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2023 Guber: Group Taunts Delta Central, Wants Traditional Rulers To Convoke Conference Of All Ethnic Groups To Discuss Zoning

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By Daniel Dafe, Abraka

A group, Deltans Lives Matters with members across the globe, has expressed concern and allayed fears of a possible bloodshed ahead of 2023 over the tussle for who becomes the next governor of Delta State, adding that the Chairman, Delta State Traditional Rulers Council, and Obi of Owa Kingdom, His Royal Majesty, Dr. Emmanuel Efeizomor ll, as the chief custodian of cultures and head of an apolitical institution should convoke a conference of all ethnic groups in the State where the issue of “zoning” of the next governorship seat can be resolved.

In an open letter to the monarch signed by Christian Moses Abeh, Global Coordinator and Gabriel Mamuzo, Deputy Global Coordinator, the group said there was an ”urgent need to convoke a conference of all ethnic nationalities in Delta State over the issue of zoning the 2023 governorship seat, saying that issues surrounding zoning of the governorship seat may lead to crisis before Okowa exits in 2023.

The letter reads in part: ”As the head of the traditional institution and Chief custodian of our cultures, we appeal to your majesty to use your good and highly respected office to convoke a conference of all ethnic groups in the state where this zoning issue can be discussed and resolved for the interest of peace, unity, love and prosperity.”

Adding: ”Zoning was introduced by Chief James Ibori and a few leaders of the PDP some years ago with the agreement of rotating power from one senatorial zone to the other until every zone tastes power.

”Your Majesty, if not for zoning, you will agree with us that someone like Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan wouldn’t have been elected governor let alone having it for two terms. Zoning started with Chief James Ibori (Delta Central slot), but when Delta South (Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan) wanted to have their turn the Urhobos (Delta Central) fought them fiercely by sponsoring Chief Great Ogboru in DPP after failing to get the PDP ticket through late Senator Pius Ewherido with every resources available at their reach in 2007 governorship election, up till the election was annulled in November 2010.

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”Again, in the rerun election of January 6th 2011 and April 26th governorship election of 2011, some Urhobo leaders (Delta central) in PDP and Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan’s government connived with their people in opposition DPP to stop Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta South) from having a second term in office.”

Deltans Lives Matters posited that ”if not for Senator James Manager, Hon. Nicholas Mutu, Hon. Leo Ogor, Comrade Ovuozorie Marcauley, Prince Michael Diden and some Delta South leaders who led the battle for Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan from the south senatorial zone, while Senator Ifeanyi Okowa mobilised the Delta North bloc with late Professor B.I.C Ijeoma, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, Rt. Hon. Victor Ochei, late Rt. Hon. Sam Obi and some other leaders and delivered it to Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, he wouldn’t have returned as a Governor for the second time.”

Continuing, the group said ”the Delta central people were able to deliver a senator, House of Rep member and ten members of the State Assembly to opposition DPP because PDP was considered an enemy for having a Delta South person as her candidate.”

Furthermore, they noted that ”In 2014, when everyone was clamouring for power shift to Delta North based on the zoning principle, some leaders of Delta Central mobilised their delegates and gave Mr David Edevbie massive support to stop Delta North from having their slot,” adding that ”unfortunately he came out second place ahead of others who campaigned vigorously.

”If not for Delta South delegates who voted massively for Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, our Delta central brothers would have retired from him from politics by now,” the group opined.

”After Dr Ifeanyi Okowa had won the primary election of the PDP the Delta Central elites knew it will be a very “dangerous gamble” not to support him (Dr Okowa) in the main election of 2015. While majority of the elites supported Senator Okowa (Delta North) the proletariats became confused on who to support because of Ogboru’s dwindling popularity as a result of his political prostitution (jumping from party to party) in his desperate bid to govern the State, Otega’s wealth and party’s strength at the national level also attracted some votes for him. Meanwhile, Dr Okowa’s popularity in Delta South & his Delta North zones gave him 90% & 95% votes respectively in those areas in the governorship election, while the elites of Delta central were able to mobilise between 30% to 50% votes for him (Senator Okowa) to enable them agitate for rotation of power to their zone at the end of his two terms in 2023.

”Our Delta central brothers have never hidden their disdain for zoning from 2006 to date, but they are quick to tell the world “it is their turn” to produce the next governor of the State in 2023,” the letter added.

According to the letter, some sensitive issues to look into during the conference include ”the issue of whose zone is to begin the next round after the first round of TWENTY FOUR years is completed and if the zoning will still continue when a particular zone always sponsors their own against candidates of other zones whenever it is not their turn?”

Deltans Lives Matters also said it was important to discuss the issue of whether the zone that took last or first continues to be in the same position or should there be a form of reshuffling after each round of TWENTY FOUR years, saying that the issue of zoning on senatorial level or on the basis of ethnic group should also be looked into.

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