Lagos – Chief James Ibori, former Delta state governor on Saturday said there is need for governors in the South- South region to come together and work for the common goal and development of the region.
He made the appeal when he received Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state who led a powerful delegation on a courtesy visit to Ibori in his hometown of Oghara, Delta state.
Ibori, who expressed great delight at the level of friendship and unity between Wike and his state governor, Ifeanyi Okowa urged the two governors to extend same fellowship to other governors in the South- South region.
“I want to commend the Governor of Rivers state for his vision and for the cooperation, collaboration and friendship that he has developed and is growing between him and my Governor, Senator Okowa. I commend the spirit because that alone sends the signal of unity and a common purpose of our state and our people.
“I will like to add that both Governor Wike and my governor should continue and extend that to all the other states of the South-south geo-political zone. At the end of the day, we need to be united to be able to serve our people better.
“We have to cooperate to work for our people. I have watched from a very vantage position and I have seen all the efforts that you have put into the service of our people and it is only God that can bless you.
“As I always say, at the end of the day, we will all leave office someday, it is what you do and what you leave behind that will be your legacy. And I’m glad that you are on the path to greatness”.
The former governor also promised to make always make himself available whenever the governors required his assistance on any issues that will bring development and advancement to the region.
“I want to assure you that you have my cooperation at all times. Feel free to call on me if you need me for anything. I may not be able to do much as you all know I am retired now but whatever contributions I can make, whatever advice I can give given my experience, I am prepared to do it 24 hours a day”.
In his response, Governor Wike who hailed Ibori’s immense contributions to the upliftment of the people of Delta and development of the South South said he and his entourage visited Ibori to show solidarity with him.
He also emphasised the need for leaders in the South-South region to unite.
“I want to tell our leader, Chief Ibori that all you passed through, we identify with you. We are happy that despite all, God has kept you alive. God has not finished with you and that is we are here to show solidarity with you.
“Niger Delta must continue to be united. We must not allow people from outside to divide us”.
Governor Okowa who gave the vote of thanks described Wike as a grassroots politician who has turned the fortunes of Rivers around in the last two years.
“Governor Wike is someone who believes in grassroots politics and that is what it takes to be governor over your people. We are proud of you and we are glad to have you in Delta state.
“Here in Delta state, we have a political family. I am sure it’s very well known to you and we are very proud at every point in time to identify with the leadership of that political family.
“I can see that it is the same kind of structure that you have in Rivers state. With this kind of structures, we may not realise it now but for the people of the South South geo-political zone, it is necessary that we put up structures going into the future because when some of the voices of our elders start to drown, we need to have a strong structure going into the future because we know the impact we are making in the Nigerian economy but it cannot be said yet that we have that same impact in the politics of this nation.
“We need to continue to rally together in order to have a stronger voice in Nigerian politics”, he said.