2019: Ibori, Okowa Clash Over Speaker’s Impeachment

  • Real Reasons Igbuya was Impeached

By Austin Osayande (The New Diplomat’s Abuja Bureau Chief)

Contrary to reports that the impeached Speaker of Delta State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Monday Igbuya was impeached by his colleagues for alleged high-handedness and poor leadership style, the real reason he was shown the way out has to do with political permutations in Delta State toward the 2019 governorship elections.

Top level sources at the two camps of the factionalized Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) revealed to The New Diplomat in Abuja that the impeachment of ex-Speaker Igbuya followed indications that he may have been directed to set up political structures ahead of 2019 governorship polls for two reasons. Igbuya who is a political protégé of former Governor James Ibori, was said to have received the blessing of key political actors in Ibori Political family to “to start setting up structures ahead of 2019 governorship elections.”

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First, it was gathered that the move was to appease the Central Senatorial zone (Urhobos) who feel totally marginalized under the current Okowa administration given the fact that the political currents in Delta still remain hazy as the factors that threw up Okowa are manifestly different as at today. Two, to possibly foist Igbuya on Okowa as a possible running mate in 2019 to appease the Urhobos and elicit their tremendous political support given the fact that the factors that threw up a Tompolo candidate as Okowa’s Deputy (Barr, Kingsley Otuaro) are no longer tenable as Goodluck Jonathan (whom Tompolo rode on to foist Otuaro on Okowa) has since lost relevance in the nation’s power game as he was roundly defeated in the 2015 presidential elections by President Muhammadu Buhari of the APC.

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The deposed Delta House Speaker, Monday Igbuya

To compound Igbuya’s woes he was said to have openly accompanied Chief Ibori to visit Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State.

Sources confided in The New Diplomat that those loyal to Governor Okowa took exception to this move and to counter and neutralize the political scheme from the Camp of Ibori key players like Chief Ighoyota Amori, the Speaker had to be impeached. Said an insider: “I can tell you confidently that Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa knew about the plots and was in the know. He tacitly supported the plot to help checkmate Igbuya’s ambition. Nobody in power will sit down as Governor of Delta and allow two contending power blocs …in the state at the same time. Forget what is being reported that the Governor is trying to reverse the decision. It is a political game that is at play and Igbuya has become the first casualty ahead of the 2019 governorship elections. It is not clear how things will play out politically,” the source said.

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Those close to former Governor Ibori are said be very upset that the “position of Speaker was zoned to Chief Ibori (to produce from Delta Central zone where Igbuya hails from) and that if there was need to replace Igbuya, Chief Ibori should have been contacted by the Governor to come up with a replacement.”

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But some aides of Governor Okowa counter, stressing that Okowa was never aware of the legislators plot and “when he got wind of it, he tried to stop it a night before but it was apparently too late.”

They added: “Besides, the Delta House of Assembly members accused Igbuya of being too greedy and selfish. How can a whole Legislators Quarters Generator be off and there would be no light or power at the legislative quarters? It is totally unheard of. Yet the same Speaker is said to be building filing stations and acquiring properties everywhere? He never cared about his colleagues. Forget that bullshit talk.

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“Governor Okowa never, I repeat never interfered in the House decision on Igbuya. Leave out the innocent Governor. Igbuya should go and face his fate. He should stop calling on Ibori and Amori to rally round him. Was it Chief Ibori and Amori that asked him to be politically selfish and stop pushing for the interests of his colleagues? The Legislators cannot reverse the decision, no matter the level of blackmail. In the interest of integrity of the Delta State House of Assembly, let them leave the House alone.”

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It would be recalled that Igbuya had been impeached earlier this week and was quickly replaced with Rt Hon Sheriff Oborovwori, representing Okpe in the House of Assembly. Igbuya was impeached with 22 signatures out of the 29 members of the House. Immediately after the ouster, Rt Hon Oborovwori had led members to visit Governro Okowa behind closed doors.

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The Governor was said to have allegedly asked them to reverse the decision following pressures from Chief Ibori but the Legislators stood their ground.

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