The Governor of Delta State, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, on Sunday led top political gladiators in the state to pay homage to an erstwhile governor of the state, Chief James Ibori, who had just regained freedom after being convicted by a British court for money laundering.
Ibori, who touched down in Abuja on Saturday was later airborne in a chartered plane, IZYAIR, with registration numberIndia Zulu Yanky (5NIZY) from Abuja, the nation’s capital to Benin airport enroute to Oghara, his country house, where he was welcome by a mammoth crowd of supporters.
The former Delta State governor, however, played host to several top dignitaries on Sunday, whom were which are governor Okowa, Senator James Manager, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, Delta State House of Assembly Speaker, Chief Monday Igbuya, and several house of representative members including Mr. Daniel Yingi.
At about 4:40pm, Okowa and the members of his delegation were still having a chat with Ibori whose homecoming was witnessed with a rousing welcome as politicians from all political divides visited Oghara to pay homage to the former governor.
Our correspondent, who visited Oghara on Sunday but denied entry into the main mansion of Ibori, observed the influx of many politicians driving into the compound with their after undergoing security checks at the entrance gate.
Political aides and Okowa’s press crew were also denied access into the apartment where Okowa met with Ibori and other political leaders in the state. Photographs were also not allowed to be taken within the premises on Sunday.
Most politicians who were on the ground to welcome the Oghara-born politician on Saturday included the Managing Director of Delta State Oil Producing Area Development Commission, William Makinde; Senator Ighoyota Amori, Chief Ben Ikpaba, Eric Oharisi, Samuel Mariere, among others
Oghara, the administrative headquarters of Ethiope-West Council Area of the state, had become a ‘Mecca’ of sorts for politicians coming to pay homage to Ibori.
It was observed that traders and shop owners on Sunday opened for business after they shut stores and markets to welcome the former governor on Saturday.
Our correspondent gathered from reliable sources that a church thanksgiving was in the offing for the ex-governor. The source also said no major activity would be held to celebrate Ibori next week.
Meanwhile, governor Okowa has promised to upgrade facilities at public secondary schools in the state in order to enhance education in the state.
The governor gave the assurance on Sunday when he led some top government functionaries on an inspection tour of the gutted Chude Girls Model Secondary School, Sapele, before visiting Ibori.
He said, “I sympathize with the young ones who lost their belongings in the fire, we will try to replace what you have lost. This fire incident may be a blessing in disguise as I have inspected the facilities here and I can assure you that this school will not be like this by next year.”
The Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education in the state, Mr. Chiedu Ebie, had informed the governor that a total of 95 students were in the hostel when the fire incident broke out and no life was lost during the incident.