Delta 2019 Guber Poll: Intrigues As Ibori, Tompolo, Uduaghan Plot To Stop Okowa

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Governor Okowa of Delta State
Governor Okowa of Delta State

From Ochei Matthew, Asaba
The premise that statesmen think of the next generation while politicians think of the next election is demonstrably being played out in Delta State as the “godfathers” of politics in “The Big Heart” state are currently plotting to oust Governor Ifeanyi Okowa from running for a second term come the 2019 governorship race, even when the governor has not spent a year in office out of the constitutional four years.
And Governor Okowa himself appears to have picked up the gauntlet against the groundswell of formidable political forces gathering against him, with a view to finding a chink in their amour and exploiting to bag a second term in office
As sub-plot to the intrigue, a source at Government House, Asaba who pleaded anonymity for personal security reasons categorically told The Dream Daily that all is not well in Okowa’s cabinet, describing palpable disinterestedness in matters of state being discussed and half-hearted contributions during cabinet meetings by acolytes of some power centres in the state ostensibly led by the jailed former Governor James Ibori.
To illustrate, the source said “the body language” of Commissioner of Finance, David Edevie, an Ibori appointee in Okowa’s cabinet “loudly screams disinterest and a wish to be somewhere else during cabinet meetings usually chaired by Governor Okowa. He is a man who appears to simply drag his body to the meetings, contributing little or nothing of substance to the discussions.”
The source stated that Edevie had long wanted to resign from Okowa’s government but he is waiting for words to that effect from Ibori who allegedly installed the commissioner in Okowa’s cabinet as “the eyes and ears of bot the former governor and the Urhobo nation.”
Edevie was principal secretary to late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, a post the commissioner landed through Ibori who was allegedly a major financial of Yar’Adua’s election as President in 2007.
“Although Edevie is the commissioner of finance, he is only occupying that office in name because Okowa, knowing the intrigues going on and a political Maradona of some sort himself has planted his own man – the Commissioner for Economic Planning, Dr. Kingsley Emu, to monitor the finance ministry, effectively caging Edevie, which the latter is naturally very unhappy about,” source said
The source noted “this development and similar blocking from government business of other appointees of the power brokers in Delta politics like those of the militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, loyalists of the immediate past Governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan triggered the move by these forces to start the plan of replacing Okowa in 2019 with another candidate from Delta North, where the governor hails from.”
The source disclosed that “currently almost all commissioners in Uduaghan’s cabinet and some SSAs are meeting every month in one of the hotel in the central senatorial zone to perfect the plot to replace Dr. Okowa comes 2019.”
“As it is now, the people Okowa trust in his cabinet are the Ikas, especially, his principal secretary, Hilary Ibegbulem, the Commissioner for economic planning, Dr. Emu and his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Ehiedu Aniegwu, amongst others”
In another side to the plot, the source said Governor Okowa is also involved in a face-off with Senator Ighoyota Amori who has accused Okowa of not fighting for him to retain the Delta Central Senatorial seat he lost at the Court of Appeal and turning around to oppose his (Amori’s) bid to become chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.”
“Okowa is using the speaker of the state Assembly, Rt. Hon. Monday Igbuya, to stop Amori for the chairmanship of PDP in the forthcoming congress. And Amori is not happy because is one of the people who fought for Okowa when former Governor Emannuel Uduaghan worked against him (Okowa),” the source added.
Another top government source who also did not want his name in print disclosed that the governor has perfected plans to make Mr. Kingsley Esiso the Delta state PDP chairman in order to secure the party’s machinery in the state against all his opponents and get his second term ticket.
“Governor Okowa is moving to make his aide, Kingsley Esiso state party chairman, which is also causing crisis in our party. The chairmanship position was zone to Delta central, but the choice of the governor is causing ripples within the zone and the man in question is not a full Urhobo man,” the source explained.
The source added that Governor Okowa has also identified and brought to his camp, the billionaire businessman, Ayiri Emami, who is from the South Zone as his point man in political chess game.
According to the source, “the backbone of Okowa (in the 2015 gubernatorial election) was the South Zone where Tompolo came from. Tompolo nominated Okowa’s Deputy, Kingsley Otuaroa, who is seen as having no political clout to command votes in the South Zone. But Okowa is very uncomfortable with the current fight between the Federal Government and Tompolo in court and reasoned that this might affect his chances in 2019, especially if the Federal Government is able to clip Tompolo’s wings. So he has brought Ayiri to his camp to take over Tomplo’s structure and get the South Zone votes for him.”
As yet another plot to unseat Okowa come 2019, sources have also told The Dream Daily that powerbrokers from the Central Zone and outside it were involved in convincing Chief Great Ogboru to join the All Progressives Congress (APC). They have also wooed former Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Hon. Victor Ochei, for the battle of 2019, “with Ogboru being proposed as his deputy.”
A source stated that “the APC is considering Victor Ochei as their best option against Okowa in 2019 for the sake of the Anioma agenda and Ogboru as his deputy. Ogboru is a man who appears to need the governorship seat for himself very badly, so I don’t see him accepting that arrangement. Great Ogboru might not want to deputise Victor Ochei who hail from Delta North Zone (Anioma) just for power’s sake. But then you cannot say ‘never’; he (Ogboru) might accept that offer because of his thirst for power.”

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