2019: Tension As James Ibori Makes Shocking Move

By Ikenga Chronicles February 7, 2017

2019: Tension As James Ibori Makes Shocking Move

The ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, were grip with fear over the purported move of  the Former Governor of Delta State, James Ibori reputedly wielded influence in politics  even from his British prison cell, where he was serving a 13-year sentence for money laundering and fraud.

As 2019 draws near, the former governor of Delta state , has said that African politicians never retire, therefore he would not retire.

“Politics is in his blood,” his former adviser Ighoyota Amori said. “He will for now take a short rest before deciding on the next line of action.”

But in a hint revealed that Ibori was eyeing some political role, just as political parties begin jostling for position for the 2019 vote.

Amori said his former boss was a political “godfather and kingmaker”.

“No politician worth his calling can take Ibori’s endorsement for granted. He will forever remain relevant in national affairs.”

“His prison ordeal was a personal sacrifice he had to make as a leader,” he added.

Posters and giant billboards hailing the former governor sprung up throughout his hometown of Oghara and his return on Saturday was met with singing and dancing.

“We are excited that our leader, mentor and son is now a free man. Ibori was a victim of political persecution and media trial,” said community leader Chief Emmanuel Ighomena.

“The people of Oghara and indeed the entire Urhobo race are happy to accord him a hero’s welcome.

“Ibori was instrumental to the rapid transformation of Oghara during his tenure. We are showing our gratitude by giving him a befitting reception.”

Recall that Ibori’s patronage spread far and wide: in 2007, he was said to have used state funds to bankroll the presidential campaign of Umaru Yar’Adua.

On leaving office after eight years in 2007, he ensured Emmanuel Uduaghan, his cousin, succeeded him. Uduaghan had previously been his health commissioner and government secretary.

From jail, he was said to have hand-picked Ifeanyi Okowa to succeed Uduaghan in 2015 and a string of other local lawmakers.

Okowa was said to have dispatched senior aides to visit Ibori in London as “a mark of solidarity and loyalty” after his release and is organising a reception in the state capital, Asaba.

Political analysts said it was no surprise successive Delta state governments have not accused Ibori of looting but it was unclear whether he can be actively involved in politics again.