Chief James Ibori, the former Governor of Delta State, during a thanksgiving service at the First Baptist Church, Oghara, reaffirmed his innocence of the charges that took him to prison in the United Kingdom.
“I am not a thief,” the former governor noted.
The thanksgiving service was organized in his honour by the monarch, Ovie of Oghara Kingdom, Orefe III and the people of Oghara kingdom.
Before Ibori’s testimony, Arch Bishop Awomakpa, the Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, South-South region, said that;
“Ibori was the point of contact that unites government with the church. What we actually need are politicians, who would go into politics for the betterment of the land.”
“James Ibori comes from God and as we speak, he represents another government up there. In Urhobo land, we have two people who made mighty impact. Olorogun Michael Ibru, after him, all of them went there for their pocket until the time of Brother James.
“Some of you while in office did not even build a house for anyone, but this building that we are in here today, was actually built by Brother James, besides who believed that Brother James would come and be here with us today. Today indeed calls for joy and celebration for the people of Oghara kingdom,” the Arch Bishop stated.
Read Chief Ibori’s statement below;
“Today, I have decided to speak for myself, I am not a thief, I cannot be a thief. Today is the day they say I should give testimony to God, for those that know me, you know that my entire life is a testimony itself and I have said it over and over again that my life is fashioned by God, directed by God, sealed, acknowledged, blessed by God and I believe that since the day I was born.
“Like the Arch Bishop said, when this whole commotion started, what was most painful to me was the pain and suffering that my people were going through.
“It has nothing to do with me as a person because for some reasons like I said to you, I drew my strength from God and somehow, I knew that God would stand by me, I knew that one day, and this day would come. I am indeed very pleased that I can now stand before you and look at your faces, faces that I have missed and those of you that have indeed suffered the pains of my absence. It has nothing to do with me.
“So, when I reflect, it gives me joy that all your prayers, God has answered, all your support and solidarity with me all through this period, it is indeed not what I can begin to say…”
“If I am to give testimony of my journey, you will not leave here. The only testimony that I have is the fact that I am back and alive in your midst. And again I say that I never had any doubt in my mind that I would get back home,” he said.
“There is an Urhobo adage that says it is in the river that one changes clothes, it is in the river that I changed my cloth.”
“When I looked how things were going, I discovered that they want to separate me from you people. They want me to go to the corner where I will not be seen.
“That is how I see it. At a point, I called my elder brother (former Governor Uduaghan) that this is how I can get home, that this is what I am about to do now. It was a pragmatic decision. I am happy to be home with my people. There is nobody that can battle with the Lord. Urhobo adage says there is time for everything (Okemutie). A day will come when I will tell my story and every one of you will hear me. Today is to thank God,” he added.