SaharaReporters has learnt of the death of Young Daniel Igbrude, a former Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly. A family source told our correspondent that Mr. Igbrude died at St. Luke Hospital in Asaba, the state capital. The source disclosed that the former speaker had driven himself to the hospital in his SUV for a routine check-up. He died shortly after arriving at the medical facility.
A medical staff of the hospital confirmed the death of the former speaker, but declined to disclose the nature of his ailment.
The late former speaker would have turned 62 next month.
After serving as speaker during the tenure of former Governor James Ibori, who is serving a long prison term in the UK for money laundering, Mr. Igbrude fell out with Mr. Ibori. The former speaker joined an aggrieved group of members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who were critical of the way Mr. Ibori manipulated the party’s primary to ensure that his cousin, Emmanuel Uduaghan, emerged as the governorship candidate.
In the build-up to the 2007 governorship election in the oil rich state, the late speaker became one of 23 aspirants who wanted to defeat Mr. Uduaghan, a medical doctor.
Mr. Igbrude’s disaffection was instrumental to the defeat of the PDP in Isoko North Local Government Area during the January 6, 2011 rerun governorship election ordered by an appellate court. Great Ogboru of the Democratic People’s Party (DPP), an arch-rival to the PDP, carried the area where the former speaker was hugely popular.
But before the April 26, 2011 general election, Governor Uduaghan moved quickly to reconcile with the former speaker, paving the way for the PDP to win the local government area when the incumbent governor was seeking a second term in office.
Alongside the incumbent Senator Pius Ewherido (Delta Central) who was once the state’s Deputy Speaker, Mr. Igbrude presided over the Delta Assembly. He was subsequently impeached by a majority of the house in a scheme reportedly masterminded by former Governor Ibori and Mr. Uduaghan, the then secretary to the state government and now the incumbent governor.
At a point in his embattled career, Mr. Igbrude and Mr. Ewherido joined forces with Edwin Kiagbodo Clark, a former Minister of Information and an Ijaw leader, in an effort to break Mr. Ibori’s hegemony over the state.
In an interview, Iduh Amadhe, a political associate and friend of the later former speaker, described Mr. Igbrude’s sudden death as unfortunate and a big loss to the Isoko people.