By Possible Ogheneseruo
The jostling, hustling and bustling for the number one seat for the 2023 governorship election in Delta State is gathering momentum by each passing day. Some of those eyeing the exalted seat have started their consultations since last year. Their consultation is yielding some good results.
Some others are still contemplating of joining the 2023 mucky waters. Those nursing the idea are either weighing the intrigues needed to embark on the journey. Also, some are waiting to be anointing by the political juggernauts in the state before they kick-start with their consultations. In the same vein, some are waiting to be called upon to contest before they do so.
Among those who have started real consultations is Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi. The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege is also rumoured to be interested in the coveted seat and had already started some nocturnal consultations.
Also being rumoured to have join the race is the former private secretary to late President Musa Yar’Adua who is the currently the Chief of Staff to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, Olorogun David Edevbie and, Ughievwen-born incumbent commissioner for justice, Peter Mrakpor, among others.
However, a crop of politicians from the Sapele/Okpe (Okpe Kingdom) of Delta Central believed it is their turn to produce the next governor since the rotation favours Delta Central being the only federal constituency yet to produce governor in the district.
They argue that former Governor of the state who is now the state political godfather, Chief James Onanefe Ibori took the turn of Ethiope Federal Constituency (East and West), while Olorogun Felix Ibru, the first civilian governor of the State took the turn of Ughelli North, South and Udu people.
Based on this, since it is now the turn of Delta Central to produce the next Governor come 2023, the Okpe should be allowed to take their turn.
Without mincing words, Delta Central which comprises the Urhobo ethnic group is one. Also, there has not been anytime where there was zoning arrangement among the people of Delta Central. In short, those who have ruled the state as governors in time past came based on their pedigrees, credibility and not by zoning of any kind among the Urhobos. Therefore, those arguing and jostling that it is the turn of Okpe people to produce the next Governor of the State should think twice.
All the nine Local governments that make up Delta Central are one when it comes to the governorship race. Though nobody can deprive anyone from contesting the next governorship election come 2023 but we all know that the race is not for lily-livered politicians.
The governorship race is for those who have been tested and approved both in political and otherwise. It is not for those who will depend on several godfathers for sponsorship. Also, it is not for those who are in government waiting for the amount of money they can acquire between now and the next governorship election before joining the race.
Though godfatherism has come to stay in the nation’s politics but the role of godfathers in modern day politics is mainly to provide the needed advice that can assist the candidate to win and deliver on their electioneering programmes. When the candidate has won, the godfathers are to provide the necessary advice for the growth and development of the state.
Godfatherism is no longer meant to provide all the financial muscles and dirty jobs for the candidate but the needed advice on which the wheel of the state rotates in terms of growth and development.
These are the reasons why most prominent politicians in Urhobo and other senatorial districts in Delta State considered him most fit and suitable as Okowa’s successor. These political juggernauts threw their weight and support behind Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi’s quest to govern the state in2023 for his undisputable pedigree.
As 2023 draws closer, it’s high time Deltans refrain from selling gold to those who do not know its value or do not have what it takes to purchase it. The incumbent Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has brought the state from Egypt to Canaan, therefore, Delta deserves a successor that knows this value.
Delta should not be handed over to a politician who does not know the value of the successes recorded so far under the administration of Governor Okowa. Any mistake would return the state to its dark days of underdevelopment. Olorogun Gbagi possesses all the qualities that Deltans need in a governor.
Olorogun Gbagi, a founding member of PDP in the state has not been held any state appointment but remains a committed member of the party since the formation of the party in 1999 till date. He has not for once decamped as a result of any disagreement. He has remained “Gidingba” in the party. In spite of the fact that he had been offended at one time or the other, Olorogun Gbagi sees PDP as a child that he and others gave birth to thus deserve constant care and nurturing to stand stronger.
Gbagi, a former Minister of State for Education under the administration of former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, has all it takes to cross the mucky waters of Delta politics in 2023. He’s not a pretender in the contest. Since leaving office as minister, Gbagi is one of the few ministers under that regime that had not been invited or under investigated by the anti-graft agencies in the country. It is therefore not out of place to say emphatically that the man has a clean record.
The Delta-born industrialist is an employer of labour both locally and internationally. Gbagi’s fleets of 5-Star Hotels among other businesses are spread all over the country and the world at large. These hotels provide jobs for Nigerians and foreigners. He’s one of the few rich Deltans that have returned home to invest in the state.
Gbagi’s fleets of shops and other companies are located in every nook and cranny of Nigeria especially in Warri and its environs are worth mentioning. These shops provide means of livelihoods for most of the inhabitants of Warri and nearby towns.
More importantly, Olorogun Gbagi’s experience as a world-class industrialist would be bring to bear when he emerges as next Delta governor in 2023. The Road Master, Governor Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa has created and still creating the needed conditions and environment for industrialization. Deltans need Gbagi. Being an industrialist, the former minister will refurbish our ailing industries and build new ones where our youths and graduates roaming the streets can be gainfully employed.
Delta needs Gbagi! Gbagi is the answer.
Possible Ogheneseruo contributed this opinion from Asaba, Delta State capital.