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By Sunday Apah
Traditional rulers of the Isoko ethnic nationality has stated emphatically that they had joined the Delta Central 2023 lobby group to produce the next governor of Delta State in 2023.
The traditional rulers urged the Urhobo people not to forget that the Isoko people were also qualified for strategic positions in the state government when they finally produce the next governor in the state.
The traditional rulers, who made this known when leaders and members of DC-23 paid consultative visit to them at Otor-Owhe in Isoko North Local Government Area of the state, said that the DC-23 visit was home coming of brothers and sisters.
The traditional rulers, who spoke through HRM Inana, Okpuzo of Owhe Kingdom and HRM Anthony Ogbogbo, Ibuka I, Ovie of Ozoro Kingdom and Chairman, Traditional Rulers of Oil Mineral Producing Communities, Delta State Chapter, stated that Urhobos were becoming more united because they now had a common forum known as Urhobo and Isoko unity Forum.
They noted that before now, there used to be traditional and historical bond that brought the two nationalities together, saying that it explained the truism that they were one in unity of purpose.
They explained that “Urhobo and Isoko are one. We are not saying that because of fear, but it is the fact. So, our being one should not come up only when we are fighting for something. When what we are fighting for is achieved, let’s not forget ourselves.”
“After the result of what we are fighting for, the Urhobo people should remember us. We are happy that you did not come here with a particular aspirant in mind,” they added.
“Talk to the aspirants not to fight themselves and cause disaffection among our people because when there is disaffection among the aspirants, the supporters would be divided, and the purpose of DC-23 will not be achieved; your exercise then would be in futility,” they advised.
“Most of you here will work with whoever that will emerge governor of Delta State come 2023; as such, don’t derail him, because the euphoria of being elected into office changes human behaviour. Isoko must be considered for prominent positions. You must continue to engage the political class of Isoko nation. On our part will always liaise with them,” they added.
“The members of DC-23 we are seeing here cut across the length and breath of the Urhobo Nation. The greatest thing that affects somebody that is not too strong is the fear of the unknown. We the Isoko people might not be too many, but we fear the unknown, that is why the English man says that it is the fear of the unknown that weighs heavily on the reserves of courage,” they noted.
“But with the caliber of faces we are seeing here today, I know we are home. Today, we are signing a reference pact treaty with you,” they added.
“Before the meeting, we resolved not to speak with double mouth, that is why the President General of IDU, its patron, and some selected Isoko sons are here. And whatever we are saying, we have their mandate, the only thing we require is when urhobo man gets to the government House in Asaba, don’t forget us,” they reiterated.
“We are aware that the Urhobos are many in number, but coming here is enough respect for us, to have identified with us that we are brothers and sisters is enough respect for us and we are going to stand by you, but when that comes don’t shy away from us,” they added.
Earlier, the National Chairman of DC-23, Senator (Chief) Ighoyota Amori, stated that the body was a lobby group made up of card carrying members of the PDP in the Delta Central Senatorial District to lobby support for the governorship seat for the district in 2023.
He noted that the DC-23 was not different from the G-3 of the Delta South Senatorial District that was formed to drive the process of election of immediate the past governor of the state, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, and the Anioma Agenda that was formed in 2014 to propel the process of election of the current governor of the state, Senator (Dr.) Ifeanyi Okowa.
According to him, “those who want to contest against the aspirants of Delta Central Senatorial district have their argument for the governorship seat, likewise us, but we can’t talk of zoning on ethnic lines because the state is made up of various ethnic groups like Urhobo, Ijaw, Itsekiri, Isoko, Ika, Ndokwa, Oshimili, Aniocha and few others; hence, the appeal from us to maintain the zoning arrangement on the basis of senatorial districts in the state.”
“They claim that the governorship seat, since it had went round the three senatorial districts should be done as ‘osusu’ that can start from any district, and that they are canvassing for senatorial district and not ethnic. My question is, if not an ethnic agenda, why is it that the Itsekiris and Isokos of Delta South Senatorial District not in their lobby team, like ours that you have leaders of the eight local government areas in the team,” he added.
“It is only zoning on senatorial district order that the PDP can continue with its winning streak in the state. So we want to establish a sustainable system where when it gets to the turn of your senatorial district, no one from other senatorial districts will contest against the benefitting district. So, the argument that Urhobo or other ethnic groups contested during the turn of other senatorial districts will no longer be there”, he opined.
He pointed out that the DC-23 was not lobbying or campaigning for any particular aspirant, but to ensure that the governorship seat moved to the Delta Central Senatorial District in 2023 on the platform of the existing zoning for the seat in the state.
He appealed to the traditional rulers to support the DC-23 push for zoning arrangement on senatorial districts to enhance the chances of the PDP continuing in the governance of the state beyond 2023.
Traditional rulers and Isoko leaders that received DC-23 included HRM R. E. Inana, Okpuzo Owhe Kingdom, HRM A. W. Ovrawah, Omogha I, Odiologbo of Oleh Kingdom, HRM Anthony Ogbogbo, Ibuka I, Ovie of Ozoro Kingdom, HRM Felix Agbabe, Ekpolo I, Ovie of Olpe-Isoko Kingdom, HRM Anthony Efekodha, Ejuzi II, Ovie of Enhwe, HRM Johnson Egbo, Ehiri II, Ovie of E Emede Kingdom, HRM Odhebe-Odhiwu Isaac, Udogri I, Ovie of Uzere Kingdom, HRM Murphy Othuke Urugbezi, Okwara I, Ovie of Ellu, HRM Ambrose Owhe Odiri, Odiologbo of Umeh Kingdom, HRM Kenneth Eneriakpozi Onomeregwa, Agbaudu I, Odiologbo of Erhowa Kingdom, HRM Dr. Jonathan Idiareh, Odiologbo of Oyede Kingdom, HRM Dr. Aghagba, regent of Irri Kingdom, HRM Samuel Eyegherese Otidi, Odiologbo of Okpolo Kingdom, HRM Isaiah Isike, Edhekere I, Odiologbo of Olomoro Kingdom.
Others were High Chief Enahoro Eta, traditional Prime Minister and Iyasere of Oyede Kingdom, represented, High Chief Iduh Amadhe, Patron Isoko Development Union, Prof. Chris Akpotu, President General, IDU, Hon. Chief Goodnews Emamusi Obiodeh, Chief Gabriel Erueme, Mr. Felix Odueme, Crown Prince Desmond Ogbaudu, 2nd Vice President General, IDU and many others.
DC-23 leaders and members that attended the meeting included Senator (Chief) Ighoyota Amori, National Chairman, Olorogun Bernard Edewor, Deputy Chairman, BoT, Dr. Chris Oharisi, National Secretary, Olorogun Arthur Akpowowo, National Publicity Secretary, Hon. Godwin Atose, National Organizing Secretary, Hon. (Chief) Sunday Apah, Assistant National Publicity Secretary; Engr. Matthew Tsekiri, National Assistant Secretary, Mr. Austin Opubor, National Welfare Officer, Chief Christian Onogba, Dcn Raymond Edijala, National Assistant Treasurer, and Hon. Elohor Urhobe, Assistant Women Leader.
Others were Chief Ejaife Odebala, former member of the Delta State House of Assembly; Chief Isaac Akpoveta, Engr. Eric Osiobe, Chief Friday Orugbo, Dr. Lucky Avweromre, Chief Efeturhi Juweto, Chief Lucky Emojeya, Chief Bestman Itive, Mr. David Ejukonemu, Eruke Asore, Efe Edewor, Chief Pius Tuphe, Onome Okoroh, Prince Samuel Robinson, Hon. Ejiro Wilson-Eghrudje, Chriatopher Ophori, Oghenero Felator, representatives of Olorogun Kenneth Okpara, representatives of Olorogun David Edevbie, representatives of Senator Emmanuel Aguariavwodo, Representatives of Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori and a host of others.