Against the declaration of Barrister Pereotubo Oweilaemi, president of Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) that any political party that intends winning the 2023 governorship of Delta state must produce its candidate from Ijaw land, the national coordinator of the Urhobo Youth Forum for Change (UYFC) Eshanekpe Israel, a.k.a Akpodoro, has said that the chances of the people of the Delta central producing the next governor in 2023 is not negotiable.
He said the political arrangement which has been existing since 1999 when the PDP came to power in Delta is still standing, vowing that nobody can change the arrangement in the state.
His response followed what he described as an outburst by president of the IYC, Pereotubor Owailaemi, alluding to the fact that it was Ijaw nation’s turn from the Delta South to govern the state when Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa would be leaving office in 2023.
Akpodoro, in a statement made available to journalists in Asaba, said that declaration of the IYC president was uncalled for stating that every well meaning Deltan knows that the position of the governor has finally gone round the three senatorial districts and it follows that the rotational arrangement returns to the starting point which is Urhobo nation and from Ughelli axis of the district.
Specifically, Akpodoro recalled that eminent sons and daughters across ethnic divides in the state made the gentleman’s agreement at the dawn of democracy in the country to foster peace and brotherhood among the three districts saying, it smacked off crass ignorance for one group to develop the mind of thwarting that arrangement.
Political power, Akpodoro noted, does not fall on anyone’s lap, saying: “When the time comes every interested tribe will struggle for it.”
He added that it is better to foster the bond of unity than fanning the embers of division amongst the ethnic nationalities describing the statement from the IYC president as aggressive and combative.
Akpodoro, who doubles as the national president of the National Coalition of Niger Delta Ex-Agitators, NCNDE-A, said his major pre-occupation at the moment was to support all the policies and programmes of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and ensure he succeeds leaving a legacy of stronger and more economically viable state having played a pivotal role in the enthronement of his administration since 2015.
He said that it was too early to talk about 2023 when the governor was yet to be sworn – in for his second term in office.
The Urhobo speaking area of the oil-rich state the former warior noted, is the largest homogeneous entity in the state with the highest number of registered voters in the three senatorial districts higher than Bayelsa state.
Akpodoro, who championed and led Urhobo youths into giving massive votes to Dr. Okowa in the just concluded gubernatorial election in the state, noted that in as much as it was not wrong for any group to aspire to any office as provided by the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Urhobo speaking people will work with all nationalities to achieve its 2023 aspiration.
Akpodoro explained that strategies are already in place for the realisation of Urhobo 2023 dream.
Urhob land, the UYFC, noted was not a conquered territory for any person or group of persons to shove aside in the politics of Niger Delta region let alone in the state as he called on well meaning Urhobo people across the globe to rise up for the challenges ahead.
Ijaw nation, he added, should wait after eight years of Urhobo in Delta Government House starting from June 12, 2023 to slug it out with the Isoko nation from same Delta South.
“In as much as I know it is too early to talk about 2023 over which tribe takes over from Dr Okowa, I wish to state unequivocally that Urhobo nation shall work with all stakeholders in the Delta project to ensure that our own mounts the throne of leadership of the state come 2023.
“Even, in Urhobo land, we have sharing formula based on equity and brotherhood. Ethiope axis of Urhobo land has ruled and 2023 will unarguably be the turn of Ughelli axis of Urhobo.
“The peace we are currently enjoying in the state is due largely to the wisdom of the founding fathers of the state who established rotational system to build peace amongst the tribes and nobody should destroy that arrangement,” the vociferous Urhobo youth leader stated.