Okowa stated this in reaction to claims that the former governor of Delta state on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and acclaimed political godfather was planning to join the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Ibori returned from the UK recently after serving a concurrent 13-year jail term for money laundering and was reportedly visited by some top politicians in the state including Okowa.
The New Telegraph reports that in his first policy statement after the return of Ibori, Okowa said: “I am not aware of Ibori’s planned defection to the APC.
“Yes, he is back with us but I think what he should be concerned about is how to reunite with his family and not politics.”
He also denied the alleged frosty relationship between him and his predecessor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan.
Meanwhile, the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL) has described the ‘euphoria’ that greeted Ibori’s return to Delta state as a show of shame that debases humanism.
“It is sad and disheartening to see human beings so audaciously being ripped of their humanism; the very basis of their existence, out of the ‘inadvertent’ need to cope with the socio-economic and political reality of the society imposed by the incurably corrupt ruling class elements like Ibori.
“It is like the hunted protecting the hunter; victims celebrating their victimizers out of total dislocation with the empirical reality of their social existence and proper introspection.
“We are talking about an ex-convict that has through his nefarious and corrupt activities dragged the image of the country as a whole in the mud of global shame.
Debo Adeniran of CACOL condemns the rousing welcome accorded Ibori in Oghara
“Ibori, we believe, is one those who inspired the infamous statement of the former Prime Minister of the UK, David Cameron that described Nigeria as a country that is ‘fantastically’ corrupt.
“CACOL think those that are openly celebrating the ex-convict are trying to turn Ibori to a ‘hero’, so he could go back to playing his so-called ‘Robinhood’ role while walking free and shoulders-high in spite of committing corruption crimes of incredible proportions.
“‘Beneficiaries’ as the celebrators may be; they do not represent the rule of law, the will or opinion of Nigerians about the obligation and absolute necessity to prosecute Ibori and others like him for their corruption crimes with deserving punitive applied where culpability is established.
“We also point out that the ‘welcome carnival’ is a manifestation of a tendency that can never spell any good for socio-cultural, economic and political development because the trend is predicated on corruption and abysmal disregard for core values and morals,” CACOL said in a statement made available to NAIJ.com.