Immediate past governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, CON, has said his predecessor in office, James Ibori would soon declare his stand as far as the 2023 governorship race is concerned.
The position of Ibori has remained unclear following the failure of his preferred candidate, David Edevbie, to clinch the governorship ticket of the People Democratic Party (PDP)
However, Uduaghan, an elder cousin of Ibori, has declared his support for the PDP candidate, Sheriff Oborevwori.
During a solidarity visit to Oborevwori at Osubi, Uduaghan said his latest endorsement of the PDP candidate was borne of personal conviction, pointing out that he was not under compulsion to do so.
He said Ibori who is the leader of the Delta PDP and father of the Ibori Political Dynasty, was aware of his latest position, and urged PDP faithfuls to be committed to the party.
“Chief Ibori and I are not quarreling over this matter. He has accepted my latest decision to support you. He may publicly declare his stance soon and I know he loves the party more than all of us,” he said.
Re-affirming his support for Oborevwori and all the candidates of the PDP in the elections, Uduaghan said: “I was not under any form of compulsion to support you. I am at a stage in my life where I do things based on my conviction.
“The Supreme Court has ratified your candidacy and gave you the go-ahead to campaign. So we are all out to support you.
“You are the candidate who has been subjected to court processes the most in Delta. I was the sitting Governor who had been taken to court the most. So we share something in common.
“I declare today again to stand behind you and every PDP candidate in the forthcoming elections,” he re-affirmed.
Dr. Uduaghan advised the candidate to be cautious of landmines ahead in the governorship race.
“There is still a lot to be done before the elections. You need to pass through the heat you are passing through now in order to be governor. God has blessed you. Do not take it for granted. Hold him close because there are bumpier hurdles ahead,” he admonished.
He also urged PDP faithfuls to remain committed to the party, saying “If you say you are behind somebody, stay there. If you think you will remain in the PDP and be working for a candidate of another party, in no time, you will be found out.
“You will not be trusted by those whom you betray your party for. Please if you are here, stay here because politics is a very slippery venture.
“I want to plead that the issue of our party’s presidential ticket be taken seriously like the governorship.
“The vice presidential candidate, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa is the first person from our state who has achieved this feat. Hate him or like him, he is a Deltan. Let us support him. His emergence will be to all of our interests,” he added.
Responding, Oborevwori who is the current Speaker of the state House of Assembly, thanked Dr. Uduaghan overwhelmingly for the visit, declaring that it was a “great show of love” from his leader and former governor.
He revealed that he has been trying to be the first to come visit Dr. Uduaghan but was beaten to it by his big-hearted leader.
“Your Excellency, your name has been trending in the media because of your recent decision. Another move that struck my heart was when you went to your LGA and Ward to campaign 5/5 for us.
“This is very dear to me. I am happy that you are campaigning for your brother, Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa. I am not the most qualified but I believe it is the will of God.
“My life’s story is like that of David in the Bible. I appreciate you for believing in our 5/5 and also reaching out to people to ensure that the party puts up a united front ahead of the elections.
“I am a man with excessive local content. That was one of the reasons you appointed me Special Adviser in your administration.
“I have said this severally but let me say it before you Sir. Raising the hand of someone who contested against your daughter is very moving to me.
“You have shown us that we should not sacrifice the general interest of the party for personal interest. You will be remembered by history for a long long time,” he said.
He concluded by giving a hint about his agenda for Deltans.
“My M.O.R.E Agenda is my social contract with Deltans. Amongst all the candidates, I am the one that is in-tune with the ordinary people.
“I don’t believe in talking too much but I will do what will directly impact the lives of the people. I am a Warri man to the core. I live amongst the ordinary people and so I know their pains very well. I want to be a servant leader.
“We are very happy having you with us sir,” he concluded.