Edevbie and the baseless criticism over Ibori’s support

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David Edevbie

By MIEBI XAJO

Intimidated by David Edevbie’s high quality CV, huge experience, proven competence and wide and growing acceptance as the best to take over the reins of Delta Governorship, his opponents, for want of any blemish around him, have resorted to the infantile narrative that he is Chief Onanefe Ibori’s stooge.

If being Ibori’s political associate or working under him is an offence, then it is a wonder how we have had two successive Governors who also worked under him.

Ibori was their principal. He believed in their competence and had them serve in his two terms.

He supported their growth in politics just as he did for virtually all Deltans who have held high political offices both at the state and federal levels from 1999 till date.

Uduaghan was his Commissioner for Health and later Secretary to the State Government before he became Governor with the support of Ibori.

Dr Okowa was first Ibori’s Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, then Water Resources, later Health, then SSG under Uduaghan, then went to the Senate before he became Governor also with the support of Ibori.

It is commonly held that for the 2014 primaries, the Ibori political family went to meet him in London to seek his views on rotation and the very person to support. He reportedly told them that power should rotate to Delta North and pointed at Okowa as his choice.

A former Chairman of the party so confirmed. The DG of Okowa’s campaign, Prof Oyovbaire, reportedly also confirmed that he heard about Ibori’s preference for Okowa.

Fast forward to 2019, the Deputy Governor, Deacon Kingsley Otuaro, revealed that their re-election was mostly made possible by Ibori.

As authored by Emma Amaize, the Vanguard newspaper of September 16, 2019 reported:

“Otuaro, who appreciated Ibori at a thanksgiving service for the 2019 governorship victory of Okowa and himself at Christ Embassy Church, Warri, said the former governor “stood shoulder to shoulder with Governor Okowa against all contending issues and distractions that came up in the body politics of the State before and during elections.”

The question therefore is: If it was okay for Ibori to support others of the same political family to become Governors, what now makes it not okay for same Ibori to support Edevbie who is a member of the same family?

It is even perfect chemistry that besides sharing the same political root, Edevbie towers above others in the race for his sterling educational and professional background, with proven competence and a track record of outstanding performance in the private sector, in the service of Delta State and in the service of the federation.

It was the same competence and capacity that Ibori saw in Uduaghan and Okowa in appointing them commissioners and supporting them to become Governors that he recognised in Edevbie to bring him from the Commonwealth Development Corporation into the service of the state.

Like we say in Delta, a good tailor does not need a sign board. It is not only Ibori. Edevbie’s capacity is widely acknowledged. Yar’adua recognised it by appointing him as his Principal Secretary. Okowa must have recognised same qualities in appointing him as his Commissioner of Finance in his first tenure and as Chief of Staff in his second tenure, several years after Edevbie had served under Chief Ibori.

It is the same David we are talking about. Let the best do it.