Despite owing workers, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta state has allegedly ordered the release of the sum of N350 million for the celebration and welcome party of ex-convict and former governor of Delta state, Chief James Ibori.
According to an investigative report by Sahara Reporters, two sources in Delta state, one of them a senior government official, said that Governor Okowa released the funds in order to ensure that the reception for Mr Ibori, scheduled to take place on Sunday, February 12, at James Ibori’s hometown of Oghara, would be a huge event.
It would be recalled that Ibori returned from the UK on February 4, after serving a concurrent 13-year jail term for money laundering and was reportedly visited by some top politicians in the state including Okowa.
An anonymous official of the Delta state government reportedly disclosed that Governor Okowa decided that the state government must bankroll the events formally welcoming ex-Governor Ibori back to the state. The source said the governor’s decision was also “a way to show gratitude to Chief Ibori, who single-handedly made sure that he won the 2015 governorship election.”
The source reportedly said: “Chief Ibori not only saw Senator Okowa through all the hurdles in the PDP governorship primaries but made him the governor of the state right from his prison far away in London. Before now, the governor had always vowed to give Chief an elaborate reception for standing behind him politically.”
The commissioner of Information in Delta state is yet to confirm this report but an official at the Ministry of Information reportedly confirmed to Sahara Reporters that the state was playing a big role in the forthcoming reception for Ibori.
Meanwhile, governor Okowa has said Chief James Ibori should be more concerned with his family now that he has returned from prison rather than politics.
Okowa stated this in reaction to claims that the former governor of Delta state on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and acclaimed political godfather was planning to join the All Progressives Congress (APC).