By Eseoghene Emuke
Ahead of the 2023 governorship election in Delta State, Ijaw leaders have met with the leadership of Isoko apex socio-cultural body, Isoko Development Union (IDU) to support their quest to produce the next governor of the state.
They also visited Isoko traditional rulers where they pleaded with them to join the Ijaw Nation in their governorship quest under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Speaking during the meeting, the President General of Isoko Development Union (IDU), Professor Christopher Akpotu, described the demand by Ijaw Nation to succeed Governor Ifeanyi Okowa as germane.
Akpotu assured the Ijaw Nation that their quest to be Governor of Delta State in 2023 will not be placed as a second fiddle but will be looked into based on historical perspective and relationship that had existed between both ethnic groups.
He received the Ijaw leaders under the aegis of Delta Ijaw for Governor Lobby Team led by a former Minister of Police Affairs, Alaowei Broderick Bozimo alongside prominent Isoko leaders on Thursday at IDU Secretariat in Oleh.
IDU President said, “I listened and heard what Alaowei Bozimo said. I can deduce that if twenty people have one goat then it will not be wise for only one person to eat the leg and to a large extent, we are in agreement with that philosophy…the mother’s breast is not meant for only one child to suck.
“Isokos have their own eyes well open, Isoko people have good sense of judgement and at the right time we shall Judge rightly…Ijaws should go ahead and reinforce the good work they are already doing, continue with it…I know that Ijaws will always present good yam that has not been eaten by yam beetle.”
Similarly, on the visit to the royal fathers, the Isoko traditional rulers promised to join the Ijaw nation to pray fervently to God to grant their request of becoming governor in 2023.
The monarchs insisted that the Isokos and Ijaws are one historically, traditionally and politically.
The Isoko monarchs who spoke through the Odio-logbo of Owhe Kingdom and Vice Chairman, Isoko Traditional Rulers Council, His Royal Majesty, Okpuzo R.Ejirememe Inana (JP) at the palace of His Royal Majesty, Anthony W.O Ovrawah(JP),Omogha 1, the Odio-logbo of Oleh Kingdom and Chairman Isoko Traditional Rulers Council at Oleh.
They told the Alaowei Bozimo-led team that, “Isoko people do not need to be educated that we are one with the Ijaw people historically, traditionally and politically, we have always been together, take your mind back to when we were fighting for the creation of Coast State, you were equally involved and we really appreciate your efforts then.
“Power belongs to God Almighty and because of your reliance on the supremacy of God, we want to join the Ijaw nation to pray very fervently that the divine will of God grant your request.”
In a related development, a former Chief of Defense Staff, General Alexander Ogomudia (Rtd) has asked the Ijaw nation to trust God to bring to pass their aspiration to be produce governor in 2023 and build consensus.
“I like to say that the visit is political, i advice two things, one is very important, you must build consensus, no one man can do it alone, even in Isoko go round and see, talk to the Urhobos, Itsekiris, you need to establish consensus in going forward and count on God”, Ogomudia noted.
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In his separate remarks during the visits, Alaowei Bozimo said the visit was to consult and plead with the Isoko nation for support on the Ijaw quest to be governor
He stressed that the Ijaws cannot be shut out of the governorship race in 2023 under the guise of zoning when in the actual sense former Governors James Ibori and Emmanuel Uduaghan and even Governor Ifeanyi Okowa contested for the position in a level playing field.
“We believe that let it be fair, it is only after somebody has won that we zone, Okowa contested nobody zoned, I don’t know whether you zoned it to him, Ibori contested and even Uduaghan.
“It is not fair and right for our brothers in Central to keep saying that Ijaw people are preaching ethnicity… we are projecting our ambition and determination to be recognized and given the opportunity to be governor in 2023, it is not an ethnic arrangement.
“I don’t think it is an unreasonable request because I know the Isokos and ourselves are in the same canoe, all the point we are making will apply to the Isoko people either now or tomorrow.”