Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi, former minister of state for education, has revealed that the governorship zoning arrangement being practiced in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Delta state was not made on tribal levels but on the basis of senatorial districts.
Olorogun Gbagi, who is vigorously making consultations for the 2023 governorship race in Delta state, told journalists at Oginibo, his country home in Ughelli south that he was among the political bigwigs who founded PDP in 1999 in Delta state.
The former education minister said since the governorship began in the state since 1999, the position has rotated from Chief James Ibori for Delta central, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan for Delta south and presently Governor Ifeanyi Okowa is enjoying the position for the people of Delta north.
Following the agreed zoning system, he said the number one office in the state needed to shift to Delta central where the governorship began in 1999.
Emeraldng.com reports that the Ijaw ethnic nationality of Delta state have been clamouring for the prestigious job insisting that the senatorial zoning arrangement had fizzled out now that the system had gone round the three senatorial districts of the state.
The Ijaw groups are of the belief that being the second largest ethnic group in the state, the office needed to be zoned to the Ijaw, arguing that it is the turn of Ijaw ethnic nationality to produce the governor of the state, just as they call for support from other ethnic groups for the dream to materialize.
Gbagi, who appears to be the first to have indicated interest in the 2023 governorship race, however, said the people of Delta central needed the support of other groups to succeed, adding that the senatorial district will manage itself to produce the governor for the people of Delta state.
Answering questions on the time he is entering the race, Gbagi said there was no need waiting for any time, adding that he is doing well following the success of the consultations he has made and his widespread acceptance by the people of the state.
He added that some persons serving in government are waiting to gather money enough before beginning consultations, noting that he needed not wait for anything and that at the appropriate time the men will be separated from the boys.
On the question of his vision for the state when he eventually emerges governor, he said: “I don’t want to sell my ideas. I have come to change the topography of Delta state. I own the second tallest building in Lagos state. At the end of my first year in government house if you do not see changes, I will tender my resignation letter.”
He explained that the assumption by people that he is a tough man was not actually toughness but a proof of discipline which he got from his father whom he said flogged him seven times daily to instill needed discipline in him.
Gbagi, who had not indicated the platform under which he would run for the office of the governor, said he founded PDP, noting that in the midst of impossible calculations, he rose to become a minister under the PDP, consequently he would contest the election under the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
He revealed that as an entrepreneur, he spends between N15million and N18milion to pay salaries of staff of his organisations, adding that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa is doing marvelously well in the state.
He said Okowa is doing a fantastic job and that when Okowa finishes his tenure, he would take over government house and continue from where he would stop in 2023.