Hundreds of Nigerians have taken to social media in reaction to a photo of James Manager, a ranking senator from Delta State, kneeling before James Ibori, a two-term governor of the state, and an ex-convict.
In the viral photo, the 61-year-old lawmaker who has been representing Delta South Senatorial District in the Red Chamber of the National Assembly since 2003, knelt and appeared begging Ibori.
PointNews understands that the begging senator is desperate for Ibori’s support in his bid to succeed the incumbent state governor, Ifeanyi Okowa.
Ibori ruled the oil-rich Delta State from 1999 to 2007 and was later convicted for embezzling billions of state funds. In spite of his criminal record, which is known to members of the public, Ibori has remained influential, such that he joined the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
However, while some see Manager’s action to kneel before Ibori as a sign of respect in Urhobo culture, many social media users expressed their disappointments in the lawmaker
However, many people on social media said it was wrong for the senator to have done such.
Precious Erutase wrote on Facebook, “Yes, I don’t demean people on social media, but with due respect, this photo didn’t speak well of Senator James Manager and his media aide. In my own words, it is true that the media aide that took this photo has revealed to Deltans the incongruous ambition and the overzealousness of his boss.
“There is nowhere in the whole of the Niger Delta that you will find a man of Senator James Manager ranking, kneeling down with both legs before a fellow man who happens not to be his biological father, but a man I can accurately guess to be of the same age with him. No, it is not done and this is demeaning.”
Omemiroro Ogedegbe, who is a lawyer, wrote on Facebook, “The people continue to suffer as the politicians do not hold allegiance to their sovereignty but to perceived political gods to whom they continue to pay royalties upon their emergence and the people suffer.
“Imagine my senators kneeling like schoolchildren all for the quest of power. James Manager is 61 years like James Ibori and from their look, that of James Manager might be his football age. Each time we see this level of timidity the institutions they represent suffer.”
Ezekiel Ibok, who identified himself as a teacher on Facebook also wrote, “A serving Senator, James Ebiowu Manager representing Delta South kneels before James Ibori, seeking endorsement for his 2023 governorship ambition. Kneeling down for an ex-convict that looted Delta State dry.”
“How come we celebrate thieves and looters in Nigeria? How did we get here as a people?” he asked