By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
Former Minister of State for Education, Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi, has boasted that nothing would stop the chances of the Urhobo people to produce the successor of the current Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, in the next gubernatorial election in 2023.
He claimed that Governor Okowa was ready to respect the existing zoning arrangement for the governorship position in the state among the senatorial districts of the state, declaring that Okowa owes Urhobo indigenes the duty for the governorship seat in 2023.
Gbagi, who made this known in Yenagoa during a reception organized in his honour by the Urhobo Indigenes in Bayelsa State, assured the Urhobo nation that the massive support for the Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa administration was based on the existing agreement on rotation.
He said “All of you here would have shot yourself on the foot, you would have denied yourself, your children the born and yet unborn, grandchildren were you not to defend what God has given to you. There is no discussion while we will relax and work with our other two senatorial districts. Nothing on earth would remove governorship from Urhobo land. Turn by turn we have done ours. It has gone round. It went to the South, it left the south. It went to the north and by the natural act of God, it is coming back to us”.
According to Gbagi, “In 1998 and 1999, when it was then decided that we are going to play politics, we were three Urohobos apart from other senatorial districts. It was all pre-planned that Urhobo will produce the governor of Delta State as of that time, it was Chief James Ibori, Professor Sam Oyovbaire and myself that ran the Governorship primaries in Delta State”
“As it is in my nature when Chief James Ibori emerged as governor, we did not run away from the party. He did his tenure, finished and left. But I was the main agitator for Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa as of that time to do governorship on the basis of zoning”.
He, however, pleaded with the Urhobo indigenes to always show support for the administration of Gov. Okowa to allow the PDP administration in Delta State finish strong, ”What I want you people to do and continuously do is to pray for Okowa to finish strong. Okowa is a very wise politician, Okowa knows how we started. If I do over 200 articles on why everybody should let Okowa continue its first and second term, it is because we have an agreement. He holds the Urhobo a duty. We have a lot of Urhobos trying to contest today under the platform of our party but they are not all Urhobo.”
On the number of Governorship aspirants ahead of the 2023 governorship race on the platform of the PDP, Olorogun Gbagi noted that most of those challenging his aspirations are not qualified based on the reasons behind their aspirations, saying that they don’t have investments in Delta State and does not have the interest of the state at heart.
“So, if they don’t have investments in Delta State, it is suitable for them to cause trouble to fight and destroy the place and run to Ghana and Dubai. But I cannot come and fight in Delta State because my investment and everything is in Delta State”, he said.