Delta 2023: Governor Okowa Testing the Political Water

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Despite saying that Zoning has made us be happier, more united, and living in peace  in February 2019, Governor Okowa of Delta state has gone ahead to dissolve his cabinet on the ground that there are distractions coming from political office holders two years to the end of his tenure

By Ovie Edomi

Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa at a media pally today in Asaba, the state capital explained why he fired his Chief of Staff, the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), 25 Commissioners,  Chief strategist of the Government, all his special advisers and senior political advisers, leading to the dissolution of the State Executive Council.

According to Governor Okowa the decision to dissolve the cabinet was to reduce the level of distraction in the governance of the State in his last two years in office.

It would be recalled that shortly after the D-23, a pressure group working for an Urhobo candidate to emerge as PDP flag bearer in the 2023 Governorship election, formed a National executive, and Urhobo politicians declaring their intentions to contest the 2023 Governorship, days later the state Exco was dissolved.

Those that have declared their intentions to contest the Governorship election from Delta Central Senatorial zone were, Rtn Ovie Agas, Olorogun David Edevbie, Hon James Augoye, Senator Emmanuel Aguariavwode, and Chief Kenneth Opara.

Earlier former Minister for State Education, Chief Kenneth Gbagi as well as two-time Commissioner in Delta State, Hon Fred Majemite have told party leaders and religious leaders in different consultation meetings that they are aspiring to govern the State though they have not publicly declared their intentions.


This Reporter gathered that the D-23 went ahead to form the pressure group ahead of the party primaries scheduled for next year in order to have sufficient time to galvanize support from the two other Senatorial zones believing that it is the turn of Delta Central to produce the governor come 2023.

But, the governor was quoted recently as saying that “a gentleman agreement is an agreement that is not written. I want to believe that that is what it is supposed to be. But, whether there was any further meeting in which a gentleman agreement was reached, there has been no formal meeting in which a gentleman agreement was reached as at today”. Furthermore, Okowa noted “It means that whatever we are doing and talking about today, it is about what is fair, what is equitable, and how to define what is fair, and to define what is equitable, and justiciable.

Curiously, this recent statement of the Delta State Governor has been interpreted from different dimensions. Though Okowa said only God knows who will be Governor after him. He however stated “I cannot pretend to be God, for I am not. I don’t know who God is going to bring. I do not have an intention of playing the role of God “Accordingly he said” But the real truth is, when the politics start, politics will be played.

But l know that God Almighty will take the decision of who will be Governor. Meanwhile, it would however be recalled that two years ago before his election for second tenure the Delta State Governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, Deputy Governor Burutu Otuaro, former Governor James Ibori, elder statesman, Prof. Sam Oyovbaire, among other prominent Deltans restated their commitment to the re-election of Governor Okowa in line with zoning principles during the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) campaign tour of the 25 local government areas of the state. They spoke at a well-attended campaign rally of the PDP held at Owa-Oyibu, Ika North-East local government area of Delta State, home of the governor. At that rally, Governor Okowa expressed gratitude to Deltans for coming out in their large numbers at campaign rallies, observing that the rotational principle has cemented the bond of unity in the state.

The governor stated, “I am happy with the crowd that I am seeing here today; God bless Ika nation, God bless Deltans for this show of solidarity; in our state, no one is talking about any other political party, it is all about the PDP. ” Furthermore he stated “I thank our leaders for the support, in every part of Delta State, we have no fear because we have agreed on turn-by-turn, zoning has made us be more patient, happier, more united and living in peace,”  Besides the governor said, “we have agreed as a people that we have done very well in the area of road construction, we have empowered our youths, assisted our women and now, I am more experienced, we have more money and the next four years will be better, we shall triple what we have done; cast your votes for all the candidates of the PDP and protect your votes because it is democratic to do so.”

Equally, Deputy Governor Otuaro thanked Deltans for resolving to zone political offices, assuring that Governor Okowa will do better in the next four years.

Also, Chief James Ibori, former Governor said at the rally, “we will continue to say it, this is the turn of Anioma, we will support him (Governor Okowa) to complete two terms; all our brothers and sisters in Delta Central should, please, give peace a chance, they should tarry a while for the next four years and support Governor Okowa to complete two terms.”

Besides, Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa on 3rd Feb. 2019 noted “In every part of Delta State, we have no fear because we have agreed on turn-by-turn. Zoning has made us be more patient, happier, more united, and living in peace,”

Meanwhile, former Governor, James Ibori said he was confident that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa would hand over to an elected Delta Central indigene in 2023, as promised during his campaign.

Ibori, however, noted that time was still far away, wondered why some PDP politicians outside the district were agitating for the ticket. According to former Governor James Ibori, “Governor Okowa, during his campaign, promised to hand over to Delta Central; and as a gentleman and promise keeper, we have no doubt he will do everything within his God-given powers to keep his promise.

The implication is that there is indeed a turn-by-turn arrangement in Delta state PDP. A source close to a former Senator in the state said that there is a secret plot to prevail on a former governor of Delta to adopt a Senator who served under a former governor’s administration as the party anointed candidate and all other aspirants would be made to line up behind him.

However, another source in Asaba told this Reporter that Governor Okowa is more inclined to allowing God’s choice to emerge but he is equally looking at a two-time Commissioner from Delta Central as a better candidate for the Governorship.

How the governor alongside former governor James Ibori will handle this remains to be seen in the coming months.

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