The ancient town of Oghara in Ethiope West local Governments Area of Delta was on Saturday agog as former governor James Ibori returned home after serving jail term in a UK prison.
Ibori, who was convicted by a British court on charges of money laundering, arrived at the Benin Airport on Saturday aboard a chartered plane, IZYAIR, with registration number India Zulu Yanky (5NIZY).
The flight, a Challenger 60, landed the airport at about 2.25pm
Ibori stepped into his country home Oghara at about 3:30 pm on Saturday after completing his 13-year jail term in UK.
His residence was besieged by well wishers and political associates in the state to felicitate with their leader.
Hunreds of the well wishers trekked a long distance and around the town carrying leaves while some painted their faces with chalk jubilating
Similarly, musical stands were set up in various locations in the town as musicians entertained the crowd.
Speaking outside Ibori’s home, Mr Ighoyota Amori, a former senator representing Delta Central, said the return of Ibori was a good omen to the people.
“We are happy that Ibori is back, people are jubilating, the crowd you see here and the enthusiasm that has been displayed today showed that we really missed him.
“This is the only way for us to appreciate that our leader who left us long ago is back.
“His coming is a beginning of so many good things to come, by his presence today, l am sure we are gaining back all we have lost.
“Ibori remains in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), but it is not time to discuss politics, all his followers around are members of PDP,” Amori said.
Also speaking to newsmen, Mr Lovett Idisi, member representing Ethiope East and Ethiope West Federal Constituency, thanked God for the safe return of Ibori.
“We prayed that all our PDP faithful should be steadfast now that we have a pure political direction.
“Their support has not been in vain, I believe now that our leader is out, we will have a sense of direction. We are a sheep with a shepherd right now.
“In my constituency, we now have somebody to consult without travelling overseas,” Idisi said.
One of Oghara’s youth leader, Mr Efe Moses said the return of Ibori would turn things around for the good of Oghara.
“We are grateful to God for the return of our chief (Ibori), sure things will turn around for better from now on in Oghara.
“Ibori is our father and we can die because of him,’’ Moses said.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that security was beefed up to maintain law and order within and outside the Ibori residence. (NAN)