A Niger Delta prominent Chief, Amb. (Dr) Apst. Godspower Tomone has defended Sen. James Manager, Senator representing Delta South Senatorial District in the house of senate that kneeling down before former Governor Chief James Onanefe Ibori is not a demotion but an act of respect and the right thing to do.
Chief Tomone had particularly cautioned critics of Sen. Manager of unnecessarily hitting up the polity, stressing that it is childish for anyone to try to make issues out of a show of respect to his leader and political benefactor, adding that nothing is wrong with how Senator Manager consulted with Ibori.
The revered Niger Delta Chief made his position known to newsmen in Warri yesterday via a statement he personally signed, a copy of which was sent to The Liberator Newspapers Worldwide.
The statement reads in full below:
“The absurd reactions of most Nigerians to a picture that saw Sen. James E. Manager kneeling before Ex- Governor James Onanefe Ibori is a pure pointer to the heightened cultural and moral decadeness in our society today, especially in our current political environment. Many Nigerians criticised the Senator for kneeling before the ex- governor tagging it a ” shameful act”.
“First and foremost, it is customary for a well- bred culturally conscious ijaw man to pay obeisance by kneeling down before a older person when receiving prayer as a sign of respect. This symbol of respect comes to play when a man seeks the permission of his intended in-law to take his daughter as wife . Sen. James Manager being a truly humble loyalist and political kinsman to the ex- governor James Ibori decided to express his reverence for the political leader who has created the most impact in his political career by kneeling down to greet him and receive prayer from him after presentation of cola and drinks for entertainment.
“Apart from the fact that governor James Onanefe Ibori is a year older than Sen. James E. Manager, the duo has gone a long way politically. As Chief James Onanefe Ibori sees Pa Edwin Clark as a political father and mentor, same way Sen. James Manager sees Chief James Ibori as a political mentor. The emergence of Sen. James Manager as the pioneer PDP Delta state Chairman between 1998 and 1999 where he championed the campaign that enthroned James Ibori as the elected governor of Delta state in 1999 was sparked by the James Ibori formed ” Concerned Deltans” group which nurtured several political leaders including Sen. James Manager. Sen. James Manager who served as a commissioner for works, housing and transport under James Ibori, still holds the Ex- Governor in high esteem. As a former boss , senior political colleague and mentor, it is only wise to be loyal and humble.
“Loyalty remains the bedrock of political growth. Every political leader that wishes to grow, must be loyal to those ahead of him in the lather of leadership. Only the proud will mock such symbol of total respect as exhibited by Sen. James Manager”.