The national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Prince Uche Secondus at the weekend identified erstwhile governor of Delta state, Chief James Ibori as the national leader of the PDP.
He made this revelation at a thanksgiving and grand reception organized in honour of Ibori by Olorogun John Oguma, a chieftain of the PDP, at the Ibru Unity Square, Ovwor-Olomu, in the Ughelli South Local Government Area of the state.
While describing Ibori as a factor in the country, Secondus said the former governor is a “man who believes in the welfare of the people, a man who wants the young to grow and a man who loves the women. We salute your courage”.
Shedding light on how Ibori made it possible for Ifeanyi Okowa to become the governor of Delta state in 2015, the PDP chair said, “Before the 2015 elections, I received a call from our leader (Ibori), and I asked him the direction. He (Ibori) told me Okowa should be supported.
“I was then the Deputy National Chairman. I gathered all my people; I said I have received an order from our leader. Your Excellency, I am grateful that your decision was right. That is how we supported Dr. Okowa because the leader spoke to us.”
Secondus continued that Ibori is a “unifying figure and a blessing to the Niger Delta region,” adding that “Delta state remains the only state in the nation that has a stability in political succession. It remains the only state where all the governors that have ruled the state are still members of the PDP”.
“Our leader (Ibori) has passed through political tribulations because he believes in the people and considers the poor. He believes in the masses; that is why God delivered him,” he added.
In his remarks, Okowa said Ibori should be commended for laying a solid foundation for the past and present administrations to develop Delta state.
“I’m the only governor who had the support of the first and second governors. That was because there was good following that has continued to beget following. I understand our leader (Ibori) because he trained us well as politicians. I have learnt the game from him so well. I am happy that we recognised our leader (Ibori) as a good man,” he said.
Responding, Ibori called for unity among Urhobo leaders, particularly the political class, stressing that he bore no grudges against anybody over his travails which led to his conviction by a British court and serving out of jail term in a UK prison.
He said, “Your prayers have brought me back home. When I attended the thanksgiving service of Olorogun Aguariavwodo, I told people that the journey was an act of God and not the will of man. It was not man who did what happened to me. I have forgiven everyone both within and outside. That’s how God said I should do it.”