Kinsmen of the former Delta State Governor, James Ibori, have begun another round of fasting and prayer to save their “ambassador”, who is facing a 129-count charge at a Federal High Court in Kaduna.
The kinsmen will use the session to seek divine intervention for the success of Ibori when his trial resumes next week Friday.
In Oghara, Ibori’s country home in the Ethiope West council area, residents are being led by Queen Oreki II, the wife of the traditional ruler, Ovie of Oghara Kingdom.
According to the Queen, the prayer will not only continue till next Friday when Ibori’s bail application is due for hearing, but throughout the duration of his trial.
The conveners are holding on to their belief that the former governor took the state to a greater height in infrastructure and economic development. They argued that his present travails had political undertones.
In a related development, a former governorship aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Delta State , Mr. Sunny Onuesoke, has described Ibori as a victim of circumstance.
Onuesoke said Ibori’s fate was not unconnected with his agitation for resource control and urging the international community to take interest in his plight.
He said prominent Deltans and politicians from the Niger Delta region have concluded efforts to bring the attention of reputable world leaders to Ibori’s fate and the underlying political colouration of his trial.
Onuesoke traced Ibori’s ordeal by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to the antics of some northern elites, who he claimed, are frustrating the resource control struggle.
The aspirant, who spoke in Warri yesterday, said it was unfortunate that only the former Delta State Governor spent the Christmas and New Year in prison.
He said: “The arrest of Chief Ibori is a calculated attempt by some political leaders in the North to cut him to size as a result of his struggle for resource control. We have 36 governors in the Federation, and I want to prove to you that 85 percent of them are corrupt. But I was shocked and shed tears all through the Christmas period, I never did my Christmas with my ex-governor who has become a national figure, a national stabilising factor in the country who has been so responsible for the peace of the Niger Delta, who has been a fore front fighter of the resource control, now they are trying to cow Chief Ibori for fighting for resource control.
“Where are the Northern governors that they detained during the festive period?. Where are the Western and Eastern governors? They spent their holidays with friends and loved ones and why not Chief Ibori?”
While describing the travails of Chief Ibori as a selective justice, Mr. Onuesoke said the people of the South – South must rise and support one of their own being victimised for his fight for a better deal for the region.
– The Nation