It was in the news that the former Governor of Delta State, Chief James Onanefe Ibori recently played host to Delta Central Senatorial District Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stakeholders where he appealed to other Senatorial Districts and other ethnic nationalities in the state to allow Delta Central senatorial district (the Urhobos), to produce the 2023 governor of Delta State.
This development may not come as a surprise to the keen political watchers in the state for so many reasons.
Though not written, it is common knowledge to political players in the State, that Deltans are, of course, in consonance that there exists in the state, a zoning or power rotation arrangement for the governorship position among the three Senatorial Districts comprising Delta South, Central, and Delta North of which Chief Ibori, the Governor of the state from May 1999 to May 2007, and the predominant party in the State- the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), have bequeathed a lasting legacy for Deltans to cherish.
Looking at how effective and efficient the zoning arrangement has been in the State, particularly in the promotion of peace, unity and equity among the three Senatorial Districts, it will not be out of place in our views to state that though undemocratic, it should be encouraged in the State as it promotes peaceful co-existence.
However, even as we praise the former governor of the ruling party in the State, The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), for coming up with such wisdom that has helped to reduce political hostility in the State, it is, however, this newspaper’s opinion that the zoning arrangement is characterized by inherent challenges.
First, looking at this call for early preparation, the move has the capacity of putting unnecessary pressure on the incumbent governor and the Party while heating up the polity.
In our view, kick-starting the preparation for 2023 at a time when the incumbent is just settling for his second term in office may not be in his best interest. The timing of the meeting in our objective view is not only too early and premature but also wrong.
Similarly, the positive aspect of this zoning notwithstanding, the arrangement has the capacity of preventing capable and eminently qualified Deltans from the opportunity of leading the State.
While we caution all gladiators not to take step(s) inimical to or capable of truncating the nascent peace currently enjoyed in the State, it is our hope that whichever Senatorial Zone will produce the next governor of the State should support a candidate not based on political consideration(s) but on efficiency, capacity and ability to fittingly carry-on with both quality and scope, the great work the incumbent Governor of the State, Senator (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa is doing presently.