From Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Former Minister of State for Education and governorship aspirant in Delta State, Kenneth Gbagi has said former governor of the state, James Ibori has endorsed as the successor to the incumbent governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa in 2023.
Gbagi’s claim is coming amid speculations that the ex-governor is projecting a former Commissioner of Finance and immediate past Chief of Staff to Okowa, David Edevbie for the governorship.
Addressing hordes of supporters under the platform of Gbagi Solidarity Movement (GSM) in Oginibo, Ughelli South Local Government Area, Gbagi, an aspirant on the platform of People’s Democratic Party (PDP), said the ex-governor told him that he would be the next governor of the oil rich state.
“I visited the former governor, two of us had a discussion and he said, ‘Olorogun Gbagi, I came back to the country and everywhere I go in the state, I hear Gbagi. I do not know anybody who can be governor in the state and turn situation around positively than yourself, Gbagi.’
“After those good things he had told me, I said to Chief James Ibori, look all these good things that you have told me, tell it to Governor Okowa and he said to me, take my word for it, I will tell the governor that you are the governor or nothing else. Chief James Ibori will not deny himself, I say it the way it is.
“And when I met Chief Ibori recently in Abuja, he said to me that many people think we are enemies but they don’t understand,” Gbagi claimed.
Gbagi, who called on Urhobo nation not to play the second fiddle, tasked them to allow the incumbent governor and leader of the PDP in the state, to steer the party in making a wise choice for 2023.
“If former governor, Chief James Onanefe Ibori picked his senior brother and made him the governor of Delta State, Urhobo, I plead with you to allow Senator Okowa listen to the counsel of God and take decision on his successor as well.
“If a governor can produce his own blood brother to take over from him, I see nothing wrong in letting God instruct Governor Okowa, who has put the Almighty first in everything he does in the state.
“No one can stop what a governor who is determined to do the best for his state will do. Let the best candidate present himself, we will not shortfall in telling Deltans the truth. Okowa will handover to a governor from Urhobo come 2023.
“Those who are questionable will not go for Urhobo. If you have anything against Gbagi, say it out today. Gentlemen, I believe Okowa, will handover to me,” he declared.
Ibori who was governor between 1999 and 2007, is highly revered in political circles in the state, and his opinion, especially on the governorship race usually, counts every election year.
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