The Governor of Delta State, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa on Wednesday while addressing the issue of zoning in the State, opened up on running as a vice presidential candidate in the 2023 general elections.
Stallion Times reports that Governor Okowa was addressing journalists in a quarterly media interaction in Asaba, the State capital when he said he was still praying to God on whether to run as a vice presidential candidate in the elections.
He revealed that God was yet to lead him to where He wants him to be, expressing confidence that he knows that God will give him an answer at His timing.
Speaking on the rumour that he is planning to handover power to an Ijaw man come 2023 when there is a gentleman agreement within the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for power to rotate within the three senatorial districts, Okowa said only God knows who will be Governor after him.
Recall that Governor Okowa from Delta North Senatorial District in 2015 took over from former Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, who is from Delta South. Before them, Chief James Ibori was Governor from Delta Central.
The rotation of the governorship seat among the various senatorial districts gave rise to a zoning pattern in the PDP of the State in what seems to be a gentleman’s agreement.
This gives the impression that the next Governor of the State should come from Delta Central, owing to the arrangement and where the rotation started in 1990 Ibori.
No fewer than five Urhobo in Delta Central, including Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi, Olorogun Emmanuel Aguariavwodo, Olorogun David Edevbie and Chief James Augoye had indicated interest to contest the governorship seat under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2023.
However, it has been rumoured that Okowa had already reached an agreement with Ijaw leaders to ensure that his successor comes from the Ijaw ethnic nationality in Delta South Senatorial District as a payback for their support to his administration.
Among the Ijaw jostling to succeed Governor Okowa is his deputy, Deacon Kingsley Otuaro and the current senator representing Delta South, Senator James Manager.
“A gentleman agreement is an agreement that is not written. I want to believe that that is what it is supposed to be. But whether there was any further meeting in which a gentleman agreement was reached, there has been no formal meeting in which a gentleman agreement was reached as at today.
“It means that whatever we are doing and talking about today, it is about what is fair, what is equitable, and how to define what is fair, and to define what is equitable, and justiciable.
“Hearing about me handing over to an Ijaw man, it is only God Almighty that knows who will be Governor after me. I cannot pretend to be God, for I am not. I don’t know who God is going to bring. I do not have an intention of playing the role of God.
“Just as they say I want to hand over to an Ijaw man, that is how they say I want to hand over to an Urhobo. You will hear so many things. I do not think I have the strength to play God.
“But the real truth is, when the politics starts, politics will be played. But I know that God Almighty will take the decision of who will be Governor.
“At some point in time, as a party, we will sit down to look at issues, to find out what truly is fair, what truly is justiciable, and what should equity really mean. Where is the Governorship going? I think if you pray, and you ask God, God may reveal it.
“Concerning myself and 2023, I am still praying. I am still praying, and God has not yet led me to where He wants me to be. But, pray for me depending on what you want me to do but I know that God will give me an answer at his timing,” he said.
Meanwhile, during the media interaction, the Delta State Governor also opened up on why he fired his Chief of Staff, 25 Commissioners, the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), chief strategist of the Government, all special advisers, the senior political adviser, and dissolved the State Executive Council.
Recall that the now former Delta State Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu announced the dissolution of the State Executive Council on Tuesday.
Announcing the dissolution of the State Executive Council, Aniagwu said Okowa also fired all his 25 commissioners, directing them to hand over to permanent secretaries with immediate effect.
The immediate past information commissioner also revealed that the SSG, Chief of Staff, all special advisers, including the chief strategist of the Government and the senior political adviser were also affected.
Speaking at media interaction with journalists in Asaba, Governor Okowa himself said the decision to dissolve the cabinet was made to reduce the level of distraction in the governance of the State in his last two years in office.
“At some point in time in the course of an administration, there are always reasons to take some actions. I’ve been in this administration in the past 6 years, but two years in this tenure. We have two years to go.
“Obviously there have been a lot of distractions among some members of Exco. In the last two years we need to be able ensure that we reduce the level of distraction in governance.
“If we do not take that action, I may have an Exco that stays permanently divided in the next two years, and that will not enable me to achieve my vision.
“So, I thought that there was a need to rework the Exco in such a manner that we operate within the least stress, where those in Exco will know that their mind is fixated more at what we are able to achieve in the next two years, rather than in their private ambitions and beliefs.
“That was the key factor. Otherwise, the gentlemen that worked with me, which also includes the ladies, were very efficient. They worked hard, they meant well for the administration and I can’t really thank them enough for all they have done,” Okowa said.