From Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Traditional rulers of Ijaw kingdoms in Delta State have urged former Minister of State for Education Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi not to relent in his quest to govern the state come 2023.
The royal fathers said that Gbagi has what it takes to industrialise and transform the oil-rich state if elected governor.
They there urged him to go for the ticket of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), and that their prayers were with the governorship hopeful always, saying, however, that they do not have the power to make him governor.
The monarchs stated this when the PDP governorship aspirant visited the Ijaw Council of Traditional Rulers in Warri on Thursday.
Gbagi was received by the chairman of the council, the paramount ruler of Ogulagha kingdom, Joseph Timighan, the Pere of Siembiri Kingdom, Charles Ayemi-Botu, Pere of Akugbene Mein Kingdom, Luke Kalanama, Pere of Ogne-Ijoh kingdom, Couple Oromoni, Mobene III and others.
‘What we will do is prayers, we will take your request as part of our prayer points for God to give you wisdom and good health to achieve your mission. Only God will do it, we will only support,’ Timighan told Gbagi.
Kalanama, on his part, asserted that Gbagi is ‘a household name in Delta and Nigeria. We are praying for a good leader that will continue from where the present governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa will stop and you are also an Ijaw man.’
Leading his colleagues in prayers, Ayemi-Botu said Gbagi has ‘all it takes to transform the state and take it to another level, so go and get the PDP ticket, we will pray for you.’
Addressing the royals, the former minister recounted the story of his relationship with some Ijaw personalities.
He commended Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for his development strides in the state, saying: ‘There is no local government area across the three senatorial districts in the state that he has not tarred between one to ten roads.
‘I am one of you and I am here to present myself to you, My strength is that I am an industrialist and I have the capacity and connection to industrialize the state.
‘Governor Okowa has done something unique in the past six years, he has been able to manage the inter-communal crisis without which we would not have peace. Please continue to support him to finish strong.
‘Some people are worried about me because they say I cannot be controlled but I would rather want you to convince me as to how we can all develop the state, not to control me,’ he stated.