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Former Delta state governor, Chief James Ibori, has said he had been wrongly accused and maligned by those who said he stole, saying “I am not a thief, I cannot be a thief”.
Chief Ibori also said the biggest pain he felt over his travails was the suffering his people had to go through on account of his absence.
Speaking at a special thanksgiving service organised in his honour by his immediate community; the Oghara Kingdom, and held at the First Baptist Church, Oghara, Chief Ibori also said his only testimony and joy now is the fact that he is alive and back to be with his people.
According to the former governor, who exhibited his overwhelming joy by dazzling the huge crowd of politicians, clergy, traditional rulers and other enthusiasts who had graced the event, with dances, he had deduced that the intents of those who were behind his travails was to separate him from his people.
He, however said he had no doubt that he would return home as he had put everything on God and believed that the God he trusted would stand by him.
“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. Like what our former chief of staff, Francis Agboroh said it is “ungbikuable”.
“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.
“When I looked at 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 won’t be seen. That’s how I see it. At a point I called my elder brother (Former Governor Uduaghan) it is how I can get home is what I am about to do now. It was a pragmatic decision.