The Ologbotsere of Warri Kingdom, High Chief Ayiri Emami, has accused Delta State governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa of flouting zoning formula in the state by supporting the re-election of Senator James Manager, who defeated a former governor of the state, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan.
Addressing reporters yesterday in Warri, he alleged that state machinery was mobilised at the instance of the governor to frustrate Uduaghan during the senatorial election.
Emami, who is also a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, urged Deltans not to be deceived by what he called Okowa’s deceitful theory of equity, saying they should vote for the governorship candidate of APC, Chief Great Ogboru during next weekend’s gubernatorial elections.
His words: “I challenge Dr. Okowa to controvert my position. If he truly believes in power-sharing or equity, he wouldn’t have contested the PDP governorship primary election a few years ago against Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan and other aspirants, when it was agreed in principle by leaders of the party that it was the turn of Delta South to produce governor at the expiration of Chief James Ibori’s tenure.
“It was my respect for equity that made me a member of PDP prior to the 2015 polls to support Dr. Okowa’s Ika brother, Mr. Tony Obuh for the governorship position before I defected to APC.
“Those in PDP will not openly admit, but they will tell you in confidence how Governor Okowa detailed leaders of the party to work against Michael Diden in favour of Chief James Manager during the Delta South PDP senatorial primary held at Oleh in Delta State.
“Okowa equally deployed state machinery to frustrate Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan of the APC in the recently conducted senatorial election, to pave the way for the controversial declaration of James Manager as the winner, despite the age-long power-sharing principle between Ijaw, Itsekiri and Isoko leaders of Delta South.
“I dare to ask if Okowa really believes in equity. Why didn’t he support an Itsekiri or Isoko aspirant of his choice to contest this year’s Delta South senatorial election, instead of backing James Manager for an unprecedented 5th term?
“My take is clear: Deltans should not be deceived by any sentiment or deceitful theory of equity being preached by Dr. Okowa and his pockets of sycophants.
“They should come out en masse to vote for Chief Great Ogboru of the APC as our next governor. We cannot afford to be in the opposition and continue to suffer underdevelopment as well as declining standard of living.’’