Ibori: One year after, ‘Odidigborigbo’ says: “I’m back from sabbatical”
Chief James Onanefe Ibori has described his detention in the United Kingdom where he served a 13-year jail term as a sabbatical.
The Delta state hard-knock politician, popularly known as Odidigborigbo of Africa, stated this at a grand reception party organized by the government of Delta state and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).
“Me ni sabatika rire,” Ibori said in the Agharha dialect of the Urhobo language translating to mean “I am back from sabbatical”.
Ibori, who spoke largely in the Urhobo language, said, “Oyan na me yanre na, oyan na o grori emera. Ede gbikun royen nonẹ na, eche vrẹ nẹ etinẹẹ. Ẹrovwo rẹ ovwavwan ọyen ghwa vwẹ tẹ uwevwi”.
That translate to mean: “My travail was a lengthen one. If I should narrate it, we won’t leave here today. It is your prayers that brought me home”.
“I have no words to express my deep appreciation of this event. I hope that in the days ahead my actions will express more adequately my gratitude to you all. There is time for me to speak; today is just for me to thank you,” he further stated.
Speaking at the event, Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, who spoke largely in Pidgin English, described Ibori as “a better man”, adding: “we are very excited that he is back with us”.
In his remarks, Prince Uche Secondus, National Chairman of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), who was present at the event, said Ibori remains a key factor in Nigerian politics that cannot be ignored.
“Today Ibori is a factor in this country,” said Secondus, preaching from the Bible book of Psalm 41 to claim Ibori is a blessed man.
Turning to Ibori, he said, “You have come back for good. Your assignment in this nation and in this state has not finished yet”.
“This man must be celebrated; the man of the people, not only in Delta, but across the nation,” he told the mammoth crowd that gathered to welcome the man acclaimed to be the Odidigborigbo of Africa.
Further speaking, Secondus narrated how Ibori, from prison, singlehandedly dictated the emergence of Okowa governor of Delta state.
“Before the general elections in 2015, I received a call from our leader [referring to James Ibori], and I asked him the direction; he told me that Okowa should be supported.
“I was then the Deputy National Chairman, and I gathered all my people, the financial secretary was there, and said I have received an order from my leader, and that was how we supported Dr. Okowa because the leader spoke to us,” he said.
“Our leader has passed through political tribulation because he believes in the people, because he considers the poor, because he considers the masses, and that was why God delivered him,” he added.
In his remarks, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa described Ibori as “a better man”, adding: “we are very excited that he is back with us”.
Present at the grand reception party are the National Secretary of the PDP, National Women Leader of the PDP, National Financial Secretary of the PDP, National Treasurer of the PDP as well as former Governor Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan, and other dignitaries from across the state and the country.