- Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta state has tendered apology over the failure of the Acting President Yemi Osibanjo to visit monarchs of Urhobo extraction when he visited Delta last Monday
- Okowa said it was unfortunate and pleaded with the monarchs in Urhobo to temper justice with mercy and forgive the state and the nation
- He tendered the apology during the celebration of the 100th birthday anniversary of HRM Ovie Richard Ogbon, the Ohworode of Olomu Kingdom in Ughelli south
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta state has tendered unreserved apology to the people of Urhobo nation over the poor handling of the visit of the Vice President Yemi Osibanjo to Delta last Monday, especially the failure of the acting president to visit monarchs of Urhoboland in at least one of the palaces of the Urhobo monarchs.
His apology may not be unconnected with the accusation leveled against him and his deputy Kingsley Otuaro by a former minister of state for education, Kenneth Gbagi, who accused them of diverting the vice president from visiting monarchs of Urhoboland as he did to the Olu of Warri, Ogiame Ikenwoli.
Gbagi had faulted the non-visit of Urhobo monarch by the VP, blaming it on Okowa as being the mastermind of the failure and described it as being unfair to the people of Urhobo.
But Okowa, who had earlier rained knocks on Gbagi over his statements, apologized to the traditional rulers during the 100th birthday celebration of the HRM Ovie Richard Ogbon, the Ohworode of Olomu Kingdom in Ughelli south local government area of the state.
The governor said: "I use this occasion to apologise once again to our traditional rulers for what happened during the visit of the vice president to our state, it was most unfortunate that it happened, no matter what, forgive the state and the nation.
“This is a day of joy in Delta state and in our country, Nigeria; I congratulate all of you for this special blessing which can only come from God - for a king who has a lot of burden to carry to live up to a hundred years is very rare to see.
“I believe that every day of your (the celebrant) life, you will continue to press on for the ultimate crown, you must work consistently to ensure that you get the crown of glory on the last day; you are a role model to a lot people, including me."
Acting President Yemi Osibanjo in a goodwill message read by Senator Babafemi Ojudu, special adviser to President Buhari on political matters, congratulated the monarch on his birthday and thanked him for his contributions to the development of his kingdom and the country.
Meanwhile, the state commissioner for information, Patrick Ukah, has said that the visit of the Vice President Yemi Osibanjo to the state on a fact finding mission would cement the relationship between the federal government and the people of the Niger Delta.
He said the state government has hope and relies on the federal government for the expected peace, insisting that the visit was a good omen by both arms of government to partner to achieve the expected and lasting peace.
The commissioner noted that the state government has, for long, been yearning for the lasting peace, insisting that it is only in a peaceful environment needed development could take place.
"It is difficult and expensive to achieve peace. Considering what the state government has put in place to cultivate, stabilize and sustain peace in the state, the visit of the Vice President was timely, appreciated and the good people of Delta state will take the advantage to make sure that peace has finally taken the position of crisis in the state,” Ukah stated.