Delta guber: Ibori is entitled to his own choice – Okowa

From Paul Osuyi, Asaba

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State and vice presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday said he had no issues with the former governor James Ibori’s perceived decision to support the governorship candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in this Saturday’s election, Ovie Omo-Agege.

Ibori, a powerbroker and chieftain of the PDP, fell out with the governor in the build-up to the primaries in May 2022, ostensibly as a result of the failure to arrive at a consensus candidate for the governorship.

Responding to questions from newsmen in Asaba during an interactive session, Okowa reiterated his commitment to ensuring that Sheriff Oborevwori wins this Saturday’s election, noting that the PDP candidate emerged through a very fair and credible democratic process.

The governor had earlier inaugurated the new Press Centre at the Government House which was completed by his administration.

“If Ibori is supporting somebody else, it is his choice, I cannot criticise him or approve of it.

“Just as many people in the APC are also supporting our candidate, so many of them, it is a matter of choice.

“Even those who have decamped and several others who have not decamped are supporting us.

“That is the beauty of democracy, it is a matter of choice. As for Sheriff, he was the choice of our people and I stand with him all though,” he said.

On the choice of Oborevwori, Okowa insisted that he has no regret for the emergence of the Speaker of the state House of Assembly as the party’s governorship candidate.

“Sheriff as the candidate of PDP was never a mistake. Did he go through a competitive process? Yes. There was a primary and you know that that primary was free and fair.

“Sheriff scored 590 votes, the second person scored 113 votes. So could it have been a wrong choice? No! I tried not to delve in but the question is are we in a democracy? Yes! And in a democracy people emerge by popular choice.

“We have gone through all manner of things, but Sheriff has been found to be qualified. But some people wanted me to become autocratic and not allow democracy to thrive.

“I was a product of the democratic process, even when people did not give me a chance in the December 2014 primary.

“I thank the then the governor for allowing a democratic process even though he had a preferred candidate.

“And I swore to myself that I will stand on the path of the democratic process. I don’t have any regret about Sheriff because he emerged through a democratic process,” he stated.

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