by Isi Esene
An amorphous group called The James Ibori Political Associates has announced the cancellation of the planned 54th birthday celebration for James Onanefe Ibori which was earlier scheduled for today, August 4.
James Ibori is the former governor of Delta State who was convicted along with his wife, mistress, and lawyer in the United Kingdom for stealing funds running into millions of dollars belonging to the people of the state.
According to the Vanguard Newspapers, the statement released by the group, yesterday, announcing the cancellation was signed by Olorogun Jaro Egbo. It said:
“We regret to announce the cancellation of all activities planned to mark the 54th birthday anniversary of James Onanefe Ibori due to circumstances beyond our control.
“We appeal to all our invited guests that the decision to cancel the event is as result of the sad loss of our national leader’s brother who died after a brief illness.
“Our prayers and indeed that of all well meaning Deltans are with the Ibori family at this period. We enjoined all Deltans and indeed Nigerians to continue to pray to God to strengthen our leader, Chief James Ibori as he matches through this difficult phase of his life.
“We therefore apologize for the inconveniences the cancellation will cost our numerous guests and supporters.”
It is not clear whether this planned celebration was proposed before Ibori’s incarceration, or it was all along planned to take place in his absence.