Home Nigeria Delta 2023: Speaker Oborevwori still in guber race – group
Nigeria - April 21, 2022

Delta 2023: Speaker Oborevwori still in guber race – group

As activities towards the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship primary election intensify, a group, Delta South Leaders and Stakeholders’ Forum, has said the Speaker of Delta State House of Assembly, Hon Sheriff Oborevwori, is still in the race as one of the aspirants contrary to media reports that he might be opting out to contest for the Okpe/Uvwie/Sapele federal constituency seat in the House of Representatives.

 

The Chairman and Convener of the Forum, Mike Loyibo, who said this in a statement sent to newsmen in Asaba, added that the clarification became necessary due to media reports that the state Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, may have washed his hands off the activities of the group particularly as it concerns the reported “endorsement of Oborebwori” as the preferred aspirant of ‘Delta South PDP Leaders’ who is allegedly enjoying the favour of the governor.

Prominent members of the aforementioned Delta South PDP Leaders’ group, include Bashorun Askia Ogieh, managing director of the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC), and Hon Michael Diden, the chairman of DESOPADEC, who is an ally of Oborevwori, and a Delta South senatorial aspirant of the party, poised to square up against former state Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, in the PDP primary election.

Loyibo denied that the governor had called a halt to a meeting to endorse the Delta Central governorship hopeful, Oborevwori, or the DESOPADEC Chairman, Diden, claiming that the group had earlier endorsed him in Warri at a meeting attended by all the aspirants.

He noted that rather than being summoned by the governor to his Owa-Alero country home, they had cut short their Friday meeting in Asaba to keep an appointment with the governor.

“At the famous Peemos meeting in Warri, which had in attendance all aspirants and stakeholders, we singled out the Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Chief Sheriff Oborevwori, and endorsed him as our preferred governorship aspirant.

Loyibo, who was silent on reports that pressure was on Oborevwori to run for the House of Representatives position, said: “We held a meeting at Askia’s House in Asaba and it was a one-agenda meeting to brief members on the happenings.”

However, the Speaker’s elaborate consultative tour of the 25 local government areas of the state about his gubernatorial ambition was alleged to be bankrolled by DESOPADEC’s helmsmen, but Okowa has repeatedly denied the allegations that he had anointed Oborevwori or any other aspirant as his apparent successor, insisting that he would liaise with the state PDP executive council to ensure that all qualified aspirants are given a fair playing field.

Nevertheless, Oborevwori’s gubernatorial ambition ship has run into fresh trouble water following the decision of the sociocultural organisation of Urhobo ethnic nationality, the Urhobo Progress Union (UPU), to formally endorse the aspiration of Olorogun David Edevbie, who also hails from Delta Central senatorial district as Oborevwori, Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi, Chief Ejaife Odebala, Peter Mrakpor (SAN), Chief Abel Esievo, Chief Fred Majemite and several other governorship aspirants.

The UPU also endorsed Edevbie’s governorship candidature in 2014 in the buildup to the 2015 election, but the three-time state Commissioner for Finance lost in the primary to the eventual winner of the governorship election, Okowa.

The same UPU leaders had earlier been reported by his campaign team to have “endorsed” Oborevwori at a colourful meeting with the UPU last month before this seeming twist.

Meanwhile, the leadership of the UPU in a communique issued on April 17, 2022, justified its consensus on Edevbie.

It was signed by Olorogun Moses O. Taiga, president-general of the group; Dr. Anthony Onoharigho, first deputy president-general; Chief Godwin Notoma,

chairman, Forum of Presidents-General of the 24 Urhobo Kingdoms; Chief (Mrs.) Christy Siakpere, president, UPU Women Wing; and Ovie Ebireri, president, UPU Youth Wing.

While appealing to Governor Okowa to forgive Edevbie of any perceived ‘transgression’, the move was born out of the union’s determination to ensure that an Urhobo emerges the governor in 2023 through a united front.

In the statement titled: ‘Delta State Governorship 2023: Our Stand, Our Choice’, the UPU said it settled for Edevbie as the best after a four-day rigorous engagement with all Delta Central PDP aspirants for the office of governor.

“After thoroughly examining and analysing all the aspirants, we have, however, reached the consensus that Olorogun David Edevbie is the best person for the job at this time. Over time, he has acquired impressive public sector experience, both locally in Delta State and federal government, and prior outstanding international development finance experience.

“We hereby sincerely plead with all our sons to prevail on them all to support and collaborate with the consensus choice of the UPU Worldwide for the collective interest of our dear Urhobo nation. We ask for their understanding at this critical time in the history of the Urhobo nation.

“We need to take note of the current political atmosphere in Delta State and the seeming attempt to deliberately undermine the interest of the Urhobo people in the 2023 governorship race. In this regard, the government of the Urhobo nation, the UPU, is under obligation at all times and in all circumstances to defend, protect and promote the interest of the Urhobo nation and its people. The UPU is unequivocally committed to the emergence of an Urhobo person as the next governor of Delta State in 2023,” the stated in the communique.

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