…Governor says, ‘We’ll be servant-leaders’
Before Friday January 19, 2024, uncertainty pervaded the air as to whether Governor Sheriff Oborevwori would continue to occupy the number one seat of Delta State or give way for another.
Some people even predicted there would be a re-run governorship election in the state.
All the dark clouds cleared as at 10.30am Friday when news filled the air that the Supreme Court has upheld the victory of Oborevwori as the governor of Delta State.
The apex court’s judgment brought to an end the long battle between Oborevwori of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and three candidates of the major opposition parties including Ovie Omo-Agege of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Ken Pela of the Labour Party (LP), and Kenneth Gbagi of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).
The legal battles started following the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC’s) declaration of Oborevwori as the winner of the March 18, 2023 governorship election.
Checks by BusinessDay Sunday revealed that Deltans were divided in their opinions as to who they wanted to be their governor.
While some believed that the PDP that has been in power in the state since 2019 and should give way for another party, some think the party should continue based on the achievements recorded in the past.
Said Kingsley Ojumah, an indigene of the state and businessman, said, “What we need is a change in government. What we have since the time of James Ibori has been a family affair. Nothing is happening in this state but if there is a new capable hand, the new person would be challenged. Go to places like Abakiliki you’ll know that nothing is happening here in terms of the resources the state receives.”
Ikechukwu Nwodo, an artisan said: “We would have preferred that another set of people rule the state but since the Supreme Court has approved the victory of Oborevwori, we surrender everything to God because Supreme Court is the highest court in Nigeria. We can only wait for the next dispensation for the change we desire.”
Ekwutosi, a hair stylist resident in Asaba said: “She actually voted for Oborevwori during the last year’s guber election but that when people began to bash her on her choice, she a kind of started regretting and wished there could be opportunity to vote for another person.
“Now, that the apex court of the land has sealed the governor’s victory, I appeal to him to make the masses of the state happy.
“We need steady electricity for our homes and businesses, we need good roads and security. In Asaba, we enjoy a bit of security but I don’t know whether it is the same across the state.
“Governor Oborevwori should cooperate with other state governors and ensure they work with the president and federal government to fight unfavourable government policies and inflation that have brought untold hardship on the masses.”
A young resident who simply goes by the name, Igwe, noted that since the Supreme Court has approved Oborevwori’s victory, he should do the needful because the masses are suffering.
Edith Orsakwe, a teacher and resident of Asaba said she wants the governor to continue. “He is my governor and this state is a PDP state. God will use him to take Delta State to greater heights.”
In a statement by Ifeanyi Osuoza, the state PDP publicity secretary, he described the governor’s. victory was well-deserved, adding that “The coast is now clear for the full implementation and delivery of the MORE agenda of the Gov Oborevwori’s administration”
Meanwhile, Ovie Omo-Agege of the APC has congratulated Oborevwori as advised his supporters to the apex court’s decision.
“As the final court of the land, all citizens are bound to accept and abide by its decisions even if they do not accord with their personal or collective expectations of justice. So, we ask our people to respect today’s decision and give their best to promote peace everywhere in our beloved Delta State.
“The unity, peace, and general good of our dear state are bigger and more important than any individual or group interest,” he added.
Governor Oborevwori at the Thanksgiving Service to celebrate his victory, disclosed that he had 28 legal cases and he won all.
“You may not understand!” he exclaimed.
“I see show of acceptance by Deltans.
I assure Deltans that my deputy governor and I would be a servant leader. This victory is for you to know that there is God. We carried the matter to God and he saw us through. Our lawyers did not abandon us.
“I commend the judiciary because it has proved that it is still the last hope of the common man.”