BY Omoghene Benedict,
A group, under the aegis of Urhobo Youth Leaders Association, UYLA, has described the dissolution of the state executive by Delta State governor Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa as a laudable master-stroke that will keep the ship of governance in the direction of progress.
The group had also disclosed that, Governor Okowa has no intentions of dismantling Chief James Ibori political structures as it warned politicians against utterances that will cause unity prior to 2023 elections.
Addressing newsmen in Udu local government, president of the group, Chief Tony Ofoni, flanked by his Deputy President, Olorogun Vincent Ogheneruemu Oyibode JP, Vice Chief Austin Atiti and Publicity Secretary, Olorogun Oghotomo Samuel said, “We want to declare total support for the dissolution of the State Executive Council by His Excellency and also caution politicians against utterances that would hit up the polity in 2023.
“Lately we have read with great concern, some publications, public statements and comments by members of the public in both print and electronic media, on the issue of the 2023 gubernatorial elections in Delta state and there had been claims and counterclaims over which senatorial part of the state should produce the next governor of the State.
“What troubled our minds most is allegation that the incumbent Governor of Delta State, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa was working hard to dismantle the 21 years old political structure of Chief James Onanefe Ibori, former Governor of Delta state.
“The Urhobo Youth Leaders Association has resolved not to keep mute while the well-considered actions and activities of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa are being discredited through a well oiled campaign of calumny designed to pitch the governor against the interest of Delta Central in the politics of 2023.
“We are constrained to react because, a statutory step the governor took re-organize his cabinet through dissolution of the former State Executive Council is generating such degree of bad blood and negative comments from a section of the populace.
“Firstly, we want to declare total support for the dissolution of the State Executive Council by His Excellency. A situation where majority members of the State Executive Council including the Secretary to the State Government, Chief of Staff, Commissioners, Special Advisers, Chief Strategist and others are nursing one ambition or the other particularly to take over from the incumbent was a huge distraction to the smooth running of the wheel of governance and only a proactive and decisive action of the governor could save the situation and put the Stronger Delta vision of the administration back on track.
“The dissolution is therefore a laudable master-stroke to keep the ship of governance in the direction of progress
“We are particularly concerned with the attacks and counterattacks by some elements within Delta Central who have been working hard to undo one another in order to be in the good book of the governor.
“This is not the acceptable way of fighting the common course of the Urhobo people. Those characters who are fond of making noise in favour of one leader or the other cannot be invested with the garb of patriots fighting for the cause of Delta central. All hands must be on deck and there is none who is not important in this struggle.
“We condemn the orchestrated plot to drive a wedge between former Governor James Ibori and the incumbent Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, a man with the incredible reputation of being a promise keeper.
“Governor Okowa has no plan to dismantle Chief James Ibori structure as being alleged in some quarters. His remarks so far on 2023 do not in any-way suggest any form of betrayal. He has openly told the jaw nation he never promised them at anytime the Governorship of Delta come 2023. The State Chairman of the party, Chief Kingsley Esiso has at an occasion said in 2020 that it was only fair for the Delta Central to have the Governor in 2023 and that statement did not earn him any query from the Governor of the state. Governor Ifeanyi Okowa is presently the leader of the party in the state.
For the purpose of emphasis, our Governor has no running battle with chief James Ibori and his structures as been claimed in some quarters by mischief makers who want to distort the unity we enjoy in the state.
“Okowa, as a tactical strategist, does not need to make his direction known too early into the game. In the fullness of time, an Urhobo man will emerge as Governor by the grace of God but not on the altar of flexing muscles with the incumbent Governor who must be respected.
“We members of the Urhobo Youth Leaders Association, UYLA wish to appeal to those who are causing confusion in Delta Central to refrain from their destructive path. All Delta Central people should unite behind and work closely with Governor Okowa in the search for a successor in 2023.
“As youths, we are also lobbying interest groups from other senatorial districts without seeking publicity. We insist that lobby groups must work underground without making the noise. Delta Central cannot go alone, we need the other senatorial districts to be able to achieve this goal”.
“We call on leaders and elders not to jeopardize our political future with inflammatory statements capable of causing unrests in the land as we humbly appeal to other senatorial districts of Delta North and South to show understanding and allow Delta Central produce the governor come 2023”.