2023 Guber: Ijaw Royal Fathers Drum Support for Gbagi
Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba
As consultations by aspirants for 2023 Delta State gubernatorial race intensify, traditional rulers of ijaw ethnic extraction in the state have thrown their weight behind former education mlnister, Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi, saying he has stood himself out as a formidable leader that Delta needs to succeed incumbent, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa.
Specifically, the Ijaw monarchs expressed confidence that Gbagi, as a proven entrepreneur and industrialist would be best placed to help carry out the much-need industrialisation of the state and to step up the the tempo of develoment of the state under the present administration.
Nevertheless, the royal fathers assured Gbagi they would continue to pray for because God Almighty alone can give power and who can make him governor in 2023. The monarchs spoke when the Peoplees Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirant visited the Ijaw Council of Traditional Rulers in Warri, yesterday.
On ground to receive Gbagi were the chairman of the council, paramount ruler of Ogulagha kingdom, HRM Joseph Timighan, Pere of Siembiri Kingdom, HM Charles Ayemi-Botu,
Pere of Akugbene Mein Kingdom, HRM Luke Kalanama, Pere of Ogne-Ijoh kingdom, HRM Couple Oromoni, Mobene III and others.
HRM Timighan noted that Gbagi’s visit was to seek the blessing or prayers in respect of his ambition to be governor of Delta State come 2023.
The monarch said, “What we will do is prayers; we will take your request as part of our prayer points, for God to give you wisdom and good health to achieve your mission. Only God will do it, we will only support “
HRM Kalanama also said, “You (Gbagi) are a household name in Delta and Nigeria. We are praying for a good leader that will continue from where the present governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, will stop and you are also an Ijaw man.”
In the same vein, HRM Ayemi-Botu, who led the monarchs in the special prayer for the gubernatorial aspirant, said, “You have all it takes to transform the state and take it to another level. So, go and get the PDP ticket; we will pray for you.”
The aspirant, who told the story of his relationship with some Ijaw personalities, commended Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for his development strides in the state.
“There is no local government area across the three senatorial districts in the state that he has not tarred between one to ten roads”, he remarked about the development strides of Governor Okowa.
Gbagi said, “I am one of you, and I am here to present myself to you. My strength is that I am an industrialist and I have the capacity and connection to industrialize Delta State.
“Governor Okowa has done something unique in the past six years; he has been able to manage inter-communal crisis without which we would not have peace. Please continue to support him to finish strong.
“Some people are worried about me because they say I cannot be controlled but I would rather want you to convince me as to how we can all develop the state, not to control me.”
Only last month several Ijaw groups, including youths and women, had paid solidarity visits to Gbagi in his Oginigbo country home in Ughelli South Local Government Area of the state.