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Will Governor Okowa Get PDP’s VP Ticket? …How he went on a spending spree …Why Ibori is after him

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Will Governor Okowa Get PDP’s VP Ticket? …How he went on a spending spree …Why Ibori is after him

Will Governor Okowa Get PDP’s VP Ticket? …How he went on a spending spree …Why Ibori is after him
June 15
17:11 2022

He planted seeds that would provide food for himself and his family in his declining years. But the weather is turning dangerously, leaving Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State’s orchard uncertain of a healthy yield. This has left him understandably experiencing a disoriented sadness and a debilitating disappointment in which he feels at once isolated and frozen.

The expression of mere empathy and pathos may not be enough to assuage the deep-seated feelings of betrayal and disappointment that now envelope the toothy governor. He is at that precarious point in life when the dream sustaining all other dreams is struggling for life. Okowa fears that the imminent announcement of Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State as Alhaji Atiku Abubakar’s running mate may signal the brutal truncation of his ambition and desperation to occupy the same.

The VP slot had been a straight battle among three candidates – Wike, Okowa, and Governor Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom State. While Udom is the least influential among the three, Okowa fancies himself a more refined and charismatic version of the condescending and brash-talking Rivers State governor.

A medical doctor by profession, Okowa had served as a commissioner, secretary to the state government, senator, and two-term governor. Hands down, he towers above his major opponent in terms of intellection and comportment, and professional and political accomplishments. But Okowa was the architect of his misfortune.
Before the PDP primaries, Okowa was coasting home as the presumptive running mate to Atiku who was projected to win the PDP ticket ahead of other gladiators like Wike; former Senate Presidents Bukola Saraki and Anyim Pius Anyim; and the Bauchi and Sokoto State Governors, Bala Mohammed and Aminu Tambuwal, among others.

With the promise of a VP ticket in the February 2023 presidential election, Okowa went on a spending binge, standing toe to toe with Wike whose financial power nearly got him the ticket. Sources said that he flung open his vaults to support the primaries for Atiku who went on to win. Okowa was therefore convinced that his VP dream was valid and on course.
So confident was his camp that he was quoted as saying that only God could stop him from becoming Atiku’s running mate because he had contributed positively to the party’s growth. Speaking on the governor’s behalf recently, his Commissioner for Information, Charles Aniagwu, said, “I am not aware if there is anybody who is bringing any roadblock. Iif there is anybody who should block Okowa; I think it should be God. And the last time I checked, I don’t think he has offended God for God to take that decision against him.”

This statement was on the heels of speculations that former Governor James Ibori, Okowa’s godfather and benefactor, was the major stumbling block to his ambition. Okowa did not offend God, but he crossed the path of his godfather who is still ashen-faced.

Okowa is one of the major beneficiaries of Ibori’s far-reaching political influence. During the governorship primary of 2015, former Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan tried imposing his candidate on the party, but Ibori’s influence ensured that Okowa got it.
A bad student of history, perhaps; for the 2023 governorship primary, Okowa went headlong into a proxy supremacy battle with Ibori. David Edevbie, Okowa’s former chief of staff, was Ibori’s choice. He lost the primary election to Okowa’s preference, Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Sheriff Oborevwori, by 590 to 113 votes. Ibori was bruised but not battered.
For daring his former boss and political mentor, it was clear from then on that the battle line was drawn. But Okowa denied that there was friction in the family, saying, “I want to tell you that the Ibori political family is intact and nothing has changed. We are only playing politics, which is normal in the electioneering period. What you are seeing now is politics.”

If it was mere politics for Okowa, it is about life and his eventual survival as a man and a politician for Ibori. Thus, sources said he is going all out to ensure that Okowa does not get the VP ticket. A very close associate of Atiku, Ibori was said to have prevailed on the PDP presidential candidate that Governor Okowa cannot be trusted with such a position and that the party should look for another person should the slot be given to Delta State. Ibori cited how Okowa turned his political family against him and turned the state government into a family enterprise. The godfather of Delta State politics did not mince words in labelling Okowa a patent and pathological betrayal and warned Atiku to watch his back if he eventually settled for him.

Privy to the intrigues against him, Okowa is not leaving anything to chance as he is relentlessly dishing out the goodies especially to party stakeholders. A Vice Presidential Candidate Screening Committee (VPSC) comprising former governor of Kogi State, Capt. Idris I. Wada (rtd); former minister of aviation, Chief Osita Chidoka; Rt. Hon. Binta Bello, Chief Mrs. Alh. Mutiat Adedoja, Rt. Hon. Austin Opara, Prof. Aisha Madawaki, Mrs. Ayotunde George-Ologun, Chief Mrs. Chidiebelu Mofus and Fidelis Tapgun, has been constituted. The committee is chaired by High Chief Tom Ikimi while Dr. Akilu Indabawa is the Secretary. Screening of the running mate nominees holds Thursday, June 16, at the PDP secretariat in Abuja. Okowa’s sleeplessness endures.

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Mujeeb

Mujeeb

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