ELDER statesman, Chief Edwin Clark, has said he is unaware of any treaty by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to hand over power to Ijaw ethnic nationality in Delta South senatorial district in 2023.
Some news platform had reported that Okowa, who hails from Delta North senatorial district, allegedly swore to an oath, years ago, to hand over power to Ijaw in 2023.
Clark, an Ijaw, said such accord was not known to him, but explained the arrangement to make Kingsley Otuaro deputy governor was sealed in his Asokoro, Abuja residence by five persons, namely, Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, Senator James Manager, Otuaro, Senator Okowa and himself (Clark).
He said: “It is not to my knowledge and I was never a party to an arrangement that Okowa should hand over to an Ijaw person at the end of his term and there was no working accord known to me.
“It was not a part of the arrangement when I decided to support Dr Ifeanyi Okowa in 2015. It was not a matter between the Aniomas and the Ijaws. It was not based on any condition other than competence, equity and, fair play.
“Some of us championed the cause of Delta North producing the governor of Delta State in 2015 for inclusiveness and unity of the state.
“For record purposes, I would like to mention how in 2014, His Majesty, Prof Edozien, the Asagba of Asaba, accompanied by 11 traditional rulers of Anioma extraction with Chief Benjamin Elue, former deputy governor of Delta State, as Anioma Congress secretary, came to pay me a visit, requesting that an Anioma indigene be considered for the governorship of Delta state in 2015, and to support them in their demand for Anioma State.
“Prof Edozien after our discussions, invited me to Asaba, to attend a mega rally organised at the Cenotaph, Asaba. I was the guest of honour, in order to identify with the Anioma, I dressed in Anioma attire. When it was my turn to speak in reply to their address, I assured them that I will support their request, and will see that it is realised.
“At a subsequent meeting, with the then governor of Delta State, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, I discussed the matter with him and we agreed that the Delta North should produce the gubernatorial candidate of PDP in 2015, for proper integration in the state.
“That was the reason why we recommended Dr Steve Oru to replace Godsday Orubebe as a Minister representing Delta State in Dr Goodluck Jonathan’s government, instead of Dr Cairo Ojougboh who is also from Anioma. Dr Ojougboh then took Dr Oru’s position as the Vice Chairman of the PDP in South-South.
“I will like to state with the greatest respect that the main beneficiaries of these series of interactions is our competent and intelligent governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, the incumbent Governor of Delta state
“It is at this juncture that Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, came to me in Abuja, where we decided to adopt the candidature of Dr Ifeanyi Okowa.
“The arrangement for Okowa to become PDP gubernatorial candidate in Delta State with Otuaro as his deputy was finally sealed in my house.”
Sources: Vanguard Newspaper online