Former governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan has said clamour by the Ijaw speaking people of the state to produce the next governor was not out of place but very critical.
Uduaghan who stated this when he received a high powered delegation led by Alaowei Broderick Bozimo on behalf of the Delta Ijaw for Governor 2023 Lobby Team at his home in Warri, admitted that the Ijaw supported him to be Governor from 2007 to 2015.
The former governor who noted that the itsekiri are more closer to the Ijaw as an ethnic group, expressed joy that the Ijaw speaking people are now coming together politically to speak in one voice and expressed hope that they (Ijaw) will trim their sons who are interested in becoming governor to one for easy marketing.
“I am happy that the ijaw people politically are coming together to say first we want this position. Secondly, these are the people interested in the position and I want to advice that you go and trim those who are interested and make it one, it will make it marketable,” he noted.
He said the trio of the Deputy Governor, Deacon Kingsley Otuaro, Senator James Manager and Dr Braduze Angozi who have indicated interest are all eminently qualified to govern the state.
“The three names you have mentioned are all well known to us, they are capable, anyone of them.”
The former Governor said as an individual, he had an already answer for the request of the ijaw for Governor in 2023 but he needed to consult with the Itsekiri nation after which he will get back to them on their position because their request was made to the Itsekiri nation.
Uduaghan said, “If its for me, I know the answer to give you, but I will consult Itsekiri nation. I have heard all you said, we will discuss among ourselves and come back to you. But we too we have our request, you scratch my back i scratch your back.”
“It is a request on behalf of the Itsekiri nation but the Ijaw nation request is very important, I had great support from the Ijaw people during my elections as governor,” he added.
Uduaghan expressed delight that the ethnic strain between the ijaw and itsekir have been wiped out as inter ethnic marriages have been taking place.
“Today the ethnic strain that was there at that period have been wiped out, we are back to friendship, inter ethnic marriage are now going on,” he said.
Speaking on belief in some quarters that himself and Chief Edwin Clark are not in good term, the former governor said there was no any misunderstanding between them, just as he described Chief Clark as his father and leader.
Earlier, leader of the Delta Ijaw for Governor 2023 Lobby team and former Minister of Police Affairs, Alaowei Broderick Bozimo clarified that they (Ijaw) were not opposed to the PDP zoning of offices in the state, stressing that they have the desire to become governor in 2023 as a people from Delta South Senatorial District.
He said, “We have a special mission to ask for your favour. The mission I have led, we are not against the PDP zoning but then we have already completed the first round, like osusu, it doesn’t mean it must start from you again, life is not like that” stressing that ‘the Ijaw clamour for governor was not about ethnicity but fairness, justice and equity.”
Alaowei Bozimo pleaded with the Itsekiri nation to support the Ijaw speaking people for governor in 2023 as they had supported other senatorial districts for governor.
He said they have waited for twenty four years while others have just waited for sixteen years, saying that the Ijaw are also human beings who want to occupy the office of governor.
The former Minister said the Ijaw and itsekiri have so many things in common judging from their terrain, sufferings and the long relationship, adding that it was not about ethnicity but Delta South and Ijaw.
He told the Itsekiri leaders that the group will also visit former Governor James Ibori on the issue, just as he described him as a leader to the Ijaw people.
“In due course we will go and explain to him. Ibori stood for Alameseigha on resource control, he is a friend of the Ijaw and he is referred to as the deputy governor general of the Ijaw nation“, Bozimo concluded.
Those who accompanied Bozimo in the visit include: Gen. Broderick Demeyeibo rtd; Hon. K.O Preyor, Deputy Majority Leader, DTHA; Hon. Emomotimi Guwor, DTHA; Hon. Barry Gbe, Commissioner for Economic Planning Delta State; Hon. Emmanuel Angbaduba, Commissioner nominee; Hon. Daniel O. Yingi, Special Adviser Nominee; Chief J.T Government, Chairman,Governoring Board, Delta State School of Marine Technology Burutu.
Also in the delegation were: Barr. Neworld Safugha, Former Commissioner for Energy; Hon. Paul Kurugbe, Member SPEB; Barr. David Ekerokosu, former Commissioner, Oil and Gas; Chief James Nieketein, SSA to the Governor; Hon. Stella Agidee SSA to the Governor;
Hon.Collins Olorogun, SSA to the Governor; Eng. Ezonfade Oyakemeagbegha, INC Publicity Secretary; Hon. Joel Bisina, Former Commissioner; Dr. Chris Ekiyor, former President, IYC; Eric Omare, Former President, IYC; Dr. Doubra Collins Okotete , IYC Western Zone, amongst others.
In the Itsekiri delegation were: Hon. Thomas Ereyitomi; Chief Solomon Arenyenka; Hon. (Mrs) Irene Imilar; Hon. Jackson Omatsola; Hon. Misan Ukubenyinje; Hon. Vincent Uduaghan; Chief Eyituoyo Maku; Hon. Tim Orugboh; Hon. Godwin Toju Abigor; Hon.Tunde Fregene; Mrs. Mercy Hesse, amongst others.