At thanksgiving service, Ibori vows to stand always with Deltans

James Ibori

Committee denies state’s sponsorship of event
Former Governor James Onanefe Ibori of Delta State has vowed to stand always with the people, saying their support during his incarceration in United Kingdom was heart-warming.

During a thanksgiving service yesterday at the First Baptist Church, Oghara-Efe, Ibori who spoke mostly in Urhobo language, thanked the people for their immense affection during his trying times. He said his only sin was that he chose to stand with the people and development.

The recently released erstwhile governor lamented that the period of his incarceration had adversely affected his people, as according to him, he would have attracted a lot of things to them in terms of development.

His words: “What was most painful to me was the pains and suffering my people were going through. It has nothing to do with me as a person because for some reasons, I drew my strength from God.”

“Somehow, I knew God will stand by me. I know that one day, I will return home. I am indeed happy to be in your midst. Persons that I have missed so much are those of you that have suffered the pains of my absence.”

Also speaking at the well-attended event, his bosom friend and one-time chaplain of Government House Chapel, Asaba, Bishop God-do-well Avwomaka, said: “No matter how a trap catches a lion, he must be set free to return home.” He described the former governor as a lover of all, saying the affection shown him was because he touched the lives of many when he held sway.

However, the Publicity Secretary of the Ibori’s Freedom Thanksgiving Committee, Chief Henry Ofa, said the report that the event was sponsored by the state government at a cost of N350 million was a deliberate attempt to malign the returnee erstwhile state chief executive and drag Governor Ifeanyi Okowa into the murky water of corruption.

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