A former governor of Delta State, James Ibori, has been appointed as patron of the Former Governors Forum, a group made up of past state governors in Nigeria
In a letter signed by Chairman of the group and former governor of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu, and Prof Tunde Esan, the Executive Secretary, Ibori’s appointment took effect from July 13, 2020.
The letter stated that, “In line with the provisions of the Former Governors Forum and based on the unanimous decision of the Executive Committee of the Forum, we convey to you your appointment as Patron of the Forum”.
It further stated that, “The Forum recognises your role not only as a former governor but equally as a respected elder statesman with passion for the promotion of unity in Nigeria, which is the major objective of the Forum”.
In addition, your role as Patron will be invaluable in the development of good leadership qualities among emerging leaders in Nigeria.”
Ibori was Governor of Delta state from 1999 to 2007, he however sentenced in 2012, to 13 years in prison for money laundering by a court in the United Kingdom.
He fled Nigeria in April 2010 while answering to corruption charges from EFCC, but was later apprehended by the interpol in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and consequently extradited to the UK to answer charges after being indicted in cases of massive corruption and money laundering.
He served only four years out of the 13-year sentence handed by the UK court and was released from jail in 2016.
Ibori is seen as a key figure in the Niger Delta and indeed Nigeria as a whole. His political strengths can also not be wished away.