Ex-convict abroad, god at home: James Ibori receives “royal’ welcome at Oghara

Photo credit: NAN

“I believe now that our leader is out, we will have a sense of direction. We are a sheep with a shepherd right now.”

Delta State former governor and ex-convict, Mr. James Ibori, has landed in his home country of Oghara, Delta, amid funfair.

Earlier, he arrived Abuja by British Airways, headed straight to DSS office at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) for a brief discussion with DSS boss, Mr. Daura.

He was due for Osubi Airport in Warri, but later went home en route Benin Airport through a chartered plane IZYAIR, with registration number India Zulu Yanky (5NIZY), report says.

Supporters lined the streets of Oghara, while his allies jubilated.james-ibori-landed-in-oghara

James Ibori as the god of Delta politics

James Ibori is seen as the god of Delta politics. He dictated the political direction of Delta from 1999 till the time of his extradition from UAE to the UK court where he’s sentenced.

“We are grateful to God for the return of our chief (Ibori). Sure things will turn around for better from now on in Oghara.

“Ibori is our father and we can die because of him,” of the youth leaders Efe Moses said.

One of the former senators from the oil-rich state, Mr Ighoyota Amori, said, “We are happy that Ibori is back, people are jubilating, the crowd you see here and the enthusiasm that has been displayed today showed that we really missed him.

“This is the only way for us to appreciate that our leader who left us long ago is back.james-ibori-homecoming

“His coming is a beginning of so many good things to come, by his presence today, l am sure we are gaining back all we have lost.

“Ibori remains in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP),  but it is not time to discuss politics. All his followers around are members of PDP.”

Another political son of the ex-governor, Mr Lovett Idisi, a member representing Ethiope East and Ethiope West Federal Constituency, said, “We prayed that all our PDP faithful  should be steadfast now that we have a pure political direction.

“Their support has not been in vain, I believe now that our leader is out, we will have a sense of direction.  We are a sheep with a shepherd right now.

“In my constituency, we now have somebody to consult without travelling overseas.”

James Ibori in Olabode George’s shoes

Ibori isn’t the first ex-convict to be celebrated by the helpless masses, who sell their votes during election.james-ibori-delta-political-god

Erstwhile Deputy National Chairman (South-West) of PDP, Chief Olabode George was celebrated in like manner in February 26, 2011 after completing his jail term at Kirikiri.

In 2011, Bode George headed straight to church for thanksgiving after completing his corrupt jail term.

“We are preparing for his return. All types of men and women groups from different local government in Lagos State and other states in the South West are expected to come to Kirikiri in a motorcade to welcome him and from there, we would proceed to the Cathedral Church in Marina. By 10 am, he would have left Kirikiri in a convoy and by 12.30pm, the Church service would commence at Marina,” one of his close associates had said.

Ibori’s offence

He was convicted on April 17, 2012, after five years of trial.

The Southwark Crown Court, UK, sentenced him to 13 years in prison while his houses, luxury cars and other property items were confiscated.

The judge, however, ruled that Ibori would spend half of the jail term which is six and half years.

He had fled to Dubai in 2010, from where he was extradited to Britain.

Ibori was jailed in April 2012 for fraud amounting to nearly 50 million pounds (at the time $78.5 million/62 million euros, close to N40billion) following a drawn-out extradition procedure and his evasion of arrest and prosecution in Nigeria.

Born on Aug. 4, 1959, Ibori was the governor of Delta from May 29, 1999 to May 29, 2007 on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

He’s expected to dictate the political direction of Delta State in the 2019 elections.