Nosa Akenzua – Asaba
Ahead 2023 Delta State governorship elections, the Urhobos have commenced move to actualise the purported zoning arrangement in the state.
With Governor Ifeanyi Okowa yet to settle down for his second term in office, strong indications have emerged that the Ijaws might jettison the purported zoning arrangement within the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP) in the state for the Urhobos to produce the next governor.
Sources say some interest groups of the Urhobos stock are allegedly enmeshed in controversy of double standard and have been branded ‘bad legs’ among those working ahead of 2023 for an Urhobo person to become the governor.
Tobiri Okpuromu, a strong Ijaw activist who spoke to Journalists in Asaba on Sunday alleged that the zoning arrangement portends marginalisation and a cheat to the Ijaws if an Urhobo person emerged as the governor of the state come 2023, insisting that the arrangement cannot work.
“We have been watching with keen interest the moves by the Urhobos even when Governor Ifeanyi Okowa is yet to settle down for his second term in office that it’s their turn.
Let me assure you that the zoning will not work and we Ijaws are not part of the zoning again, it’s outright marginalisation and cheat for us. We are contesting the 2023 governorship elections in Delta, and it is our turn to produce the next governor after Okowa,” Okpuromu disclosed.
But the state coordinator of New Nigeria Democratic Evolution (NNDE), Comrade Francis Obule has urged the people of Okpe, Sapele and Uvwie Federal Constituency to get prepared for the 2023 Delta State governorship race.
Obule who spoke to Journalists in Asaba on Sunday said that the call became necessary for the Urhobos to form a formidable group to take their turn as it would be Urhobo to have the governorship position come 2023.
He noted that Urhobo nation has three federal constituencies, stressing that Ethiope Federal Constituency produced Chief James Ibori as governor while Ughelli/Udu federal Constituency produced Olorogun Felix Ibru remaining Okpe, Sapele and Uvwie Federal Constituency.
Obule stated that going by the zoning arrangement of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), it’s obvious that Okpe, Sapele and Uvwie Federal Constituency turn to produce the next Delta State governor come 2023,
adding that the only way they could achieve the dream was coming together as one entity to agitate for the governorship position.
While urging the Urhobos to mobilise to produce one aspirant against others, Obule affirmed that based on equity, fairness and justice,
It’s obvious that Okpe Sapele and Uvwie federal Constituency should have the governorship in 2023 when it comes to Delta Central Senatorial District, stressing that they have not had the opportunity to produce a deputy governor nor governor since the creation of Delta State in 1991.
Last week, the state chairman of the PDP, Barr Kingsley Esiso had during a chat with Journalists in Asaba said it was too early for Urhobo agitation for 2023, saying that the time will dictate the true position of the Urhobos.
Since then, the Ijaws have through various interviews with Journalists alleged that the purported zoning arrangement might spell doom for the party if Urhobos have their way when Ijaws who make the highest votes have never been governor; instead they get deputy, a position for second fiddle.