As at the last count, 10 aspirants for the PDP governorship ticket have obtained the party expression of interest and nomination forms. The aspirants are both from Ijaw of Delta south and Urhobo of Delta central. Ijaw has three, James Manager, Kingsley Otuaro and Braduce Angozi. The Urhobo aspirants who have obtained forms include Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi, Olorogun David Edevbie, Peter Mrakpor, Fred Majemite, Abel Esievo, Ejaife Odebala and Sheriff Oborevwori.

The race for the coveted seat started in early 2019 immediately the incumbent governor Ifeanyi Okowa was sworn in. We knew many would join the race. But we didn’t know it was going to be as crowded as it is now. It was started by Olorogun Barrister Kenneth Gbagi, former minister of state for education. He was the first to declare intention to run for the governorship of the state.

Since his declaration in 2019, he has remained consistent in his resolve to govern Delta after Senator Ifeanyi Okowa. While declaring, he made great promises for Deltans. He was also the first to obtain the PDP governorship nomination form immediately it was declared open for sale. Now, the race is crowded with 10 political juggernauts who have resolved to take power by all means. Just as Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state said power is not given but you struggle and take it. So, these 10 aspirants are determined barring all advice, especially on the part of the Ijaws to give space to the Urhobos, they have refused to throw in the towel.

But it must be stated that irrespective of the number of persons gunning for the office, only one person will clinch the PDP ticket and become party candidate who will be joined by other party candidates to slug it out on the election day. Some of the aspirants were screened out of the race by DC-23 but despite submitting themselves to the lobby and the group’s verdict, they went ahead to ignore the screening and obtained the nomination forms.

On the part of the three Ijaw brothers who rejected all pleas to sheath their swords, it may not be as rosy as they think. One, from the history of politics in Nigeria, a deputy governor has never taken power from his boss. Many have tried it in different states, it ended in big failure. Otuaro had, however, said he would break the jinx in his time and claim the governorship saying it was a divine mandate which he must fulfill. James Manager has been a senator for almost 20 years representing Delta south, but his impacts are yet to be felt in the red chamber for the period he held sway.

Among the eight Urhobos in the race, Edevbie has been in government for many years as three time commissioner for finance, chief of staff, principal secretary to late former President Umaru Yar’Adua and others. His experience could have paid way for him but there are issues that are standing on his way. He also has acceptance battle with the incumbent Governor Ifeanyi Okowa who has reportedly refused to support his governorship bid. However, he is being heavily backed by Chief James Onanefe Ibori but his rejection by the sitting governor is a big hurdle that seemed to have defied all political medications.

Sheriff Oborevwori rode to the stage to become one of the three names listed by DC-23 on the sttenght of him being speaker of the state house of assembly. There are also allegations against him but he has denied them as having never been involved in such acts being peddled against him. Some persons have said Oborevwori is not capable of being governor citing reasons of being “a yes” man to the powers that be. By that they believe he may only do the bidding of the godfathers and abandon the masses who need the midas touch of governance.

However, Oborevwori’s leadership of the state house of assembly has brought some sanity to the house which was bedeviled with crisis prior to him becoming speaker of the house. He has also said his ability to lead 29 members of the house is an indication that he can use such strenght to lead the state. But many people are still questioning what improvement he has added to the house beyond what Victor Ochei did before he left in 2015.

Peter Mrakpor, a former attorney general of the state has only been in power as justice commissioner in the first and half term of Governor Okowa. His achievement has only been in the activities he carried out as commissioner for justice and attorney general under Okowa’s government. He has listed a number of them, let’s believe they will count for him on the day of primary election.

Olorogun Barrister Kenneth Gbagi, a former minister of state for education, appears to be the man that is taller than all the aspirants. He has received series of recommendations from men of importance in the state. Former Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan has described him as an industrialist, saying this title cannot be taken away from him. Uduaghan could not have made such statement without knowing what he meant by it. As a former governor, he knows the power and strength of everyone that matters and especially the aspirants to the governor’s office.

So many persons in the state have given great testimonies about Gbagi’s achievement while he was minister of state for education. Reports revealed that on a single day, he submitted a memo to the federal executive council during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan which led to establishment of 13 federal universities in the country. One of such is the Federal University of Petroleum Resources (FUPRE) in Effurun, Uvwie local government area of the state. He also established 14 polytechnics and 16 colleges of education across states in the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria.

Gbagi is the most determined governorship aspirant to change the fortune of the state. According to High Chief Victor Emonena Egu Kawhore, Director of Wayles Marine Services, Gbagi is not in the race to amass wealth for his family but for the good of Deltans. He said Gbagi has gotten what he needed for his family and his children but his undying passion for the good of Deltans is the drive behind his ambition to govern Delta. For him, Gbagi is not running for personal aggrandisement but to transform the state and create jobs for all, especially the youths. Hence, he called for support from all Deltans for Gbagi to achieve his goal.

A pro-chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo state, Ambassador Godknows Igali also said Gbagi left indelible footprint behind as education minister. He said Gbagi’s feat will forever be remembered with laurels. As a former minister, he said Gbagi is a man of many parts, very versatile, with life straddling academia, business and politics and community leadership. He added that Gbagi’s foray into business has put food on the table for many families, just as he said many Nigerians are taking care of their homes through Gbagi’s investments.

Gbagi has great business ideas for Delta state. His creative ideas will transform to concrete projects immediately he is sworn in as governor if given the mandate by the good people of Delta state. Arising from his efforts to better people’s lives outside government, it will be a big relief for Delta people to have him as governor.

The local government areas and communities will receive great boost and they will become hubs of empowerment, business, and jobs for all. The battle definitely is getting tough by the day but Deltans, and especially PDP delegates should know what is good for them and their unborn children. The future of Delta should not be mortgaged. Though allegations of stripping girls naked were laid against him, the court has exonerated him of the allegations.

The local government areas and communities will receive great boost and they will become hubs of empowerment, business, and jobs for all. The battle definitely is getting tough by the day but Deltans, and especially PDP delegates should know what is good for them and their unborn children. The future of Delta should not be mortgaged. Though allegations of stripping girls naked were laid against him, the court has exonerated him of the allegations.

Axact

ANAMBRA UPDATE

Anambra Update is an independent publication, established in 2012 for the purpose of presenting balanced coverage of events, and of promoting the best interests of Anambra and Ndigbo in extention. It owes allegiance to no political party, ethnic community, religious or other interest group. Its primary commitment is to the integrity and sovereignty of the Federation of Nigeria, and beyond that to the unity and sovereignty of Igbo Social-Cultural Race

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