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Delta Governor, Sheriff Oborevwori
Delta Governor, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori

Politics

Governor Oborevwori Firmly in-Charge of Delta, Group tells Ibori


A political pressure group, known as Integrity Group of Delta State, has taken a swipe at former governor, chief James Ibori for criticising the administration of Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori, noting that the governor is firmly in charge of affairs in the state.

In a press statement, made available to journalists, and signed by Dr Oke Idawene, Convener, Comrade Liliveth Ogochukwu, Publicity Secretary and Hon Bath Ozah, Director Media And Communications, the Integrity Group said it is dismayed with Ibori over his “reckless vituperations ”against Oborevwori.

The ex-governor had in a recent public ceremony at Asaba, the Delta state capital questioned the competence of the Oborevwori administration along with members of his cabinet.

But in a statement, the group dismissed Ibori’s claim as baseless and said he was bitter and pained, since Oborevwori defeated his preferred candidate, Olorogun David Edevbie in the 2023 Delta governorship elections.

Excerpts of the Press statement titled “GOVERNOR SHERIFF OBOREVWORI IS DUTIFULLY AND FIRMLY IN CHARGE OF DELTA STATE. A MESSAGE  TO FORMER GOVERNOR, CHIEF JAMES ONANEFE IBORI BY INTEGRITY GROUP OF DELTA STATE read:

“As conscientious citizens,we are surprised  that Chief Ibori, who ruled Delta from 1999 to 2007 and left in the most controversial circumstances in the history of the state,has  been making highly provocative and unguarded utterances in the form of needless and baseless innuendos against the present administration in the state, led by His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori.

“First, was in May 2023, when, in a viral video, in Abuja, Ibori sarcastically asked the then Deputy Senate President, Obaisi Ovie Omo-Agege, why he was not in Asaba; a careless remark, which, even a kindergarten, would immediately understand as a veiled attack against the swearing-in ceremony of Governor Oborevwori.

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“At a recent public event that took place in Asaba, Ibori, also became verbose,and was quoted to have become bellicose.

“These cheap and lowly lamentations unbecoming of a former governor are in addition to his numerous plots, surreptitiously deployed in the lead-up to Delta State 2023 governorship elections.

“The INTEGRITY GROUP OF DELTA STATE, like other discerning minds in the state, can clearly unravel the genesis of  Chief Ibori’s veiled and endless attacks on the Oborevwori administration.

“We vividly recall that, during the last Delta governorship tussle, the ex-governor supported Olorogun David Edevbie, former finance commissioner, to be the next governor, while the immediate past governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa backed Rt.Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori, then speaker of the State House of Assembly.

“At the gubernatorial primary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) held on May 25, 2022 at the Stephen Keshi stadium in Asaba, Oborevwori scored 597 votes out of total ballot of 824 to thoroughly beat Ibori’s favourite candidate, Edevbie, who could muster only 113 votes.

“Majority of Deltans were therefore surprised that, rather than accept defeat, Edebvie went to the courts seeking disqualification of the clear and widely accepted winner over spurious eligibility matters, totally unrelated to the PDP primary election, until the Supreme Court threw out the challenge as exercise in futility, thereby affirming Oborevwori as duly nominated flag bearer of the PDP.

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“Though Ibori was not officially joined as a party to the suit, which failed woefully, The INTEGRITY GROUP OF DELTA STATE wishes to assert that, it was clearly a case of the “the hand of Jacob with the voice of Esau”. It was obvious that the former Governor was behind the fruitless efforts to stop Oborevwori from taking over power as No 1 citizen.

“Moreover, we are emphatic to state that during the March 18, 2023 Delta governorship elections, the Oghara-born politician, even as a member of the PDP, did not work or vote for Oborevwori, as it was an open secret that he supported Ovie Omo-Agege of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

“Despite all the schemes,both overt and covert, Oborevwori went ahead to win the state governorship elections, having massively polled a total of 360,234 votes to outclass Omo-Agege, who scored 240,229 votes.

“We are also aware that even with his exalted office as governor, Oborevwori holds Chief Ibori in the most dignified of esteem and the highest of regards. Why is the former Governor always nagging about the current administration in Delta? What is the offence of Oborevwori against Ibori? Is it a crime that Deltans  elected him governor? How is it the man’s fault that God chose him over Edevbie? These are the questions, especially on the lips of most Deltans.

“The strong feelings and postulation here and there are that Ibori is bitter and uncomfortable with governor Oborevwori because he lost out in the Delta power game. That he wanted his preferred candidate Edevbie, as governor by all means to enable him (Ibori) control the finances of the oil rich Delta.

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“It is increasingly becoming obvious that Ibori desperately needed a stooge as governor and now, feels sadly disappointed that his wishes never came to be. Perhaps, he was bothered that most people continue to point to the era of him (Ibori) as governor and Edevbie as commissioner for finance, when the economy of the state was wreaked and billions of naira allegedly disappeared from the treasury. How did Ibori became an ex-convict?”

On the State Executive Council as presently constituted under governor Oborevwori,the Integrity group said Ibori’s reservations were not backed by empirical facts, as the cabinet was an assemblage of seasoned technocrats,experienced hands and sharp enterprising  youths.

They stated that in less than one year in office,the governor has achieved so much in terms of provision of social infrastructure, to the delight and fulfilment of Deltans who elected him.

The group counseled Ibori to bridle his tongue and noted that his attack on the Oborevwori administration was based on selfish and egotistic emotions and not any egalitarian concerns for the state.

“INTEGRITY GROUP OF DELTA STATE therefore demands that former governor Chief Ibori, should realize that this is the time of Governor Oborevwori. He should accept that Power belongs to God and only the Almighty dispenses it as he pleases” The group stated.


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