Mulade Presents Powerful Lecture On Delta 2023 Governorship (A must read)



The purpose of democracy is to give a sense of belonging to component units of the society. This is why democracy is defined as; government of the people, for the people and by the people.

This brings up Delta State, with its structure of various ethnic nationalities. The state has also evolved in its history of democratic practice, it is quite appreciated and my view is for the state to make further progress politically.

The structures as enunciated by our political leaders of the old and the present is acutely defective.

It is my view as an illustrious son of the second largest ethnic group in Delta State, that the governorship position, needs to be broadened and further deepened to accommodate only those ethnic nationalities that have not been given opportunity in the sharing formula which the progenitors termed a gentleman’s agreement.

Such unwritten power rotation formula is visibly defective as those who promoted the method left out a major block, which is a larger component of the Ijaw society. The Ijaw ethnic nationality is no doubt very important and should not be considered as unimportant when it comes to the plum job of the governorship position in Delta State.

We can only agree that such exclusion is not deliberate only if the Urhobos as a consequential stake fighters in this marriage and other groups agree to accommodate the large communities of the Ijaws in the governorship race of 2023.

It is my candid opinion and those of all the Ijaws of Delta State, that the political alignment against the second largest ethnic nationalities should be nip on board.

If the gentleman’s agreement needs to continue as a state practice, the Ijaw society needs to be a part of the arrangement, also knowing fully well that such practice will help promote tranquility and peace in the entire Niger Delta region.
With the above, permit me to welcome you all to this laudable programme that will help give a foresight to orderliness, peace and tranquility amongst component units of Delta state.

Ladies and gentlemen, I know that Delta State is politically dynamic due to the diverse nature of its political space. All ethnic groups should, therefore, be given equal right to produce the State Governor.

On Senatorial district in the state and any other district in the nation, politically, Delta State is divided into 3 senatorial districts, namely: North, Central and South. The North comprises Ndokwa, Ika, Oshimili, Ukwani and Aniocha LGAs; Central is made up of Urhobo ethnic group, while the South consists of Ijaw, Itsekiri and the Isokos’.

The governorship seat of Delta State on the basis of tribal or senatorial lines, can be termed as outright injustice, lack of equity and fairness.

Why should I in my political research draw such conclusions? It is simply based on the definitions of the three words with strong constitutional definitions and linguistic consideration. The tripartite words, equity, justice and fairness; to be further broken down are conjugal words to promote peace and harmony in every democratic society, hence being fair, just and impartial, becomes inalienable and should be taken as strong words needed in the promotion of growth in any democratic environment.


Delta State had several governors who performed incredulously well in terms of infrastructural and human capital development to the benefit of all districts. Judging from Delta’s governorship history, it is more than clear that all three characters are lacking, because, the Urhobos, based on their argument for senatorial arrangement have benefited more, while other ethnic nationalities beg to be elected as governor of the State.

In view of the existing factors, the state governorship position should neither be by ethnic nationality, nor senatorial district, but should be on equity, fairness and justice. This will allow for an inclusive government and improve development of all the districts. Ethnicity or senatorial district arrangement will only encourage selective and sectional development, whereby, some areas will remain and continue to remain under-developed.

The Ijaw people have been active in social, economic and political activities since the days of Western and Mid-Western Regions, Bendel State and now Delta State. In view of this fact, equity and justice should be the only approach to resolving the debate.

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The Ijaws, for example, constitute the second largest ethnic group in Delta State, with a geographical spread in six LGAs which are Bomadi, Patani, Burutu, Warri South West, Warri North, Warri South and other parts of the State. The land they occupy is a bed for the golden eggs that has immeasurably contributed to the growth of the State and Nigeria at large.

It is glaring to the political leaders in the state that the Ijaws have made huge sacrifices, contributing over 70% to the social and economic sustainability of the State, and supporting other ethnic groups especially the Urhobos over the years to emerge as governors.

In the present Delta State, the Ijaws have massively supported all the governors, both past and present; they supported Olorogun Felix Ibru and Chief James Ibori from Urhobo ethnic nationality without considering senatorial but, based on personality and good character, not on ethnicity, or tribal sentiment. It will be unfair not to state the development strides of Chief James Onanefe Ibori in terms of his rural development efforts, as the Governor of Delta State, especially in Ijaw land, which include the construction of the Bomadi and Omadinor bridges connecting Okerenkoko-Kokodiagbene roads in Gbaramatu Kingdom, currently abandoned by successive administrations. He brought to rest the lingering ethnic crisis between Ijaw and Itsekiri in Warri South West, Itsekiri and Urhobo in Warri South LGA. He also relocated the Warri South West LGA headquarters to its original place and established the School of Marine Technology, Burutu, which is the only state-owned higher institution in Ijawland, etc.

It is on record that it was the period of Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, an Itsekiri man that brought about the Senatorial District arrangement in the primary election of governorship candidates. The senatorial district arrangement is specified by just a political group and party in the State and not a collective arrangement by all political parties operating in Delta State. That arrangement was to broker peace amongst some certain individuals and governorship candidates at that time which gradually crept into the minds of the majority in Delta politics. Hence, after the tenure of Dr. Uduagha, Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa (of Anioma ethnic nationalities) became the Governor, just to fulfill that gentleman agreement, adopted by a political group.

The Ijaw ethnic group, like other ethnic groups in the State, is blessed with illustrious and influential sons and daughters that can govern the State. The likes of Barrister Kingsley Burutu Otuaro, current Deputy Governor of Delta State; Senator James Manager, a seating Senator representing Delta South at the upper legislative chamber at the National Assembly; Dr. Braduce Angozi, former Commissioner for Agriculture, Delta State; Dr. Patrick Akpoboloukemi, former DG of NIMASA; Alaowei Broderick Bozimo, former Minister of Police Affairs; Elder God’sday Orubebe, former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs; Hon George Timinimi, former Commissioner of Water Resources, Delta State; and my humble self, Comrade Chief Sheriff Mulade, amongst others.

One point we must not forget is that the fundamentals of democracy guarantee the individual’s right to go against any political factors or existing political arrangement that is associated with a single political party, like the one existing in Delta State. Today those in Delta Central are projecting senatorial district arrangement for just a reason, self-benefit as it tends to favour them for now, forgetting the fact that on two separate occasions they have enjoyed the position as governors, in the persons of Olorogun Felix Ibru and Chief James Ibori from Urhobo ethnic nationality and equally contested since 2007 to date without considering senatorial or tribal views. So, no one can consciously undermine the clamor for an Ijaw Governor in the 2023 election, especially in this clime when people cling to tradition out of fear and frustration.

The present political challenges in the State, demand a deliberate deviation from political party and sectional interests to achieve a collective state interest anchored on equity, fairness and justice which the Ijaw governorship agenda tends to bring on board, in line with empirical observations and careful study because this will be the first time in Delta political history that an Ijaw person would be the Governor of the State if the power brokers deem it right to do the right thing.

The truth is that only equity, justice and fair play can guarantee peace and stability in Delta State which this paper tends to address. There exists no reason why other ethnic groups in the state should not support Ijaw governorship ambition in the State come 2023 due to the present political reality in Delta State.

We should recognize the fact that since the creation of the state, an Ijaw man has not been given the opportunity to be a governor, despite their population and huge contribution to the economic mainstay of the State and its voting strength.

It is common in politics that whoever contributes to the common purse, must draw from the commonwealth. As noted by a political commentator recently, if every ethnic group in Delta State can come to terms with, and are able to manage this situation and other challenges, it will once again announce the arrival of a brand new State where peace and love shall reign supreme. We should remember that no society, state or nation enjoys lasting peace without justice, equity and fair play. That is why all other ethnic groups should support justice, equity and fair play by doing what is right to broker peace among all ethnic groups in Delta State, as the 2023 governorship election approaches.

We cannot over emphasize the importance of equity which stands as the paramount factor in life. So, for the sake of equity, justice and fair play, the Urhobos should drop their gubernatorial ambition and support the actualization of the Ijaw nation for this noble cause of governing the state come 2023.


The role of equity, fairness and justice supersedes individual interest; it lasts longer and brings about peace to those who choose that part.

Many may wish to ask what an Ijaw governor will bring on board at this time in Delta politics. An Ijaw governor will make provision for riverine and coastal communities’ development across the entire state; and to LGAs predominantly occupied by the Ijaws like other successive governors did in their respective local areas. The coastal regional development cuts across every ethnic group in Delta State. The Ijaw areas include, Burutu, Bomadi, Patani, Warri South, Warri North and Warri South West LGAs’. Isoko coastal communities: Iyede Ame, Onogboko, Ofagbe etc. Itsekiri areas: Warri South, Warri North and Warri South West LGAs of the State. Ndokwa Communities: Ase, Aboh and Ashaka. Urhobo areas: Assah, Gbaregolo, Okwagbe, Esaba, Otutuama, Ophorigbala and Otor-Ewu etc. that will spread across the three senatorial districts of the State and include the five major ethnic groups in the State, viz: (i) Ijaw; (ii) Isoko; (iii) Itsekiri; iv) Ndokwa of Anioma nationalities, and (v) Urhobo. Under this inclusive arrangement, the case of envy or inter-tribal crisis will not arise.

Irrespective of the massive economic contributions to the State, there is a huge setback in infrastructural development of the health centers, no well-built and furnished schools and poor employment opportunities in the riverine communities where the Ijaws live. The region also lacks potable and drinkable water, roads, and other forms of social amenities which should be paramount in choosing a candidate as Governor.

The collective effort of all Deltans will bring about the much needed positive and progressive change for a better tomorrow for the children yet unborn. This can only be achieved when equity, fairness and justice are practiced by all Deltans in choosing the right candidate to serve as Delta State Governor come 2023.

It is imperative to state that, the time has come for Deltans to rise above the confines of our individualistic and ethnic consideration to broader perspectives of electing a personality capable of giving Delta the desire development, rather than senatorial or ethnicity. I am using this opportunity to once again, offer my humble self to Deltans for good governance and development to our dear State.

Comrade (Chief) Mulade Sheriff
Governorship Aspirant.
Delta State

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