- Okowa rooting for Ijaw Succesor
- No! Its Our Turn say Urhobo Leaders
Damian Obuh, Asaba- As 2023 draws near it seems that the political elite in Delta State might not yet have come to a sort of consensus about who may likely succeed the incumbent governor come 2003.
With Okowa’s terms in office coming to an end, speculations have been rife about who would succeed Okowa. Given the state’s peculiar zoning arrangement which has seen power rotate between the three senatorial zones as well as the major ethnic groups in Delta, there has been a conflict on which zone is to succeed Okowa.
With James Ibori as governor from 1999 to 2007 power moved from Delta Central Senatorial District to Delta South under Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan who is Itsekiri by tribe. By 2015, power moved to the North as presently experienced under the administration of Ifeanyi Okowa.
The quarel this time around is centred on the insistence of the Urhobo’s who are the majority ethnic group in Delta Central. The Urhobos have argued that since power has been to.all the zones then power should return back to the central zone. However, the incumbent governor, Ifeanyi Okowa is rather insisting that power should shift to another ethnic group and he is allegedly rooting for an Ijaw person. Such a stance will automatically foreclose the.chances of the Urhobo from producing the governor and rather push power again to Delta South region which is dominated by the Ijaw, Isoko and Itsekiri people. This has irked the Urhobo people who believe that such a ploy is part of the marginalization agenda of the Okowa administration.
Speaking to realpoliticsnigeria.ng, a top chieftain of the PDP and a prominent Urhobo politician who preferred to be anonymous told us that the Urhobo nation would resist the attempts of the governor to ignore the zoning structure as presently implemented or to tinker with it. ” At no point did the zoning structure go along ethnic lines alone. Ibori was Urhobo, Uduaghan,Itsekiri and now Okowa, a Delta Igbo all from the three senatorial districts that make up Delta State. The governor has been carrying out a well concerted marginalization agenda against the Urhobo nation, but you see this issue of zoning will be his Waterloo. Why didn’t they zone it to the Ijaw or Isoko in the past electoral periods, why is it now that Okowa is trying to cause such confusion, power should rotate back to Central, that is fair and the simple thing to do. The Urhobo nation will resist such” He said.
Efforts made to reach the governor’s office and get his response proved abortive as calls to his media aides and Special Adviser on Political Matters were not responded nor returned.