A group, Niger Delta Scholars, has reacted to a publication in the Vanguard newspaper of 23rd April, 2022 by the traditional prime minister of Tuomo kingdom, High Chief Mike Loyibo on the forthcoming Delta State 2023 Governorship election.
Their reaction which was signed by Chief Monday Keme, the National Coordinator said: “The attention of Niger Delta Scholars has been drawn to a careless and reckless interview in Saturday edition of Vanguard Newspaper of the 23rd of April 2022 by one self-styled Ijaw Leader, Mr. Michael Loyibo. Mr. Michael Loyibo, in the said interview, cast aspersions on four distinguished personalities – H.E. Chief James Ibori, Olorogun David Edevbie, Senator James Manager and H.E. Kingsley Otuaro, Deputy Governor of Delta State. These personalities have distinguished themselves in leadership and Deltans are proud of them. In fact, to say the least, they all have history of enviable accomplishments unlike Mr. Michael Loyibo.
“According to Mr. Michael Loyibo, there cannot be two leaders in the State and H.E. Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa is the Leader and should produce who succeeds him as H.E. Chief James Ibori did in 2007 by handing over to Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan.
“This is a pedestrian argument that can only be pushed by the intellectually deficient like Michael Loyibo. H.E. Chief James Ibori as Governor was an exceptional leader who ensured equity and justice for all. His Government deliberately ensured that in addition to Warri and Asaba, places like Sapele, Ughelli and Agbor received infrastructure development as urban centres within his eight years in office.
“He also fought to ensure that the people of Niger Delta gets a fair share of their resources from the Federal Government. Chief James Ibori’s name featured prominently during the fight to abolish onshore and offshore dichotomy in distribution of oil revenue derivation. Even with limited resources, he linked most riverine parts of Ijaw communities to the upland cities with the construction of the Bomadi bridge, through which Mr. Michael Loyibo can now also drive a vehicle to his village.
“Chief Ibori was persecuted for standing with the people of Niger Delta. He paid the price and remains the number one political leader in the PDP Delta State. People like Mr. Michael Loyibo who are controlled by the desires of their stomachs cannot, of course, comprehend that being a leader is not just about holding an executive position. It is not the hood that makes the monk. Mr Michael Loyibo’s comments can be best described as futile incitement as Chief James Ibori’s leadership is not in doubt in Delta State fifteen years after leaving executive office.
“Sen. James Manager and H.E Kingsley Otuaro, according to Mr. Michael Loyibo, ‘are not better candidates and not worthy to represent Ijaw, in fact they are on their own.’ At what point did Mr. Michael Loyibo realize that Ijaw Governorship agenda is Sen. James Manager’s and H.E Kingsley Otuaro’s agenda? Of course, when H.E Kingsley Otuaro was paying Loyibo’s bills, Ijaw Governorship agenda was real. May we also remind Mr. Michael Loyibo about his comments when the Delta Central lobby group led by Chief Ighoyota Amori paid him courtesy call wherein he reminded the group of the now ‘non-existent Ijaw Governorship agenda?’
“Olorogun David Edevbie, according to Mr. Michael Loyibo, does not understand the political terrain and has no base in Delta State. For Mr. Michael Loyibo to describe Olorogun David Edevbie, a man who has distinguished himself both in the public and private sectors – three times Commissioner for Finance, one time Principal Secretary to late President Musa Yar’Adua and former Chief of Staff to Sen. (Dr.) Ifeanyi Okowa, as someone that does not understand politics shows his level of vacuousness. For the records, Olorogun David Edevbie, amongst all the PDP aspirants for Delta Governorship race 2023, is the most qualified in terms of education, exposure and experience. He has virtually worked in every continent of the world, bringing his expertise to bear. At the age of 35 years, he was appointed Commissioner for Finance and Economic Planning by Chief James Ibori. It will also interest Mr. Michael Loyibo to know that, with all due respect to all the PDP Governorship aspirants, Olorogun David Edevbie is the only aspirant that has clear cut vision for Delta State. His vision encapsulated in his ‘Modernization Agenda’ is well documented and is in the public domain and can be accessed online.
“Mr. Michael Loyibo, until recently, was a member of the ruling APC and a regular visitor to Abuja, where he lobbied in vain to become the Coordinator of the Amnesty Program but was rejected because he failed both Security and moral tests. This Presidency, as we were reliably informed, was disappointed with those who presented him for such an intellectually demanding office. In anger, Mr. Michael Loyibo decamped from APC and identified with H.E. Kingsley Otuaro and was a regular visitor to the Deputy Governor until recently when he pitched his tent with Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s camp for filthy lucre. We are therefore not surprised that as his usual stock in trade, he is out to please his pay masters.
“It is rather unfortunate that the likes of Mr. Michael Loyibo who ought to be behind bars are celebrated in the society. That is the levelm of moral decadence in Nigeria where people with questionable character claim leadership responsibilities and pretend to be speaking for the people.
“It is on this note that we wish to call on H. E. Kingsley Otuaro and distinguished Senator James Manager who, though are eminently qualified, to join forces to ensure that Olorogun David Edevbie becomes PDP standard bearer in the 2023 Governorship candidate to shame the likes of Mr. Michael Loyibo and his paymasters. Our appeal is based on the fact that, the gentleman agreement on Governorship rotation in Delta State come 2023, is pointing to Delta Central, hence the need to support Olorogun David Edevbie,” they concluded.
By Ebi Perekeme