions, Sheriff Oborevwori is a detribalized “home boy” to his friends, associates, peers, and colleagues.
His generousity and humaness are legendary. He commands respect with effortless ease and carries himself with a magisterial authority which lends ample credence to the phrase that “Leaders are born, not made”.
He also carries everybody along and his simple warm, broad and always constant smile, is as pure and clear as his intentions.
Boasting excellent academic credentials to his curriculum vitae, Oborevwori is a proud alumnus of Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, where he bagged a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, our own Delta State University, Abraka, where he got his Masters Degree still in Political Science, the Alliance Manchester Business School of Manchester University Leadership Executive Certificate Programme, and the London School of Economics and Political Science certificate Programme on Leading Inclusive Development, amongst others.
He has no personal baggage or controversy to weigh him down and indeed, with an eye on the bigger picture of the Governorship election to come, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori, embodies the perfect mix of popularity, political strength, leadership authority, administrative experience and acumen, and a personality that is charming, accommodating, courteous, accessible and a great team player, to do battle under the umbrella of the PDP, with whoever is imposed, or even imposes himself as we have been reliably informed, on the other political groups in the State. He is indeed the perfect epitome of a Pan-Delta Candidate.
Like we said earlier, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, the ‘Ekwueme gburugburu’ has never got it wrong and will never get it wrong in ensuring that only the best will be delivered, both in addressing the ‘zoning’ issue and in fulfilling the interest of Deltans and ensuring a #StrongerDelta for all Deltans.
That, as we have always declared is the SIMPLE Agenda.
MOVEMENT FOR STRONGER DELTA (MSD).