By Timi Black
Political leaders and stakeholders of Ukwuani Local Government Area of Delta State have maintained that the Urhobo and Ukwuani people are brothers, sisters, neighbours and friends who can work together for a better Delta State.
This was stated when the leaders and members of Delta Central 2023 (DC-23) lobby group paid a consultative visit to them at Obiaruku, Delta State, adding that DC-23 should continue to support Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to finish strong.
Engr.Chief Patrick Kaine, Chairman of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, Ukwuani Local Government Area, who spoke on behalf of the leaders and stakeholders, said most of the points raised by DC-23 from 1998, 1999 to date are traceable.
The chairman further stated: “you have spoken well, the Ukwuani people and the Urhobos are friends and neighbours. In Obiaruku here there is a place called Umuedede that is occupied by Urhobo people. So you are our brothers and sisters. The Ukwuani man does not hate u, he loves the Urhobo people.
“All you have said are all facts but today we have a working governor and leader. We are all going to beg you to support Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa to finish well. When the time comes nobody will run away.
“It will be one way arrangement, so let’s support him to finish strong because if he finishes well, it will be better for whoever that is coming to take over the position. On that note, we plead and beg the Urhobo people to support Okowa to finish strong and when the time comes we will be there together “, he added.
Earlier, the National Chairman of DC-23, Senator (Chief) Ighoyota Amori, noted that the body was a lobby group made up of card carrying members of the PDP in the Delta Central Senatorial District to lobby support for the governorship seat for the district in 2023
He added that the DC-23 was not different from the G-3 of the Delta South Senatorial District that was formed to drive the process of the election of immediate past governor of the state, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, and the Anioma Agenda that was formed in 2014 to propel the process of the election of the current governor of the state, Senator (Dr.) Ifeanyi Okowa.
According to him, “those who want to contest against the aspirants of Delta Central Senatorial district have their argument for the governorship seat, likewise us, but we can’t talk of zoning on ethnic lines because the state is made up of various ethnic groups like Urhobo, Ijaw, Itsekiri, Isoko, Ika, Ndokwa, Oshimili, Aniocha and few others; hence, the appeal from us to maintain the zoning arrangement on the basis of senatorial districts in the state.”
“The claim by some persons that the governorship seat, since it had gone round the three senatorial districts, it should be done as ‘osusu’ that can start from any district, and that they are canvassing for senatorial district and not ethnic is not right. My question is, if not an ethnic agenda, why is it that the Itsekiris and Isokos of Delta South Senatorial District are not in their lobby team, like ours that you have leaders of the eight local government areas in the team,” he wondered.
“It is only zoning on senatorial district order that the PDP can continue with its winning streak in the state. So, what we are pushing for is how a sustainable system can be established where when it gets to the turn of your senatorial district, no one from other senatorial districts will contest against the benefitting district. So, the argument that Urhobo or other ethnic groups contested during the turn of other senatorial districts will no longer be there,” he clarified.
He pointed out that the DC-23 was not lobbying or campaigning for any particular aspirant, but to ensure that the governorship seat moved to the Delta Central Senatorial District in 2023 on the platform of the existing zoning for the seat in the state.
He appealed to the leaders and stakeholders of Ukwuani Local Government Area to support the DC-23 push for zoning arrangement on senatorial districts to enhance the chances of the PDP continuing in the governance of the state beyond 2023.
Leaders and Stakeholders of Ukwuani Local Government Area that were present during the visit included Engr. (Chief) Patrick Kaine, Engr. G. O. C Amuchi, Sir. Fidelis Tilije, Commissioner for Finance, Delta State; Chief Terry Otuya, Chief Isaac Onyesom, Chief Godday Aboh, Col. Okubo (rtd), Dr. Neye Ossai, Sir. Ken Okolugbo, Benedicta Osakwuni Esq., Hon. Nwabueze Kingsley, Hon. Oliver Agidi, Hon. Atumah Isaiah, Hon. Evelyn Olugu, Dr. Ismaita Okudeje, Ogbuefi Chukwudi Dafe, Hon. Nelson Ekete, Chief Monday Ossai, Chief John Ishiekwene, Chief B. J. K Ekezue, Mrs. Ada Okwenene, Chief Ashibudike Otutu, Comr. Connigham Udogwu, Hon. Leo Esegbue, Hon. Basil Ishiekwene and many others.
DC-23 leaders and members that attended the meeting included Senator (Chief) Ighoyota Amori, National Chairman; Chief Suru Salami, 2nd Vice Chairman; Olorogun Bernard Edewor, Deputy Chairman, BoT; Dr. Chris Oharisi, National Secretary, Olorogun Taleb Tebite, National Financial Secretary; Hon. Godwin Atose, National Organizing Secretary; Hon. (Chief) Sunday Apah, Assistant National Publicity Secretary; Chief Christian Onogba, National Assistant Organizing Secretary; Dcn Raymond Edijala, National Assistant Treasurer; Hon. Festus Pemu, Assistant National Publicity Secretary; and Princess Philo Ededey, Assistant National Welfare Officer.
Others were: Chief Ejaife Odebala, Chief Dr. Mrs. Philomena Oyearone, Chief Mrs. Margret Unukegwo, Chief Moses Orhokpor, Chief London Akpanoko, Engr. Emmanuel Ishaka, Mr. Francis Onogbo, Chief Bestman Itive, Chief Solomon Oturu, Chief Duncan Ewhere, Prince Charles Abutor, Dr. Joseph Onojame, Dr. S. E Omovie, Chief Michael Akpobasa, Chief Collins Eboh, Chief Friday Orugbo, Chief Efe Juweto, Chief Onoriode Ishegbe, Ms Maureen Ughojor, Chief Dr. Isaac Akpoveta, Hon. Francis Okan, Prince Samuel Robinson, Chief David Ejukonemu, Dr. Amos Ighoroje, Dr. Godwin Oke, Eruke Asore, Maidoh-Oyearone Iroro, Jennifer Adasen Efeviroro, Etabuko Godfrey, Christopher Ophori, Lucky Esokpor, Chief Abraham Odjighoro, Engr. Eric Osiobe, Mr. Ejimitowovwon Emmanuel, Mr. Benjamin Ogbimi, Mr. Efe Itie, Sir. Joseph Enakerakpor, Rev. Milton Ojamedaye, Hon. Sunday Adjamue, Representatives of Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori, Representatives of Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi, Representatives of Olorogun David Edevbie, Representatives of Senator Emmanuel Aguariavwodo, Representatives of Chief James Augoye and others.